In a unanimous vote, the Pierce County Council adopted the 2017 operating and capital budgets after a lengthy negotiation and discussion process.
The budget — which will take effect Jan. 1 — focuses on some key issues to Pierce County including public safety, court programs and agency and program evaluations, which will be conducted by the Performance Audit Committee.
This budget includes several items that will directly effect the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula communities, said Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young.
“These were mostly things that I’ve talked about since my campaign,” Young said. “Overall, we also have some countywide things that I’m trying to work on, typically around public safety and justice issues.”
Pierce County budgeted items for the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula area include:
▪ An additional Pierce County Sheriff deputy for the Peninsula detachment to serve as a community policing deputy. “What their job is basically to do is a lot of the work that’s more time consuming,” Young explained. “A lot of the nuisance (complaints) and problem solving cases.”
▪ Program funding for Safe Streets, a crime watch program on the Key Peninsula, to fund a crime prevention mobilizer position to organize with the community.
▪ For the second year, a $100,000 in Real Estate and Excise Tax (REET) was given to the Peninsula Metropolitan Park and Key Peninsula Metropolitan Parks Districts for capital projects.
▪ Funding for the Key Peninsula Family Resource Center and the Red Barn Youth Center.
▪ Emergency response supplies — specifically fuel — for Fox Island for emergency preparedness.
▪ Funding for two intersection improvements within Gig Harbor: a roundabout at the Point Fosdick and Stone Drive intersection and a signal at the intersection of 62nd Avenue NW and 144th Street NW by Purdy Elementary and Peninsula High School.
A few policy items are also up for evaluation in 2017 including the potential for countywide broadband services and construction impact fees for local schools.
Young said that also included is an analysis for the Fox Island bridge, to look at the overall replacement cost if the bridge height is reduced and to discuss the bridge height impacts with the Coast Guard.
The 2017 Pierce County budget can be viewed online at piercecountywa.org/budget2017.