LAKEWOOD CITY COUNCIL
STUDY SESSION MINUTES
Monday, March 12, 2012
City of Lakewood
City Council Chambers
6000 Main Street SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Richardson called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
Councilmembers Present: 6 – Mayor Douglas Richardson; Deputy Mayor Don Anderson; Councilmembers Mike Brandstetter, Jason Whalen, Marie Barth and Paul Bocchi.
Councilmember Excused: 1 – Councilmember Mary Moss.
ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
Creating a new Lakewood’s Promise program.
City Manager Neiditz summarized the history of the proposed Lakewood’s Promise program.
Parks and Recreation Director Dodsworth reviewed the proposed Lakewood’s Promise program plan. She described the purpose of the interagency agreement with the City, Pierce College, Clover Park School District and Clover Park Technical College. It is proposed that a Lakewood’s Promise Advisory Board be established by the Council. The Board’s role is to promote Lakewood’s Promise mission, programs and services. A Coordinator will manage the day to day activities of Lakewood’s Promise and provide support to the Board. Pierce College and the City will each fund a portion of the Coordinator.
Discussion ensued that the high school member on the Board also be a member on the Youth Council; making item 3b of the interlocal agreement consistent with the proposed ordinance in that the Board is advisory to the City Council and not administrators of Lakewood’s Promise; who is the fiscal agent for fundraising (City of Lakewood); and what is the timeline for implementation.
Speaking before the Council was:
Dennis Haugen, Lakewood resident, expressed concern about expending public resources for a program that is vague and without a major goal in place.
Review of a Transportation Benefit District Proposal by the Ad Hoc Committee on Transportation Funding.
Councilmember Brandstetter provided an overview of the work of the Ad Hoc Committee. He then reviewed the 2010 pavement ratings of the city’s streets and recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee as follows:
1. A Transportation Benefit District (TBD) is a viable source of revenue for transportation improvements within the city.
2. A TBD should be comprised of the corporate limits of the city as they currently exist or as they may exist after any annexations.
3. The governing board of a TBD should be established as the City Council acting in an ex officio and independent capacity.
4. A TBD should be formed with revenue options limited to annual vehicle license tab fees and/or property tax assessments.
5. A TBD should be established for a minimum period of at least 20 years.
6. At least 50% of the annual revenue of a TBD should be expended to fund a pavement preservation and maintenance program within the city that is independent of capital transportation infrastructure improvements.
7. An additional 10% of the annual revenue of a TBD should be expended for pavement related costs which could include pavement costs associate with a capital transportation infrastructure project.
8. Up to 40 % of the annual revenue of a TBD should be used to fund a defined list of prioritized capital projects which will be completed within the period of the TBD.
9. The recommended revenue option is an annual vehicle license tab fee of $40.
Discussion ensued on funding options (property tax, sales tax, vehicle license tab fee); if a property tax increase were imposed, what should the property tax increase amount to for it to be comparable to a $40 vehicle license fee tab; if there has been a thorough review for any additional General Fund as a source of revenue; what was the timing for implementation of the proposed capital projects to pay off bonds so that at the end of the term the funds would be used more for maintenance/preservation; and what is the breakdown of the County road tax.
Councilmember Brandstetter then reviewed the recommended list of capital projects at a $40 vehicle license tab fee which included: Washington Boulevard Sidewalks (Edgewood to Gravelly Lake Drive); Hipkins Road sidewalks (104th Street to Steilacoom Boulevard); Lake City Business District sidewalks (American Lake Park to Veterans/Alameda); Gravelly Lake Drive (north) sidewalks (Washington Boulevard to Nyanza North); and Oakbrook (West) sidewalks and streetlighting (Onyx to West (97th to 87th).
Those projects below the amount of revenues generated through a $40 vehicle license tab fee include: Mt. Tacoma Drive sidewalks (Interlaaken Drive to Gravelly Lake Drive); Phillips Road sidewalks (Steilacoom Boulevard to Onyx); and Oakbrook (east) sidewalks and street lighting (Onyx Drive East (83rd to Phillips).
Discussion ensued on extending the improvements at Edgewood to Washington Boulevard to JBLM North Gate Road to Washington Boulevard; perhaps raising a walking path on Mt. Tacoma Drive to an improved Hipkins/Angle Lane to get to a park; and potentially using seed money from a TBD to discuss with neighborhoods improvements to potentially provide a match.
Speaking before the Council was:
Dennis Haugen, Lakewood resident, spoke about conflict of interest and the Council relying on information from staff and that road improvements can be done without increasing taxes.
