Eatonville council set to approve 2021 budget, levies

Fiscal matters dominated the agenda during the Nov. 9 meeting of the Eatonville Town Council, including a first reading of the budget for the 2021 calendar year.

According to Ordinance 2020-5, total fund revenues for next year are estimated to be approximately $14.3 million, with approximately $9.9 million in appropriations and expenditures, for an estimated ending total fund balance of $4.4 million.

Owing to the large gap in favor of estimated revenues versus appropriations and expenditures, councilmember Robert Thomas asked why the council had previously discussed earlier in the meeting the prospect of raising the town’s regular tax levy and emergency medical services levy for 2021.
Mayor Mike Schaub pointed out the summary form of the 2021 budget did not separate out beginning fund balances and reserves, the latter of which are dedicated to funding specific projects.

“So, it’s more than just … the annual revenue that’s coming in,” Schaub said.

The first reading unanimously passed. The second and final reading of the budget bill is set for the council’s next meeting on Nov. 23.The council also unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2020-2, which amends the 2020 budget to include a grant of $1.4 million from the state Capital Budget to be administered through the Washington State Public Works Board for Eatonville’s Third Water Filter and Clear Well Project. The project includes expanding the existing water treatment plant with the addition of a third membrane filtration skid and conversion of the fourth slow sand filter basin to additional clear well storage.

“This is our one budget amendment for the fiscal year ’20,” Schaub noted.

The council also passed two first readings of ordinances related to the town’s regular tax levy and emergency medical services levy for 2021, although not unanimously.

Ordinance 2020-3 would authorize an increase of $6,819.32 in the property tax levy amount from the previous year, a percentage increase of .97 percent.

“This is part of our process,” Schaub said. “It will take our current property value, along with any new construction, and that would become our new amount that the 1 percent would be based off off ... It would be an overall increase of just under 1 percent is what the overall increase would be.”
Thomas noted that this year Tax Freedom Day — the first day of the year in which the nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to pay its taxes — was some time in April.

“I will not vote to raise property taxes, period, per anything,” Thomas said.

A first reading of Ordinance 2020-3 passed by a vote of 3-2, with Thomas and Emily McFadden opposed.

Ordinance 2020-4 would authorize an increase of $865.92 in the emergency services levy from the previous year, a percentage increase of nearly 2.99 percent.

A first reading of Ordinance 2020-4 passed by a vote of 3-2, with Thomas and McFadden again opposed.

Finally, the council unanimously passed a motion regarding remaining federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding in the


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