I-90 a focus of talks between Issaquah, Olympia lawmakers

January 13, 2015

Particularly hunting for dollars to ease congestion on Interstate 90, city officials made transportation the main topic during a meeting with area state legislators Jan. 5.

A second hot topic was trying to ensure local governments receive their fair share of state dollars, such as in the form of liquor or gas taxes, Issaquah City Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said.

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City boundaries to encompass Lake Sammamish State Park

December 23, 2014

With a unanimous vote at its Dec. 15 meeting, the Issaquah City Council formally annexed Lake Sammamish State Park, making it part of the city.

The annexation includes 300 acres of parkland, beaches, the park picnic area and the boat launch, said Trish Heinonen, city long range planning manager.

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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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Car tab fees, sales taxes could help pay for roadwork

December 16, 2014

Funding was a big part of the discussion as the Issaquah City Council took up the roughly $304 million development impact plan proposed by the administration.

While developers would cover some of the cost by way of increased impact fees, the city could be on the hook for approximately $191 million. City consultant Randy Young said there are five means by which Issaquah could raise the needed dollars:

  • a local $50 car tab fee,
  • business license fees based on the number of employees,
  • a voter-approved road levy,
  • bond sales paid for through increased local property taxes,
  • a local sales tax of one-tenth of 1 percent.

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Editorial — Traffic plan is needed, but will it bring results?

December 16, 2014

City officials have recommended a plan to do something about traffic in Issaquah, one that could accommodate up to an additional 8,000 car trips on local streets per day.

That’s the good news.

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Council lowers B&O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 25, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting Nov. 17.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest businesses, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Issaquah lowers B & O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 18, 2014

NEW — 11:26 p.m. Nov. 18, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting last night.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest business, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Council adopts Costco agreement

October 21, 2014

Move paves way for headquarters expansion

The nation’s second largest retailer is free to expand its headquarters, and it will continue to happen here in Issaquah.

The Issaquah City Council unanimously approved a 30-year development agreement with Costco Oct. 13, giving the company flexibility to add an additional 1.5 million square feet to its international headquarters housed in Pickering Place.

“It’s really a very, very big deal for Issaquah and for Costco,” Issaquah City Councilman Joshua Schaer said at the Oct. 13 meeting. “It ensures that, for years to come, when people around the country and around the world speak of Costco it will be in connection with the words ‘An Issaquah, Washington-based corporation.’”

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Zoo freezer is christened

July 8, 2014

By Misty Peterson Cougar Mountain Zoo’s new walk-in freezer for the carnivore diets was officially put in operation June 30 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, performed by Peter Rittler, Zoological Society of Washington President, Hudson Bott and Mayor Fred Butler (from left) as zoo curator Robyn Barfoot (far left) and other city officials look on.

By Misty Peterson
Cougar Mountain Zoo’s new walk-in freezer for the carnivore diets was officially put in operation June 30 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, performed by Peter Rittler, Zoological Society of Washington President, Hudson Bott and Mayor Fred Butler (from left) as zoo curator Robyn Barfoot (far left) and other city officials look on.

Raises may come for City Council

June 10, 2014

The Issaquah City Council wants to evaluate its members’ pay.

During the June 2 regular meeting, the council discussed forming a salary commission, which would look at the council’s monthly salary and determine whether members should receive more, less or the same. It voted 5-2 to direct the administration to draft an ordinance and to have the Services & Safety Committee review it.

Currently, the council president makes $800 a month, the deputy council president makes $750 a month and other council members make $700 per month. The salaries were established in 2002. A salary commission last reviewed the salaries in 2006 without recommending a change.

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