Budget hearing held at Tonasket City Council meeting

TONASKET – A hearing on the 2009 Preliminary Budget was the focus of the Tonasket City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

Alice Attwood, city clerk, said the water rates are going up for the first time since 2005 because expenditures are more than revenues at this point in the year. Julianna Griffin, council member, asked if the negatives were expected to extend to the end of the year and Attwood said it would be hard to tell at this point.

“I think it’s a bit of more expenditures and less revenue coming in, but I don’t know why there’s less revenue,” Attwood said.

Mayor Patrick Walter said the water revenue will go down for the rest of the year because the school has stopped watering their lawn.

The council next discussed the possibility of sharing a city planner/community development director with Okanogan.

“We’re looking for someone to work half-time and Okanogan is looking for someone to work a quarter of the time, but we’re concerned we won’t be able to find someone with a lot of experience who only wants to work three-fourths of the time,” Jill Vugteveen, council member, said. “Okanogan is also concerned that someone will show favoritism toward one city over the other, but Chris Branch said that doesn’t happen.”

Walter suggested asking Riverside if they’d be able to budget giving the city planner a few hours a week to get the city planner as close to full-time as possible.

Finally, during committee reports, the council approved the chamber of commerce’s request to put signs for Buy Local Day over the Welcome to Tonasket signs on either side of town. Griffin then volunteered to go to the next Okanogan County Public Transportation Improvement Conference on Thursday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Commissioner’s Board Room in Okanogan with Vugteveen.

The next city council meeting is on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.