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Auburn City Council approves money for affordable housing, authorizes community center repairs and appoints Salary Commission members 

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By Julia Park
UW News Lab

At this week’s Auburn City Council meeting, councilmembers approved two resolutions to pursue city projects and appointed two new commission members.

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Salary Commission Appointments

After the roll call, the council approved the appointment of Lisa Stirgus and Trevon Cooper to the Salary Commission. The Salary Commission consists of five members who annually review the salaries and any additional compensation paid to city councilmembers. Stirgus and Cooper will serve a four-year term ending Aug. 31, 2027.

Resolution 5759 was added as an agenda modification to the meeting schedule. Former council member Virginia Haugen was the sole participant in the public comment portion of the meeting, and expressed her appreciation for the public art displays on utility boxes around the city. 

Following the routine approval of the consent agenda, the council then moved to adopt Resolutions No. 5753 and No. 5759.

Affordable Housing

Resolution No. 5753 was presented to the council at the Feb. 26 City Council Study Session. Auburn Assistant Director of Community Development Jason Krum brought the resolution to the council at that time. The resolution authorizes the allocation of part of the funds contributed by the City of Auburn to a funding pool managed by the South King Housing and Homelessness Partners (SKHHP) through collecting sales tax revenue from participating South King County cities including Auburn, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Maple Valley, Normandy Park, Renton, and Tukwila. 

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According to the resolution, SKHHP was formed in 2019 to address the need for greater affordable housing in the area. As agreed upon at the time of its formation, the SKHHP Executive Board makes recommendations to participating city councils for the use of the money in the funding pool toward specific affordable housing projects.

At the March 4 meeting, the councilmembers also approved the SKHHP Executive Board’s request to use $137,595 of the city of Auburn’s total the total $152,865 contribution to the fund for a 20-unit affordable housing project in Des Moines called Victorian Place II. 

Composed of two adjacent buildings, Victorian Place II is owned by the nonprofit Multi-Service Center and aims to provide affordable housing to families with children. The funding money was requested to pay for the rehabilitation of the two buildings by making fixes such as replacing windows and doors, improving external lighting and installing new energy-efficient heating systems, according to the SKHHP memo about the recommended use of funds. 

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Resolution No. 5759 authorizes the mayor to enter into a contract with Great Floors for repairs in the gym at the Auburn Community & Event Center.

Council Reports

The mayor and councilmembers then delivered their individual reports on what they have been doing in their appointed positions in various organizations. Highlights included attending the mayor’s State of the City address at the Muckleshoot Tribe Convention Center Feb. 29 and the South King County Good Eggs Breakfast Feb. 26 which brings together local leaders and officials to discuss issues relevant to the area. 

At the Good Eggs Breakfast, King County Executive Dow Constantine discussed the county’s crisis care centers. The cities of Auburn, Kent and Renton are partnering to identify possible service providers and locations for the South King County facility within one of these cities.  

Mayor Nancy Backus also said that the selection committee for the Center for Quality Communities scholarships, of which she is the co-chair, will be reviewing applications this week. The CQC scholarships are run by the Association of Washington Cities and provides financial support to financial support to student leaders involved in their city government or community who plan to pursue post-secondary education. This year, there are three $3,000 scholarships available, along with travel stipends for winners to attend AWC’s Annual Conference in June. 

There will be no city council study session next Monday. The council will resume its general meeting on March 18.

Julia Park has made a career out of listening to people ramble about their lives – which often is the key to discovering how public affairs impact people on the ground. Her motto? Look for the little things. Being intentional about stopping to see others has revealed to me a world of big stories. 

 

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