…And Where You Fit into the Process

From the Traffic Avenue interchange to a new City Shops facility, the City of Sumner gets a lot of big projects done. Digging a shovel in the ground or even passing a contract at a Council meeting is actually the end of the process. Here’s how it goes, and how you can be part of shaping future projects.

1. Planning Ahead

Plans shape the future of Sumner for a variety of topics from roads to parks. They’re available online under “About.”

THE MORE YOU KNOW

To know what’s coming, look at the

WHY WE DO THIS

Most plans are required by law; however, Sumner has had a long reputation for planning ahead even before laws required such care. The simple fact is that plans give direction to limited staffing and time. They keep everyone pulling in the same direction and help get funding (Step 2) because they show the big picture and overall impact of smaller projects.

YOUR VOICE HEARD

All the plans are drafted with your help, ranging from formal public hearings to informal open houses. So far, the Town Center/Parks & Trail plan had the highest participation at an open house for input. Future plans will also use Sumner Connects to gather ideas from you.

2. Show Me the Money

Funding, either from outside the city or from the city’s own budget, determines what pieces of the big-picture plans happen next.

THE MORE YOU KNOW

Outside funding includes grants, other jurisdictions (like State dollars), and private funding, usually a new development paying impact fees. Items like the annual Legislative Agenda tell you what we’re trying to obtain from the State. Internal funding is determined by the City’s biennial budget. The full budget is available on the website.

WHY WE DO THIS

We’re more likely to get external funding if we can show we’ve done our advance planning (Step 1). On the flip side, funding determines which pieces of the larger-picture plan happen next.

YOUR VOICE HEARD

This year, we’ll be crafting the budget for 2021-22. Watch future issues of this newsletter for information on how to provide your input and ideas. For external funding, like grants, the City Council formally accepts all grants with a chance for public comment at a Council meeting.

3. Get ‘Er Done!

Once the staff has a big picture idea of where we’re going and what the Council has funded, it’s time to get moving on projects.

THE MORE YOU KNOW

Track the progress of big projects. You can get the weekly e-news updates by signing up online. Also online, Sumner Connects project pages provide timelines, construction impacts and how to contact the project manager.

WHY WE DO THIS

Contrary to every government joke, we like to get things done effectively and efficiently. City staff routinely attend training and conferences to learn new trends and stay at the top of their fields, whether that’s policing techniques or playground safety.

YOUR VOICE HEARD

Keep in touch on projects. If you have questions about something underway, you can always email, call or talk to staff.