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City Council adopts 2021-22 Biennial Budget

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 9:45am

The Federal Way City Council adopted the 2021-22 Biennial Budget by a unanimous vote during Tuesday night’s meeting.

“This balanced budget delivers what the community expects and deserves — without raising taxes, laying off any city employees, or dipping into the general fund reserve, all while increasing the level of services,” Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said. “I want to thank my policy partners on the City Council for their vision and commitment to Federal Way.”

With an emphasis on public safety and maintaining a clean and litter-free city, the biennial budget fully funds reserve accounts, invests in key Information Technology infrastructure, and allocates funding for improvements to the Community Center and Dumas Bay Centre.

On the public safety side, the budget fully funds the Police Department to respond to the current needs of the community, adds three officers to bring the total number on the force to 137 (*a historic high*), and provides ample funding for Jail Services.

While other cities similar in size to Federal Way are facing budgetary challenges due to the economic downturn caused by the global pandemic, various actions the City has taken to generate solvency over the last few years has helped it remain on solid financial footing. Those actions include the departure from the SCORE Jail contract (about $2 million in savings) and the Water and Sewer tax judgement ($1 million in ongoing revenue).

“Those forward-looking decisions have given us some much-needed cushion to help absorb the impact from the governor’s COVID-related shutdowns,” Mayor Ferrell said.    

The final budget also puts a focus on city beautification, providing ongoing funds to maintain two full-time positions dedicated to cleaning up litter throughout the city, as well as funds to add a graffiti technician to address other blight issues.

Funding was also allocated for the “Eyes on Federal Way” customer service app, which debuted during the State of the City Address in February and will be rolled out Dec. 15. The app will help residents notify the City of any garbage and litter that needs to cleaned up.

The Council requested -- and received -- several additions to the mayor’s proposed budget. Those additions included adding various staff positions: one in Economic Development, a contract position in the Planning Department, an administrative assistant in Information Technology, and a half-time position for an Inclusion and Diversity Program manager.

A contract for a federal lobbyist was also approved in the final budget.

Tyler Hemstreet
(253) 835-2411