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Capital projects dominate Langley's $11.3 million budget

By BEN WATANABE
South Whidbey Record Langley, Clinton, sports, South Whidbey Fire/EMS
December 5, 2012 · Updated 10:46 AM
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Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick tells the city council about the 2013 budget. / Ben Watanabe / The Record

LANGLEY — The Langley City Council unanimously has decided to nearly double the city’s budget for 2013.

The expenditures for next year are expected to total more than $11.3 million. Most of the money is attached to capital projects for water, stormwater and street improvements, from road resurfacing and waterline improvements to building a funicular and Sunday bus service between Langley and the Clinton ferry.

“This is a fiscal plan,” said Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick at the council meeting Monday. “It represents our best guess.”

If each of the 1,040 residents in Langley were accountable for a fair share of Langley’s 2013 budget, they’d pay about $11,000. Thankfully, the city’s budget included $2.8 million in loans, $3 million in grants and a $700,000 bond. More than $2.3 million was allotted for the street fund, which ballooned from 2012 by $1 million.

“It’s an aggressive budget, it’s an aggressive program,” Kwarsick said. “And under my administration I will continue to do that.”

Langley’s general fund, which covers the police department, staff, parks and finance, grew by $300,000. Part of the increase was for a fourth officer for Police Chief Randy Heston’s department.

The second-highest appropriation was for the sewer expansion and improvement fund at $1.77 million. The stormwater capital reserve fund was the third-highest expenditure at $1.74 million. Stormwater funds were also discussed after the budget was approved relating to the transfer of $40,000 to the stormwater reserve fund. The council waived the first reading of the resolution and completed the second reading, thus canceling the Dec. 17 meeting. If action items arise, however, the council may call a meeting.

“We can start to replace some of our stormwater things if we have a stormwater reserve fund,” said Councilwoman Rene Neff.

The final million-dollar planned expense was the water capital reserve fund at $1.47 million.

Originally, a 4 percent raise totaling about $31,000 was proposed for city staff. That was scrapped in November in favor of a 3 percent cost of living increase.

Councilman Hal Seligson congratulated Langley’s staff for preparing the budget and working to secure grants and funding for various projects. He lamented the absence of any residents at the meeting and during the budget planning process.

All five council members approved the budget.

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