Wayland City Council looks to improve park with 2020 budget

WAYLAND — Wayland’s West Park will be getting new renovations including new trails and equipment if everything goes as planned.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Wayland City Council approved the city’s 2020 fiscal budget for publication and confirmed the date of a public hearing for March 6.

The most significant change from last year’s budget is $116,000 put toward capital projects. This is up from last year’s $40,000 budgeted for capital improvements and would go toward recreational improvements planned for West Park, a public park on West Main Street in Wayland.

“It’s in the beginning stages,” said city clerk Beverly Conrad. “They know they want a splash pad and their wish is to replace some of the play equipment to have a walking trail around the park and to get new bathrooms.”

The project is expected to cost $100,000. Planned changes are based on requests from a volunteer committee of citizens. If the allocated funds are not able to cover the cost, the city plans to seek grants and possibly hold fundraisers to make up the difference. The project may take as long as two years to complete.

The total revenue for the 2020 fiscal year is $1,924,733, and the total for all expenditures is $1,539,535. Both numbers are up from the 2019 fiscal budget where they were $1,697,096 and $$1,385,058 respectively.

Taxpayers will see a slight reduction in their water taxes. The water sales tax of 6 percent has been replaced by a water excise tax, which eliminated the local-option sales tax that billed citizens an additional 1 percent.

The name change from water sales tax to water excise tax just indicates that the money collected from the water tax will now be going toward infrastructure. The elimination of a local-option sales tax of 1 percent means taxpayers will pay 1 percent less on water. By Conrad’s estimate, it will take a year to see how this will impact the city’s revenue.

There will be no change, however, to the total tax levy rate where for every $1,000 of value on a regular property there will be a tax of $7.35. According to Conrad, this tax has been the same through her 10 years working with the city, and she doesn’t see any indication the amount will change in coming years.

There will be a public hearing where citizens can raise any concerns they may have regarding city budget on March 6, at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.