July 1, 2013
NEW — 10:30 p.m. July 1, 2013
Almost 50 people turned up at the Issaquah City Council’s regular July 1 meeting to witness the consideration of the long-deliberated park bond, which passed with a 6-1 vote.
“You can see we’ve gone through quite a process getting to tonight’s hopeful vote,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said. As chairwoman of the Services & Safety Committee, she fostered the bill through a long fact-finding process. “The idea to delay this any longer is not something I would like to see happen.”
The decision follows the Park Board recommendations to the City Council regarding how a $10 million park bond, including $5 million for “life support” for the Julius Boehm Pool, should be spent.
January 15, 2013
Issaquah could contribute more to Eastside Fire & Rescue if the regional agency changes to a funding model based on the amount of calls each member produces.
Meanwhile, Sammamish could trim fire service costs by $156,000 and $314,000 per year if EFR partners — Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, and fire districts 10 and 38 — agree on changing the funding model.
For Issaquah and North Bend, the change could substantially increase the amount the partners pay to EFR in the name of maintaining the agency’s current incarnation beyond 2014.
A committee of elected officials and staff members from each partner met last month to discuss the implications of using call load as a factor in determining how much to charge.
January 15, 2013
Landowners in Fire District 10 — Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area — recently received fire benefit charge notices.
The notice includes a letter of explanation and per-parcel benefit charge information. The notice is not a bill, and the recipient is not required to act, unless he or she believes some information is erroneous.
January 1, 2013
King County Executive Dow Constantine recently reflected on the top accomplishments of 2012, including same-sex marriage legalization and improvements in county agencies.
The accomplishments include the merger of once-incompatible business systems, a decision to place future schools in urban areas, procurement reforms, revitalization of Seattle’s Pioneer Square and a regional animal services contract.
Voters approved a property tax levy for a juvenile criminal justice facility. The county also oversaw a shift in the permitting office from Renton to Snoqualmie, delivered honors for small business owners, enacted a deal to build a sports-and-entertainment arena in Seattle, and acquired a rail corridor for Eastside rails and trails.
December 11, 2012
Expect to see more police patrolling city streets next summer, after the City Council agreed to include dollars in the 2013 municipal budget for the Issaquah Police Department to hire another officer.
The council agreed in the $42 million general fund budget to hire another police officer and a part-time records staffer for the police department. The agency expects to fill both positions after July 1.
The general fund encompasses the dollars used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government. The police department is the largest expense in the general fund — encompassing more than $8 million — followed by parks and recreation.
December 10, 2012
NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012
King County voters could decide next year on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.
Late last month, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.
The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.
November 27, 2012
The last chance for residents to comment on the 2013 city budget is soon.
City Council members plan to host a public hearing on the $89.5 million spending plan.
The proposed $35 million general fund encompasses the dollars used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government.
The total proposed budget for next year includes dollars for capital expenses and from other accounts.
November 20, 2012
The day after Thanksgiving, long before the sun rises, open season for bargains starts at retailers throughout Issaquah and beyond.
Black Friday sends shoppers pinging from store to store like a pinball in search of deals — a 32-inch LCD television for $147 at Target, perhaps, or a Blu-ray player for $39.99 at Best Buy. Consumers brave predawn darkness, long lines and sharp elbows to score early-bird bargains.
The boost to retailers’ bottom lines could also offer a jolt to city coffers. Popular Black Friday destinations — including Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Fred Meyer, Target and, of course, Issaquah-based Costco — lure consumers from throughout the region.
Issaquah is a retail hub on the Eastside, and city officials hope the holiday rush resuscitates a flat year for spending. Overall, sales tax revenue forms a key piece in the city budget — a larger share than property tax revenue and permit fees, other main sources of dollars.
November 13, 2012
King County voters overwhelmingly approved a $118.9 million property tax levy to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies, including the Issaquah Police Department.
Proposition 1 asked voters to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018.
The renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home.
Investigators use the AFIS database to match fingerprints and palmprints to criminal suspects. The system is managed by the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Issaquah officers used information from AFIS 2,100 times last year to determine if a jail inmate was evading a warrant, concealing a criminal record or using a false identity.
November 13, 2012
City Council members decided Nov. 5 against a property tax increase for next year, and edged the 2013 municipal budget closer to adoption.
In a unanimous decision, council members rejected a proposal to increase the property tax rate by 1 percent next year. The council is expected to finalize the decision on property tax revenue for next year at a Nov. 19 meeting.
In October, Mayor Ava Frisinger proposed to raise the property tax rate by the maximum amount allowed under state law, or 1 percent, next year. Officials said the measure could raise $69,707 for the city next year and then compound over time. The city estimated the cost to the average homeowner at $4.75 per year.