Council votes for no property tax boost in 2012

The Forks City Council voted to fore-go any increase in property taxes. The  vote was taken during the council’s Monday, Nov. 14 meeting.

An option of “banking” the property tax increase was discussed with City Treasurer/Clerk Dan Leinan. The banking plan would allow the city to not increase the property tax, which by law can only be boosted one percent each year, but be able to add the one percent in a future year. The council decided not to take that route.

A budget hearing was held prior to the regular meeting. Another hearing is scheduled for the Nov. 28 council meeting, with a final vote on the $5 million budget set for Dec. 5.

Monohon added a historical touch to the annual budget publication with the addition of photos of Forks from a half century ago. In the budget preface the mayor wrote: “The 2012 budget looks much like its predecessors; it’s lean, it’s somewhat optimistic, and it leads into a fiscal environment that is ever more uncertain. Scheduled for 2012 is the reopening of Russell Road, and the rebuilding of East Division Street.”

A new Forks Police Chief will be in place by mid-December, Mayor Bryon Monohon told the Forks City Council at their Monday evening, Nov. 14 meeting held in the Council Chambers.

He said two police chief candidates have toured Forks. A panel made up of city officials held a phone interview with the candidates on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Currently there are only three police officers on the force.

Monohon said the new police chief will likely be named on Monday, Nov. 28 at the next council meeting.
Former Forks Police Chief Doug Price voluntarily stepped down as of Oct. 31. In the interim Forks Police Department officers have “stepped up to the plate” in filling in until a new chief comes on board. Price surprised the mayor and the people of Forks when he announced his resignation at a Forks City Council meeting held Sept. 26. He was on the force for eight months, and was hired following a lengthy search for a chief.

He said the two candidates currently hold jobs as police chiefs in the Pacific Northwest, both in towns similar in size to Forks, with one from Washington state.

At the Monday meeting Public Works Department Head Dave Zellar said the Bogachiel Garden Club is lending a hand with a design for the Forks City Hall lawn adjoining the upcoming sidewalk being installed next year.

The City Council voted to approved the Exeltech engineering firm’s contract for design work on a culvert replacement under Russell Road. A section of Russell Road has been closed for months in fear it would collapse the road. Designs for the culvert replacement are expected to be done by the end of December. The approval allows the city to negotiate a contract with Exeltech.

City of Forks Cashier/Secretary Cindy Pederson and Deputy City Clerk Vivian Morris attended the meeting. Both are soon to retire. Over 100 applications were sent to the city during a search for their replacement. The city has whittled down the applications to 28 and interviews are soon to be held.

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