Chehalis City Council roundup: September declared National Preparedness Month; Subdivision code changes and budget changes discussed

By Owen Sexton /[email protected]

Chehalis City Council issued a proclamation at its regular meeting early Monday evening to declare September National Preparedness Month.

Chehalis Mayor Tony Ketchum said the proclamation was made to help the city better prepare for natural disasters, which will allow for faster and better responses.

“National Preparedness Month gives every resident of the community the opportunity to prepare their home, business and neighborhood for any type of emergency. Investing in preparing ourselves, our families, our businesses and our communities can reduce deaths and economic devastation in our cities, Ketchum said.

He urges residents to use the month of September to create emergency plans and kits for the different types of natural disasters seen in Lewis County and to sign up for Lewis County Emergency Alerts. To sign up for alerts, visit https://lewiscountywa.gov/departments/emergency-management/lewis-county-alert/.

Next Proclamation, Tammy Baraconi, Chehalis Planning and Building Manager, spoke to council about the first reading of the new changes to the subdivision code.

“The reason we’re looking to update the code is that there was missing code, the language of how to deal with boundary line adjustments,” Baraconi said.

According to Baraconi, there were also redundancies and clarifications were needed on how to deal with short flats, subdivisions, boundary line adjustments and constraining site plans. Several public hearings and workshops were held as well as workshops with the council before getting the code at this stage.

“We are at the final stage of requesting the codification of the subdivision code,” Baraconi said.

Although some council members had questions, they agreed to meet later to discuss them and come back with the appropriate adjustments made for the second reading of the ordinance at the next meeting.

The draft subdivision code can be viewed here https://www.ci.chehalis.wa.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/building_and_planning/page/1048/subdivision_code_draft_8-5-2022.pdf.

A second Chehalis’ fiscal year 2022 budget amendment was also read at first reading by Chehalis’ chief financial officer, Chun Saul. Key changes include increases in revenue projections caused by changes in pool admission fees and interest income from investments.

According to Saul, additional appropriations are also on the way, as supply and fuel costs have increased with inflation and exceeded original budget projections. Overall, the realized revenue increase is $878,380, of which approximately $485,900 is expected to come from sales tax increase revenue.

Sales taxes collected to date have exceeded the eight-month target amount by 8.7%, so the proposed change in the revenue amount corresponds to this percentage.

Saul said the increase in appropriations is $337,480, not only due to increased supplies and the cost of fuel, but also various additional department budget items. The parks department and other facilities also needed unforeseen repairs that had not originally been budgeted for.

At the end, Saul said the expenses would increase by $467,960.

The budget changes and code changes will receive a second reading at the next Chehalis City Council meeting on September 26.

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