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Public stays mum on 2014 town budget

Coupeville Town Council unanimously passed a $5.1 million budget for 2014 last week.

Changes to the budget include a 5 percent cost of living increase for employees, which was something Mayor Nancy Conard said was a priority this year.

Employees hadn’t seen a raise since 2009.

The town’s draft budget was available for review online and through town hall.

During last Tuesday’s budget hearing, one citizen attended, but no one spoke on the issue.

Conard said she took that as a sign citizens were happy with the budget and the decisions the town was making.

It was noted no one came to town hall requesting a copy of the budget during the review period either.

The largest line item on the budget is for the police department. Council has yet to decide whether the town will keep its police force or contract with Island County Sheriff.

Either way, Conard said the budget will support either decision.

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

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

Another budgeted project from 2013 that will be continued into 2014 is what to do with a portion of Front Street facing bluff erosion problems.

A proposal should be coming to council in January to turn part of the road, in a residential area, into a one-way street.

Out of the 2013 budget, town council set aside $26,300 for that project.

Several years ago, Conard said the council started earmarking funds for future projects and start 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.

 

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