City of Washougal leaders said they have taken a prudent approach to the city’s annual budget but are confident they can maintain current service levels in all of its programs next year.
“During the past year, we have continued to manage through the implications of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We have adopted our programs and services to a ‘new normal’ and continue to provide a high level of service,” City Manager David Scott wrote in a letter to council and community members earlier this month.
“As we look to 2022, we continue our conservative budgeting approach. We are cautiously optimistic that economic conditions will allow us to improve, resulting in enhanced revenue while conservatively managing expenses,” the letter said. “With this underpinning approach, we can maintain our current service levels in all program areas.”
Council members voted to adopt the city’s 2022 budget during their virtual meeting on Nov. 8. The $47 million budget reflects the council’s top priorities, allows the agency to maintain existing service levels, and targets key enhancements and continued capital investments, according to a news release issued by the city.
“It has been a great budget season,” Washougal Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg said during the council’s virtual workshop session on Oct. 18. “We have a balanced budget with a conservative approach.”
Councilors reviewed the budget earlier this year during a series of work sessions, during which they told city staff members that maintaining overall service levels and enhancing pavement management are their top priorities for 2022.
The budget provides funds for a variety of initiatives and projects, including repairing and enhancing the East County Family Resource Center; completing improvements to Hamllik Park; replacing the bridge at Hartwood Park; improving the pickleball courts at Hathaway Park; and implementing a community aesthetics and code compliance program.