City could pay $2,000 tab for new bike map
May 19, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
City officials were set to consider spending $2,000 to make it easier for bicyclists to navigate Issaquah. Getting Around Issaquah Together sought money from the city Lodging Tax Fund to pay for bicycle maps, which would be distributed for free at area businesses.The measure was set to go before the City Council after press time May 18.
Karen Behm, who researched and created the map, presented the proposal to the city Lodging Tax Advisory Committee May 13. Committee members endorsed the proposal in a unanimous vote, directing the city to spend up to $2,000 to pay for the maps. The number of maps produced will depend on the quality of paper and the amount of color used, but committee members and GAIT hoped to distribute several thousand.
“I was at a convention last year, and I saw this map and thought this would be perfect,” Behm said, explaining the genesis of the maps.
She passed around a handheld map of Santa Monica, Calif., bike trails as an example for committee members. GAIT promotes biking, walking and mass transit as transportation options. Behm suggested offering the map at high-traffic areas, like the Issaquah Visitor Information Center, Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, hotels and bike shops.
Barbara Justice, a committee member and Issaquah Historical Society representative, said GAIT should contract with an Issaquah printer to produce the maps.
“I would insist that if we’re spending hotel-motel tax money from Issaquah that we check with the local printers,” Justice said.
City Council members allocated expenditures from the Lodging Tax Fund of $120,750 in the 2009 budget, according to city documents. Officials budgeted an ending fund balance of $32,030.
The city collects a 1-percent tax through two motels and a bed-and-breakfast inn. Under state law, money raised through the tax can only be used to pay for tourism promotion, acquisition of tourism-related facilities or the operation of tourism-related facilities, according to city documents. The fund was created in 1998.
“Are you willing to spend some money on this idea and if so, how much and what restrictions do you want to place on it?” City Administrator Leon Kos asked committee members.
Councilwoman Eileen Barber, a committee member, praised the proposal. She noted the number of bicyclists in Issaquah.
“I think the concept is very good,” she said.