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Council passes bond issue ordinance, signs purchase-lease agreement

$7.5 million question to go to voters May 21

bond ordinance by Jeff Switzer
A $7.5 million price tag will be sent to the voters on May 21 for the purchase of the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse, Sorenson buildings, the 10 acres they sit on, and three acres to the south for parking.
   The City Council voted last week 7-0 approving the language and amount of the bond issue to go before the voters on May 21.
   "The main focus of a young city is to create tradition and heritage and this project gives the city a good place to start from," said Mayor Bob Miller. "In the words of former Councilmember Mark Jessup, 'you can tell your grandkids you were there when the page was blank.'"
   "I think this is a monumental time for us as a city," said Councilmember Lucy DeYoung. "When we talk about growth management, we talk about these old town communities that are user friendly. I think Woodinville has a tremendous opportunity to do all of those things. We have a compact downtown, there are theaters in the works which could make our community more active at night, and the Woodinville School has such a rich history. The Civic Center will provide a good place for our youth, elderly, and City Council to 'hang out.'"
   Deputy Mayor Don Brocha said the civic center, coupled with the Jerry Wilmot Green Gateway Park, will be a great amenity for the city, making them the "Jewels of Woodinville."
   The ballot title information will now be sent to King County Elections, who will be conducting the May 21 election. The ballot title will read: "Proposition Civic/Community Center Complex Bonds-$7,500,000."
   "Shall the City of Woodinville, Washington, borrow not to exceed $7,500,000 to acquire and improve the Sorenson school property and ballfields, the Old Woodinville School, and additional properties to develop a civic/community center complex including parking by selling general obligation bonds therefore maturing within 20 years and levy annual excess property taxes necessary to pay and retire the bonds, as provided in Ordinance 144?"
   If passed, the levy rate for 1997 will increase $0.62 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $93 on a $150,000 home.

City signs purchase agreement
   The city signed a purchase agreement with the Northshore School District for the Sorenson School campus for $5.8 million with rights to purchase beyond Aug. 18, 1996, if needed. Also approved was a partial leaseback agreement with the school district for its special needs' program for three years with extension rights up to two additional years, if needed.
   The rent for the first term is included in the negotiated sale price. The remaining $1.7 million is earmarked for acquisition of the three acres to the south for parking, with the difference for parking type improvements, such as paving and code improvements to bring the buildings up to today's safety standards.

In other city council news:
   Regulatory Reform: The council voted 7-0 adopting an ordinance to comply with the regulatory reform legislation last year mandating a 120-day permit turn-around time, combining environment and project review, limiting the number of appeals hearings, allowing for consolidated permit processing, and providing overall predictability for permit processing via set administrative procedures.