City of Bothell places streets and sidewalks levy on November ballot

The Bothell City Council approved a measure for this November's ballot which, if approved, would levy a nine-year, 50 cent property tax per $1,000 of assessed value.

City of Bothell - Contributed art

The Bothell City Council approved a measure for this November’s ballot which, if approved, would levy a nine-year, 50 cent property tax per $1,000 of assessed value.

The taxes would go towards maintaining daily street repair and maintenance, preserving pavement and slow deteriorating road conditions, as well as constructing sidewalks and crosswalks on arterial streets especially along school walking routes.

The levy would cost around $188 annually for a home valued at $376,000 and would raise around $4 million annually.

According to a city press release, around $1.2 million per year has been cut since a 1999 initiative limited the motor vehicle excise tax and as other sources of funding have dried up.

Local motor vehicle excise fees were last collected in 2002 and street light fees were last collected in 2009. During that time local municipalities were hit by the recession, Bothell annexed significant areas and added infrastructure, such as the moving the Bothell-Everett Highway, Crossroads project and building a new city hall.

Councilmember Tris Samberg said since then the city has cobbled together various funding sources to address street and sidewalk operations funding but they have exhausted their one-time funds.

“In the absence of those revenue streams we’ve been using general fund money to maintain streets, we’ve been using one-time annexation funds to maintain those streets,” she said. “Now, we need to have a long-term revenue source to deal with our streets and build sidewalks and crosswalks in a proactive manner.”

The city would also provide annual reports to residents on improvements, which would help them decide if they wanted to renew the levy when it would expire in nine years, Samberg said.

City staff has been directed to budget for the possibility of the levy not passing and operating street maintainence and repairs with a greatly reduced capacity, Samberg said.

The City Council could also enact a $20 car tab fee without a city-wide vote, which would generate some funds for the operations.

The streets and sidewalks measure was placed on the ballot over additional funding for the fire department.

Maintaing roads while they are in decent condition can also prevent greater expenses caused my more significant road repairs or replacement over the next couple decades.

The Bothell Fire Department was also seeking some $600,000 annually for training and equipment as well as creating funds for a new fire station in south Bothell. However, the streets and sidewalks levy was approved at a June 7 City Council meeting with Councilmember Joshua Freed the only dissenting vote.

While it won’t be on this year’s ballot, Councilmember Del Spivey said finding a funding source for fire fighter training is crucial.

“Training is important, it’s paramount,” he said. “We’re behind on all of our training.”

With additional funds, Spivey said the department could seek training from outside the department to stay up to date on emerging techniques and practices.

He is also exploring ways to generate fire department funds but wouldn’t comment on ideas yet.

Samberg said if the levy does not pass, and street operations continues to rely on money from the general fund, it could be difficult to find ways to funnel more resources into the fire department.

She said the council will look at ways to budget for increased training funds in the upcoming budget, but said that road conditions need to be addressed immediately.

“If we do nothing, and if we just are able to maintain our pavement at levels now, or even reduced with lack of street operations funding, then we have a much bigger maintenance backlog down the line,” she said.

More in News

The Council recognized the AFIS program as it celebrates 30 years of assisting law enforcement throughout King County. Councilmembers, AFIS staff and King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht join AFIS regional manager, Carol Gillespie. Photo courtesy of King County.
King County Council recognizes county’s Automated Fingerprint Information System

For three decades, AFIS has helped law enforcement solve thousands of cases.

‘This might have been a once in a generation opportunity’: Kenmore’s Lakepointe deal grinds to a halt

City officials unsure of what comes next for the more than 50 acre industrial site.

King County Flood Control District approves 2019 Budget on Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of King County Flood Control District.
King County Flood Control District approves $93 million budget

The 2019 District Budget will maintain current flood protection services.

Student veterans receive new resource center at UW Bothell

The Veterans Resource Center at UW Bothell was created after student veterans indicated they wanted a space designated for themselves.

Bothell voters approve public safety ballot measures

As of election night on Nov. 6, both the levy and bond were passing.

Democrats lead in 46th Legislative District

Voters are sending David Frockt, Gerry Pollet and Javier Valdez back to Olympia.

Democrats lead in 1st Legislative District

Derek Stanford and Shelley Kloba were successful in their re-election bids.

DelBene leads in 1st Congressional District in early returns

As of election night, incumbent Suzan DelBene was leading with 69 percent of the vote, to Jeffrey Beeler’s 31 percent.

UW Bothell Student Veterans Services held an Open House and Coffee event during this year’s Welcome Week and remains the main arm in helping veterans. The new resource center adds to this support. Photo courtesy of Marc Studer, UW Bothell
UW Bothell opens new veterans resource center on campus

The new Veteran Resource Center is designed to connect veterans and build relationships.

In Kenmore, the SMP applies to Lake Washington, Sammamish River, and Swamp Creek and associated wetlands. Bothell’s SMP, which was last updated in 2013, also governs development next to the Sammamish River (pictured) and Swamp Creek, along with North Creek. Photo courtesy of Mark Hussein
Bothell, Kenmore look to protect shorelines

Shoreline master programs protect and restore valuable aquatic resources for future generations.

Ashe joins Bothell as new economic development manager

She will work cooperatively with both long-time and future business owners in the city.

Said Farzad reportedly called in numerous bomb threats to state agency offices in Olympia. No bombs have been found, but the state agencies are increasing police presence and bomb-sniffing dogs. Reporter File Photo
Suspended psychiatrist suspected of making bomb threats

The suspect was previously convicted of telephone harassment of a Bothell insurance company and has reportedly called in numerous threats from various countries. No bombs have been found.