Construction on Fir Street by Sequim schools could start as soon as July 2018, say city staff, to repair water, sewer and irrigation lines, which should solve flooding issues like this scene in late August. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Construction on Fir Street by Sequim schools could start as soon as July 2018, say city staff, to repair water, sewer and irrigation lines, which should solve flooding issues like this scene in late August. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim councilors OK $32.7M budget for 2018

The City of Sequim’s $32.7 million budget for next year got a unanimous OK from city councilors on Nov. 27.

For city residents, that means they wont see an increase in sewer rates, but they’ll receive a 2-percent increase on water rates, which equates to an average of 60 cents for most households per month. Ratepayers received the same increase last year following the city’s 2013 utility rates study, which proposed an annual increase of 4-percent of both sewer and water rates over six years.

Sue Hagener, Sequim director of administrative services, previously said the 4-percent increase can come from growing accounts, structural changes and/or charging high rates.

Due to structural changes and a growing amount of accounts, sewer rates remain unchanged, she said.

Hagener said one of the structural changes has been to designate adult care facilities as multi-family customers in 2018 for sewer because they’ve been charged as a single facility rather than per unit.

Included in the budget is a 1-percent property tax levy increase on households allowed by law.

Hagener said the increase brings in about $13,000-$14,000 for the city annually.

Senior citizens 61 and older and disabled residents making $35,000 or less per year are eligible for exemptions.

As for rate changes, general facility charges for new developments will go up by $250 each to water and sewer, too. Water and sewer hook-ups have both gone up by $1,250 since 2014.

Fir Street

The rough-riding stretch of Fir Street from Sequim Avenue to Fifth Avenue may see construction begin as soon as next summer.

City Engineer Matt Klontz said city staff is “aiming to start construction in July. There are still hurdles that must be crossed but our target is July.”

Construction likely will last 18 months, he said.

That includes rebuilding the roadway with new sidewalks, bike lanes, curb and gutter, illumination, stormwater handling, and irrigation lines will be repaired.

Klontz said funding comes from multiple components including:

• About $780,000 for the water main from city utility reserves;

• About $929,000 for sewer main and reclaimed water components from a low-interest loan and grant from the Department of Ecology.

• About $3.8 million for streets and sidewalks with a $3.1 million grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, about $231,000 from a Safe Routes to School grant, and about $473,000 from the city’s Transportation Benefit District.

In total, the city has about $6.9 million slated for capital projects including $72,000 for the Water Reclamation Facility to install a filtering device to control odor, $359,000 to pave the Water Reuse Parking lot using Real Estate Excise Tax dollars, and $61,000 for constructing pickleball courts in Carrie Blake Park.

Staffing and contracts

Next year, city staff anticipated salaries and benefits going up about 5.1 percent to about $8.2 million for 78.18 full-time staff.

The city will add maintenance worker to oversee the Carlsborg Sewer Project by July 2018, which is paid for by Clallam County. The Sequim Police Department plans to hire a full-time records specialist too.

Most current staffers will receive a wage increase in 2018 after a majority of staffers received a 1.5-percent wage increase this year. The non-uniformed bargaining unit (35.5 employees) will receive a 1-percent increase while police sergeants (5 total) receive a 1.6-percent and police officers (13) a 1.5-percent raise. After a wage study, non-represented staff (20.56) may receive a pay increase.

City staff will continue to contract human services with agencies like like the Boys Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula splitting $75,000 a year, and the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce receiving $81,500 a year, the YMCA of Sequim $30,000 a year, and the Economic Development Council will receive $10,000 through the end of 2018 with chance for renewal.

For more on the city’s budget, visit or call 683-4139.

More in News

Sequim students join National Walk Out

Students gathered outside the front of Sequim High School for 17 minutes… Continue reading

Port of Port Angeles gets offer from developer for John Wayne Marina

Port of Port Angeles commissioners agreed March 13 to seek public input… Continue reading

Sexual health education program suspended at Sequim Schools

Sequim School District recently halted a sexual health education program after Sequim… Continue reading

Clallam County seeks volunteers for boards, committees

Clallam County is seeking volunteers to fill 68 vacancies on 22 advisory… Continue reading

State Legislature passes last minute budget deal and property tax cut

By Josh Kelety WNPA Olympia News Bureau On the final day of… Continue reading

Some injuries in two vehicle collision

Two vehicles collided around 2:15 p.m. on March 7 at the Cays… Continue reading

Littlejohn set to complete Sherwood Village senior development

After 40-plus years of creating a dedicated community for Sequim’s seniors, Bill… Continue reading

Remembering Sequim’s dedicated volunteer Esther Heuhslein Nelson

A lifetime of accolades for volunteering served as a reminder for Esther… Continue reading

County offers Septic 101, 102 classes

Clallam County Environmental Health will offer advances classes for septic systems in… Continue reading

Most Read