Northwest NEWS

December 21, 1998

Local News

Council approves '99 budget

by Woodinville Weekly staff

   WOODINVILLE--The Woodinville City Council passed a $25.7 million budget for 1999 early last week that squirrels away more money for a city hall/civic center, hires more employees, and holds the line on property tax rates.

   "It ramps the city up to where we need to be in terms of levels of services," said Mayor Don Brocha. "Once we have that in place, we can concentrate on capital projects."

   Specifically, the '99 budget calls for:

   A study of City Hall options is expected to be finalized and presented to the City Council early next year. The city could buy the Sorenson Complex from the Northshore School District or build on three acres it owns.

   Also, design work will be done on the Hollywood Schoolhouse intersection, NE 177th Place, the intersections of State Route 202 and 522, and State Route 202 and 127th Place, and improvements to 124th Ave. NE.

   With the gap between revenues and expenditures narrowing, and a host of capital projects that could go under construction in the coming years, Brocha has advised he'd like to see city department budgets level off. He said the challenge would be to build without raising property taxes, though he broached the possibility.

   "We haven't seen the need to raise property taxes, but once we get into our capital projects, we may have to," Brocha said. Sales tax continues to be a key revenue source for the city. Jim Katica, serving his final weeks as interim city manager before Pete Rose takes over, says that the city is budgeting for a 10 percent increase in sales tax revenue for 1998. Woodinville expects to collect $5.8 million in sales tax.