This week, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph delivered her proposed 2021-2022 Biennial Budget Proposal via video, which was virtually delivered to the City Council.
As we previously reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant issues and shortfalls in the city budget, and in April, 2020, the city was looking at decreased revenues between now and the end of the year of over $10 million.
“While 2020 has provided us with many unprecedented challenges, 2021-2022 will provide us with many opportunities,” Ralph said in her email newsletter. “Now is our time to rise to the occasion, to show the region what makes us a strong, vibrant and thriving city. We have the opportunity to make continued investments in our residents, particularly communities of color, vulnerable populations and our business community. I am confident that City leaders and residents have shared values that will set the roadmap for Kent’s future. I look forward to the adoption of this budget so our programs, services and vision for Kent can continue to move forward.”
Some of the Mayor’s new budget proposals include:
- $687.7 million total budget with $217.4 million allocated to the General Fund
- Investing additional $16 million into services for vulnerable youth and seniors
- Creation of a new Human Services Opportunity Fund to further support organizations doing exceptional work within the community
- More Body Worn cameras for Kent Police, funded by Red Light Camera funds
- 12 new police vehicles per year
- A new Equity Manager position
- Funding for consultant for a new Equity Plan for the city
- Creation of Economic Development Opportunity Fund
- Funding to the Greater Kent Historical Society
- Funding for 2 new jobs in Kent Public Works Department
- Funding for homeless services
- Expanding B&O Taxes based on businesses square footage
- Expanding funding for Mill Creek Canyon amenities
- Kent Memorial Park renovations
- Over $6 million for street overlays
- Investing in new technology projects and replacements
In 2020, the city will lose a $2.3 million sales tax credit it’s been receiving for the annexation of Panther Lake In 2021, the city will lose the full amount of that credit – $4.7 million a year. These two revenue losses will cost the City about $9.7 million in annual revenue.
“At Kent City Hall, we value the transparency and accountability that you deserve as our residents,” Ralph said.
Watch Mayor Ralph’s full video below:
TIMELINE FOR 2021-22 BUDGET:
- On October 6, 2020, the City Council will meet at 5 p.m. to discuss the budget.
- On October 10, 2020, the City Council will hold a remote special workshop from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to discuss the budget.
- On October 20, 2020, the City Council will meet at 5 p.m. to discuss the budget.
- On October 20, 2020, the City Council will hold the second public hearing regarding the budget. If you wish to provide written comments for Mayor and Council consideration, or verbal comments during the hearing, please contact the City Clerk at 253-856-5725 or [email protected]. Your written comments will be read into the record. If you speak to the Mayor and Council directly, then during the hearing, please state your name and city of residence for the record. You will have up to three minutes to provide comment.
- On October 27, 2020, the City Council may hold a special workshop at 5 p.m. to discuss the budget.
- On November 10, 2020, the City Council will hold a Committee of the Whole meeting at 4 p.m. to discuss the budget.
- On November 17th, 2020, the City Council will meet at 7 p.m., and may adopt the final budget.
Any person requiring a disability accommodation should contact the City Clerk’s Office in advance at 253-856-5725. For TTD relay service, call the Washington Telecommunications Relay Service at 7-1-1.