Sedro-Woolley Stock

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — The Sedro-Woolley City Council passed the city’s first biennial budget Wednesday evening.

The budget is $42.2 million for 2021 and $36.5 million for 2022.

“I am pleased the budget has passed,” Sedro-Woolley Mayor Julia Johnson said. “And, of course, it is a very conservative budget. We wanted to make sure all the needs were covered and we were very careful when budgeting for those.”

Johnson said there is a lot of uncertainty with what to expect in 2021, and that this biennium budget is very close to last year’s budget.

“I am excited about the options we have regarding the public works building, getting started with that, and moving forward with the parks zone projects that we have in our plan,” she said.

The biennial budget includes about $12 million for sewer operations, $5.5 million to replace city equipment and $2.3 million for parks and facilities.

The City Council made the decision in 2019 to move to a biennial budget this year as opposed to sticking with an annual budget.

“For our first two-year budget, it went very seamlessly,” said Doug Merriman, city supervisor and finance director. “We were operationally cautious.”

Johnson said other cities that have gone to this style of budgeting have experienced success.

“The reason behind the move to a biennial budget is so we can move forward with our comprehensive plan and actually plan better,” she said.

“Having a biennial budget lets us, for instance, if we want to do a project and instead of having to find where the money is going to come from, we can already start to lay that out. It really helps when it comes to strategic planning as well.”

The City Council approved a 2% salary and wage increase for 2021 for certain nonrepresented city staff.

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter:@goskagit, Facebook.com/VinceReports/

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