Offer opinions on 2011 city budget at Monday council meeting

December 5, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 5, 2010

The free ride could end for Route 200 bus riders next year.

City Council members plan to recommend Monday for regular King County Metro Transit fares to be collected on the route.

The recommendation is part of the 2011 municipal budget. Residents can offer opinions about the budget at the 7:30 p.m. Monday council meeting. Members meet in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

The meeting includes the final public hearing on the budget. The council is scheduled to adopt the spending plan Dec. 20.

Leaders intend for the Route 200 fares to be used to help expand transit routes throughout the city.

The council is due to send a broad plan for the year ahead to city staffers. Council President John Traeger outlined the proposals in a letter to Mayor Ava Frisinger.

Council members called for funds to be transferred from planned capital road projects to pay for $530,000 in street overlays.

The council also directed city staffers to examine parking requirements for businesses in downtown Issaquah.

Council members asked staffers to outline the steps needed to form a district to fund improvements to aging Julius Boehm Pool. The plan directs the Parks & Recreation Department to offer assistance to a community skateboarding group.

The agenda for next year also calls for staffers to develop a proposal to remake the municipal website.

Frisinger presented the proposed spending plan in early October. The mayor proposed a $30.4 million general fund budget for next year — a slight increase from the $29.8 million general fund budget in 2010.

The general fund is used to pay for police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government.

Throughout October and early November, the council huddled in a series of deliberation sessions to adjust the 2011 budget.

The council conducted a public hearing in November to discuss a possible property tax increase. Council members later decided against a 1 percent property tax on account of the economic downturn.

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