Port Townsend approves supplemental budget

USDA rural designation may jeopardize funding

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend City Council has approved more than $4.7 million in supplemental appropriations to the 2023 budget, much of it carry-forward expenses from last year’s budget.

“The carry-forward budget for the capital is a large part of the carry-forward supplemental request,” said Connie Anderson, director of Finance and Technology Services, on Monday, when the council approved the appropriations.

“Also included in this supplemental is a request to utilize consultants. Those consultants are in need to help extend our staffing and effectively get the work done.”

Port Townsend has had to rely on consultants as the city faces a historically high vacancy rate, particularly in the engineering department.

Other appropriations in the supplemental budget cover the plans to overhaul the Port Townsend Golf Course and Mountain View Commons.

Council members had previously discussed the budget items at their April 17 meeting.

Growing pains

Also at the Monday meeting, council members directed City Manager John Mauro to draft a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the city’s eligibility for Rural Development programs.

Every five years, USDA reassesses eligibility areas and the city received notice that Port Townsend was currently under review, Mauro said.

Port Townsend’s population recently passed 10,000 — albeit just barely; the latest Census data puts the population at 10,306 — which is one of the criteria for USDA’s assessment.

The city and its partners — namely Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County — rely on USDA Rural Development programs for funding and losing eligibility would negatively impact the city, Mauro said.

Council members voted unanimously to have Mauro draft a letter to USDA to be reviewed at the next business meeting.

“I think it is fairly apparent that we should submit public comment on this,” said council member Amy Howard. “I think that focusing on the complex physical terrain of the Puget Sound region and why we are not an easy commute to any of the metropolitan statistical areas.”

Council member Libby Urner Wennstrom noted Port Townsend’s rural designation also impacted services at the local hospital, Jefferson Healthcare hospital.


Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Members of the Mount Olympus Detachment 897 of the Marine Corps League give a 21-gun salute at a Memorial Day ceremony at Mt. Angeles Memorial Park in Port Angeles on Monday. The ceremony was hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6787 of Carlsborg and was one of many Memorial Day events held in Clallam and Jefferson counties. (Peter Segall/Peninsula Daily News)
Solemn ceremonies honor America’s war dead

Flowers, wreaths decorate gravesites across Peninsula

Peninsula College, teachers agree on contract

Three-year deal to raise faculty salaries

Clallam County pledges $1.5 million toward preserving two farms

Commitment would provide conservation easement on properties

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans at the Catholic Cemetery and the front portion of Laurel Grove Cemetery in Port Townsend to honor veterans who have died. Jim Little from Troop 1479 instructed the Cub Scouts prior to dispersing them to post the colors at graves that were either marked with a star by the VFW or an inscription that indicates past military service. (Lolo Sherwood)
Honoring veterans

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans… Continue reading

Piping plan could be reinstated

Votes reaffirm Sequim board members

Sequim police propose updated noise control ordinance

Public hearing set June 10 at civic center

Members of the Captain Joseph House Foundation gather in October to celebrate the gifting of a Gold Star Monument marker in front of the Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles. (Courtesy photo)
Captain Joseph House to host Memorial Day ceremony

Respite home provides space for Gold Star Families

Memorial Day ceremonies set across Peninsula

Public invited to events in Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Sequim

Dash Air to pursue a public charter

Model would change from commercial service

Board recommends $940K for Clallam Bay-Sekiu sewer

Two lift stations would be replaced in coming year

Investigators seeking woman who used ATM

Items involved in officer-involved shooting sent to state crime lab