Pipes in City of Tieton are Fixed, But Mayor Says Budget is a Mess
Tieton, wa - The pipes have been fixed in Tieton, but now the city's budget is a mess with money going to repairs.
"Well, I'll tell you about 10% of our annual budget," says Tieton Mayor Norma Joiner.
And the city spent it in three days. Joiner says twelve water main breaks have left her city in a budget crisis.
"I don't think anybody could've expected that we could have something like this," she says, "This is a major failure of our water system."
Joiner guesses the final bill will be between $50,000 and $100,000 once all the repairs are finished.
While the pipes have been patched up, they're more than 60-years old and need to be replaced.
"It will return us to service, but it's not gong to make our big problem go away," says Joiner.
The city will need $1.5 million one-point-five million dollars to replace an old water system. They just don't have the tax base to pay for an expense like that. City officials tried to apply for state and federal money five months ago but did not get it.
The mayor says as soon as they get through this mess, she'll get together with her staff and discuss other funding options.
"We're going to be looking at what we can do to get people to understand that our situation is pretty desperate."
The City of Tieton has declared a state of emergency, but that doesn't mean they'll get state or federal money to offset costs. It just allows the push forward with repairs, without approval from the city council or the auditor's office.