2021-2022 Budget Packet Presented to Sammamish City Council for Consideration

Release Date: October 09, 2020

This week City Manager Dave Rudat and his team put forward the 2021-2022 Budget Packet to the Sammamish City Council to consider during a special study session that will take place on Tuesday, October 13th.

In his memo to Council, Rudat described the FY 2021/22 biennial budget as a culmination of positive dialogue between City Council and staff around the City’s priorities.  The budget reflects the priorities identified by the City Council from their retreat in January 2020; discussions throughout the year on transportation and park improvements; and preliminary forecasts from the Budget Study Sessions on Capital Projects and Revenue forecasts held in August 2020.

“The balanced budget plan contains funding for the core elements of the City Council’s priorities and is a blueprint for accountability and measuring results,” wrote Rudat. “The City has grown significantly, reaching a population of over 65,000, and it is reflected in the demand for services, park space, and traffic management.”

The budget recommends a property tax increase to help pay for the expanding services and budget needs of a growing population. For residents, the actual fiscal impact of the property tax increase is approximately $153 annually for a Sammamish property valued at $900,000.

The increase would produce approximately $2.4 million dollars annually to cover most of the increases in the City’s fire services and police contracts over the next few years. It will help the City achieve a more balanced operational budget of revenues and expenses by recognizing the full banked capacity that has not been utilized for the past 11 years. Currently, residents pay lower taxes than those living in unincorporated King County, despite the investment in infrastructure, parks, and facility upgrades in Sammamish.

Some key budget highlights include:

  • The creation of two full-time employee (FTE) positions to accommodate an in-house City Attorney and Paralegal, realizing cost and staff efficiencies in eliminating the City’s outside legal service contract.
  • The addition of a third FTE as a management analyst to assist with risk management and operational efficiencies across department lines.
  • The creation of a fourth FTE in year 2 for a full-time mechanic to ensure the City’s fleet of vehicles is adequately maintained. An in-house mechanic will reduce outside contractual services costs and result in better mechanical oversight and management.
  • The City contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office for police services. A 2018 Police Services Study for Sammamish recommends an increase of staffing to provide better coverage and to respond to growth and service demands. The budget recommends the addition of a Sergeant, two additional patrol officers, and one additional School Resource Officer (SRO). This supplemental staffing is essential to reduce overtime hours.
  • The City continues to contract with Eastside Fire & Rescue (EF&R) for fire protections, Emergency Medical Services and Transport (EMS), Fire and Life Safety Planning, as well as Emergency Management. The budget includes additional capital expenditures that will be necessary to address major repairs and upgrades needed at its fire stations.

Capital budget highlights include these parks, transportation, and stormwater projects:

  • School field turf replacement - two fields ($6.48 million)
  • Athletic fields ($5 million)
  • Complete Issaquah/Fall City Road Phase 1 ($2.55 million)
  • Sahalee projects ($2 million)
  • George Davis Creek Fish Passage ($2.45 million)

The City Manager’s memo and preliminary budget for Council can be accessed here.

The Sammamish City Council will hold two public hearings to consider the 2021/2022 proposed biennial budget and the 2021 property tax levy. The hearings will take place on November 10, 2020 and November 17, 2020 as part of the Council meetings beginning at 6:30 pm.

Contact: communications@sammamish.us