County Commission sets budget, plans for next year

With $127 million budget comes increases to two property tax levies.

The Grays Harbor county commissioners approved the county’s $127 million 2020 budget Tuesday, along with the 2020 road program and increases to property taxes.

On a 2-to-1 votes, with Commissioner Wes Cormier dissenting twice, the Commission approved a 0.632 percent increase in property taxes for the road fund and a 0.3 percent increase in property taxes going into the general fund next year.

County officials will not know the total increase in next year’s taxes until all levies are set.

County engineer Rob Wilson put county road program costs for next year at about $6.5 million, with about $5.2 million coming from grants.

Wilson listed the construction projects as one involving flood mitigation, a culvert replacement, one road realignment and two fish barrier corrections. The county also is designing two culvert replacements, one road realignment and three bridge replacements. Though the bridge replacements await committee approval.

Filling committees

The Commission also appointed Doug Farmer (District 1), Kevin Goodrich (District 2), Stephen Poulakos (District 3) and Stacie Barnum (at-large) to sit on the county Parks Committee. Judy Mawhorter was appointed to the Civil Service Committee District 2 position through Feb. 2, 2023.

Homeless shelter

The Commission at its morning meeting Tuesday approved use of the Pearsall Building in Aberdeen for use as a cold-weather shelter for the remainder of the year when overnight lows dip below 39 degrees. The Commission expects to enter into a contract with Coastal Community Action Program to manage a low-barrier shelter after the first of the year.