Mayor Mike Schaub said Eatonville’s finances are in great shape – after making a report to the Town Council July 8.

“We’ve achieved our reserve target amounts. We have a reserve of 10 percent,” Mayor Schaub said in an interview. “The Council put the (goal) in place more than eight years ago, and we’ve achieved it. We’re finally able to do some projects we haven’t been able to do in the past.”

For example, the electrical department has been able to take on some projects that have been on hold for years.

“We have some underground work at several trailer parks that have direct burial, Schaub said. “ We’ve been able to start putting the wires into conduits, which are easier to maintain and definitely will last a lot longer.”

The mayor said Eatonville has more money to put into parks, and the cemetery, and the town is trying to make up for lost time by performing maintenance that had been deferred.

“We’ve worked on the Town Hall, and worked on Glacier View Park to address some issues like dry rot. These are projects we’ve deferred,” the mayor said. “We’re able to put more into streets, working on upkeep in parks.”

The town also has been able to hire summertime seasonable help. And Eatonville is working on several grants for street work. Mayor Schaub hopes to get bids later this year.

Schaub said when the recession hit in 2008, Eatonville’s finances took a big hit in revenue.“One of our main revenue sources is property tax. Our tax over that period of time decreased,” he said. “We’ve had to be very smart and conscientious of how we’ve spent our funds. We’ve worked diligently to be sure we’re spending the taxpayer’s money wisely.” 

Since property taxes are the major source of revenue for the town’s general fund, Eatonville doesn’t have the capacity to simply increase taxes. The town has raised some utility rates to pass along cost increases from outside sources.

The town recently raised the fees for recycling, passing along an increase in the cost of sending recycled material to China.

“We’ve had some rate increases, to keep up with price of wholesale power to our electrical department. We buy our power from Bonneville Power Administration,” Schaub said. “We haven’t had water rate increase, and we’re trying to keep up with inflation.”