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City Council continues Civic Center discussions

Three-bond ballot being considered

Civic Center by Jeff Switzer, staff reporter
The Woodinville City Council continued its discussions last week regarding the recommendation to purchase the Sorenson site for a Community Civic Center.
   Staff presented the two decision models as hypothetical examples of how much it would cost to accomplish a variety of the recommendations received by the Civic Center Citizen Advisory Panel (CAP) on the project.
   Council directed staff to find out the amount of revenue generated by user fees, and will discuss the option of submitting more than one bond to the voters to allow them a choice in how much they are willing to pay and how quickly they want the "vision," or Master Plan, to be implemented.
   The CAP's Master Plan totals $14.5 million and the council is considering what financing combinations to go with and the timeline to work from. The council also has the option of pledging city revenues towards councilmanic bonds to fund portions, thereby using revenue brought into the community from the greater area by way of sales taxes.
   Decision Model I outlined $9,596,400 for land acquisition for the 10.5 acres of Sorenson and three acres for parking, in addition to construction of parking, trails and a pedestrian signal for the Wilmot Park; seismic and health improvements to the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse; and some basic user improvements to both the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse and the Sorenson buildings.
   Decision Model II, $11,510,000, spends the same on user improvements for both the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse and the Sorenson buildings and upgrading to the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse, but adds the purchase of additional land and spends $660,000 more for additional parking beyond the three acres, the future 133rd Avenue NE and more landscaping.
   The menu above the two decision models includes the purchase of additional land; user improvements; more site improvements; and gym, pool, and kitchen upgrades.
   At its Feb. 26 meeting, the council will be taking a more in-depth look at the financing sources. On Mar. 4, the council is scheduled to conclude discussions and give staff direction regarding the purchasing and financing of the project. The ordinance on the bond issue is scheduled to have first and second readings at the Mar. 11 and 25 meetings. April 5 is the deadline for notifying King County elections for the May 21 election.
   The CAP recommended on Feb. 5 that the council put a $7 million bond issue before Woodinville voters, allowing the city to secure the Sorenson School site and buildings, as well as an additional three acres to the south, all with the intent of developing the site as a Community Civic Center.
   The Citizens Advisory Committee recommended that the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse serve as the center for city government, Historic Society Museum, and the Chamber of Commerce; space be allocated for a senior center, adult day center and a youth center, multi-use meeting rooms; and a trail link with the Jerry Wilmot Green Gateway park.
   Should the $7 million bond go to voters and pass, new taxes levied would amount to $0.687 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This translates to $103.50 on a $150,000 home.