Will Yelm have another budget crisis with Yelm’s Splash Park $160,000 over budget?
In a very challenging questioning session last night by councilors to the mayor and city administrator for information on whether they requested funding from our legislature for a business incubator without consulting the council and to get their approval, the public heard Councilor Carmody, in her frustration, state that any funding the city requested from the state should go to handle the Splash Park’s over-budgeting expenses. That comment caught my attention as this was the first time the public heard of the cost overruns, yet the Community Center was also way over budget, covered here previously.
I was hoping to hear how much the Splash Park was over-budget, yet that was not disclosed, however Councilor Carmody explained on her councilor Facebook post the following:
“I questioned City Admin Michael Grayum why they were asking for funds for a potential new building [business incubator space] right after we had just bought the new city hall, and why on earth they didn’t use those funds to correct the $160k overbudget (sic) splash park. I didn’t get any satisfactory answers.” Read more
Bottom line: Mayor Foster’s condescending and belittling remarks about his Yelm Splash Park being bigger than Olympia’s west side spray park was juvenile [listen here beginning at 1:01]. Though I am certain the Olympia west side spray park is not dealing with $160,000 in budget overruns to-date. Councillor Stillwell said last year he wanted the council to commit to ensuring the new city hall loan was paid off within the 5 years and not to do what previous councils have done – overspend and then extend loans and use those funds to balance the budget. Let’s hope the city does not have to do that with the $160,000 Splash Park overruns.
There are many financial challenges the city is facing and the lack of a full-time Fiance Director in hands-on daily operations is not encouraging, what with the city’s pedal-to-the-medal on spending!