Northwest NEWS

October 5, 1998

Front Page

Three levies before Valley voters

   by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor

   On Nov.3, voters in the Snoqualmie Valley will be asked to make decisions on three crucial levy issues.
   The Riverview School Board will again be trying to pass a sports field bond, Fire District 45 is asking for a levy lid lift and Duvall police say they need to continue a levy to maintain current services.
   The police levy is needed to partially fund the Duvall Police Department so it can maintain the level of services it is presently providing.
   The levy will not increase the current property taxes but is an extension of the levy that was passed three years ago and is ending this year.
   "The cost per citizen will actually go down due to the number of new residents," said Duvall Police Chief Glenn Merryman.
   The new levy would collect approximately $130,000 annually for five years, starting in 1999.
   The owner of a home assessed at $100,000 can expect to pay $51 per year, compared to the old levy which would have charged $71.
   "The biggest consideration we are facing now is substantial growth, both residentially and commercially," Merryman said. "We are faced already with a higher demand and even with the levy, we expect to be stretched thin."
   Currently the department has seven full-time professionals, including the chief, with five reserve volunteers who are unpaid, providing 24-hour coverage per day.
   The only civilian in the department is the clerk, who operates the office Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Merryman said.
   "She is the immediate contact for the public," he said. "The clerk is one of the best policing tools we have."
   Merryman said most of the officers are local and dedicated to the community.
   "We are pleased to provide these services, but we need the support of the community to continue the way we have. People really get a big bang for the buck out here."
   The Duvall Police Department offers a variety of community programs.
   Among them are business and vacation checks, crosswalk observation when schoolchildren are going to and from school, open gym nights, crime prevention, neighborhood foot patrols, senior outreach, in-school walks, ECEAP program interaction, block watches, bicycle patrol and boat patrol.
   There is a two-step process for the bond to pass. To validate, 40 percent of the number of voters from the last general election must vote. Last year 1,280 people voted, so this year at least 512 must vote. Secondly, 60 percent of those going to the polls must vote yes.
   For the fourth time, voters will be asked to approve an athletic fields bond issue for sports facilities at Cedarcrest High School and improvements to facilities at other schools.
   Last month, the Riverview School Board approved placing the 20-year $6.5 million issue on the ballot.
   The levy would cost the owner of a home that is assessed at $200,000 about $76 per year.
   The latest plan has fields at Cedarcrest for football/soccer, baseball, combination baseball/utility, softball and combination softball/utility/track and field facilities, seating, multipurpose room for wrestling, weightlifting and dance, and storage under the seating area, restrooms, concessions, parking and tennis courts.
   At Tolt, a new field would be created and six acres on the northeast field would be filled and graded. At Cherry Valley, Stillwater and Carnation Elementaries, trails and fields would be improved with Big Toys added.
   If the levy passes, school officials hope to begin construction during the second half of 1999, with completion of all facilities in the fall of 2000.