Eatonville council amends 2022 budget

Following a first reading at its previous meeting, the Eatonville Town Council on Aug. 8 unanimously passed the second reading of an ordinance amending the 2022 budget.

Per the ordinance, budgeted revenue for 2022 is $18.98 million, while amended revenue for 2022 is $19.88 million. Appropriated expenditures for 2022 are $12.37 million. The 2022 budgeted ending balance is $6.61 million, while the 2022 estimated ending budget balance is $6.71 million.
The council, in workmanlike fashion, passed four other measures during the meeting.

Authorization for the execution of a letter of agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, pertaining to police wages was unanimously passed by the council.

“This increase will be effective upon signing of this document by both the Town and the Union,” the letter reads in part. “The classification of Police Officer shall move from Grade 49 to Grade 53 as identified in the Contract Extension LOA dated 12/9/2021. All other terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by and between the Town and the Union for the term of January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, shall remain in full force and effect.”

No specific amounts are mentioned in the letter.

By a 4-1 vote, the council passed a resolution authorizing the execution of a professional services agreement with Seattle-based KPG Psomas Inc. in the amount of up to $60,245.95 for improvements on Carter Street West.

Councilmember Robert Thomas was the lone vote against the resolution.

Citing cost overruns on another KPG site – the State route 161/Washington Avenue North Corridor Phase 2 project – Thomas asked, “So, have we looked for an alternative company other than KPG?”

Town Administrator Seth Boettcher said KPG wasn’t to blame, citing outdated cost estimates due to delays in securing funding for the project, as well as more burdensome federal and state regulations and higher construction costs due to inflation.

The council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the execution of an interagency agreement with the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts for reimbursing the town – for a maximum of nearly $8,700 – for resentencing and legal costs under the state Supreme Court’s Blake ruling.

In February 2021, the state’s highest court found Washington’s simple possession law unconstitutional because it did not require the state to prove intent, in this case knowledge of possession of a controlled substance. The ruling came in the case of a Spokane woman, Shannon Blake, who had received a pair of jeans from a friend that had a small bag of methamphetamine in a pocket.

In April 2021, the state Supreme Court rejected a request from the state to reconsider its Blake ruling.

Later that month, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5476, reclassifying drug possession as a gross misdemeanor with fines up to $125. Per the bill, first- and second-time convictions that occurred before the Blake ruling would be vacated in retrial and defendants referred to treatment programs.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 5476 into law the following month, vetoing a portion of the bill that would have created a state fund to reimburse local governments and individuals who incur legal fees resulting from resentencing under the Blake decision.

The bill's provisions expire by July 1, 2023. SB 5476 also allows judges to set personal use amounts for drug possession laws by that point.
Finally, the council unanimously passed a resolution adopting the 2021 Tacoma-Pierce County Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Plan. The resolution also recommits Eatonville to its partnership with Pierce County.


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