Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spokane City Council Includes Infrastructure As Budget Priority

Because everyone has a stack of
hundreds on the table when they
do their budget, right?
In an effort to make the budget process more transparent, the Spokane City Council developed a list of budget principles for 2015 to help guide the Administration in the budget’s development. 

A news release sent out by the City last night says the goal is for early involvement in the budget process so its priorities can be included in the Mayor’s released budget. So here is what the Council came up with for their priorities:

  • improved community safety
  • sustainable, targeted growth and economic opportunity
  • maintained and improved the City's infrastructure
  • improved health, quality and character of our community

The Council will ask the Administration to prepare a budget which recognizes revenue growth and the inclusion of a 1% property tax increase to support city capital needs. 

The reason the infrastructure bullet point is in italics above is because that's what I'm interested in. While infrastructure means sewers, telecommunications, water, etc., it also covers roads, bridges and other transportation facilities. Considering that our roads are admittedly not in that great of shape, making infrastructure a priority will hopefully mean more money will be devoted to maintaining and improving it in coming years. 

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.