The Kirkland City Council is seeking volunteers to write pro and con statements for this year's voter's pamphlet after tentatively deciding to put two levies on the Nov. 6 ballot, one to address delayed street improvements and the other to maintain, improve and increase parks.
Final decisions on both measures will come after separate hearings by the council on July 17 (7:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers at City Hall). But at their study session on Tuesday, council members voiced support for both.
If approved, according to city estimates, the road levy would cost the owners of a $349,000 home $71.20 annually, or 20 cents per $1,000 of value. The parks levy would cost the owner of a $349,000 home $55.84 annually, at 16 cents per $1,000 of value. If both pass, the owner of that home would have to pay $127.04 annually.
At its June 19 meeting the council directed Parks Department staff to begin preparing a formal ballot measure that would raise $2,345,000 annually to increase operation and maintenance funding of Kirkland’s treasured parks and increase funding for “capital projects,” such as park renovation and acquisition of new green spaces.
As recommended by the city’s citizen, about $1.09 million each year would go to regular operations and maintenance, the need for which has increased due to annexation and the addition of parks such as O.O. Denny and Edith Moulton. Another $1.24 million annually would go to capital projects, such as the development of the now called the and, potentially, renovation of and parks, delayed dock and shoreline improvements and replacement of the aging bathhouse.
Public Works Director Ray Steiger told the council Tuesday that the city is facing a backlog in deferred road maintenance of $39 million, which if unaddressed could grow to $148 million in the next 20 years. City Manager Kurt Triplett has said in the past the city should be spending about $5 million annually in road maintenance, but actually spends about half that every year due to budget limitations.
The levy would raise some $3 million annually, with 90 percent going to arterial paving and street maintenance and 10 percent to pedestrian safety improvements. Major city streets in need of improved maintenance include:
- NE 132nd Street
- Totem Lake Boulevard
- NE 124th Street
- NE 116th Street
- Simonds Road
- 124th Ave NE
- 132nd Ave NE
- Lake Washington Boulevard
- 108th Ave NE
- Kirkland Ave
- 6th Street South
- 100th Ave NE
- 116th Ave NE
A public survey conducted for the city and released early this year showed citizen support for increased road maintenance and better funding of parks. For details on both ballot measures, including facts sheet on each, see the attached PDF file (9 mgs).
Volunteers are being sought to serve on four committees of three members each that will formulate pro and con statements for both levies that will appear on this year’s voters pamphlet. Interested residents should contact the Kirkland city clerk’s office at 425-587-3197 or KAnderson@kirklandwa.gov for more information. Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Friday, July 13. The council will make the committee appointments at its July 17 meeting.