Thank you Bothell voters, for your confidence in your City government. Although the results aren’t final yet, Prop. 1, the Safe Streets and Sidewalks levy, is passing. Passage of the levy is an important first step to improving our streets and sidewalks, investing in our infrastructure, and starting on the backlog of sidewalk construction needs.
The City intends to move quickly. Our Public Works Department is already planning on hiring staff and ordering equipment for in-house maintenance programs, and is exploring ways to fast-track key projects. One early win will be a robust 2017 pavement preservation program, including patching and seals on some local streets. The City is also awaiting news on grant applications that will influence which sidewalk project kicks off first.
We’ll make sure you get your money’s worth, and passage of the levy actually improves our status on grant applications, resulting in additional funds. But remember that the levy will provide $4 million per year of an $8 million per year maintenance and sidewalk shortfall, so it won’t fix everything. We’ll need to prioritize, and we’ll need your help.
In my conversations with Erin Leonhart, Public Works Director, I’ve learned that the City plans to ask for parent volunteers to serve on a Task Force to help prioritize projects to improve safe routes to schools. Stay tuned to the City and your school PTSA for more information as we solidify the program.
Every year, the City will issue an annual report to share information about how we’re spending your precious tax dollars. We take that responsibility seriously. We want to be transparent and accountable. And we want to hear from you how we’re doing.
Thanks again for your support.
Andy Rheaume is the mayor of Bothell.