The Metropolitan King County Council gave its unanimous approval to a King County budget that will lead to immediate, new investments in public safety, roads and local parks.
Among the top priorities included in the $11.4 billion biennial budget are restored funding for vital regional services like the sheriff’s helicopter and marine units, additional sheriff’s deputies and expansion of local and regional transit service throughout King County. A new homeless navigation center on county-owned property was also provided.
Metropolitan King County Council member Kathy Lambert, a member of the council’s budget leadership team, said creating a budget for King County was challenging due to the projected deficit in the general fund, which required lots of prioritizing and challenging choices. She continued, “The adopted 2017-2018 budget, in addition to our regional role, also reflects our continuing commitment to the over 230,000 people who live in unincorporated communities and rely on King County as their ‘local’ government.”
This budget restores the 11 deputies in the helicopter and marine units who were slated to be cut in 2018. These services are vital as these units are used for both search and rescue as well as law enforcement services countywide. The budget also adds an additional two deputies for unincorporated King County, a step toward reducing response times.
The adopted budget recognizes the county’s unique role by increasing funds to the roads division to help maintain and repair the county road system, with an additional $4 million for roads maintenance.
The council also added $3 million to alternative transit for smaller routes in communities. Metro transit will also be able to provide 300,000 more service hours countywide.
The budget also includes funds to support youth or amateur sport activities or facilities in our communities.
“I’m happy that we were able to include additional funding for safety and transportation as these are two of our core responsibilities, said Lambert. “I am very pleased by this outcome.”