MLT City Council agrees to refinance bonds, extend deadline for renewing city hall office space

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The Mountlake Terrace City Council found unanimous agreement on three actions it took at its meeting on Monday, Sept. 16 —  passing ordinances to refinance two outstanding city bonds, extend the deadline on possibly renewing its lease of city hall office space, and allow construction equipment to be temporarily stored at its Civic Center site at 58th Avenue West and 234th Street Southwest.

City Councilmembers approved a plan to refinance two city bonds with balances that total $3.24 million, a 2001 bond that financed improvements to the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion and the gym at Terrace Park Elementary School, and a 2003 bond to construct a new fire station and pay off some city debt. The bonds have interest rates ranging up to 5 percent, but now will be refinanced to have interest rates that do not exceed 4.75 percent. Officials estimate the change will save the city approximately $68,000.

The council’s approval to extend the deadline to renew its current lease on office space for Interim City Hall gives city officials and the leasing agents of the Redstone Building an additional three months to come to an agreement. “We’re just buying some more time,” said Councilmember Doug McCardle.

Currently the city has an option to extend its lease of office space on the second floor of the Redstone Building, 6100-219th St. S.W., for three years at “fair market rent,” but that option was about to expire at the end of this month. With Monday’s action the city now has until Dec. 31 to exercise its option for the three-year extension. Both city officials and the current owners of the building were in agreement that an extension of the city’s option clause was needed, said Interim City Manager Scott Hugill.

The city council approved a proposal to allow temporary storage of construction equipment at the empty lot where city hall had once stood. The change was made to accommodate equipment that will be used for the anticipated Main Street Revitalization construction of 56th Avenue West and 236th Street Southwest. Under new rules, equipment could be stored at the site for up to 18 months with one six-month extension possible, fencing around the equipment may be required, and the city retains the right set leasing space rates at “reasonable market rates,” or to disallow the storage of certain equipment all together.

— By Doug Petrowski

1 COMMENT

  1. The city council approved a bond whose principal and interest will approach $2 million to pay back the money borrowed for 5 years of rent in their current space. They did this without a single word of discussion, let alone a question by any council member about it. So we are now officially in the hole to the tune of $2 million with nothing to show for it.

    Council then officially admitted they still have not decided what they are going to do when the lease runs out in June, 2014. Now they have given themselves the latitude to not tell us until December what the next step will be in this long exercise of irresponsible leadership.

    That is after the November election, which is also when we can expect the discussion of how that $2 million payback will be impacting our city budget over the next 7 years. While city revenues remain below 2006 levels, it is doubly irresponsible to act like there will be no impact.

    Voters have a right to those answers now – before they vote. Whatever direction council is taking us, it isn’t progress if we can’t afford it.

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