City of Lewiston 2023 Summer Magazine & Program Guide

MAYOR'S MESSAGE Dear Residents of Lewiston, The development of the City?s annual budget is the single most important action taken by the Mayor and City Council. It is a policy statement about the work to be accomplished throughout the coming year ; the levels of service to be provided to our residents; the amounts of each funding type to be used; all guided by the City of Lewiston?s current strategic plan. The past twelve months have been one for the books for our residents, which is making the development of the next annual budget challenging. It started with skyrocketing residential property valuations and ensuing residential property tax increases, living with the catastrophic failure of the high reservoir, and working through irrigation water restrictions in much of the City. Our residents are understandably seeking accountability and action from the Mayor and City Council at this time, not necessarily thinking about developing the next budget. Even though these somewhat historic events may have been enough to slow down some City government services, other, less than somewhat historic events, happened that kept your government moving in the right direction. First, the finance department took advantage of recent higher interest rates by reinvesting monies that were in lower interest-bearing accounts into higher interest-bearing accounts. This resulted in significantly greater interest earnings for the City of Lewiston. These additional interest earnings will reduce the demand on property taxes and other revenue sources used in developing the City?s next budget. Secondly, the Public Works Department substantially completed two major projects: the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and a water treatment plant. These two projects were approved by the voters in November 2019, delivered mostly on time with some allowance given for external events such as supply chain constraints, and completed on budget. These projects reflect positively on the City of Lewiston. In fact, the wastewater treatment plant project has received an award through the Contractor?s Association and the water plant project has been nominated for an award through the Design-Build Institute of America. Lastly, our leadership team changed with the new hires of Police Chief Jason Kuzik and Community Development Director Shannon Grow, and the retirement of Fire Chief Travis Myklebust. Chief Kuzik joined the City of Lewiston Police Department in October 2022. Director Grow joined the City of Lewiston Community Development Department in November 2022. Both Chief Kuzik and Director Grow have been busy learning and implementing their respective department budgets and strategic plan goals. Chief Myklebust retires in May 2023 after thirty-one-plus years of service to the Lewiston Fire Department. He worked right up to his retirement date and will be remembered for his leadership and dedicated service to the City of Lewiston. The City is actively recruiting for a new fire chief. Three planning efforts currently in the works have the potential to impact the development of current and future annual budgets. They are the Drainage System Utility Fee, comprehensive plan rewrite, and Community Park. The Drainage System Utility Fee, if approved by the City Council, will replace property taxes for drainage system maintenance in the City. The Comprehensive Plan is a long-range plan covering a minimum of 17 State of Idaho-required community components that will guide the future and growth of the City of Lewiston. The development of the Community Park project will be decided by the voters this fall. All three planning efforts are presented in more detail in this publication. Please take the time to learn about these important efforts. The Mayor and City Council will be taking recent events into consideration, assessing current economic indicators, and making projections about future conditions in developing the annual budget for the next fiscal year 2024. Just as importantly, you always have the opportunity to provide your input at City Council meetings during citizen comments and public hearings, and in fact, you are encouraged to provide input. Making a policy statement about the work priorities to be accomplished throughout the coming year will be best made after hearing from you! Learn more about the City?s budget process on the next page! - Daniel Johnson

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