Citing Edmonds’ sturdy monetary place, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson mentioned throughout his digital 2023 price range handle Monday that it’s time to spend money on the town, with proposals that embrace hiring eight further law enforcement officials, shifting to an in-house metropolis prosecutor and making neighborhood enhancements citywide.
Pointing to sturdy gross sales tax income, a major metropolis surplus and federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, Nelson mentioned Edmonds is “in an ideal place to spend money on folks and our metropolis whereas sustaining a balanced price range.”
In his price range message, Nelson highlighted three areas of targeted spending: “Important will increase” in public security, enhancing neighborhoods and offering extra investments to the underserved group close to Freeway 99.
Proposing an “unprecedented improve” in public security assets, Nelson mentioned that group security “has all the time been my number-one precedence.” He burdened the significance of not ready till “crime has reached your step,” and being “ever vigilant in retaining our group protected and welcoming.”
To do that, the mayor is requesting a $3 million funding within the police division, which is able to embrace eight further law enforcement officials — 5 of them to be assigned to a brand new police patrol district. “We should guarantee there’s a enough police response for our whole metropolis,” Nelson mentioned, “not simply components of it.” Pointing to the rising name quantity in particular areas of Edmonds, the brand new patrol district will assist enhance police response occasions citywide, he mentioned.
Of the three remaining new police positions, one can be a group storefront officer assigned to the Freeway 99 space “to offer crime prevention and problem-solving help, as an alternative of simply disaster response,” the mayor mentioned. The opposite two positions can be “problem-solving emphasis detectives” who would be a part of two others “to type a more practical unit with a broad vary of investigative strategies,” Nelson mentioned. These detectives would deal with proactively deterring and detecting crimes associated to gangs, burglaries and thefts.
Nelson additionally pledged to offer extra police tools, together with further police automobiles and speciality gadgets “to assist within the seize of harmful felons.”
As well as, the mayor proposed hiring an in-house metropolis prosecutor. Town at the moment contracts with an outdoor regulation agency to offer these providers, and that has led to “escalating prices and challenges with oversight of labor being carried out,” Nelson mentioned.
The mayor’s second space of focus, neighborhood enhancements, consists of $2.7 million for neighborhood parks. Among the many priorities: a everlasting restroom and extra ADA accessibility at Mathay Ballinger Park and an inclusive playground to accommodate kids of all skills at Yost Park — just like the one put in at Seaview Park and one other deliberate for the brand new Civic Park.
Funding can also be proposed for plans to boost trails, bridges, water high quality and habitat at Yost Park and Shell Creek, and to broaden the park’s beautification program “so our neighborhoods can have extra nook parks and hanging flower baskets,” Nelson mentioned.
Noting that metropolis park use has quadrupled because the pandemic, the mayor can also be proposing extra cash to rent extra parks workers and tools to fulfill these growing calls for.
One other price range proposal requires $1 million to safe new open area within the metropolis “so residents in each neighborhood have a possibility to get pleasure from inexperienced areas and parks,” Nelson mentioned.
The mayor addressed the idea of prioritizing green streets in his price range message, stating that “the previous method of constructing streets by blanketing them in asphalt and concrete” does nothing to handle the local weather disaster. “Our future have to be constructed with sustainable supplies that work with our pure atmosphere, not paved over,” Nelson mentioned. He proposed setting apart $2 million in federal ARPA funds for such tasks.
Additionally within the class of neighborhood enhancements is a “blighted property enchancment fund,” which might allocate $250,000 in grants to enhance deteriorating or deserted buildings in neighborhoods citywide. This would come with vacant tons and deserted buildings in derelict or harmful form.
As well as, the mayor is proposing the acquisition of a fourth snow plow, which he hopes can happen previous to the 2023 price range, so the tools will be in place in time for this 12 months’s winter storms.
The third space of focus is investments within the Freeway 99 hall. Nelson famous that the town is already spending $10 million on preliminary Freeway 99 renovations, aimed to be accomplished subsequent spring. These have been within the works because the Edmonds City Council approved a subarea plan for the highway and surrounding neighborhoods in 2017. The adjustments intention to handle site visitors and pedestrian security and livability issues for the portion of the freeway that runs via Edmonds. An extra $4.56 million has been allotted for Freeway 99 revitalization for 2023, Nelson mentioned.
These adjustments “will carry long-overdue investments to our most various and most underserved residents,” he mentioned.
The mayor concluded by thanking residents “for serving to making Edmonds such a particular, great place to reside.”
The video and textual content of the mayor’s 2023 price range handle, together with the proposed price range together with particular greenback quantities, will be posted here. We’ll embrace hyperlinks when they’re out there.
The Edmonds Metropolis Council is liable for price range evaluation and approval, which by regulation should happen by the top of 2022.
— By Teresa Wippel