Wednesday, November 27, 2013
OKANOGAN 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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State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen recorded this video of the release of a mama bear and her three cubs Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The bears were captured in a tree at Esther Bricques Winery near Ellisforde. The original video was much longer. We've edited out several minutes of footage between the cubs leaving the first trap and the mama and cub leaving the second trap. Enlarge