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Bellevue Budget Includes Employee Raises, More Fire Dept. Funds

Bellevue’s 2019-2020 budget will include pay raises for staff, an increased contribution to the fire department and more funds for street and sidewalk repair.

According to Bellevue City Administrator Frank Warnock the budget is “built on a foundation” of information and requests from city officials, staff and residents.

“With this budget comes challenges, some very difficult challenges,” Warnock said. “Bellevue has challenges such as an aging infrastructure, hillside slippage impacting a significant number of our neighbors within the city, traffic flow bottlenecks, and limited funding.”

Warnock said the city must take care to use its resources in a “conservative and prudent manner” to enhance the chances for future success and development.

This year’s budget will include a 3 percent increase in wages.

“Clean and safe is the mantra for the bedrock of local municipal government, and that is so true for the City of Bellevue,” he said. “A competent and professional workforce is utmost, too. Employees who work hard and care about the city, and have the education and credential to provide solid professional services.”

The city will also increase its contribution to the fire department by 4 percent. Bellevue’s fire budget line is $924,299.

The city is also doubling the previous year’s budget for road servicing.

“I appreciate that,” Councilman Sean Fisher said.

Other budget general fund points include:

  • Meeting the challenge of a 12 percent state-mandated increase in costs for CERS pernsion funds.

  • Paying bond debt of $7,870,000 to keep the city’s bond rating as high as possible (presently AA).

  • Funding for planting and removing trees.

  • Micro grants for 15 special events $100 each.

  • 150th Anniversary Sesquicentennial Even, $20,000

  • Grant application for repairs to Van Voast Pedestrian Railroad Bridge, $130,000, with an 80/20 match.

Warnock said the proposed budget includes an anticipated approval of a 4 percent tax increase.

Written by Melissa Reinert, RCN contributor