Civic center committee to make recommendations
by Jeff Switzer
The Woodinville Civic Center Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP) is poised and primed for its presentation to the Woodinville City Council on Feb. 5, when it will be recommending usage, financing options, and the long-term, big picture of the future downtown civic center.
The CAP, made up of citizens, business owners, and community leaders, has been working since November to iron out the possibilities the C.O. Sorenson complex has to offer as a civic center.
Recommendations the CAP is leaning towards include using the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse as the center for city government, Historic Society Museum, and the Chamber of Commerce; space for a senior center, adult day center, and a youth center; and a trail link with the future Jerry Wilmot Green Gateway park. A performing arts center is also being strongly considered for the site.
The city is currently in negotiations with the Northshore School district regarding the purchase of the surplused Sorenson site, which comprises approximately 10 acres, the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse, the four buildings that are part of the C.O. Sorenson complex, and ball fields. Negotiations could conclude within the next two weeks. Also included in the short term plans are three acres to the south of the school site.
Following the City Council session, the CAP will present its recommendations to the Planning Commission on Feb. 7, and council action could take place Feb. 12 or Feb. 26. The council makes the final decision on whether a bond will be taken to the voters and its amount, based on the recommendations made by the CAP. If the council recommends a bond issue, the vote could take place in either April or May.
Currently, three main funding sources are under consideration for the $8 to $12 million project: general obligation bonds, which are voted on by the residents of Woodinville; Councilmanic Bonds, which are approved by the City Council by pledging city revenue sources towards the payment of loans; or a combination of the two.
"Hypothetically speaking, if the (general obligation) bond were for $5 million for the purchase of the site and buildings, property taxes on a $150,000 home would go up about $75," said Jim Granger, project manager overseeing the master planning process.