The Mayor’s corner

Budget season, pedestrian improvements and general election on the horizon in Covington this fall

  • Sunday, September 8, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

We have just over two weeks of summer left to enjoy and then fall will bring us shorter days and cooler weather. Covington’s summer event season has wrapped up and, as your mayor, I am proud of all of the residents who willingly participated in our summer events including the Covington Days Festival, Summer Concerts in the Park Series, KidsFest, Sausage & Cider Fest, and the Outdoor Movie. Now, as summer winds down, the kids go back to school, football starts and budget season is upon us!

We have had a busy year so far at the city and it’s not letting up. The next few months promises to be just as busy! Let’s take a look at what is in store for us.

At all times, but especially with school back in session, it is all of our responsibility to drive safely around our children and to follow all traffic laws including those specific to school zones. To that extent, I am excited to report that the 164th Pedestrian Improvement Project is finally coming to fruition. The project includes building a sidewalk on the east side of 164th Ave Southeast from the vicinity of Southeast 269th Street to Southeast 264th Street, which completes a sidewalk from the school to the library of about 1,900 linear feet.

The total construction cost for this important project is $1,124,000 and I am happy to say that $850,000 of the cost is being paid for by state and federal grants, and $225,000 is being paid for with SWM (Surface Water Maintenance) Funds due to the required stormwater treatment improvements being made along the sidewalk/roadway. The project is expected to be complete this December.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force (CDVTF) will host their annual “Take a Step Against Domestic Violence” 5K Walk/Run and Purple Light Nights Tree Lighting Kick Off Event to remember lives lost to domestic violence and honor survivors. The event includes a free BBQ, spirit awards and the tree lighting next to Pier 1 Imports on Saturday, Sept. 28. Anyone can register for the run online at www.crowdrise.com/2019PLN5k with proceeds going to the CDVTF to provide direct services to victims and their children as well as to educate the community.

Currently, we are also in the midst of our annual budget planning process. On Saturday, Oct. 26, City Council will sit down for our annual budget workshop where we will review budget strategies, receive department presentations, review the budget forecast, and dive into meaningful discussion and deliberations to help create the best budget for Covington. The budget workshop will also be followed by public hearings at subsequent council meetings in November to receive any public testimony about the proposed 2020 budget before final decisions are made.

Our budget workshop and public hearings are open to anyone wishing to attend. I highly encourage any residents who would like to get a more in depth idea of what goes into the budgeting decisions to attend. In the meantime, we make our most recent budgets available on our city website at www.covingtonwa.gov/city_departments/finance.php as well as our financial transparency tool that allows you to navigate through the budget and other fiscal information for the city.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that fall is also the season for voting! Nov. 5 marks Election Day and Covington residents will be asked to vote on five city council positions among other measures that may be proposed by the county and state. I hope that all residents who are eligible will let their vote be counted!

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