In the annual “State of the City” address on Jan. 13, Bothell City Manager Bob Stowe expressed optimism for the future while touting the city’s recent accomplishments.
Stowe delivered his 12th speech in the Rosewood Room at Country Village to a crowd of local business and political leaders during the annual event sponsored by the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce.
“Bothell is in an extremely positive position going into 2016,” he said.
Making the case the city is flourishing, Stowe looked to recent developments like the grand opening of the McMenamin’s Anderson School, the construction of the Six Oaks complex and the new City Hall.
“I am simply passionate about helping cities revitalize their downtowns,” Stowe said.
Downtown economic expansion has been high on city officials and councilmembers priorities for years. The city adopted a comprehensive revitalization plan and began purchasing land to sell to developers, tearing down old buildings and relocating businesses throughout downtown. Stowe said these efforts have paid off.
He described three guiding principals he said the city follows with “knife-edge focus,” “outrageous ambition” and community partnerships with local businesses, schools and universities.
Stowe also took time to defend the construction of a new City Hall building, which had faced some resistance. The city argued a large city hall was necessary, and could be used for at least 75 years.
The old City Hall was built during the Great Depression.
“I think it’s fitting that we open the new City Hall following the Great Recession,” he said.
Current and future developments, including an extension of Main Street westward to connect east and west Bothell, as well as future property development south of Pop Keeney stadium, was also discussed.
The city has been working on various environmental projects, including having secured $2.6 million for purchasing the remaining 22 acres of land in the North Creek Forest, Stowe said. Horse Creek will also be brought above ground again, after being buried for decades.
Stowe said the city will continue cleaning up contaminated sites, notably one plot which used to hold a dry cleaners in downtown Bothell.
Looking forward to 2016, Stowe said the city will be working on traffic issues and securing a slot in the coveted Sound Transit 3 development plans.
Parks and recreation measures, transportation benefit district funding, the regional fire authority and a fireworks advisory measure were all included in Stowe’s talking points as well.