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Mukilteo considers budget options for 2022 Preliminary Budget

MUKILTEO, Wash., September 17, 2021 – As the city of Mukilteo approaches the November 15 deadline for their 2022 Preliminary Budget, council met September 13 at a Special Meeting to review Expenditure considerations, Revenue considerations, and other budget ideas.

The 2022 Preliminary Budget has the city of Mukilteo receiving $35,504,156 in total revenue and expending $39,673,539. Mayor Gregerson’s goals for the 2022 Preliminary Budget are to work to return service levels to pre-pandemic levels and deliver core services and support the City’s vision of a sustainable, well-run city with safe, strong neighborhoods.

Shawn Hunstock, Finance Director, gave a presentation on the budget report which includes the following considerations below.

Expenditure Considerations

  • The Expenditure considerations include a full year of funding for the Streets Maintenance Workers II and Assistance planner, authorized by the council during the June 21 meeting.
  • Return to full staffing at Rosehill Community Center, authorized by the council during the August 2 meeting.
  • Equipment replacements and facilities, approved during the July 14 council meeting.

2022 Revenue Considerations

  • General fund includes 1% property tax increases of approximately $57,000
  • General fund includes mid-year 0.50% increase in water and wastewater franchise fees of approximately $27,900 as allowed by existing agreements and implements gradual increases previously approved by council
  • Assumes full year of open operations for Rosehill Community Center
  • State shared revenue amounts for 2022 shows small increase over 2021 amounts

Additional Considerations

  • The General Fund budget is balanced with revenues equal to expenses
  • All funds are in compliance with Fund Balance Reserve Policy
  • Hotel/Motel Lodging Tax expenses not confirmed until Council reviews LTAC recommendations

Mukilteo City Council Budget Ideas

  • $10,000 on tree planting initiative
  • $21,000 on dog park maintenance
  • $16,000 on Expanded Flower Basket Program
  • $5,000 on suicide prevention efforts
  • $7,000 on Gun Safety Initiatives
  • $36,000 on Dirt Bike Course
  • $10,676 on Arts Funding
  • $20,000 on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training

Following Hunstock’s presentation, the council had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss budget items.

Councilman Bob Champion inquired what sort of permits and ordinances would be needed for tree planting initiatives and asked what the gun safety initiatives would look like. Gregerson replied that the tree planting would take place in areas of the city where a permit would not be needed, and Hunstock elaborated that the gun safety initiatives would essentially be a buy-back program for residents turning in firearms.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crawford emphasized her support of the diversity, equity, and inclusion training as well as maintenance of city dog parks.

Next Steps for the Mukilteo Budget

The council established their goals and overview at their meeting on May 10, reviewed Draft Facility and Equipment New Budget Items (NBIs) June 14, reviewed Draft Employee and Program NBIs July 12, and reviewed capital NBIs and council-generated Budget Ideas on August 9 thus far. The next steps for cementing the budget will follow the following calendar:

  • Preliminary CIP feedback on September 27
  • Open Preliminary Hearing and Mayor’s Budget Address and continue feedback on CIP on October 4
  • Work Session on the CIP feedback October 11
  • Public Hearing on the preliminary budget and property tax on October 18
  • Special Meeting on CIP questions/feedback on October 25
  • Continue and close preliminary budget PH, open final PH on November 1
  • Final budget hearing feedback/questions and adopt the 2022-2027 CIP November 8
  • Continue and close Public Hearings and adopt property tax levies, and adopt final budget November 15

September 7 Council Meeting on Capital Improvements

Council members discussed the 2022-2027 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and future development plans for the sector 3 portion of Harbour Pointe which includes the Sno-Isle Library, Harbour Pointe Senior Living, the Montessori Hotel, and the Skybridge Suite Hotel at their city council meeting on September 7. 

Capital Improvements

The Washington State Growth Management Act requires local jurisdiction to include a Capital Facilities Element (RCW 36.70A.070) in GMA comprehensive plans. 

One of the Facilities Element requirements is for a six-year plan to finance these capital facilities within projected funding capacities and to identify sources of public money for these purposes. 

For the city of Mukilteo, capital facilities primarily include transportation, surface water, parks, and city facilities (police stations, fire stations, city hall, Rosehill Community Center).

The city is still preparing its six-year Capital Improvement Plan, and the document is still in progress.  

Finance Director Shawn Hunstock led a presentation before the council and had the opportunity to hold a discussion. 

At this time, Mukilteo’s six-year CIP plan is expected to be organized into two sections. 

Section 1 will include general narrative information about capital facilities planning.

Section 2 will identify capital projects that constitute the six-year CIP (water, transportation, parks, recreation, Shoreline master program, Waterfront Master Program, etc.)

The next step for the council is to approve the CIP document, which is currently scheduled for discussion and adoption at the November 8 meeting. 

Harbour Pointe Development

Sector 3 is an approximately 45-acre area and one of 21 sectors in Harbour Pointe, established by Snohomish County before its annexation into Mukilteo. Each sector has unique development requirements. 

A development agreement, a site-specific contract for development between the city and private property owners under state law RCW 36.70B.170-210, was adopted in 2022 to reimagine section 3 as the pedestrian-friendly, commercially focused “Mukilteo Town Square.” Residential uses are not allowed under the agreement. 

Previously, the property owners of lot 4A proposed concepts and uses that were not allowed under this agreement. The owners would have needed to majorly amend the agreements to pursue their development proposals. Property owners of lots 9 and 10 have informally proposed concepts but have not been in contact with the city for longer than 12 months. 

The development agreement allows lot 4A (West side of Harbour Place) to have schools, retail shops, and offices with buildings located up to Harbour Place to screen parking. 

The development agreement allows lots 9-10 (the 5-acre area fronting Mukilteo Speedway) to have grocery stores, service stations, retail shops, hotels, offices, allowing retail shops to line Harbour Place in order to improve the streetscape. 

Property owners of 4A proposed a 32-unit townhouse development on the vacant lot between the Montessori School and Harbour Pointe Senior Living, but residential living is not permitted under the Section 2 agreement area. 

Council was presented with the decision to terminate the agreement and reimagining of sector 3 or to keep the agreement and wait for future proposals that better fit the vision. 

After a presentation by Community Director Dave Osaki, the council discussed the options. 

“I like the idea of the current vision. . . . We’re deteriorating in many aspects of our city, and what we’re offering to residents, and if it’s our place as legislators to help talk to developers who say these are the types of developments that a planned community would like to see, then I’m happy to do that,” Councilman Bob Champion said. 

Champion added that the developers should have known and considered the agreement when buying the property. 

“What I would like to see personally . . . is a pocket to be able to walk to and have ice cream with your children, or bike to with your children,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Crawford added.

After public comments and mostly unfavorable comments from the council concerning residential development on sector 3, Osaki decided to take what was discussed back to the property owners to revisit in a future meeting.

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