Northwest NEWS

August 23, 1999

Front Page

City of Woodinville will buy Sorenson property

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--The Northshore School District has made an agreement in principle to sell the C.O. Sorenson property to the City of Woodinville. The City Council will discuss the agreement at their Monday, Aug. 23 meeting, and the School District will discuss it at their Tuesday, Aug. 24 meeting. Final decisions will be made at the Council's Sept. 13 meeting and the District's Sept. 14 meeting.

   The transaction is designed for two phases. In the first phase, the City will purchase the City Hall building (Woodinville Schoolhouse) and the playfields for $4,426,392.

   In the second phase, the City will purchase Sorenson School for $2,033,608. The total price of $6,460,000 will come from the City's cash reserves and councilmanic bonds.

   "Councilmanic bonds are non-voted bonds derived from the City's general fund, from sources like sales taxes," said City Finance Director Jim Katica. "Voted bonds come from taxpayers saying 'we agree to have our property taxes raised to fund a City purchase.' The Sorenson purchase will come from the City's existing annual revenue. In other words, the City is paying for Sorenson, rather than our citizens."

   A central key of the lengthy negotiations involved relocation of the District's existing programs at Sorenson, preservation and mitigation of the playfields, and future uses of the property.

   The two-phase purchase was required because the District will be using Sorenson for two more years. The contract will be executed now, with the transfer of property effected whenever the District can relocate their current Sorenson programs.

   "Through hard work by all involved, we were able to reach an agreement that we believe will meet the needs of the City, the community, and the school district," said Northshore Superintendent Dr. Karen Forys.

   "The City Council is sensitive to concerns expressed by current users of the Sorenson School, City Hall, and the ballfields," said Mayor Don Brocha. "The Council is committed to an open, public process to determine future uses of the facilities."