Darrington budget sticks to the basics


Herald Writer

DARRINGTON — Modest, but mindful.

There’s not much wiggle room in next year’s budget for Snohomish County’s third-smallest town. But that’s typical, said Lyla Boyd, Darrington’s treasurer/clerk.

The total budget for 2001 is $1,074,000, and the spending plan is basically a status quo approach, Boyd said.

"We’re just providing basic services like police, fire," Boyd said. "And for our major capital projects, we have to wait until we have grant funding. We don’t have the revenue to repay loans.

"We just provide basic, minimal service. And that’s all a small community can do," she said.

City hall has four employees, and staffing will remain the same in 2001. The town has a 30-member volunteer fire department and contracts with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for police services.

Darrington will pay the county $202,000 for police next year, the final year in a three-year contract. Town officials are satisfied with the service they’ve received, Boyd said.

There’s just one big capital project in the 2001 budget, and it’s a holdover from previous years: a new water reservoir for the town’s north end.

The city has received a $150,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to pay for the 200,000-gallon reservoir, which will be built on land owned by the state Department of Natural Resources.

Darrington has received approval for a conditional use permit for the water tank from Snohomish County, and is hoping to complete the paperwork so it can be built in 2001.

"We’re working on the lease agreement with DNR and are very optimistic," Boyd said.

Property taxes, the biggest revenue stream in the budget, will be raised 2 percent in 2001. Property taxes are expected to generate $94,591 next year, and the city expects to collect $462,341 overall in taxes, fees and other revenues.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at 7 tonight at city hall, 1005 Cascade St.

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