City of Ridgefield releases 2017 preliminary budget

RIDGEFIELD — According to Ridgefield City Manager Steve Stuart, the city’s 2017 annual budget “tells the financial story of a growing community, with Council-prioritized investments in new roads, trails and a recreation complex to serve our citizens’ needs.”

City of Ridgefield officials recently released the city’s 2017 preliminary budget, which is currently available to view on the city’s website. According to the website, the $20.2 million budget is completely balanced and continues to invest in “top priorities,” including public safety, job creation, recreation, streets, housing and quality of life, while delivering high-quality services for Ridgefield residents.

City of Ridgefield releases 2017 preliminary budget
The first reading of the city of Ridgefield’s 2017 preliminary budget and a public hearing on the budget will be held during a City Council meeting on Thu., Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m., at the Ridgefield Community Center, located at 210 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield. Photo by Joanna Yorke

The 2017 budget includes:

  • An operating budget of $9.23 million
  • A special revenue budget of $3.97 million
  • The capital projects budget of $6.96 million

“With the demands of new growth there are also benefits to our current residents with more taxpayers to share the load, including a decrease in their property tax millage rate of $.08/$1,000 in assessed value and a water rate that won’t increase in 2017,” Stuart said of the 2017 budget.

According to the budget message, 2016 home values continue to lead the country in year over year appreciation per Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). As a result of this, Ridgefield residential development has exceeded estimates contributing additional sales and property tax growth to the city. Sales tax receipts have increased 22.62 percent through the third quarter of 2016 when compared to the third quarter of 2015, and is estimated to continue to increase by 12 percent in 2017.

Also according to the budget message, property tax receipts will increase 9.8 percent in 2017 when compared to 2016. New construction has added $75.7 million to the assessed values for Ridgefield, bringing the total assessed values to approximately $1.06 billion.

“The Community Development Department is forecasting business expansion over the next several years at existing commercial and industrial sites within Ridgefield, including the Southwest Washington regional headquarters for the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as future building sites such as Clark College at Boschma Farms,” the budget message states.

The $20.2 million budget is a decrease of $4.9 million from the original adopted 2016 budget. The $9.23 million operating budget is a decrease of $1.12 million when compared to the original 2016 operating budget of $10.35 million. The decrease is a result of the city defeasing the existing 2006 General Obligation bonds in full in 2016. The 2017 budget also incorporates $7.922 million of new initiatives.

The first reading of the 2017 preliminary budget and a public hearing on the budget will be held during a regular Ridgefield City Council meeting on Thu., Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m., at the Ridgefield Community Center, 210 N. Main Ave. A second reading and additional public hearing will take place during the first City Council meeting in December on Thu., Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m., also at the Ridgefield Community Center.

To view the city of Ridgefield’s preliminary 2017 budget in its entirety, visit here and click on the pdf document of the budget under “Supporting Documents.”

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About The Author

Joanna Nicole Yorke is a 2010 graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in political science. Yorke is a Clark County native, growing up on her family's 12-acre farm in La Center where her family still resides today. She was previously a reporter at The Reflector Newspaper, covering the city of Battle Ground, the Battle Ground School District and a variety of other areas and topics.

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