County seeking public input on levy increase and 2018 budget

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on a possible 1 percent increase in Island County’s current expense property tax levy, as well as the overall county budget during a hearing on Dec. 4.

There are no proposed increases on the county road or conservation futures levies.

The increase over the levy amount from last year will total $82,977.56, not including the revenue from taxes on new construction. The money will go to the county’s current expense fund, some of which must be used for veterans assistance, mental health services and development disability services, and the rest can go toward a variety of other programs.

County Budget Director Elaine Marlow called the 2018 county budget, a “status quo” budget.

“We are trying to live within our means and look into the future,” said Marlow.

The county Road Fund is expected to decrease by over $6 million for the construction of the new connector between Race and Houston roads.

The sheriff’s department’s corrections division received funding to replace windows, install a bench in the recreational area and place new mattresses in the jail.

A request for more bunk beds was denied because the board of county commissioners were concerned this would increase capacity beyond what current staff could potentially manage.

“My take on it is if we don’t have a bed for them, we shouldn’t be taking them into the jail,” said Island County Commissioner Rick Han-nold during a budget discussion in late October.

During these discussions, Hannold also did not support allocating money for the bench in the recreation area.

“I’m just saying, they can sit on the ground,” he said to the other commissioners, who disagreed.

The corrections budget additionally included $20,000 of ongoing funds for inmate medications and a one-time expense of $55,000 for an additional control room operator for the jail through the end of next December.

The Department of Emergency Management received $90,000 for operations planning, and planning and community development received $65,000 of ongoing funding to hire an additional administrative assistant.

The full budget will be available online on the county’s website prior to the public hearing held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4.

More in News

Whidbey Island Fair begins on Thursday

Cattle, ducks, expert pie makers, an Elvis impersonator and 4-H kids will… Continue reading

Find a seal pup? Leave it alone — it’s the law

Pupping season is in full swing for the seals that visit the… Continue reading

Dugin completes basic training in Texas

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class NICHOLAS A. DUGIN, the son of… Continue reading

Port’s Front Street property to be assessed

The Port of Coupeville is working to get a property’s value assessed,… Continue reading

The Dale Conklin Prehistory Exhibit will be dedicated Thursday, July 19
Exhibit dedicated to ‘Mammoth Hunter’

Island County Historical Museum is officially dedicating a newly-opened prehistory exhibit at… Continue reading

Open house at restored barn

The public is invited to celebrate the restoration and re-purposing of the… Continue reading

Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News -Times
                                Campstuff Coffee is a mobile stand: in the morning, the trailer is located in the Deception Pass Lower Loop Campground and moves to West Beach in the afternoons.
Coffee place sets up camp at Deception Pass

Standing in the drizzle in open-toed sandals, the foggy beach behind him… Continue reading

Serving in the South China Sea

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anna Van Nuys South China… Continue reading

A new way to read may be coming to Windjammer Park

Windjammer Park may be getting a new story once construction is completed.… Continue reading

Most Read