It’s Official: Civic Campus on November Ballot

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At Monday night’s City Council meeting, the Council voted to place the Civic Campus levy on the November ballot. The full press release is below but here is what the $37.5 million project will cost you (the average MLT property owner based on a median home value of $256K):

2011: $0. Nothing. Nada.

2012: $3.48/month

Average 2011-2040: $19.27/month

City Press release:

At their May 17 meeting, City Council adopted an ordinance to place a capital bond proposal for construction of a new Civic Campus on the November 2 ballot. The Council received an update on project costs and financing options at their April 29 Work Session and after the presentation requested that the ordinance be prepared.

A new Civic Campus has been the topic of study by numerous Mountlake Terrace City Councils since the 1980s. The current City Council has followed a very deliberate and methodical process to move the city closer to final consideration.

In 2008, the Council appointed an 11-member Citizen Task Force to make recommendations on replacing the city’s aging public facilities. Efforts by the task force included providing a fresh perspective of the situation, numerous opportunities for public input, and tours of Mountlake Terrace and regional civic facilities. On December 18, 2008 after six months of meetings and open houses, the Citizen Task Force recommended a new Civic Campus be built on the existing site and the Council seek voter-approval for its construction. March 2009, the City Council adopted a resolution accepting the recommendation of the Task Force.

Replacing the old Civic Center, recently demolished after a July 2008 roof collapse made it unusable, the new Civic Campus would retain the Library and Fire Station, while integrating new public spaces including public meeting places, community and senior activity centers, police station, emergency operation center, city offices, enhanced streetscapes, and a civic green with a spray fountain, ornamental garden and amphitheater that will connect to Veteran’s Memorial Park. It would also incorporate sustainable design standards such as green roofs and walls, and energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly LEED Silver building techniques.

Year-round events would include a farmers market, public safety fairs, senior activities, dance recitals, art shows, outdoor movies, and concerts. Other projects to be undertaken include improvements to the Mountlake Terrace Library.

The new Civic Campus will form the heart of the new Town Center and will be a catalyst for transformation and a stimulus for private reinvestment in the downtown area.

What we have in front of us is an exciting opportunity, said Councilmember John Zambrano. This is the reason I came on council, to move Mountlake Terrace into the 21st century. I think we can do it with this. I say we go in November and let the people decide.

The old city hall collapsed down around us because nobody made a decision, said Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore. We either have to continue to pay rent, or move forward on what the citizens have already told us to do for the last 20 years.

The Mountlake Terrace community has a long history of funding civic projects through voter-approved tax levies. Examples include: old Civic Center (1960); Recreation Pavilion (1964); Evergreen Playfield (1975); Sno-Isle Library District (1986); and Police Station/Fire Department Equipment (1988).

At City Council’s May 17 meeting, final cost estimates and property tax impacts for the new Civic Campus were presented along with the ordinance. The final cost estimate of $37.5 million would be financed through voter-approved 30-year General Obligation Bonds with a gradual implementation from 2011 to 2040. The property tax impact, based on the median home value of $256,200, would be zero in 2011, $3.48 per month in 2012 increasing to $19.27 per month averaged from 2011 to 2040. Qualified homeowners may apply for a senior exemption and not be required to pay this tax levy.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s disappointing that this campus project includes no housing and very low density – much of it is open space, and the buildings appear to be one or two story. The city should jump-start downtown redevelopment with a mixed-use project.rnrnAnd a big raspberry for disguising the cost by using cost/month. $19.27/mo is $231/yr. rnrnDisclosure: I own an office building nearby, and would like to see the Civic Campus developed, the denser the better.

  2. It's disappointing that this campus project includes no housing and very low density – much of it is open space, and the buildings appear to be one or two story. The city should jump-start downtown redevelopment with a mixed-use project.And a big raspberry for disguising the cost by using cost/month. $19.27/mo is $231/yr. Disclosure: I own an office building nearby, and would like to see the Civic Campus developed, the denser the better.

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