Mountlake Terrace is a very safe community, citizens have strong trust in their local government, and they believe the city is an excellent place to live were key messages from this year’s State of the City Address presented by City Manager John Caulfield at a June 8 South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce meeting.
“Our progress as a community the past few years has been memorable – and 2010 and beyond will be even better,” said Caulfield. “This is an extraordinary time in the history of our community. I am pleased to report that the vision for a vibrant Mountlake Terrace is coming alive and is on the way to becoming a reality.”
Caulfield noted that the community has grown stronger in recent years as the Council continues to work toward its vision and goals focused on protecting the city’s finances, economic development, capital infrastructure needs, and community outreach.
“While these continue to be challenging times for our economy,” remarked Caulfield, “the upside is that the city has implemented steps to mitigate the impact of this economic and financial crisis while maintaining services for residents at current levels.”
Caulfield noted that Mountlake Terrace has been able to go above basic services and expand capital improvement and economic development programs so the city is well-positioned to capitalize on redevelopment and revitalization opportunities as the economy improves.
Particularly notable in the address was the extraordinary capital improvement program (CIP) approved by the Council that focuses on community needs such as streets, sidewalks, parks, open space, facilities, and water, sewer and storm water utilities. The CIP totals $66 million over an eight-year span between 2006 and 2014.
The State of the City presentation pointed out the importance of economic development in commercial areas, including the downtown, to generate additional property and sales taxes. Caulfield said the generation of new revenues from redevelopment and revitalization in these areas will help meet the growing demand for services and lessen the tax burden on residents.
Caulfield also emphasized the key role partnerships have played in the city’s success. Assistance from community organizations, volunteers and intergovernmental agencies have helped stretch the citizens’ tax dollars to manage limited resources and keep costs in check. As an example, Caulfield said The Mountlake Terrace Business Association recently opened the city’s first ever Farmers Market to promote shopping in the city’s downtown and provide a gathering place for residents and visitors.
Caulfield stated the City Council’s proactive effort to build rapport with other communities as well as State and Federal legislators has helped Mountlake Terrace leverage additional resources. Caulfield noted that this approach has resulted in State and Federal grants and appropriations totaling over $4.2 million in the past 2 years.
Caulfield announced that the City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance recently to place a capital bond proposal to construct a new Civic Campus on the November ballot for voter consideration. If approved, the benefit to the community would be immediate, as both the Town Center and Civic Campus would become regional references for a sustainable community and economic development.
The City Manager concluded his address by thanking the City Council, city employees, citizens and volunteers for their tireless work and dedication to ensure that Mountlake Terrace continues to move forward.