On their December 5th, 2022 Council Meeting, the Ferndale City Council unanimously passed the 2023 Budget. You can click here to access the full detailed breakdown or you can read the Mayor’s budget message below which summarizes what the budget does for Ferndale.
Recently, I stood at the Thornton Overpass construction site, watching in awe as massive cranes carefully lifted girders the size of a city block and placed them on pillars above the railroad tracks. These girders will form the bones of the Overpass, supporting cars, trucks, bikes, and pedestrians for generations to come as they travel to and from our city. As the 130,000-pound components were locked into place, I was struck by the size and scope of the moment we find ourselves in.
Here, on the cusp of 2023, Ferndale is making big changes. We are putting in place the structures, roads and organizations we need to grow as a community. This document reflects and supports those changes and capitalizes on new opportunities to come. Therefore, it is my pleasure to present to our honorable City Councilmembers and the greater Ferndale community, the 2023 budget for the City of Ferndale.
In 2023, the cityscape in which we live will change. We will see the demolition of our beloved Old Main building and the full opening of our new Ferndale High School. We expect to see the Catalyst Project break ground on Main Street. We will see the opening of a brand-new skate park for Ferndale that pays tribute to our industrial history while providing recreation for the future generations. We will see brand new housing developments that reflect the diversity of our community – single family neighborhoods, multi-family near our downtown and low-income housing for those who need it.
In our downtown, we have seen several new businesses open including restaurants, grocery, and retail. Beyond our city core, new manufacturers are bringing fresh jobs, new ideas, and more commerce to our community.
As our city grows and changes, our local government rises to meet the needs of our community. The 2023 budget includes a new police officer – a necessary addition to our dedicated police department that will help keep us safe. It also includes a new planner to keep the permit desk moving swiftly, expanded hours for our park workers, and a new public works crew member to plow our streets and repair our infrastructure.
Like those large girders, we are laying the groundwork for the future. We are designing a new civic campus that will include a new court, council chambers and city hall. We are designing a new stage at Pioneer Park to host more and even better events at the heart of our community. And for the first time, we have hired both a federal and state advocate, to help bring our tax dollars back home from Olympia and Washington, DC for the projects we need done in our city.
During the pandemic, we activated Ferndale Community Services and the Ferndale Downtown Association, expanding their reach and abilities and you will see the impact of those decisions in 2023. Already, Ferndale Community Services is operating a severe weather shelter throughout the cold season and the Downtown Association has distributed thousands of dollars in grants to our downtown community to expand and support our local businesses.
We have done all of this and more through prudent financial management, a willingness to try new things, and good old-fashioned legwork. The actions that we are poised to take in 2023 and beyond are built on solid plans and careful consideration. Ferndale is a community of doers and innovators, much more than dreamers. This means that we must be realistic: we are in an unusual economy, with extremely low unemployment, extreme demand and limited supply of housing, and significant inflation. This budget anticipates that our costs will increase more rapidly than our revenues, and while the budget allows the City to move forward with its plans, we must look carefully at the economics of 2024 and beyond.
Ferndale is becoming known as a collaborative City, and through this teamwork we have been able to do things that larger cities could only dream of. Rather than pounding the table or making partisan speeches, here in Ferndale, we are focused on doing the work and finding the solutions. As President Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
This budget, like the girders at Thornton, is a key component in that bridge to the future. A future full of change, promise and opportunities for our city.
Mayor Greg Hansen