by MATTHEW NASH
Here are some recent decisions and developments in the City of Sequim. Topics include redesigning the city’s website, creating a new finance position and maintaining impact fees’ rates.
New city website
By the middle of September, the City of Sequim’s website should have a new face and functionality.
Website developer Civic Plus is creating two sites for the city — the official city site and the official Sequim tourism website. Councilors approved the contract in February for up to $30,000 from the equipment reserve fund to develop the sites.
Barbara Hanna, communications and marketing manager, said there are two main reasons for improving the main site.
“The current website’s infrastructure is antiquated,” she said. “It relies on IT staff to post new information with a limited amount of people who know how to update it.”
Hanna said the new website will be easier for all city departments to contribute to and make the website more current while taking less time. The update also will include multiple paths for needed information rather than just departments.
The current website, www.ci.sequim.wa.us, eventually will change to www.sequim wa.gov but remain active for some time after launch. The tourism site at www.visit sunnysequim.com launches the same time.
Impact fees remain same price
Councilors unanimously approved maintaining the city’s transportation impact fees and parks impact fees at their current rates through June 1, 2012.
Paul Haines, public works director, said the city could have raised rates in line with the Construction Price Index, which grew by 0.8 percent in Western Washington last year based on cost of real property, materials and labor. However, the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Construction Cost Index for transportation construction declined by 1.4 percent last year based on materials such as asphalt and workers’ wages.
Money collected from new construction benefits projects in the city’s Transportation Impact Fee Program and the Parks Capital Facilities Plan. This year’s park improvement monies are mostly for new transportation projects such as paths, 60 percent, and purchasing property, 40 percent.
New finance position
On July 11 the council approved two positions, a full-time finance/public works analyst and a part-time temporary finance worker, to help monitor public works’ $6 million budget and the city’s $3 million to $6 million capital budget.
Councilors voted 6-1, with Erik Erichsen opposed because he thought the city could contract with a private firm rather than making it a full-time position. Erichsen said bringing someone in-house could be a double-edged sword, with the new hire potentially trained to continue the status quo instead of rethinking routine procedures.
Karen Goschen, administrative services director, said they’ve considered the position for a long time and the position could serve as a good liaison between public works and the finance department. She told the Gazette a consultant would make sense for project analysis, but that’s one piece of the work, and staff wanted a day-to-day liaison.
The analyst position would pay $60,000-$70,000 a year for salary and benefits.
The temporary, part-time financial assistant would be paid up to $50,000 in salary and benefits through December or until the analyst is hired. It has been filled.
Contact the City of Sequim at 683-4139 or visit www.ci.sequim.wa.us.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.