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December 22, 1997

Local News

Woodinville passes $22.2 million budget

  by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--An echo of the recent City Council elections, the city passed its 1998 budget with little fanfare or strife. Mayor Bob Miller termed the creation and approval of the $22.2 million outline for next year "a routine budget process" and other councilmembers expressed similar ho-hum sentiment. But there are items to get excited about. For 1998, the budget includes:
   * $1.2 million for two new police officers and two more police cars. Woodinville will now have local police coverage 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Before, King County patrolled at night;
   * $1.8 million to begin construction on Wilmot Gateway Park, $800,000 for the Woodinville Valley Trail and bridge near Redhook, as well as a full-time recreation coordinator and parks maintenance worker;
   * $1.9 million for street improvements.
   City Manager Roy Rainey, anticipating the opening of the downtown retail project, said the number one emphasis for 1998 would be street work. Though he's stressed the word "flexibility" with this budget, Rainey said there was a chance that work done to the intersection of N.E. 177th Pl. and 131st Ave. N.E. near McClendons may be "our street program for next year."Rainey said that in January city staff will survey and study the effect improvements to the intersection would have.
   That cross street is seen as one of the key ingress/egress points for future shoppers at Target and other stores. Staff has discussed making 177th a five-lane street; dual left-turn lanes from 131st onto 177th are also an option being looked at. Rainey said work along that corridor could cost the city $6 million, draining street reserves and has asked the council to dedicate revenues from a proposed utility tax to fund road work.
   The council also approved a number of human services grants totaling $81,300, including:
   * 16,000 for the Woodinville Adult Day Center;
   * $14,000 for Multi-Service Centers of North and East King County;
   * $13,000 for Teen Northshore;
   * $4,200 for Eastside Sexual Assault Center for Children, and;
   * $3,000 for Community Health Centers of King County.
   Also included is $1.75 million in the Civic Center Reserve Fund, seen as a down payment if the city were to purchase the C.O. Sorenson complex from the Northshore School District next year.
   Councilwoman Barbara Solberg appreciated the budget. "I like the budget from the perspective we have given close scrutiny to spending and that it's a flexible budget. If we have new priorities we can reprioritize," Solberg said.