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Auburn City Council Study Session Re-Cap – September 9, 2019

The Auburn City Council Study Session was called to order around 5:30 pm. All Councilmembers were present and Mayor Backus was excused.

Click here to watch the entire study session.

Agenda Items For Council Discussion
The new finance director gave the 2nd Quarter Financial Report. (watch here) The report states that the city has currently spent 3 million dollars less than the year to date Budget and we have collected over one million dollars more in revenue than the year to date budget predicted. The Cities departments are all on budget currently.

Public Works and Community Development Discussion Items
First, there was a Capital Projects Status Report. (watch here)The report said there are currently 36 active Capital Projects, 18 in construction and 18 in design. One upcoming project will bring major improvements for pedestrians and bike riders along F St SE.

Next was a Facility Needs Study and Master Plan Initiation Briefing. (watch here) The company taking on this project is Makers Architecture & Urban Design.  Makers is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).  The current facilities the city is focusing on are the Auburn Justice Center, the Public Works Maintenance and Operations Yard, and the Parks Maintenance and Operations Yard.

The Project aims to get 11 facilities updated in its Master Plan. Councilmember Bob Bagget stated we need this master plan. The Council all agreed the city needs to get the community involved in this project.

Lighting Under SR-18 Overpass
The next item the Council discussed was the possible Route 18 Lighting Project at Auburn Way South. (watch here) The project would bring aesthetic lighting to the Highway 18 overpass that goes over Auburn Way South. Council brought up the idea of themed lights, for example green and blue for the Seattle Sports Teams. The original idea came from the City of Kent doing a similar project. While initially there was some pushback in the City of Kent, the overall results have been positive seeing an increase in safety and a decrease in vandalism.  Community Development Director Jeff Tate says the Budget can support this project.

The Council next discussed House Bill 1406 which pertains to the recapturing of sales tax to use towards affordable housing projects. (watch here) This bill would allow Counties and Cities to recapture a portion of their sales tax to use towards affordable housing projects.

Puget Sound Regional Council Vision 2050
Lastly, the council had a presentation on and discussed the Puget Sound Regional Council’s(PSRC) Vision 2050 update. (watch here)

This update is a revision of the PSRC’s Vision 2040. The changes include an update to growth forecasts for the year 2050 and to the regional growth strategy, updated regional geographies, updated framework to focus on growth centers and transit-oriented development, a Regional Open Space Conservation Plan, and updates to housing affordability, climate change efforts and social equity.

The next steps for the PSRC are to review public comments on the Vision.  Then they will make recommendations to the general assembly.  They then plan to adopt the Vision in Spring of 2020. The Vision has received mostly positive feedback.  The negative feedback is that the council isn’t being aggressive enough towards climate change.

Councilmember Holman wants a resolution saying that the city supports the Vision. Councilmember Holman and Anthony Avery from the Community Development Department gave the presentation. Councilmembers Holman and DaCorsi are members of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The Council ended the meeting with the Matrix, which is their plan for future Study Sessions and Council Meetings. (watch here) The Study Session Adjourned around 8:00pm.

Is there something you want more information on?  Let us know in the comments or send us an email to [email protected] – if we don’t have the information, we’ll dig into it!

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