Montesano budget nearing vote

Montesano Council expected to pass 2020 budget proposal at Dec. 10 meeting.

The Montesano City Council is finalizing its 2020 budget. Mayor Vini Samuel said she hopes that the council can vote on the budget at the next meeting. Otherwise, the council will have to meet Dec. 24 to finalize details.

On Nov. 26, the council heard from Police Chief Brett Vance and Fire Chief Corey Rux. Both men presented what they called balanced budgets in line with requests for the 2019 budget. Increases in wages and benefits called for cuts to other programs.

“We did do some cuts early on in the project. Those cuts were taken up by wages and benefits, so there wasn’t any money saving there,” Vance said.

He also mentioned that fewer tickets have been written this year, which affected the bottom line.

Vance requested money for additional “speed radar signs” similar to the one that tells the speed of drivers entering the city from the west on Pioneer Avenue.

Vance is considering adding similar signs to Third Street, McBryde Avenue and Beacon Avenue.

“Not that we write a lot of tickets on McBride or Third or Beacon,” Vance said, “but those are high-traffic areas.”

Police vehicles also will soon have a new look. Vance is having the decals replaced on all cars.

“My goal is to have them ready to go for Festival of Lights,” he said.

Trash rate increase

LeMay has asked the Montesano Council to increase its garbage rates next year.

Most rates would increase between $0.26 and $1.24 per month if the city approves the proposal.

LeMay is allowed to increase its rates by a percentage of the increase in the Consumer Price Index. LeMay is contractually limited to increasing its rates at 80 percent of the CPI increase for the first six months compared with the first six months of the previous year.

The council will vote on the increase at its next meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 10.