Committee receives incomplete Klahanie annexation cost report
March 19, 2013
By Peter Clark
An incomplete study on the cost of absorbing the Klahanie potential annexation area was presented to the Council Land and Shore Committee during its March 12 meeting.
Tom Nesbitt, of Nesbitt Planning and Management, went over the third study in a series of five to outline the potential pros and cons of absorbing the Klahanie potential annexation area. Through a Power Point presentation, he described the various increases in cost that Issaquah would incur.
“There are three big costs that constitute almost the whole show,” he told the committee, identifying police, fire and roads.
He said that he followed the staff work that would increase, listing more dispatch calls and more miles of road that would need work.
With the Issaquah police presence, Nesbitt said that there was an expectation of increased calls from the Klahanie PAA.
“Police is really hard to project,” he told the committee. “It’s widely concluded that a new local police chief will receive more calls than a traveling, distant sheriff.”
Due to this anticipation, he said that per capita is not a good measure of the police services increase. He surmised there would be a different expectation from the Klahanie PAA and their relationship to law enforcement.
He described the added cost to Eastside Fire & Rescue with a funding model that included each jurisdiction paying a percentage of the share for the services it required. The EFR model would need to be updated for the new tax roll.
As for roads, Nesbitt listed a greater one-time cost for the potential annexation. It would add 28 percent to the current lane miles.
“The roads were in exceptionally good shape when we did the study in 2004,” he said. “They’re in less good shape now.”
He stated a startup cost of more than $2 million for the city to fix the roads.
He conceded from the beginning of the presentation that the draft was in limited form. With department evaluations still in progress, one-time costs to be calculated and the EFR model to be updated, he assured the committee that it would be complete within a few weeks. Across the board, his report foresaw an increase of more than nine new employees and $4 million in increased employee spending.
The only main line of questioning came from Councilman Tola Marts who asked about the city’s concern for parks funding. With no vacant properties to develop toward that end, Nesbitt estimated there would be an annual operating cost of approximately $66,000. Marts suggested that should the Klahanie PAA be taken into the city, officials would wish to consider park bonds in the same vein as the one in the Issaquah Highlands. Marts asked Nesbitt to include that in potential costs added to the report.
Having already covered the fiscal bases report and a revenue report, Nesbitt will deliver an impact analysis in April, an options analysis in the same month and a final report in May.