Council Roundup: September 12, 2022

Financial Forecast, American Rescue Plan Funding, Business Community Communication, Eviction Moratorium, Rental Housing Policies
Posted on 09/16/2022
Recovery Roadmap.

The City Council adopted the implementation plan to use American Rescue Plan pandemic recovery funding, discussed the long-range General Fund financial forecast, adopted ways to enhance communication and collaboration between the City Council and business community, approved a new administrative assistant position to support customer service and records management, and discussed updating rental housing policies.

Eviction Moratorium Set to End When State Emergency Order Ends

The City Council was scheduled to discuss the eviction moratorium. They voted at the start of the meeting to remove the item from the agenda.

Burien’s eviction moratorium is set to end when the state emergency order ends. Governor Jay Inslee recently announced that he will end the emergency order by October 31, 2022.

Plan to Help Burien Recover from Pandemic Approved

The City Council approved the proposed implementation action plan presented by Management Partners.  The plan helps/directs City staff to implement projects that were initiated by a previous City Council decision for how to use nearly $10.8 million in funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Since implementation work will need to be integrated into existing City work, the plan takes into account community impact, existing staff workload, resource needs (which include staffing, finances, and equipment), and contracting requirements. The plan also details project leads to ensure accountability and where applicable, estimated numbers of businesses or community members the project will help, cost estimates, and performance measures.

Read the proposed implementation plan.

Long-Range General Fund Financial Forecast Presents Five-Year Look at Revenues and Expenditures

FCS Group presented a long-range forecast for the General Fund as part of the 2023-2024 budget process. The forecast plays a key role as part of the biennial budgeting process to evaluate current and future fiscal conditions and to identify future revenue and expenditure trends. The General Fund supports the general operations of the City government, apart from stormwater and street maintenance.

The forecast projects that each year through 2028, revenues will increase by 2.2 to 2.6 percent but expenditures will increase by 3.6 to 4.2 percent. The forecast reflects current levels of service but doesn’t address any unmet service or capital infrastructure needs. Labor costs, police contract increase, and health benefits are key drivers of expenditure increases.

If City Council had not acted in previous years to increase revenues through increased utility tax, business license fees, and utility franchise fees, the City would currently be operating in a deficit.

The City Council directed staff to bring back more information about new revenue options, including voter approved measures. They will continue public discussion of the 2023–2024 budget through December when the final budget is adopted. Public involvement in the budget process is crucial to ensuring our City budget reflects community priorities.

City Council Adopts Ways to Enhance Communication with the Business Community

The City Council continued their June 6, 2022 discussion of recommendations made by the Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) to enhance communications between the City Council, BEDP, and business community.

The City Council adopted two recommendations:

  • Place a joint City Council/BEDP meeting on the City Council schedule to be held annually
  • Select a City Council representative(s) to attend BEDP meetings

Position Approved to Support Customer Service and Records Management

The City Council approved the extension of funding for a limited-term administrative assistant position for the Administrative Services Department. The position provides additional customer service for Burien City Hall’s front desk, helps with logistics of City Council meetings, and supports records management projects.

Rental Housing Policies to be Discussed at Future Meeting

The city manager presented information about current Burien renter policies and how they compare to the state projections. City Council directed staff to add discussion of rental housing policies to future agenda.