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Hearing set for Coupeville's 2014 budget

Coupeville Town Council will hold a public hearing next week to seek input on the draft $5.1 million 2014 budget.

The document reflects a few changes to town finances including a 5 percent cost of living increase for town employees.

Mayor Nancy Conard said employees haven’t seen a raise since 2009.

“There was a steady upswing in sales tax revenue,” she said. “It was time.”

When budgeting, Conard said she takes a very conservative approach. If revenue increases, she said she usually waits a couple years to see if the increase is consistent prior to adjusting the budget.

The 2014 budget’s largest expenditure is law enforcement, which is a topic still up in the air for town leaders.

Town council is still debating between keeping its own police force or contracting with Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Conard said a draft contract with Island County is still being reviewed and she doesn’t expect to see it until January.

“I still don’t know which way it will go,” Conard said. “Whichever way it will go, the budget will handle it.”

Two utility projects are also reflected in the budget, which will also segue into a street project that includes rebuilding and resurfacing Madrona Way from Broadway to Vine streets.

Conard said she isn’t sure when the projects will go to bid.

Several years ago, Conard said the council started earmarking funds for future projects and started saving. Some of those projects include $40,000 for new public restrooms, though no location has been determined, $35,000 for renovations to the town park restrooms, $20,000 toward improvements to the municipal parking lot.

The complete draft budget is available for review to public at Coupeville Town Hall or online at www.townofcoupeville.org

The public hearing will be held during the regular town council meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, in the Island County Commissioner’s hearing room.

 

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