Issaquah’s proposed budget available for review

The effort to annex Klahanie is back on the table and Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger has included $100,000 in the proposed 2013 budget to complete a study on its impact.

The effort to annex Klahanie is back on the table and Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger has included $100,000 in the proposed 2013 budget to complete a study on its impact.

Klahanie is now part of unincorporated King County.

Frisinger said a study was completed in 2005 when annexation of Klahanie was considered before, but it’s too old now. She said the annexation of Klahanie would expand the property tax base of Issaquah. Klahanie wouldn’t add much to the sales tax revenue, which for Issaquah is significant already, but it would be a good diversification of revenue.

“Traditionally the council has been very welcoming of communities,” Frisinger said. “Klahanie folks already have Issaquah addresses.”

In other budget news, changes will result in an overall staffing increase from 249.275 employees to 252.275, or three people.

The city is adding one police officer to the 2013 budget as well as a half-time records specialist. While adding a communications coordinator, one position in information technology is being eliminated.

The other positions added are half-time court security employee and two more part-time positions that add up to the equivalent of one person.

“The re-organization perplexes me,” said business owner Connie Marsh. “If they’re trying to streamline the staffing, this is a little confusing.”

Marsh said the new police officer still leaves the community short three officers from prior levels.

Frisinger said the city has had to reduce staffing levels since 2009 due to the recession, and that it is trying to get back some of those jobs now.

“We asked the departments what they needed to do their jobs well,” Frisinger said.

The budget also beefs up human services needs by $48,750. There are more homeless people and more need at the food bank. Frisinger said the food bank served 30,000 people last year, almost the entire population of Issaquah. This is in addition to a five-night a week hot meal served at the fire station by City Hall, which is run by and staffed by volunteers from churches and other benevolent organizations.

“There are a lot of human services needs,” Frisinger said.

The goal over the next two years is to average about $10 per capita for human service funding. Frisinger is also proposing $100,000 in funding for the ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing) trust fund to help preserve and increase the supply of housing for low- and moderate-income households in the region.

Councilman Fred Butler said the council heard testimony from the various non-profits that are supported by the city Oct. 3. They include The Downtown Issaquah Association, the Senior Center, Village Theater, artEAST and the Issaquah Chamber plus a few more.

He said the city also gives money to the homeless shelter in Bellevue and other regional services that are used by residents of Issaquah.

Frisinger said a consultant has been hired to find out what is needed to upgrade the city’s information technology, which is outdated. The budget includes SharePoint software and hardware of $75,000.

Some other major capital projects budgeted include the North Issaquah LID of $3.6 million, SR 900 pedestrian path of $875,000, annual water main rehab program of $600,000, complete streets program of $500,000, West Lake Sammamish Parkway sidewalk (contingent on grants) $497,000, annual street overlay program of $825,000, annual sewer main rehab program of $350,000, annual drainage rehab and improvement program of $250,000, pedestrian/bicycle plan of $100,000, East Fork Issaquah Creek flood improvements of $80,000 and stream habitat restoration program of $75,000.

If the budget is approved, property taxes will increase by one percent, or $69,707 next year. Using 2012 assessed valuations, the average cost increase per household is $4.75 per year.

Estimated revenue for 2013 is $33.5 million with expenditures of $35 million. With a beginning general fund balance of $8 million, 2013 should end with a balance of $7.7 million. Frisinger said $750,000 will be transferred from the guarantee fund, money that is held in reserve to finish paying off LIDs.

Frisinger presented the 2013 proposed budget to council Oct. 1. Citizens may voice their opinions at any city council meeting during the public comment period. Citizens are welcome to  attend budget meetings, which are listed on the city’s website.

The budget is available for review at City Hall or online at

The final public hearing will be held at the Dec. 3 City Council meeting. The council is expected to adopt the 2013 budget at the council meeting Dec. 17.

Council chambers are located at 135 E. Sunset Way in Issaquah.