The Board of Health convened a budget ad hoc committee that has met regularly since October. Members of the committee are Chair Stephanie Wright, County Councilmember Nate Nehring, Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, City of Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin, and City of Everett Councilmember Scott Bader. The committee reviewed proposed revenues and expenditures and gave instruction to staff regarding budget parameters and direction. A public hearing for December 14, 2021, has been noticed (Exhibit A).
The proposed budget (Exhibit B) highlights a list of the many accomplishments made during 2021, despite the ongoing work related to the pandemic. It's important to note that without the emergency funding from the state legislature and federal CARES Act dollars through Snohomish County, the Health District would not have had the capacity to sustain its almost two-year-long response to the pandemic. We continue to actively engage with the federal delegation along with local partners to ensure these dollars are both extended past the December 2021 deadline and expanded to continue supporting critical response efforts.
The proposed budget includes the following assumptions:
- 2% salary increases have been added for all staff per collective bargaining agreements; non-represented typically follow the bargaining agreements.
- Incorporates estimated increases in medical and dental rates depending on the plan.
- No increase in 2022 vision rates.
- PERS employer rate has been adjusted to the approved rate of 10.07%.
- Adding 33.2 FTE (15.1 FTE in Prevention Services, 14.8 FTE in Environmental Health, and 3.3 FTE in Administration). The 2.7 FTE difference between 2021 Budget Amendment 1 and the 2022 Proposed Budget is incorporated into 2021 Budget Amendment 2.
- The indirect rate will fall form 47.1% to approximately 11% for 2022. This is due to the reallocation of many indirect staff to COVID-19 response duties.
Projected revenues through 2028 are sufficient to cover projected expenditure increases. Effective July 2021, the State Legislature has approved increased Foundational Public Health Funding through the end of June 2023. While 2023 through 2025 are projected to increase in both state fiscal years 2024 and 2025, due to unknown future legislation, securing new and sustainable funding sources is critical to the agency’s long-term financial stability. This includes revenues anticipated from the Sound Foundation for Public Health as well as rental of unused space in the Rucker Building.
The first and second amendments to the 2021 adopted budget reflect the influx of COVID-19 funding not included in the original adoption of the budget. Most of that funding is currently set to expire in 2023. While we anticipate receiving an extension and additional dollars in 2022, nothing has been confirmed so this budget does not include those projections.
Included in the proposed budget is a capital budget request of $70,000 to replace the IT servers and switches and $400,000 for vehicle replacement. Additionally, there are $1.0M in non-capital requests totaling $1.47M, which includes estimated costs for much-needed operations and maintenance work for the Rucker Building, record digitization, fleet replacement, and new electronic information systems.
The Board has held one public hearing regarding the 2022 budget and will hold a second at the December Board meeting, with final adoption of the 2022 budget expected at the December 14 Board meeting.