Mayor's Corner

NOTES TO THE 2021 FINAL BUDGET

December 7, 2020
In setting goals and priorities for 2021 for our staff, we sat down and discussed our current state with COVID-19, how it has affected the city this year and how it might affect 2021.  It was decided that 2021 needed to be a year of “maintaining.”  We asked the Department Heads to budget conservatively, only including what is needed to run their departments with no added increases or supplemental budget requests outside what is needed for current and normal operations.   

The following directive was given to staff in the Goals and Priorities letter sent out to them. 

In light of these objectives and constraints, I am requesting departments to submit their 2021 budgets.  Revenues will continue to be projected conservatively.  Expenditures need to be based upon current staffing levels and current levels of other budget items.  2021 budget requests should only be increased over the 2020 budgets to take into account anticipated inflationary increases keeping in mind that if budget line items can be decreased, please do so.  If you feel strongly that adjustments to your current budget allocations should be made for 2021, a separate sheet, “Request for Program Enhancements” may be submitted. I caution you to submit these requests only for items which you feel are absolutely, necessary for the effectiveness of your operation, and which can be cost-benefit justified where feasible.  Please scrutinize each department operation for ways to reduce costs without significantly affecting operational performance.  Another area to scrutinize are line items that are budgeted for but are seldom used.  Example:  If you consistently budget a certain amount for fuel but consistently useless, then that line item needs to be adjusted not expecting it to be carried over to the next year or that the amount be moved to another area.                                                                                                                                                      
  1. Revenues have been projected for 2021.  Tax Revenues are expected to increase over the 2020 estimates by approximately one percent.    
  2. Expense projections are similar to the 2020 budget with increases being minimal due to what cannot be controlled, ie: increases from other agencies, memberships, cost of conducting business, etc.    
  3. Building Revenues: Based on 12 new structures for 2021. That projection affects line items in multiple funds including Current Expense, Street, Water, Sewer, and Parks Funds.  Building permit and plan review fee revenues are projected to decrease from the prior year due to larger construction projects during 2020.
  4. Water and Sewer Brochure.  Each year we analyze the water and sewer funds for sustainability.  The city must assure that revenues and expenditures are monitored closely so that the fund can make the debt service payments and complete the prioritized projects on the city’s capital facilities plan.  A water rate study will be completed during 2021 which will determine what rates need to be over the course of the next five years to sustain the water funds for domestic and irrigation water.  Water rate increases of three percent are being made during 2021.  The sewer rates were evaluated during 2019 and were implemented during 2020.
  5. The spring Parks and Recreation Program should be similar to prior years if the COVID limitations are lifted.  It’s a 3-month program with T-ball, T-ball for Tots, and Softball.  The fall program for soccer also runs for 3 months and has been in place for two seasons.  We hire a director to oversee each session of the program.  The limitations currently in place will not allow the program to be implemented but we will run the program if we are able to.
  6. The Parks Committee had previously decided to dedicate park funds towards the future splash park.  The city recently made presentations to state and federal funding agencies for Splash Park funding.  It is still unclear whether those applications will be approved.  Further information will be included for you for review at a future meeting.  
  7. ADA Transition Plan.  The ADA Transition Plan was originally approved in 2014.  The city has consistently made improvements each year since then.  Each year the plan is reviewed and revised and has been included.
  8. Cost Allocation.  The finance department continues to use our approved cost allocation plan for expenditures that need to be allocated.  Staff continues their effort to stay in compliance with the state regarding costs that are allocated out to the restricted funds.  At our last audit, the Auditor confirmed that our plan was compliant with SAO.  Each year, the percentages of the allocated line items fluctuate due to the methodology we use so you may notice differences from one year to the next.  See the attached Cost Allocation Plan spreadsheets for the explanation.

