The Mountlake City Council unanimously approved the City’s legislative agenda for 2015 during a meeting with the City’s state lobbyist Briahna Taylor at Monday night’s meeting in the Council Chambers.
The City’s top priority is to obtain funding for the Main Street Revitalization Project. Taylor noted that there are two different areas of potential funding – Capital Funding and Public Works Assistance Account.
For Capital Funding, the City will request that the state allocate funding toward the remaining amount needed for the project – $7.9 million. $4.7 million has been invested into the project to date between design, right-of-way acquisition, and beginning to secure construction funds. The project will cost $18 million. The City continues to explore other funding opportunities to close this funding gap.
The City also will request that the Legislature fully fund the Public Works Assistance Account, which would in turn provide the Main Street Revitalization Project with a $5.4 million loan. Twice now, the Public Works Board has recognized the merits of the Main Street Project, however, in order for the City to receive the loan funding, the Legislature needs to fund the account.
The City will request that the state pass a transportation revenue package that invests $1.1 billion in the North Puget Sound Manufacturing Corridor. The City also requests that any transportation revenue package include a distribution of gas tax revenues to cities to meet local street maintenance needs.
The Council also approved the legislative priorities for the Association of Washington Cities, which include restoring liquor revenue sharing to fund public safety and other local impacts and to fund and clarify new city responsibilities from marijuana. The new marijuana industry is subject to up to a 75 percent state excise tax, but none of that funding is directed to local
jurisdictions to address public safety needs and other complex local impacts. The City supports allocating marijuana tax revenue to the local level.
Taylor expects money to be tight in the operating budget, which is where the liquor and marijuana revenues come out of and where the money to deal with the McCleary Decision on Public Education Funding and Reform also will come from.