The towns of Hamilton and Lyman are preparing their 2022 budgets for adoption at their Dec. 16 town council meetings.

The Hamilton Town Council discussed its budget at its Oct. 19 meeting, where Town Clerk and Treasurer Beth Easterday gave a presentation about the town’s finances and budgeting options.

At its Nov. 9 meeting, the council approved increases to property taxes and water rates.

The council passed a property tax increase of 17% using banked capacity that accrued as the town decided in previous years not to take a 1% increase allowed annually.

For water rates, both the base rate and consumption rate fees will increase 5%, as in previous years. Easterday said for 2022 that means the base rate will increase about $2, to $39.60 per month.

Also at the November meeting, Easterday told the council that the town’s 2021 revenue is coming in higher than anticipated when that budget was approved.

She said the increase is due in part to a Federal Emergency Management Agency refund of $137,000 for an emergency road repair completed in early 2020 and because of an increase in Puget Sound Energy’s utility tax payments.

“A lot of that has to do with receiving FEMA money,” Easterday said.

The Lyman Town Council discussed Nov. 9 its 2022 budget and a potential 1% property tax increase.

Town Clerk/Treasurer Debbie Boyd said public hearings for the budget, and council votes on potential property tax and utility fee rate changes, are scheduled for the Dec. 16 Town Council meeting. Following the hearings, the council will finalize the draft of the budget and vote on it.

The draft budget, at $573,516, is an increase over the 2021 budget of $495,380. The about $80,000 increase is larger than the previous year-to-year increase, which was about $20,000 from 2020 to 2021.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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