Task force tries to answer, ‘What is downtown vitality?’

August 22, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 22, 2015

For months now, they have been billed as the Olde Town Vitality Task Force, a coalition consisting of business owners, residents, community leaders and others involved with downtown Issaquah in one way or another.

They have toured the downtown, talked with business owners and met with city officials. But they still have one major question that needs to be answered.

“What does ‘vitality’ mean for downtown?” Andrea Snyder, the city’s economic development manager, asked.

Snyder has been acting as city liaison with the task force, named by Mayor Fred Butler.

Cori Walters, a task force member, spends most of her time as executive director of the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. She said the task force has been looking at a little bit of everything: streetscape, color palettes, permitting, city code, signage and parking.  Read more

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Downtown Issaquah group to receive hefty funding increase

August 8, 2015

UPDATED — 1:05 p.m. Aug. 11, 2015

The Issaquah City Council’s unanimous decision Aug. 3 to take part in a so-called Main Street Tax Credit program should translate to $90,000 in extra funding for the Downtown Issaquah Association.

In total, DIA funding should jump to a total of about $230,000 from it present level of about $120,000, said Karen Donovan, DIA executive director.

“Of course, we’re very excited about it,” she said.

The first step will be hiring a full-time staff member. Having a full-time person is a requirement of the tax credit program, Donovan said. Read more

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Issaquah City Council approves $250,000 for possible relocation of historic home

May 20, 2015

In an effort to move ahead with the planned revamping of the city’s Confluence Park, the Issaquah City Council recently approved $250,000 that could be used for restoration and relocation of the historic Anderson farmhouse at the south end of the park.

By Greg Farrar The Tolle Anderson farmhouse stands at Issaquah’s Confluence Park on Rainier Avenue North, waiting for its restoration.

By Greg Farrar
The Tolle Anderson farmhouse stands at Issaquah’s Confluence Park on Rainier Avenue North, waiting for its restoration.

The Confluence Park master site plan identified the house as needing to be removed or relocated as part of the park development.

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Council asked to fund larger skate park

April 21, 2015

Backers of a larger footprint for a new Issaquah skate park moved one step closer to their goal April 14.

Following a presentation by Seattle park designer Grindline Skateparks Inc., the Issaquah City Council’s Services and Safety Committee unanimously sent to the rest of council a recommendation that the city try for a King County recreation grant to gain another $75,000 toward the $486,075 estimate for the larger park.

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Issaquah City Council moves ahead with expanded skate park design

April 21, 2015

NEW — 12:13 p.m. April 21, 2015

While the last word still has yet to be decided, the Issaquah City Council on April 20 agreed unanimously to pursue funding for a 10,000-square-foot skateboard park with a price tag of approximately $486,075.

Council authorized city staff members to pursue a $75,000 King County grant to help pay for the park. At the suggestion of Councilman Tola Marts, the city also will seek other means to close the funding gap for the skate park.

With available dollars currently sitting at $350,000, if the city earns the county money and gains the necessary matching funds, Issaquah still would be about $52,000 short. Council President Paul Winterstein said the public might be asked to close the gap.

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Corrections

March 25, 2015

In the article “Officials sound off on space crunch” in the March 18 edition of The Issaquah Press, Issaquah City Administrator Bob Harrison was incorrectly identified.

In the article “Resource officer change creates friction at Issaquah High Schools,” in the March 11 edition, Issaquah City Councilman Tola Marts was incorrectly identified.

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To the Editor

February 10, 2015

Skate park

Amount for budget has always been $350,000

Issaquah City Council members do not debate opinions in the press, but I must correct a statement attributed to my fellow Councilman Joshua Schaer. It is factually incorrect, and may misinform skate park advocates.

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Issaquah City Council leaders retained for another year

December 22, 2014

NEW — 5:15 p.m. Dec. 22, 2014

In a unanimous vote, the Issaquah City Council voted to retain Councilman Paul Winterstein as council president.

Also in a unanimous vote, Councilwoman Stacy Goodman was re-elected deputy council president.

In nominating Winterstein as council president, Councilman Tola Marts talked about Winterstein’s work on the recently adopted budget and various other council undertakings.

Winterstein was the only council member nominated for the presidency.

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Potential state park annexation is given more time for discussion

August 12, 2014

Zoning questions held off an Issaquah City Council move toward annexing Lake Sammamish State Park.

Presented with an agenda bill to adopt a letter of intent Aug. 4, the council faced a step in taking over jurisdiction of the park from the state. The matter entered council consideration in April after the state parks department presented the idea to city officials in the form of a petition for annexation.

City Long Range Planner Trish Heinonen said the idea came from last year’s securing of $5 million for improvements to the 512-acre state park.

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Issaquah, Sammamish councils hold first joint meeting in years

July 22, 2014

Issaquah and Sammamish had the meeting equivalent of a group hug July 14.

After a year in which the two cities’ leadership have found themselves on different sides of several issues, both city councils and other city administrative staff met at Issaquah City Hall to discuss points of mutual interest. It was their first joint meeting since 2011.

“We all have one thing in common,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said. “We certainly love our cities and we love representing them. We not only care about our communities, we care about the region as well.”

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