As we enter into November, our annual budget process will begin for 2019. The budget will be gathered from data and requests from each department. Then the Mayor, with the assistance of the City Administrator and staff, will put the Mayor’s budget together to present to the Long Beach City Council for approval. We are looking at another year with increased lodging and sales tax dollars. However, as noted in previous articles, although we collect about $4.4 million in sales tax, the City of Long Beach portion is only about $526,000, which goes into the general fund.
Budget workshops will be scheduled as follows:
• Storm Water and Streets – Nov. 13 at 4 p.m.
• B&O and Lodging Tax – Nov. 14 at 4 p.m.
• Water and Sewer – Nov. 15 at 4 p.m.
• The budget will be available to the public on Nov. 19 (preliminary budget hearing and setting property tax).
• The Current Expense Fund (General Fund and Police Fund) will be held Nov. 20 at 4 p.m.
All workshops will be held at City Hall, and you can confirm them by calling City Hall at 360-642-4421. I encourage you to attend to see how your city is doing financially.
Long Beach is taking the lead on planning an extension of the Discovery Trail that would run west to east from 26th Street North to the new wildlife refuge. This would add another great trail for both residents and tourists to enjoy. The first step will be to hold Town Hall meetings for input, and then we will evaluate the actual direction of the trail. The study will be paid for through a combination of county, state and federal funds. The City of Long Beach believes this is a fantastic opportunity and a great project for the peninsula. The public meetings will begin in January 2019.
The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) responded to about 6,195 calls in both Long Beach and Ilwaco between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30. They deal with many types of calls such as aid assists, animal complaints, assaults, burglaries, drugs, disturbances, harassments, prowlers, thefts, traffic, trespassing, and case follow up, to name a few. Our officers are required to attended mandatory training covering many areas. The LBPD includes our chief of police, deputy chief of police and five officers. I am very proud of the high quality of professionalism and dedication each officer demonstrates. They are involved in community programs, and on several occasions have assisted people in time of need using their own funds. I again want to encourage citizens to call 911 when they notice suspicious circumstances, someone trespassing or threatening others, or any acts of violence. You never know their situations or if they have outstanding warrants. Please do not take it upon yourself to confront others. Safety is of the utmost importance.
Our city crew does an excellent job and works hard to provide quality services to our community. Our new Waste Water Treatment Operator was recently awarded the Operator of the Year award from the Department of Ecology. The water and waste water departments are heavily mandated by DOE in how operations must function and in testing/training requirements. The crew also is responsible for the water distribution and sewer collection systems, streets, parks and general building maintenance. You will see them out this month making the town look great for the holiday season.