The Winthrop Town Council at its Dec. 4 meeting approved a 2020 town budget of $4.54 million that includes funding for several ongoing projects.
The town anticipates total revenues of $6.47 million, but that includes all of the town’s reserve funds. The council earlier adopted the 1% property tax increase allowed under state law.
According to the budget document, 15% of property taxes will be allotted for administration including police, fire control, parks, planning and building inspection; 84% of property taxes will be devoted to the street fund, which combined with grants will allow completion of several planned street projects; and 1% will be allotted to the parking improvement fund, which will primarily be used to improve the parking area at the trailhead near the Susie Stephens Trail. Street improvements include chip seal projects on Perry Street and Lince Avenue; and design, engineering and construction of improvements to Horizon Flats Road, dependent on whether requested grants are forthcoming.
Other highlights from the 2020 budget document:
• The town plans to complete the Highway 20 crossing for the Susie Stephens Trail, as well as design, permitting and construction on phase one of the Riverwalk Trail, using state grants.
• Development will begin on a new open space park, the 139-acre Meadowlark Natural Area, the town purchased with a state grant through an arrangement with the Methow Conservancy.
• Water rates will increase by 3.2%, as will the sewer rate. The water and sewer fund revenues support ongoing operations and contribute to a reserve fund for future improvements. The town has applied for a grant to help conduct a comprehensive update of the sewer system plan.
• Funds raised by the 2% stadium motel/hotel tax will be used to support the operation and maintenance of the visitor information center, public restroom improvements, the Winthrop Rink and the Winthrop Barn.
• The budget includes funds to support the yearly salary of a second deputy marshal. The town has been unable to fill the position this year.