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September 15, 1997

Local News

Cottage King County 3rd Discrict County Councilmember, Louise Miller; Carol edwards, publisher of the Woodinville Weekly, King County Police Mayor Sue Rahr, Administrative Assistant Colleen Oordt and King County Executive Ron SIms cut the ribbon for the new community service center at Cottage Lake.

Andrew Walgamott/staff photo

Sims, Miller open Community Service Center

  by Andrew Walgamott
   COTTAGE LAKE--Marriage licenses, not video tapes, lettuce or pizza, are the hot item in Cottage Lake retail these days. That's right, King County's new community service center here has been selling an average of 10 licenses a day, according to Colleen Oordt, whose dubbed herself "the marriage license lady." She works at the Cottage Lake Community Service Center.
  
   Oordt's title really is something like community service assistant, and she provides county residents with more than just marriage licenses. "We're getting more variety," she said of requests for information at the center located next to Zips Market near the intersection of Woodinville-Duvall Road and Avondale Road.
  
   Open to all, county residents can find METRO bus schedules, business and pet license forms and assessment information at the center. Citizens can also register to vote (it's not too late for the November election), pick up brochures on county services and pay their property taxes there as well.
  
   Third District County Councilmember Louise Miller said she will have a desk and phone at the office in the near future. The Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District may provide information packets on fire and injury prevention, as well as children's 911 coloring books, according to Dave Leggett, public fire educator.
  
   County police may also stage an officer out of the center as a liaison between the community and department resources if budgeting comes through, according to Officer Mark Orendorff.
  
   County officially opens center
   At the grand opening last week, King County Executive Ron Sims said similar service centers across the county served 8,000 customers last year. He said such centers issued more marriage licenses than the downtown King County Courthouse.
  
   "What it means is government going out to the people rather than people going to the government," Sims said. "It's good for Cottage Lake but it's good for King County because it's going to get us out where the people are," Sims said, adding that it was "very clear people want access to their government in this community."
  
   He said the center came together because of a collaborative effort from elected officials, county staff and local citizens. The county has four service centers and may open another on the Sammamish Plateau. Councilmember Miller called the Cottage Lake center's location "absolutely superb."
  
   "This is an exciting day for everybody in the third council district," Miller said. Chuck Eberhart, local activist, said the work wasn't done, though. "This area still is in need of a senior center, a multi-service center and a young people's gathering center," Eberhart said. The center has been open since July 29. Hours of business are from noon to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. The phone number is 296-2733.
  
   According to county figures, the most active hours at community service centers are during the evenings.