WARRENTON - The city has delivered on its promise to establish new capital reserve funds - a priority set by the Warrenton Budget Committee.

Mayor Jeff Hazen and fellow commissioners recently established four new capital reserve funds for the city's coffers: Tansy Point Dock, Warrenton Marina, the water fund and sewer fund.

Hazen noted that members of the community agreed with city staff in placing a high priority in having some money in reserve for future capital projects. A retired commissioner, Keith Dyer, has gone before the city stressing the importance of properly maintaining Tansy Point Dock.

"I think Keith would be pleased about this," Hazen said.

City Manager Scott Derickson repeatedly has stressed the importance of capital reserve funds.

Finance Director Laurie Sawrey added that by state law, reserve funds must be reviewed every 10 years by the commission "to determine if they are still serving the desired purpose."

Establishing new reserve funds was a top priority of budget committee members - made up of commissioners and local citizens - who dealt with the task of higher costs for city services and the lack of reserve funds to assist in those rising costs.

Under the approved 2002-2003 fiscal budget the four new capital reserve funds have been budgeted as follows:

• Tansy Point Dock, $20,000;

• Warrenton Marina, $30,600;

• Water Fund, $4,500,000;

• Sewer Fund, $835,000.

The budget committee's top priorities - listed in its adopted budget recommendation - for this fiscal year are sewer lagoon improvements, water filtration plant construction, capital reserve funds and budgeting for indirect costs.

The committee, chaired by Leslie Shepherd, called for capital reserve funds to be established to support planning and future capital costs associated with infrastructure.

And with regards to community reaction of new water, sewer and garbage rates, Sawrey reported, "the two days after we mailed the first bills reflecting the increases was a whirlwind. The phone rang continuously. We staffed the counter and phone - the city manager got in on the act of assisting customers. Things have settled down significantly since then and people are getting used to the new rates."

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