TOWN OF CATHLAMET
December 12, 2016
SPECIAL COUNCIL BUDGET MEETING
CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Dale Jacobson
The Special council meeting for the Town of Cathlamet was called to order by Mayor Dale Jacobson at 1:10 p.m. Monday December 12, 2016.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Mayor Jacobson
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mayor Jacobson.
ROLL CALL – Clerk/Treasurer Kerrie McNally
Present: Council Members Sue Cameron, Andrew Lea, Ryan Smith, Bernadette Goodroe and Richard Swart. Also present was Clerk/Treasurer Kerrie McNally, Fire Chief Fred Johnson, Asst. Fire Chief Beau Renfro and Citizen Bob Kizziar. Public Works Superintendent Duncan Cruickshank arrived shortly after Roll Call.
NEW BUSINESS –
A. Mayor Jacobson addressed the Council and reiterated the importance of deciding on a balanced budget for next year. The Mayor reminded the Council that the third and final reading of the Budget ordinance would be read at the next regular Council Meeting on December 19th.
B. Town accountant Chad Greif from BIAS Software was contacted and put on speaker phone to address questions regarding the budget. Chad asked C/T McNally if she had told the Council about the new information discovered regarding a possible solution to the Sewer Operations and Maintenance fund shortfall. Mrs. McNally said that she had discussed the allocation of the recent rate increase with the Mayor and one Council Member but asked Chad to go into details. Chad told the Council that the Sewer Cumulative Reserve fund was already being adequately funded by the previous rate structure and did not need the benefit of the rate increase. He said that if the entire rate increase was allocated entirely to the base rate, it would not only cover the shortfall in the O/M fund, but also create a small surplus for unexpected costs that may arise. This would eliminate the need for another additional rate increase in 2017 and allow for a smaller incremental increase in following years. The Council agreed to have the Town Attorney draft an ordinance amending the previous ordinance and reverting the amount going into the Cumulative Reserve to the previous amount of $60.00.
C. Chad was asked his advice on how to improve the town finances and responded by saying that:
1. The General Fund must sustain itself, but that the Street Fund and Library Funds are supported
by the General Fund, so there should be some examination of how to generate more revenue for those
departments. He advised against using the Timber revenue to try and “plug holes’ unless there is no
alternative because the town should keep as much of those funds in reserve.
Council Member Ryan Smith said that the Library Board recently approved a small fee increase for library cards and faxes. He said that they were probably not high enough to cover the budget shortfall.
Fire Chief Johnson, who had distributed his proposal to purchase a new fire engine, asked that $100,000 be taken from the timber revenue to provide a down payment on a new engine and asked for $34,000 per year to be placed into the FD Cumulative Reserve fund to make payments on the new engine for a 15 year period. The Council responded with concern over allocating that amount of the timber revenue to the fire engine.
The Mayor left at 3:00 for an appointment, so Mayor Pro-Tem Ryan Smith took over the meeting at that time. It was decided to have the C/T prepare the proposed budget with the new numbers resulting from the re-allocation of sewer funds, to remove all audit costs as there will be no audit in 2017 and transfer funds from Current Expense to the FD Cumulative Reserve fund for the new fire engine.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.
Ryan Smith, Mayor Pro-Tem Kerrie McNally, Clerk/Treasurer