Public hearings on property tax increases, budget amendments at MLT City Council meeting Nov. 18

A rendering of CJ Rench’s proposed artwork (with three stems).

Citizens have a chance to offer testimony during two public hearings before the Mountlake Terrace City Council Monday, Nov. 18.

The first hearing is on a proposed  1% increase in the city’s general operations and emergency medical services levies. Under state law, 1% is the maximum increase allowed without voter approval.

During the council’s Nov. 14 work/study session, Finance Director Crystil Wooldridge noted that both the city’s 2019-20 proposed budget and its six-year financial forecast include an annual property tax increase of 1%. The 1% increase would generate approximately $84,035 for the general levy and $21,471 for the EMS levy. The property tax would result in a $13 annual increase — from $678 to $691, based on the estimated assessed value of $411,802 for an average Mountlake Terrace home, she said

The second hearing is on mid-biennium amendments to the city’s 2019-20 budget. These include $20,590 in revenue and $30,331 in expenditures tied to the city receipt and use of federal narcotics seizure money received in 2019. There is also a proposed amendment in the Capital Improvements Fund of $371,500 in revenues and $376,000 in expenditures, and $2.7 million for capital projects that were unintentionally left off the 2019-20 budget ordinance adopted at the end of 2018.

In addition, as part of its consent agenda Nov. 18, the council is scheduled to approve a professional services agreement with C.J. Rench for public art in the new Civic Plaza. Rench is one of two artists chosen by the city’s Arts Advisory Commission to create visual art as part of the Civic Campus redevelopment project.

The plaza will be located between the new city hall and 232nd Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West. Under city policy, the Civic Campus redevelopment project – which includes a new city hall, police station addition and park/plaza area –  requires that 1 percent of the construction budget fund visual art.

The council on Nov. 4 approved an agreement with the other artist — Louise McDowell — to create three life-sized cast bronze figures of children gathering in the proposed park/plaza. That amount was for $47,000. The agreement before the council Nov. 18 involves the proposal by Rench to create a 9- to 16-foot wildflower metal sculptures with glass/resin flower petals. The sculptures will be wired to be lit at night.

The cost for installing two flowers and one stem is $45,000, which includes a $5,000 from Premera Blue Cross. The hope is to find additional funding of $15,000 to cover the cost of a third flower, which is outside the scope of the existing budget, said Assistant City Manager Stephen Clifton. The $5,000 donation from Premera Blue Cross will help pay for the base fabrication and installation, which was also outside the original budget.

Other items on the Nov. 18 agenda include:

Discussion of a petition to vacate street right-of-way  at 218th Street Southwest and 64th Avenue West.

Review of the 2020 city employee salary ordinance.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in interim Mountlake Terrace City Hall, 6100 219th St. S.W., 2nd floor. You can see the complete agenda here.





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