Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

Mayor's Corner l Monthly update of the City

 

September 20, 2019



Thank you Senator Hobbs!

We’ve had some heavy rains lately. Driving home on 35th Ave SE was very pleasant without the old flooding, road closures, and diverting thousands of vehicles through our neighborhoods. This could not have happened without the assistance of Sen. Steve Hobbs to secure the grants to fix 35th. Sen. Hobbs saved our City over $6,000,000. Thank you Steve!

Recycling

Waste Management gave the council a presentation about the new rules for recycling. China and other countries will no longer accept most of our recycling material because of a contamination rate of 12% or more. The limit is .5%. One dirty pizza box can cause an entire huge container to be rejected. Overseas buyers are looking to reject our material!

Most people aspire to be good recyclers but the rules have changed. For example: No plastic bags because they jam up the equipment and are considered contamination. No dirty peanut butter jars. Unless that jar is spotless, it’s contamination. Notice the change?

Here is the one thing you need to know: When in doubt, throw it out! If you are not absolutely certain, just toss it in the garbage.

Waste Management asked for a rate increase of 84 cents per month to cover the new recycling costs. The council said no. We have a contract. We did agree to participate in an education program to help our recyclers learn the new expectations. I hope we can get that program started soon.

Until then: When in doubt, toss it out! Please!!!

Budget time

Mill Creek has a biennial budget. We go through a major budget process once every two years. We are nearly halfway through our current budget. This November, the council will take a look at where we are with our finances. Are our revenues meeting projections? Are we still in balance? Is any department overspending? We will also evaluate any new needs and decide if a tax increase is necessary.

This will be City Manager Michael Ciaravino’s first budget review with Mill Creek. He is very fiscally responsible. One thing I really like about Michael is that he insists on seeing the data and analysis before making spending and program decisions. Some staff may find that annoying but I think it’s good. He will present his recommendations to the council in October or November. Michael is bringing fresh eyes to our City and that is very welcome.

We will also need to decide if a tax increase is necessary by the end of November. As many people know, I believe a tax increase is the last resort. Last year I strongly opposed a tax increase as unnecessary. We had enough savings on expenses. I was joined by Councilmembers Mark Bond, Vincent Cavaleri, and former Councilmember Jared Mead. Mayor Pro Tem Brian Holtzclaw, Councilmembers John Steckler and Mike Todd supported a tax increase.

Our city government is not cheap. Our people expect a very high level of service. This fall, the council will take a look at what is really needed, what is merely wanted, and what can wait. The City is involved in several studies. I want to wait until the results are in and then act.

I will keep you updated as we move through the process.

 

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