Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Madeline Coats
Editor, Mill Creek Beacon 

Somers shares proposed 2020 budget for Snohomish County

Budget focuses on the opioid crisis and housing affordability

 

October 4, 2019

Photo courtesy of Snohomish County.

County Executive Dave Somers hands proposed 2020 budget to Chair Terry Ryan.

CORRECTION: The location of the severe weather shelter is not yet decided. The basement of the Carnegie Building in Everett is being considered for the shelter, but no final decision has been made.

Executive Dave Somers delivered his proposed 2020 budget to the Snohomish County Council on Sept. 24. His budget focuses on public safety and the opioid crisis, environmental and fiscal sustainability, housing affordability, and public service.

"Every year we take this opportunity to examine our priorities as a region and a government," Somers said. "The budget may seem like just numbers on a page. In truth, it is a reflection of our values. It is our mission statement for the year. This year's proposed budget maintains our focus on transforming county government in order to meet the needs of our residents."

Included in the proposed budget are a number of new programs and announcements:

- A new fund for addressing high priority needs resulting from the opioid epidemic and disbursed through the Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MAC Group).

- A holistic roadmap for reforming public safety in Snohomish County, developed from a study on law and justice. 

- Funds for a severe weather shelter, however, no final decision has been made on the location.

- The establishment of a Climate Change Advisory Committee.

- Funding to begin construction of a new south precinct for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

- The partial renovation of Denny Juvenile Justice Center for recovery and treatment of those suffering from addiction.

- Funding to create a clean energy plan, helping to achieve the goal of 100% renewable energy in county government by 2040.

- Additional investments in the Revenue Stabilization Fund, established to help the county in case of an economic recession.

Somers addressed the affordable housing crisis affecting people across the income spectrum. He also stressed the need for continued countywide partnerships in tackling the opioid crisis.

Partners on the county campus are always reliable, Somers said. Leaders across the county in business, nonprofits, and other governments are helping to achieve goals for the 2020 budget.

"It isn't the title we hold that matters, but instead the value we place on making our community stronger year over year," Somers said. "We fulfill our responsibilities fully aware that we must use resources wisely and with restraint."

According to Snohomish County, the general fund budget for 2020 would be approximately $267 million. 

"I offer my proposed 2020 budget as the best way for us to reach our goals together and reinforce our values as a community," Somers said. "We have advanced a vision of partnership to serve the public and take another step toward achieving our goals. I believe this proposed budget for 2020 allows us to plan for the future we choose."

Presentations, meetings, forums, and public hearings will be held in the next few weeks to seek input from residents about the proposed budget. For more information: https://snohomishcountywa.gov/2697/2020-Budget.

 

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