Multiple fees to increase for people living in Sunnyside in 2019
SUNNYSIDE, Wash. - Sunnyside is trying to find ways to get out of the negative when it comes to their budget.
The city is currently facing a more than $200,000 deficit and has to borrow money to get through the rest of 2018.
Something that hasn't sat well with some council members.
“It's not sustainable in the long run whatsoever. We can only borrow so much before there's no more money to borrow. So, I’m not happy with the budget whatsoever,” Sunnyside deputy mayor Francisco Guerrero.
To get out of this hole, the council approved changes that will make it more expensive to live in Sunnyside.
The changes include almost doubling its ambulance fee to more than $16 a month, adding 10 percent to utilities costs and increasing the storm water fee by about $2.
Which will add around $12 a month for everyone living in Sunnyside. Which can add to around $150 a year.
Mayor Julia Hart said fees like the ambulance fee haven't gone up in years. Which has hindered the city when it comes raising extra money.
“We haven't made incremental increases to different funds as we've needed to and as we've gone along,” she said.
Sunnyside is also looking to make some cuts as well.
Which includes limiting travel for city leaders, keeping training local and moving duties around for some of the staff.
With such a high deficit, Hart said every little bit they can save will go a long way to get back into the black.
“Not trying to buy anything that we don't absolutely have to have. If it's a replacement item, can we go a little bit longer until we can get more money,” she said.
The city has until December 31 to finalize the 2019 budget, but Hart hopes to have everything done well before then.