Annexation of Klahanie could cost $6 million
May 7, 2013
By Peter Clark
The area would add $600,000 annually to city coffers
Should the city annex the Klahanie area, preliminary reports say that it will come with a $6 million one-time cost and provide almost $600,000 in annual revenue.
The large sum was derived by Nesbitt Planning and Management Inc. Owner Tom Nesbitt presented a draft cost report to the Land & Shore Committee on April 9. The largest draw of funds from the initial annexation would be from Public Works operation and maintenance, including more than $5 million for things such as road improvements and storm water management.
Additionally, an estimated $500,000 would go to expanding the police force to provide adequate service to the area. However, while Nesbitt’s report called for an additional five officers, Chief Paul Ayers expressed a desire for a greater number.
“We have been working with Nesbitt, explaining our needs,” Ayers said in a separate interview. “It’s going to come down to the final study recommendations. All I can say is, with five extra people, we could not provide the same level of service.”
Many questions remain, with data unavailable as to how a potential annexation would further affect taxing, services or city amenities.
Although the information gathering process has not ended for the City Council, it has already received the bulk of the commissioned report. Before council members decide whether to give residents of the Klahanie potential annexation area a vote, the council will host two public input meetings for residents of both locations to voice their opinions.
Through taxes and fees, the expected annual revenue would be $6,467,000, while the annual costs for potential annexation he forecasted at $5,868,260. This would lead to an overall $598,740 benefit of revenue exceeding costs per year.
Nesbitt also delivered a draft of impact that Eastside Fire & Rescue would face should the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area be added to the interlocal agreement that Issaquah shares with the fire and rescue service. With Dec. 14, 2014, as the current end date of the agreement, he said. “It’s been quite stable and quite successful in its 13 years.”
He cautioned the committee that although it did not seem like there were any initial hurdles to face with the inclusion of the area, he still cautioned the possibility unforeseen changes.
“It’s all right in the short term, less certain in the long term,” he said. “While annexation of Klahanie would not directly affect EFR’s service delivery area, it could affect funding shares if the parties to the consortium change.”
Currently in District 10 territory, the Klahanie area would not see any immediate change. However, if Sammamish were to withdraw from EFR, they could be pulled in to added costs with the rest of Issaquah.
City Council President Fred Butler spoke with caution about the upcoming annexation decision.
“We have annexed three different areas during the time that I’ve been on the council,” he said. He said it was important to wait until all of the information was collected and then approach the question with evidence. “I’ve always asked myself whether Issaquah will be stronger. It’s a work in progress, and I don’t like to make a decision until I make a decision.”
Regarding the $6 million in estimated one-time costs, he said that the council did not react either positively or negatively to the report.
“I’m not sure we knew what to expect, since we’re using a different approach,” he said.
He focused more on the revenue that the Klahanie PAA would bring to the city, saying that they would simply budget for the one-time costs. He did not offer any specific ways in which they would add the cost to the budgeting process.
Above all, Butler continued to follow the process and not make up his mind before all of the facts were available.
“We are going through a process,” he said. “We will continue to gather information.”
A final report that addresses some council concerns over parks maintenance and police presence is scheduled to be delivered during the council work session on May 13.
In addition, the council will hold two public hearings to present Nesbitt’s report. The Issaquah City Council will explain the findings and hopes to receive input from residents within the potential annexation area.
The potential annexation area includes the Klahanie master-planned community, northeast of Issaquah, along with more than 12 other smaller neighborhoods nearby. The total area has a population of about 10,800 people in about 3,900 households.
If you go
Issaquah public hearing
-7 p.m. May 8
-135 E. Sunset Way
Klahanie public hearing
-7 p.m. May 22
-Challenger Elementary School
-25200 S.E. Klahanie Blvd.
On the Web
Learn more about the possible annexation, and read the detailed draft reports, at issaquahwa.gov/Klahanie.