Port Angeles city budget adds six positions in 2024

PORT ANGELES — The 2024 Port Angeles city budget is balanced at $161.9 million, including $26.1 million in capital spending, while adding six new positions and providing stable funding for five others, the city council was told.

City Manager Nathan West told the council during a Tuesday work session that the budget’s theme was “strengthening our foundation and investing in core services.

“Those core services are enhancing the customer service experience, increasing the safety of our local community, promoting environmental resilience and investing in upgrades to city infrastructure,” he said.

The six new positions are a stormwater technician to comply with National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System requirements, a natural resources/grant planner position, a project manager to assist with project completion and reduce the cost of project consultants, a city electrician to assist with project completion and permit requirements, a grant administrator to identify state/federal grants for infrastructure needs, and a fleet mechanic to assist with maintaining the city’s aging vehicle fleet.

The budget also funds a community development technician from proposed permit fees; permanently incorporates the communications and records management coordinator, front desk attendant and housing administrator positions and retains the downtown resource officer, which is partially funded by downtown businesses.

The 2024 budget includes cost-of-living increases that range between 2.5 and 5.5 percent. Medical benefits were projected to increase by 5 percent and dental and vision coverage by 2 percent.

The 2024 property tax presentation, first reading of the ordinance and a public hearing are set for Nov. 8. Then a budget work session will be held on Nov. 14, if needed.

The second public hearing on the 2024 property tax and adoption of the ordinance and resolution is scheduled for Nov. 21, along with the 2024 budget presentation, public hearing and first reading of the budget ordinance.

In addition to the new and retained positions, the 2024 city budget includes housing permit fee waivers to promote more sustainable housing, funding for fire life safety inspections, the Operation Shielding Hope program (funded by opioid settlement funds) and continuation of the community para-medicine program.

It also includes a comprehensive plan update and climate resiliency planning and the city’s first purchase of fully electric vehicles.

West said city staff will create metrics and performance measurements in every area where new services have been proposed to ensure the limited funding available is used most effectively.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

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