Big Money – Just A Day In The Life At City Hall
Most of us go about our daily lives never stopping to think about how much money is involved in running a city the size of Yakima. It's a lot! City Council is set to meet Tuesday night (2/15/21) with some big ticket items on the agenda.
Let's take a look.
You pay your water sewer, garbage bill every month like the good citizen that you are. Thanks. Your participation keeps the wheels turning. But not everybody does and overtime, the delinquent bills pile up.
According to the City, "Delinquent accounts are recommended for write-off for various reasons, including: The Statute of Limitations (six (6) years or older) has been met; Bankruptcy (discharge of debt); Death of debtor; and Accounts have been sent to a collection agency and returned as uncollectable."
All that adds up to the fact more than 11-hundred accounts are flagged for the write-off process which mean the City won't be collecting $$293,154.11. Last year the total was $259,667.96. That's more than a half million that isn't collected in the last 2 years. Seems like a lot doesn't it?
Sometimes the big money is money that comes to the city for important projects from outside sources, like the Army Corps of Engineers.
You know where the City's waste water treatment plant is located? It's along the freeway on the city's east side. On those days, when the wind blows west to eats we ALL know exactly where the treatment plant and spray fields are located! Yikes.
Just east of the plant is the Yakima river and the LAST thing anyone wants is a flood situation that overruns the treatment plant To "save the sewage" so to speak, there are protective levee's along the river that require big equipment and big money to maintain.
At Tuesday's Zoom Council Meeting the city will sign up to employ the Corp, "to perform repair work on a section of the levee that protects the Wastewater Treatment Plant. High water events since 2009, when the Corp last performed repair work on this levee segment, have caused serious damage to the levee that places wastewater treatment infrastructure in jeopardy from Yakima River floods."
The city share of that cost this time around is just over $86-thousand dollars with the Corps of Engineers picking up the other 80% at another $472,900.
City Hall is by no means a sky scraper but the need for access by all residents means working elevators are important and required by law. The don't come cheap. prices go up...all the way to the third floor and beyond! At Tuesday's Council Meeting, the City will "review is the proposed agreement with Kone, Inc. for the modernization of the two City Hall elevators in an amount not to exceed Nine Hundred Forty-Two Thousand Four Hundred Twenty-Seven Dollars ($942,427)."
But enough chump change, time to get into the real money.
Back in April of 2015, the City "entered into agreements with SOZO, a Washington non - profit corporation for a public - private partnership to create multiple soccer fields, parking lots and related improvements; and WHEREAS, the City of Yakima invested $4.1 million for capital expenditures toward the acquisition of property and the development of this public park; and City of Yakima requested and was approved for funding from the Yakima County “Supporting Investments in Economic Diversification” (SIED) Board in the form of a $1,000,000 grant and a $1,000,000 loan"
Grants you don't pay back but a million dollar loan, that's a different story!
Finally, the last of the Federal Government's C.A.R.E.S. money is being made available to micro-businesses.... "money that was specifically allocated to the City under the CARES Act and must be used for responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Yakima County Development Association will handle the remaining $266,406.76 in 2020 CDBG-CV1 funds."
So, add it all up and that's a whole lots of money coming and going in the day to day operation of the city. Most people have no idea...but now you know!
You can check out the agenda for Tuesday's Council meeting HERE