Friday, January 22, 2021

Mattawa budget includes new sidewalks, sewer treatment facility repairs

Staff Writer | January 13, 2021 1:00 AM

MATTAWA — The city of Mattawa likely will spend about $7.035 million in 2021, with projected revenues of $6.195 million, and end the year with $3.39 million in reserve due to leftover money from 2020.

Expenditures in the current expense fund are budgeted at $1.56 million, with revenues of $1.47 million. The current expense fund includes the police department and other city operations.

Expenses in the sewer operating fund were budgeted at $2.67 million, with revenues of $2.58 million. City clerk Anabel Martinez said most of the money will be spent on continuing repairs to the sewer treatment facility, which was badly damaged in a January 2020 fire.

The street fund was budgeted at $1.06 million in expenses, and $1.03 million in revenue. Martinez said about $695,000 of that is a Community Development Block Grant and will be used to build sidewalks and a walking path on Government Road.

Government Road (Road 24 Southwest) is the main thoroughfare through downtown Mattawa, connecting downtown with state Route 243. There’s considerable foot traffic from the Government Road-state Route 243 intersection to downtown. The CDBG will pay for the walking path and sidewalks up the hill from the intersection to the area of Mansion Street.

City officials included a line item for a grant, about $209,000, for street improvements. But the city didn’t receive that grant, Martinez said, so the budget will be revised to reflect that.

Mattawa City Council members passed the budget Dec. 28, and the document was released to the public Jan. 12. Council members discussed passing the budget in early November, but then-council member Maria Celaya asked for a delay to study it more closely.

Former Mayor Scott Hyndman resigned in November, and Celaya was appointed mayor and asked each city department to rework its budget proposals and cut them by 5%.

Public works director Juan Ledesma asked council members to delay a 5% cut to the city’s solid waste fund, or possibly not cut it at all, at the Dec. 28 meeting.

Disposal fees will increase at the Grant County landfill March 1, Ledesma said, and he expects the fees charged to the city to increase as a result. He asked the council to delay any changes to the solid waste budget until the city received the rate proposal from its garbage contractor.