Little public input on 2014 budget

Langley residents were nowhere to be seen during the city council’s public hearing on its $12.1 million budget Monday evening.

The lack of public participation on the city’s major budget increase, the result of large-scale capital projects like an overhaul of utilities and the road on Second Street, had the city council flummoxed as to what would bring residents to its meetings.

The Langley City Council opted to extend the public hearing to its next meeting, Monday, Dec. 2, to give people more time to speak up. One of the major issues that will affect residents is a proposed utilities rate hike for sewer and stormwater.

The city’s sewer fund is projected to be $200,000 short of its expenditures in 2014. Public Works Director Maria Cablao proposed a 5 percent increase at most, which would amount to $55.65 on the bi-monthly bill for sewer. Stormwater rates were proposed to rise 3 percent, which would cost $49.44. For a single family residence with base usage, that equals an additional $34.54 per year.

Finding a way to better publicize the public hearing became a focal point of the city council meeting. Council members asked City Treasurer Debbie Mahler to look at placing an ad in The Record, beyond the classified notice.

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