Further discussion ensued on the amount of funds needed to make decent improvements for street preservation which amounts to $1 million a year. If there is no other funding source, the funds will need to come out of the General Fund. It was the opinion of the Ad Hoc Committee to use grant dollars for major arterials. If the public is asked to pay a new fee, the public would look for something new (capital projects) and the rest could be for preservation. It was suggested to allocate 40% for street preservation and 60% for capital improvements. At the point of revenue recovery, funds could be allocated for basic infrastructure preservation. If the 40% was bonded what additional projects could be added before the cut line. If the projects were constructed over the life of the TBD, construction costs would go up. Another alternative is to extend the period of time.
It was suggested that if the least expensive projects were done first (first three projects) and not bond the cash flow over a 10 year period with the first capital improvement projects starting in 2014 (Oakbrook West, Lake City, Gravelly Lake Drive) and in 2018 (Hipkins Road) do the bonding with the last group of capital projects (Mt Tahoma, Phillips, Oakbrook East), while street preservation is ongoing. The last project would start in 2022. It was expressed that it will be harder to sell a fee or tax to the public if a majority of the funds is be used for capital projects, and that today’s low interest rates and bidding costs should be taken advantage of. Questions were asked on how is a property tax levy assessed, is it a flat tax, and what would the limitation be. Will there be a difference on the debt capacity. Council requested a financial analysis with using a property tax levy option and a bonding option, to better understand the difference between the two.
Further discussion ensued on the purpose of the March 19, 2012 public hearing in forming the TBD and timeline.
BRIEFING BY THE CITY MANAGER
City Manager Neiditz provided an update that staff’s report on the Camp Murray Gate is in its final stages of completion.
City Manager Neiditz indicated that a Homeland Security grant for the emergency management program is on the Council’s consent agenda next week.
City Manager Neiditz indicated that the IJR funding for Pierce and Thurston County’s efforts of the I-5 corridor is going well. The South Sound 911 program is moving forward and the official meeting of the Policy Board will be meeting next week. Lastly, he indicated that the City received complimentary comments from the FBI for Lakewood’s Police role in a successful effort over the weekend.
ITEMS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR THE March 19, 2012 REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING:
1. Creating a new Lakewood’s Promise program.
2. Proclamation declaring March 2012 as the 100th Anniversary for the Girl Scouts. – Ms. Jill Knaack, Troop Leader and Service Unit Advocacy Coordinator, Unit 621, Girl Scouts of Western Washington
3. Proclamation Pierce County Reads. – Ms. Kim Archer, Branch Manager, Lakewood Library
4. Setting Monday, April 16, 2012, at approximately 7:00 p.m., as the date for a public hearing by the City Council on the Draft Fiscal Year 2012 Consolidated Plan for Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Act Programs.
5. Authorizing the execution of an interagency agreement with the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services for surplus property services.
6. Authorizing the execution of a grant agreement with the Washington State Military Department, in the amount of $90,500 for the Homeland Security emergency management program from October 1, 2010 through September 15, 2012.
7. This is the date set for a public hearing by the City Council on the proposed formation of a Transportation Benefit District.
8. Awarding a bid for the construction of curbs, gutters and sidewalks within the right-of-way of 150th Street SW and Murray Road SW.
CITY COUNCIL COMMENTS
Councilmember Whalen announced that The Annual Top Places to Work event of the Business Examiner will be held on March 13, 2012 at the McGavick Center. The Rotary annual sportsman dinner at McGavick Center will be held this weekend. He also noted that music in Puyallup at the pavilion will be held on Sunday, March 18, 2012.
Councilmember Barth reported that Councilmember Moss’ mother passed away over the weekend. She spoke about the Habitat for Humanity event she attended.
Councilmember Brandstetter reported that starting in April 2012, the Lakewood First Lions will be holding their meetings starting at noon instead of early morning at the Ram Restaurant. He commented on the Lake City Neighborhood Association meeting he attended last week.
Councilmember Bocchi reported on the Pierce Transit Improvement Committee meeting he attended in which a proposed service area map will be presented to the County Council. The Greater Tacoma Convention Center Board will be meeting on March 15, 2012. He announced that the Father/Daughter dance will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2012 and the Communities in Schools breakfast will be held on March 29, 2012.
Deputy Mayor Anderson commented on the Habitat for Humanity event he attended. On March 19, 2012 a celebration will be held for reaching a milestone on the D Street overpass. He reported that the natural gas compression equipment has arrived and will be installed and gas should be flowing by March 26, 2012.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
DOUGLAS G. RICHARDSON, MAYOR
ALICE M. BUSH, MMC
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