Olympia City Council aims to balance the books

Tuesday night’s City Council meeting will address amendments to transfer money

lpemberton@theolympian.comDecember 1, 2013 

The Olympia City Council will continue chipping away at the 2014 preliminary operating budget and Capital Facilities Plan during Tuesday night’s meeting by considering a handful of proposed amendments that would transfer funding to help balance the books.

So far, two major changes have been made to the spending plan since it was introduced in October.

“The council rearranged funding to add another quarter-time urban forester, and allocated $100,000 to begin a bicycle corridor pilot project to support safe cycling in Olympia,” City Manager Steve Hall said.

Other agenda items include:

 • Discussion and a possible vote on amendments to the city’s parking ordinance. The proposed changes include an annual registration fee of $10 per vehicle for the city’s residential program.

“Currently, the fee applies only to the second and subsequent vehicles registered to an address, which causes confusion among households with multiple residents and is administratively difficult to manage,” states a staff report included in the City Council’s agenda packet.

The proposed regulations also would ban overnight camping in city lots. They add that city-owned parking lots “may only be used for parking unless an activity is expressly authorized by a city-issued permit, lease or unless the activity is conducted by the city,” according to a proposed amendment.

 • Discussion of the City Council’s top legislative priorities.

The city’s executive staff is recommending that the council focus on state transportation funding, including a “regional transit solution” to help clear congestion on Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and seek a $1 million state appropriation for demolition and development of the Isthmus properties that the city bought in 2013, according to a report in the agenda packet.

The city’s preliminary $119 million budget represents a 4.2 percent increase compared with the 2013 operating budget. No significant cuts in services or layoffs are in the preliminary plan, but it does include proposed utility rate increases, which will average about $5 a month per household, and recommendations for the lodging tax.

The proposed Capital Facilities Plan is $122 million and focuses on building, park, street and utility maintenance, Hall said.

The meeting is open to the public and starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia.

For more information, call 360-753-8447 or go to olympiawa.gov.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton

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