Okanogan plans budget

City proposes a utility rate increase for water, sewer

— City taxpayers will see a 1 percent property tax in 2014 and likely will see increases in utility rates.

The increases are part of the proposed $6.8 million budget, which is scheduled for adoption during the council’s Dec. 3 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 120 N. Third Ave.

The council already authorized the property tax increase. A second and final reading on the fee schedule, which includes utility rates, is set for Dec. 3.

Under the fee proposal, the proposed base rate for water is $34, up from $33, and the proposed base sewer rate is $46.75, up from $45.65.

No garbage rate increase is planned.

The city plans to collect $284,379 in property tax in 2014, up from $380,894 this year. The amount is 1 percent more than this year, plus increases for new construction.

Budget documents show $6.8 million in revenue anticipated in 2014 and an equal amount for expenditures. The proposed budget is about $200,000 more than the 2013 budget, but less than either the 2009 or 2010 budgets.

The city expects to spend $190,000 for general government, which includes the clerk’s office, council and other city hall expenditures. That’s down from the 2013 amended budget amount of $212,349.

Law enforcement expenditures are expected to drop from $355,498 under the amended 2013 budget to $334,867.80 next year, while fire department spending will rise from $120,859 to $123,640.08.

Overall, the public safety budget is expected to rise from $683,215.87 to $697,574.17.

Among other anticipated expenditures, by department, are: Parks, $91,956.59, up from $83,963.20; tourism promotion, $75,337.99, up from $51,798.17; streets, $496,249.35, up from $389,743.09; cemetery, $63,035.70, up from $48,565.63; airport, $34,906.32, down from $50,299.67; garbage and solid waste, $691,256.39, up from $670,456.85; water, $557,559.26, up from $503,095.32; total water-sewer fund, $2.06 million, up from $1.83 million.

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