On Dec. 17, 2018, the University Place City Council passed the 2019-2020 budget. The 2019 budget calls for $27.8 million in operating funds, $2.1 million in capital funds and $2.5 million in Internal Service charges, for a total of $32.4 million. For fiscal year 2020, the operating funds are to be $28.5 million, capital funds will be $4.5 million, and Internal Service charges will be $2.1 million for a total proposed budget of $35.1 million.
City Manager Steve Sugg said that most of the 2019-2020 budget reflects modest changes in existing programs and services, but two areas of new investment include the allocation of one-time revenues to fund a public works crewmember and a police patrol officer for the next 10 years. “By using one-time revenues to fund services for defined periods of time, we can continue to contain costs and allocate resources for new projects or services only after funding has been secured,” he said. “This ensures that we will have enough resources to fund basic levels of services, even in the event of an economic downturn.”
The City Council has continued to build a strong financial baseline while focused on economic development to support growing demand for essential services. The 2019-2020 budget continues this trend, with more emphasis on a phased implementation of plans developed in prior years, including the City’s Subarea Plan to earn the Regional Growth Center designation. “The Subarea Plan takes a comprehensive look at the economic vitality and livability of a 465-acre area in the heart of University Place that will be the focus of our redevelopment and growth efforts over the next 20 years,” Sugg said. “In 2019-2020, we will be evaluating new development options that will further the plan, as well as new infrastructure investments in partnership with the private sector.”
Sugg says the proposed budget also includes the Council’s recent decision to increase the City’s vehicle license fee from $20 to $35 annually. “With this increased revenue, we project we will be able to chip seal almost half of the City’s residential streets and overlay a quarter of the City’s collector streets over the next five years,” he said. “With conservative budgeting and strategic investment, we project that the City will have sufficient resources to maintain existing service levels and to meet all its statutory and contractual obligations.”