Senior Center’s funding may be in doubt for 2016

September 7, 2015

NEW — 4:17 p.m. Sept. 7, 2015

As of late last week, the Issaquah Valley Senior Center had not agreed to stipulations placed by Mayor Fred Butler on future funding by the city, casting doubt on whether the City Council would approve an appropriation for the center for 2016.

In recent years, Issaquah has supplied the center with $99,000 annually. For 2015, that figure represents about 44 percent of the center’s $221,490 budget, said Warren Kagarise, communication coordinator for Issaquah.

Kagarise said the funding picture might become clearer Sept. 14, when the City Council is set to discuss nonprofit funding during a work session slated for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

In an email, Butler said the center had applied for funding by the city’s deadline of Aug. 20. But he added that as officials processed the paperwork, “the city identified missing content.” Read more

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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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City unveils crosswalks to be examined in safety study

August 13, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 13, 2015

Using several criteria, including public input and accident history, a consultant has come up with a list of more than 20 street crossings to include in a coming safety study of crosswalks around the city.

Mayor Fred Butler called for the study following a fatal June accident at the intersection of Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive.

To be undertaken by Transportation Solutions Inc., of Redmond, Butler has promised the study will be done by the end of September so that any recommended safety projects can be included in the city’s 2016 budget.

In addition to the consultant study, city staffers are slated to look at crosswalks that may need attention, but perhaps not the in-depth work to be supplied by the consultant. That list has not been released. Read more

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Small crowd hears more details on city’s plans following fatal accident

August 12, 2015

NEW — 11 a.m. Aug. 12, 2015

There is a “likelihood” some changes may take place along Newport Way Northwest prior to 2016, Emily Moon, deputy city administrator, told a dozen or so residents gathered again to discuss safety issues on the street.

Moon was talking to those who came together the evening of Aug. 5 for a meeting of the Issaquah City Council’s Infrastructure Committee.

Moon was responding to requests from the audience that some safety measures be taken on the street immediately.

In the wake of a fatal accident involving 4-year-old Haochen Xu in late June, Mayor Fred Butler has promised a study of crosswalks and intersections around the city, including the intersection of Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive where a driver struck Haochen. He said he would recommend a lowering of the speed limit even prior to the completion of the complete crosswalk study, due at the end of September. Read more

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Residents want answers on major Newport Way housing project

August 9, 2015

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 9, 2015

Not surprisingly, traffic was the main concern as the city Development Commission held a hearing Aug. 5 about Gateway, a proposed housing project wedged between Newport Way Northwest and eastbound Interstate 90.

The project site is in the area of the existing Arena Sports building and the Sammamish Pointe condominiums.

Gateway calls for 400 new residential units in 18 separate buildings ranging from two to five stories, with one central common building. Some 30 acres would be affected, although only 21.7 acres of that is suitable for building said Amy Tarce, a senior planner for the city. Read more

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Amid controversy, mayor places conditions on future budget for senior center

August 4, 2015

NEW — 11 a.m. Aug. 4, 2015

Mayor Fred Butler says he will recommend continued city funding for the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, but only if the center board accepts various conditions on that funding for 2016.

In a letter to the center’s board of directors dated July 30, Butler wrote that “given the ongoing concerns that have developed with the Issaquah Senior Center” he would be placing “at a minimum” seven conditions on funding that could amount to $99,000 next year, the same amount given the center in 2015.

The city’s contribution represents a major percentage of the center’s budget.

Butler’s letter comes in the midst of ongoing controversy at the center, most especially back-and-forth accusations of misconduct on the part of various people. Read more

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Citizen committee to study funding options for Issaquah transportation projects

August 4, 2015

NEW — 10:35 a.m. Aug. 4, 2015

By November, the city administration plans to name a resident advisory committee to study and propose a ballot issue to raise up to $96 million for Issaquah transportation projects.

The city could go to voters with anything from a bond sale to a local sales tax. Of the several options presented, a 0.20 percent sales tax would rake in the most, about $75 million, according to information presented by city Finance Director Diane Marcotte.

City officials hope to have something on the ballot by November 2016.

To be named by Mayor Fred Butler, the advisory committee will begin meeting either late this year or early in 2016. Butler expects a recommendation to present to council by mid-2016.  Officials have not determined how many people will serve on the committee, said Emily Moon, deputy city administrator. The City Council will have the last say on any ballot issue and will need to vote to present any question to voters. Read more

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City may ask voters to help fund $308 million in traffic solutions

June 17, 2015

Issaquah voters could be asked to approve funding for transportation projects throughout the city as early as February 2016.

During an eight-hour retreat held June 6, the Issaquah City Council came up with a final list of eight goals, including one dubbed, “Transportation Funding Strategy.”

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A super rally for 12SAQUAH

January 27, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy A group of Issaquah High School students clusters around Sammy the Salmon for picutres as they wear full Seattle Seahawk gear and facepaint Jan. 23 and wave 12th Man flags. The campus declared itself 12saquah High School to celebrate the mayor's proclamation of Feb. 1 as '12saquah Day' when the NFL team meets the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
A group of Issaquah High School students clusters around Sammy the Salmon for pictures as they wear full Seattle Seahawk gear and facepaint Jan. 23 and wave 12th Man flags. The campus declared itself 12saquah High School to celebrate the mayor’s proclamation of Feb. 1 as ’12saquah Day’ when the NFL team meets the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

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Recreation, pathways also figure into city’s concurrency plan

January 27, 2015

Along with millions for roads and transportation, the concurrency plan approved by City Council last week also contains new impact fees to help fund recreation projects and pedestrian and bike pathways throughout Issaquah.

For the first time, nonresidential developers will be paying recreational impact fees.  While that move is still somewhat unusual, Issaquah is not alone in charging new commercial interests recreation fees. Some 12 other Washington cities already do.

The amount of the park fees will vary depending on the proposed land use.

All in all, according to information released by the city, Issaquah will need to raise $47.2 million for additional parks and recreational facilities in order to accommodate what could be a coming population boom of just over 12,000. Read more

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