City Council to consider $73.8M budget

A portion of a proposed $10 million general obligation bond would go toward construction of a new Moscow Police Department office.NewImage

The Moscow City Council will consider passage of the city’s proposed $73.8 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year after a public hearing is held during the council’s 7 p.m. meeting Monday.

The proposed budget is an increase of about $10 million over the current 2016 budget, which sits at $63.9 million.

City Supervisor Gary Riedner said the budget fluctuates from year to year and some expenses are budgeted for even if the city does not spend the money.

Part of the proposed budget includes a $10 million general obligation bond, which must still be approved by the City Council and at least 66.7 percent of Moscow voters in the spring. Mayor Bill Lambert said a significant portion of the bond would be used to construct a new building for the police department. The bond would also help pay for new fire trucks, paving of roads and playground construction in parks, Lambert said.

Lambert said the bond was discussed during a July budget workshop and the timing of the bond is good because interest rates are low.

Lambert said the city will hold workshops before next spring to better explain to residents the bond and its purpose.

If the bond is not approved, the budget will be decreased by $10 million.

The City Council will also hold a public hearing and then authorize or adjust a proposed fee resolution, which sets fees and rates charged for all city services, programs and utilities. Fees and rates are assessed based on the cost of the service provided and are typically increased to compensate for the increased cost of service delivery and its effect on the city’s operations.

Included in the proposal are increases to the monthly fees collected for the city’s roll cart program. If approved, 35 gallon carts will increase from $19.90 to $20.50 a month, 65 gallon carts from $25.55 to $26.30 and 95 gallon carts from $31.25 to $32.20.

The proposal also includes an increase in the monthly rates for water and sewer service. For single-family residences, standard monthly rates for water service will increase from $27.65 to $29.40 and sewer service rates from $44.30 to $46.30.

Councilman Art Bettge said a 2011 comprehensive sewer system plan and 2012 comprehensive water system plan that was developed by the city projected fees that would be needed to accommodate the legal requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency to maintain the wastewater treatment plant.

The fiscal year 2017 budget proposes a property tax levy of about $4.88 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is a 1 percent property tax increase.

Via the Moscow-Pullman Daily News