Clallam sets budget hearings

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners Tuesday called for Dec. 4 hearings on the proposed 2013 budget.

The draft budget is balanced and includes no new layoffs.

It shows $31.28 million in revenues and $30.93 million in expenses for a $345,163 surplus in the general fund, leaving $10.45 million in reserve.

Public hearings will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 4 in Room 160 on the main floor of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.

A final budget will be adopted no later than Dec. 11.

The draft budget proposal reflects the second year of union-backed employee concessions, including 16 unpaid furlough days, that saved jobs.

County Administrator Jim Jones wrote in his executive summary that revenues are “still being held back by the weak economy.”

Cuts in state grants and contracts will result in a year-to-year loss of $900,000 for Community Development Environmental Quality and $200,000 for Health and Human Services Environmental Health.

Despite the cuts, no new sales taxes are being proposed.

Commissioner Jim McEntire said he intended to “prompt a discussion” about the recommended 1 percent increase in the general fund property tax levy.

The legally allowed 1 percent increase would generate $98,000 in revenue.

“It should be a robust discussion on Dec. 4,” McEntire predicted Tuesday.

Advisory boards

The draft budget has new spending in the Sheriff’s Office for two part-time security officers to cover the courtrooms, as recommended by a newly formed county security committee.

The draft budget proposal is available at www.clallam.net.

In other news from the weekly board meeting, the three commissioners appointed, reappointed or reassigned a dozen members to three key advisory boards.

Catharine Copass and William Peach were appointed to the North Olympic Library System Board of Trustees.

Vito Cibene and Barbara Offermann were appointed to the Fair Advisory Board, to which Paul Stumbaugh was reassigned to represent the Sequim-Dungeness Valley.

Renee Mizar, Karla Forsbeck, Alice Alexander, Larry Burtness and Margaret Owens were appointed to the Heritage Advisory Board. The terms of heritage board members Joan McNally Quigley and Nancy Messmer were adjusted.

Commissioners also approved a $10,300 grant from the Federal Forest Replacement Fund to Clallam County Fire District No. 3 for a self-contained forest fire-suppression apparatus.

The Kimtek Supermax Transport skid unit will be mounted on the back of the fire district’s Polaris all-terrain vehicle and provide a high-pressure pump with an 85-gallon water tank.

Fire district grant

Fire District No. 3 has mutual-aid agreements with federal, state and local jurisdictions that have forestland on the North Olympic Peninsula.

“The equipment is going to District 3, but it’s available to all other fire districts and agencies that might have a need for this rather unique wildfire suppression piece of equipment,” Commissioner Mike Doherty said.

Commissioners began the meeting by proclaiming today as Adoption Day in Clallam County.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 14. 2012 5:12PM
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