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Opinion

Bonds for a Woodinville Kingdome?

Woodinville Kingdome Those voters who believe that passing the $7.5 million bond issue next month will provide the citizens of Woodinville with a civic center are in for a surprise. Yes, $7.5 million will purchase the old Sorenson school, but that is just the beginning.
   The buildings are in sad shape, and it is estimated that it will cost at least another $7.5 million to rehabilitate the structure. Has anyone ever heard of a taxpayer-funded project coming in at, or under, budget?
   Ladies and gentlemen, we are looking at a potential of $15,000,000 or more before this matter is over. With a population of less than 10,000 it comes to at least $1,500 for each man, woman and child.
   Letters to the editor have stressed that the cost to a $150,000 home would only be $7.75 a month. It is not difficult to find out how much your taxes will increase, just multiply 62 cents per thousand of the assessed value of your home. Or is it 87 cents per thousand?
   The council packet for the Mar. 11, 1996 meeting (page N-2) refers to payment of $85,000 to $87,000 per year per million for bonds. That is 85 to 87 cents per thousand for Councilmanic Bonds. Confused? Is it 62 cents per thousand or 87 cents per thousand?
   For a $150,000 home at 62 cents, your taxes go up $93 per year; at 87 cents, they go up $130.50 per year. You can double that if Councilmanic Bonds are issued.
   If the bond issue does pass, where will the city get the other $7.5 million? Councilmanic Bonds, and increased taxes. For those who do not know what Councilmanic Bonds are, they are bonds issued by the city, without a vote by the taxpayers. The city can issue bonds up to a percentage of the city's assessed value. Bonds are paid off from general revenue. That means that your taxes will be hiked to make the bond payments.
   The city is apparently flush with money: they think nothing of paying $500 each for trash containers for the Jerry Wilmot Green Gateway Park. The city is also helping one of its employees (in the engineering department) get a college degree; they have paid $487 for a college English class and $246 for a class on government by consent (City Council Consent Calendars of 11-27-95 and 3-25-96). There may be more. Maybe the city should help pay your children's way through college.
   Initially, I was for the purchase of the Sorenson site, and was leaning toward it until a few weeks ago. With the city wasting money on a special election and with my research, I have concluded that we could do with less and still meet our community needs.
   Think about it: do we really need a 16-million-dollar civic center? I supported and voted for the school bonds. I am not supporting or voting for bonds for the city to buy the Sorenson School which could become Woodinville's Kingdome, a can of worms!

Bob Dixon (former Woodinville City Council member), Woodinville

(Editor's note: Of the $7.5 million difference to which Mr. Dixon refers, $2.1 million is earmarked for renovations based on consultant due diligence reports. The remainder is for user improvements, site improvements, and acquisition of adjacent land. Cost of the special election is $5,600.)