Road projects about a quarter of Langley’s $8.2 million preliminary budget

Road projects will be the focal point of Langley’s $8.2 million preliminary budget for 2018.

City officials released its draft budget to the public on Monday. The city’s overall budget is up from $6.5 million in 2017 because of a large influx of state funding.

Six road projects from the 2018-2022 transportation improvement plan will be sped up for completion in 2018. The plan is being revised to accommodate a request by the Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization, which is required to spend allocated money from the Washington Department of Transportation.

A majority of the revenue from the $1.9 million street fund is from grants, meaning the city won’t have to dig deep in its pockets to complete them.

“They want all of our road construction work to be done in 2018,” Callison said. “One, they want to make sure they preserve the capital from the feds (federal government). Two, our new secretary of transportation wants to show good progress on getting things done.”

Brian Wood, transportation planner for Island County, said the Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization ended up with more funding that it anticipated and that it is obligated to request that the city spend its money. The threat is that if the money is not spent, there is a chance the federal funding delivered to Washington Department of Transportation could be pulled.

“Because Langley’s projects are mostly paving projects, which are relatively nimble in terms of delivering those projects, they can be moved up to 2018,” Wood said.

The first road project to be tackled is a $250,000 renovation of First Street funded by the Transportation Improvement Board’s Complete Streets Grant. The intricacies of the project, which were drawn from both immediate need and the feedback of the public, will include repaving, wider sidewalks, raised pedestrian crosswalks and bike racks.

Federal and state grants will cover several other road projects, including a $130,500 milling and repaving of DeBruyn Avenue, a $530,000 repaving and extruded curb project on Second Street, as well as repaving and milling projects on Third Street and Park Avenue.

The final project planned for 2018 is a $245,000 revamp of First Street’s concrete sidewalk. Biorentention cells and underground infiltration facilities will be added. Transportation Improvement Board funds will cover nearly 90 percent of the cost, while the city has earmarked $24,865 for the project.

The city’s general fund is about $1.7 million. The budget figures are subject to change as it is still in its preliminary stage.

Taxes fund a majority of the general fund. A 2 percent increase to all utilities is projected for 2018.

Infrastructure improvements include replacements for the sewer pump station, a sewer line and water main from the city’s sewer and water funds.

The city’s second largest fund, the water fund, is $1.16 million with the scheduled 2 percent rate increase.

The stormwater utility fund totals $435,554 and will address inadequacies in the city’s current stormwater system to prevent streets from deteriorating and flooding.

The city’s preliminary tourism fund is set at $318,360. The funds, generated from a 4 percent hotel/motel tax distributed by the state, are expected to be spent in support of: the Langley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center, promotion of the arts through Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, a countywide inter-local program, Island Shakespeare Festival, the Langley Street Dance, SeaFloat Scramble, the Langley Whale Center and various other programs.

The capital reserve fund, essentially the city’s savings account for governmental purposes, is $483,855.

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