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‘Disincorporation is Not An Option’ for Normandy Park, According to City

Disincorporation is not an option under consideration by the City Council or City management as reported recently by media sources.”

So reads an announcement released Thursday (July 12) by the City of Normandy Park.

The statement comes a day after multiple Seattle media outlets reported about Normandy Park’s recent financial difficulties (which we first reported May 18 – read our story here [1]), with claims that the city may file for bankruptcy or attempt to be absorbed by Burien or Des Moines.

The city’s announcement continues below:

The City’s financial problem was first identified in 1998 when Henderson, Young and Company completed a Financial Plan and Outlook for the City of Normandy Park. The recommendations from the Plan included approximately 40 ideas and solutions to address the City’s structural financial problems. However, the City Council at that time only implemented a few solutions, which resulted in “kicking the can down the road” a few years. During the period from 2000 – 2007, economic growth was significant and exceeded the projections. Today, the problem is even more difficult to solve because of the poor economy. Members of the Normandy Park City Council have worked closely with city management to identify several short-term solutions as well as long-term solutions to create a sustainable financial position for the City of Normandy Park.

Possible short-term solutions include the levy lid lift, creation of a Transportation Benefit District, imposing franchise fees on utilities and a 6% utility tax on the Stormwater Utility Fund. In addition, an Economic Development Committee, led by Councilmember Susan West, has been formed to attract and enhance new and existing businesses. City management projections suggest new funding of $1.2 million is needed to provide a moderate level of service. Implementation of the short-term solutions is projected to generate approximately $600,000 annually. Fortunately, the City of Normandy Park does not have a significant amount of debt. By the end of 2015, the City will have no bonded indebtedness.

The City’s 2012 adopted operating budget included $3.9 million in expenditures, which provides funding for police, parks, community development, administrative and finance services, of which nearly $1 million has been cut in 2012. The annual budget for the police department is $1.9 million or, 49% of the operating budget. During the past six years, over $2.1 million of expenditures have been cut from the budget, which includes reduction of eleven staff positions. The City has also deferred maintenance of facilities, streets and sidewalks – a practice that is likely to increase costs in the future, but without adequate funding cannot be avoided.

A Levy Lid Lift Fact Sheet, public informational meetings and focus groups are planned over the next three months to involve the community in discussions about the City’s financial situation and possible solutions.

We’re fans of inspiring solutions via Reader Comments (aka “crowdsourcing”), and we’re wondering – do YOU have a solution to Normandy Park’s financial woes? Please chime in below…