City Hall Advisory Committee to recommend $11.6 million project to City Council

The City Hall Advisory Committee discusses what to recommend to the Mountlake Terrace City Council on June 5.

Voters will not see a proposed police department expansion on the November ballot alongside a proposition to fund the construction of a new Mountlake Terrace City Hall, even if City Council approves a plan created by the City Hall Advisory Committee.

But that doesn’t mean the idea is dead — it is expected to appear on the February ballot, if approved by City Council.

The City Hall Advisory Committee made that decision during its regular meeting on Thursday, May 18. It was a split 5-4 vote, with committee members Stephen Barnes, Vic Sood, Eiya Wolfe and Maggie Hyneman casting dissenting votes.

Committee members that approved the motion to put the police station on the February ballot pointed to their ultimate goal of getting a new City Hall proposition to pass and keeping the number of dollars required for the project as low as possible to appeal to voters.

However, during the City Hall proposition creation process, committee members said Chief Greg Wilson made a convincing argument for more space. They felt adding the measure to a later ballot was an appropriate nod to those who want to see the police station grow, but also shave $1.8 million off the total project cost for City Hall. Getting City Hall built is their primary goal as a committee.

“I think this is the best chance of City Hall passing in November,” Committee Member Dustin DeKoekkoek said.

Sood said he cast a dissenting vote on splitting up the measure because the $13.4 million price tag is much lower than previous ballot measures shut down by voters.

“The money difference between the two is not very much,” Sood said, referring to the difference between the $11.6 million for City Hall and $13.4 for City Hall and a 3,102-square-foot police department addition combined. “We have reduced the cost from $37 million to $25 million and now it’s about $13 million. I think people will buy it.”

If approved by City Council during its meeting on June 5, the proposition on November’s ballot will now be for a $11.6 million City Hall building.

As for what that building would look like, the design phase would come after the proposition passes in November.

The next step in the process is for the City Hall Advisory Committee to make its recommendation to City Council during its regular meeting on Monday, June 5. An open house will be held before that meeting for the public to review the final plans and make comments about them. If council approves the recommendation by the City Hall Advisory Committee, a proposition to fund the construction of City Hall will appear on the November ballot.

The Open House will begin at 6 p.m. in Interim City Hall, 6100 219th St. S.W. Ste. 200 on Monday, June 5. City Council will vote on the measure during its regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the same location.

The City of Mountlake Terrace has been renting its City Hall space for years following a roof collapse in 2008 making the old City Hall unsafe for employees. Three previous ballot measures for a new City Hall have all failed. Last year, voters approved a levy lid lift to temporarily fund rent at Interim City Hall for four years while a new City Hall is planned and built, with voter approval.

To give feedback on the project online, click here.

–By Natalie Covate

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