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Anacortes passes two-year budget

December 5, 2018

ANACORTES — The Anacortes City Council voted 7-1 Monday night to pass the city’s 2019-2020 budget.

The finalized budget includes $65 million for 2019 and $70 million for 2020, with $3.1 million over two years for the city’s fiber optic internet network project, according to city documents.

The budget projects about $65 million in expenses and about $67.2 million in revenue for 2019. In 2020, it projects about $70 million in expenses and about $71.6 million in revenue.

The 2019 budget will see an about $4 million increase over the 2018 budget. The 2017-2018 budget was the first time the city used a biennial budget format.

The $3.1 million allotted for the city-operated fiber network includes costs for construction and four full-time positions required to operate the network, according to city documents. The $3.1 million will be taken out of cash reserves.

The budget includes 14 new staff positions — one shy of the 15 proposed in earlier drafts.

In addition to the four full-time fiber optic network positions, the budget includes four full-time firefighter-paramedics funded by the county’s emergency medical services levy.

The draft also includes a new police officer position for 2019. The position had originally been slated to begin in 2020.

Other positions added include three public works employees, a human resources manager and an administrative support employee.

Councilman Matt Miller, who cast the dissenting vote, was against hiring a human resources manager.

“I just don’t feel this (position) is justified enough,” he said. “Long-term fiscal sustainability is dependent on us getting it right.”

Councilman Brad Adams said the council spent more time on this budget than on any previous budget in his 15 years on the council.

“We might not agree on everything — which is good because that’s how things work — but the budget process has really been a good one to work through this year,” he said.

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