Human services campus, new hatchery dam among city’s goals

June 2, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

City officials want to improve traffic flow, city parks and salmon habitat in 2010. The wide-ranging list of 2010 goals directs city staffers to take steps to establish a human services campus, plan Cybil-Madeline Park and complete the first phase of the Interstate 90 Undercrossing.City goals are meant to guide city department directors as they draft budget proposals. City Council members were set to adopt a set of nine goals June 1, after The Press’ deadline.

“These are certainly reasonable goals,” Councilman Fred Butler said before the vote. “They were developed in concert with the department heads and the mayor and the city administrator.”

Council members laid out the goals May 2 during a daylong retreat. Starting with their list of 2009 objectives, officials trimmed the document to a nine-point list. Officials said the shorter list was a reflection of the down economy. Goals included on previous lists were now outdated or had become integrated into city work plans, they said.

The city faces a $1.5 million shortfall; officials slashed spending by $1.6 million to close the gap.

Bellevue consultant Greg Prothman worked with city officials to formulate goals. He suggested during the May 2 retreat for officials to “strategically burn” reserve dollars in order to accomplish goals.

Many of the goals are holdovers from past lists, updated by officials to reflect accomplishments or budget changes. The council suggested creating an Information Technology Commission to determine how city officials can effectively use new technology.

Councilman David Kappler said before the vote that he was pleased with the list he and his colleagues produced.

“It’s an excellent group,” Kappler said. “I think it’s also realistic, given the budget constraints.

“It’s never complete but I’m very satisfied with the list we came up with,” he said.

Some of the big-ticket items included on the goal list depend on dollars from outside sources. Council members said projects, like the human services campus and a new dam and upper intake for the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, could be difficult to complete next year.

A group of nonprofit, business and government leaders was formed in 2006 to research the creation of a human services campus in Issaquah. Officials envision the campus as a central point from which to aid people in need of food, healthcare and employment.

“I think we’ll make good progress on that, but I think it would be a stretch to say we would open a human services campus in 2010,” Butler said.

Members of the Council Services & Operations Committee are set to consider an agreement related to the campus June 18. The city could spend up to $20,000 to partner with a Redmond social services center in order to establish the campus.

Officials also listed among their goals a proposal to remove the hatchery’s intake dam and construct a series of boulder weirs. But the project depends on more than $4 million in state and federal dollars.

“The wild card in just about everything we do is the current economic situation and how that’s going to play out over time,” Butler said.

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City goals for 2010

Goal 1:  Improve mobility in the Issaquah’s transportation system.

a. Focus on improving existing road system effectiveness and traffic flow.

b. Complete bid documents for Sunset Way to Maple Street.

c. Complete Phase 1 of the Interstate 90 Undercrossing.

d. Explore funding options for 43rd Way/Providence Point intersection realignment.

e. Explore transit opportunities within the city and with King County Metro and other transportation partners.

f. Implement revised concurrency model.

Goal 2:  Sustainability

a. Reduction, reuse and recycling of water and other resources, goods and materials.

b. Explore incentives for construction and low impact development.

c. Continually review and apply new measures that promote sustainability.

d. Add sustainability element to the Comprehensive Plan.

e. Open a human services campus.

Goal 3:  Earn citizens’ confidence, faith and trust in city government

a. Work to meet departmental priorities and achieve established service standards.

b. Provide quarterly financial summary to public via Web site.

Goal 4:  Parks programs and facilities

a. Improve park programs, maintenance and facilities.

b. Consider funding options for improving playability of city sports fields.

c. Maintain recreational opportunities within city budget.

d. Develop master plan for Cybil-Madeline Park.

e. Explore addition of mountain bike trails to city open space.

Goal 5:  Salmon habitat

Continue the community’s commitment to improve salmon habitat throughout the Issaquah and Tibbetts creek basins.

a. Remove dam and improve upper intake above the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

b. Meet National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements to improve surface water quality and habitat.

Goal 6:  Ensure a safe community

Develop strategies to ensure a sense of community safety and social responsibility including police, fire, emergency preparedness, Eastside Fire & Rescue and emergency operations center.

a. Continue public safety outreach on safety and emergency/disaster preparedness.

b. Increase efficiencies to maintain level of service in consideration of budget limitations.

c. Explore funding for reverse 911 technology service for the city.

Goal 7:  Implementation of the Economic Vitality Strategic Plan

a. Identify incentives that will help implement the plan.

b. Develop an actionable business recruitment program to attract and retain business partners that will provide long-term tax revenues and jobs.

c. Identify impediments to new business coming to Issaquah about permit requirements, and streamline the permit and inspection process wherever possible.

d. Determine type of environmental impact statement for Central Area Plan.

Goal 8:  Continue regional participation

Goal 9:  Explore establishment of an Information Technology Commission

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