City Council Summary: April 25, 2022

The Lakewood City Council meets for a study session on April 25, 2022

City Council is considering enhancing the process to rename a public park or facility. Last year, a resident submitted an application to rename Fort Steilacoom Park. All such applications trigger a public notice. Many opposed the notion of renaming the park. The process worked well to notify the community and invite opinion. The application was unanimously rejected by the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB).

On May 16, City Council will consider new rules recommended by PRAB. An application to rename a facility would have to include a minimum of 600 signatures. The application then must clear several more hurdles before the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board would consider it. Public input would be invited throughout the process.

Deputy City Manager Tho Kraus shared the 2021 Transportation Benefit District Annual Report. Transportation Benefit Districts are taxing districts created to fund local road improvements. 2020 revenues funded parts of the JBLM North Access Project, a major road reconstruction and pedestrian improvement project in the Lake City area.

Kraus next reviewed the 2021 Year-End Financial Report. General/Street Fund operating revenues were $46.3 million, exceeding operating expenditures of $38.2 million. Revenues from sales tax, gambling tax, and camera enforcement exceeded expectations. All departments were within budget. Higher-than-anticipated revenues and sound financial policies have created a surplus available for one-time investments.

The City’s financial state was very healthy during pre-pandemic prosperity. The City’s future outlook appears stable, despite challenges such as global conflict, supply chain delays, and material shortages. The City’s financial health and stability is attributable to City Council’s adopted financial policies, and not to federal relief funds.

Kraus next reviewed the proposed 2022 Carry Forward Budget Adjustment. The adjustment revises the 2022 beginning fund balance to reflect the 2021 ending fund balance. It also includes new City Council-approved investments and adds budgets for grant-funded projects. The adjustment also updates capital project budgets, and details American Rescue Plan Act revenues and expenditures.

An estimated $6.7 million is available for one-time expenditures such as capital improvements. Budget adjustments are detailed beginning on page 148 in the meeting’s agenda. A related public hearing will be heard on May 2.