Facts reinforce previous conclusion: Grace annexation is good for the city
Having a public discussion of the potential Grace annexation is a good thing. Bob Dixon's letter of two weeks ago is part of that discussion.
However, if we are going to use facts and figures to make our case, they must be accurate and complete. I have spent the last two weeks making sure that I have the facts. My conclusion is still the same as that of my first letter: the Grace annexation would be a positive thing for the city [of Woodinville].
Even Mr. Dixon agrees that the tax income to the city is expected to increase with the annexation. His main objection is that this tax money and more would then go to pay for roads in Grace. As proof, he states that Snohomish County has a $2 million road project for Grace in their 6-year transportation improvement plan (TIP). He also implies that Woodinville would have to do this project if Grace annexed. Fortunately, neither is true.
There is a road project in the 1995 TIP for Grace, except it is $800,000 with Snohomish County paying $80,000 and the state paying the rest. Regardless of what projects the TIP identifies, Woodinville would not be obligated to do that project if Grace annexed. It is the city's responsibility to determine what roads should be fixed and when and how.
Mr. Dixon also said there were many other roads in Grace that needed repair, although he couldn't specifically say which ones. To answer this question for myself, I took a drive through the entire Grace area. I didn't see any road that obviously needed repair; in fact, they seem to be in good repair. But don't take my word for it, take a drive and see for yourself! And don't forget, State Highway 9, which is the major road in Grace, will always be the state's responsibility.
Another implication Mr. Dixon raised was the idea that the property owners in Grace were looking to annex to Woodinville so that Woodinville would spend lots of tax dollars there improving the infrastructure. If this were true, why are the property owners there paying to have sewers put in right now?
The final issue in this whole discussion is one that Dixon didn't even raise in his letter. The Wellington Golf Course is part of the annexation as currently proposed. The University of Washington now owns that property and was going to put the branch campus there. The branch campus is instead going into Bothell, which leaves the future of what happens on the golf course up in the air.
This is of great concern to me personally, because I live just down the road from the golf course. I'm concerned that whatever happens there could make the traffic on 156th NE much worse. I already have a hard enough time getting out my driveway onto that road!
I would feel much safer for the City of Woodinville to have jurisdiction over that property than Snohomish County. I feel that I and my neighbors, as residents of Woodinville, can have a much greater say over what happens there than we would with Snohomish County.
Cynthia Brocha, Woodinville