MAYOR PROCLAMATIONS:
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Proclamation
In support of wearing face coverings during COVID-19 outbreak

Whereas, On January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Public Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the novel coronavirus (abbreviated “COVID-19); and; 

Whereas, on February 29, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the State of Washington as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and in Washington State, and has issued subsequent amendatory proclamations; and;

Whereas, the Yakima County Department of Health has reported that there are numerous confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yakima County and that number of COVID-19 cases has continued to increase; and,  

Whereas, Zillah City Council approved Resolution No. 2020-11 on April 6, 2020, which ratified Mayor’s declaration of a State of Emergency in the City of Zillah due to COVID-19.  

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Scott Carmack, Mayor, of the City of Zillah, do hereby proclaim as follows:

  1. A state of emergency currently exists and continues to exist in the City of Zillah as a result of the continued effects of COVID-19.
  2. As a result of the occurrence of this outbreak and the emergency that exists, I recommend wearing face masks to assist in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

 Dr. Scott Carmack, Mayor


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Proclamation

IN THE MATTER OF DECLARING AN EMERGENCY RELATED TO THE NOVEL CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the Secretary of the United States Department of Public Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, declared a public emergency effective January 27, 2020, for the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19; and,

WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee signed a Proclamation declaring that a State of Emergency exists in all counties in the State of Washington due to the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State, and directed that the plans and procedures of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented; and,

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, the Board of Yakima County Commissioners signed a declaration of Emergency relating to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Yakima County; and

WHEREAS, one or more COVID-19 events have now occurred in Yakima County, and disruption of important services, damage to life, or damage to property can be expected from the above conditions; and,

WHEREAS, the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management and the Yakima County Health District has declared a local health emergency and recommend that the Board of County Commissioners declared a state of emergency to manage the impacts of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, while it is believed that currently, the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the City of Zillah remains low, the documented presence and impact of the virus within Yakima County and it’s potential to spread rapidly in the region if steps are not taken to contain or slow the spread constitutes an emergency; and,

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death, and can easily spread from person to person; and

WHEREAS, while there have been no COVID-19 cases confirmed for individuals residing or working in the City of Zillah, the spread of COVID-19 continues with more people being affected; and

WHEREAS, measures must be taken to protect the public health, safety, and welfare within the City; and

WHEREAS, City resources related to contact tracing, disease investigation and prevention, continuity of operations, public information, and funding are expected to be severely affected and/or exhausted; and

WHEREAS, the foregoing affects the City of Zillah; and;

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY PROCLAIMED AS FOLLOWS:

  1. Emergency Declaration.  A state of emergency specifically covered under Chapter 38.52 RCW, exists within the City of Zillah, Washington, as a result of the spread of COVID-19 in Yakima County.  The outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of its extreme risk of person-to-person transmission throughout Washington State and Yakima County significantly impacts the life and health of those living and working at City of Zillah, as well as continuity of operations and government at the City, and is a public emergency that affects life, health, property or the public peace.
  2. Emergency Powers.  All emergency powers and authority set forth in RCW 38.52.070 are hereby invoked, including without limitation the right to enter into contract, employ temporary workers and incur obligations without regard to time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law (except mandatory constitutional requirements).
  3. State and Federal Assistance.  The Mayor and his/her designee is authorized to request all available state and federal assistance necessary to respond to this emergency.
  4. Response Declaration.  It is the policy of City of Zillah that no guarantee is implied by actions authorized above, and that there is no perfect emergency response system.  In any given set of circumstances, the City of Zillah and its assets and systems may be overwhelmed, and the City can only endeavor to make every reasonable effort to respond based on the situation, and information and resources available at this time.
  5. Term of Declaration.  The emergency declared herein shall be in place immediately upon the date of adoption and continue and shall remain in place until terminated, extended, or amended by further Proclamation of the Mayor and/or action of the City Council.
  6. Notice.  A copy of this declaration, the extent practicable, shall be posted at the City’s regular locations for official notices and shall be made available to members of the local news media and the general public and appropriate federal, state, regional, and local agencies.

DONE this 13th day of March 2020.

Dr. Scott Carmack, Mayor