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City Council Notes | Seattle’s water status, transportation levy, Transportation Benefit District, Bee City

While we look forward to Tuesday night’s District 3 candidates forum, here’s a look at what is going on with Seattle’s City Council this week.

  • Seattle’s water: Seattle Public Utilities director Ray Hoffman will brief the council this week on the status of the city’s water supply. The summary? Even though there is no snow, Hoffman’s report says…
    Water supply outlook remains good
    + Reservoirs are at the upper range of refill targets
    – Keep them as full as possible through spring refill period through capture of rainfall (and snowmelt)
    + Continue to monitor and make operational adjustments carefully
    No worries.
    Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 5.11.41 PM
  • Transportation levy: The revised proposal for a $930 million transportation levy will land at City Council Tuesday as a special committee takes up shaping the proposal for approval for November’s ballot. Part of the discussion will be how much tax capacity the city has — according to the analysis provided by City Hall staff, the answer appears to be plenty:Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 5.33.49 PM
  • Seattle Transportation Benefit District: More immediately satisfying than the transportation levy chatter could be the nuts and bolts of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District being put into place starting with Tuesday’s transportation committee session:
    This legislation increases the appropriations in SDOT and in the Human Services Department (HSD) to reflect funding from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District’s Proposition One, which was approved by voters in November 2014. It also creates two new positions in SDOT. In addition, the legislation authorizes the Director of Finance to enter into an interlocal agreement with the State Department of Licensing to collect the vehicle license fees on behalf of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District.The appropriations in 2015 are for the first year of a new six-year program. As the program matures and changes over time, the City will re-evaluate the needs of this program and may modify it accordingly.

    Here are how the dollars flow this year:
    Per Seattle Transportation Benefit District Resolution 17, revenues should be used as follows:
    $13,500,000 to purchase Metro transit service hours;
    $3,000,000 to support regional transit service in conjunction with other cities, transit agencies, or transportation benefit districts;
    $2,000,000 to improve and to support access to transit service for low-income transit riders; and
    $4,000,000 to fund and administer the $20 low-income vehicle license fee rebate to qualified individuals.

    Proposition 1 Budget Amendment Presentation

  • (Image: @seaforanswers via Twitter)

    (Image: @seaforanswers via Twitter)

    Bee City and Music City: Last week, CHS reported on this swarm of honey bees on 15th Ave E. Later this week, the Council’s culture and finance committee will take up a resolution (PDF) regarding certification of Seattle as an official “Bee City” —

    In 2014, the Seattle City Council passed Resolution 31548, prohibiting the use of neonicotinoid- based pesticides on all city-owned and operated land, as that class of pesticide is linked with harm to critical pollinating insects, like bees, while acknowledging that pollinators, such as bees, are critical to key Washington crops and that over one-third of all agricultural production worldwide is dependent on pollinators. This Resolution supports the City’s commitment to sustaining and promoting local pollinator habitat health.
    The same committee session will also include a discussion of a second resolution supporting Fair Trade Music Seattle’s work to support the city’s music industry.

  • Homeland Security grant: Once it has the resolutions out of the way, the finance committee will also be discussing authorizing acceptance of millions in dollars in grants for the first quarter of 2015 (PDF). Included in the list is $1.1 million from the feds for SPD:Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.56.54 PM
  • Port reconsideration: The full Council Monday approved legislation calling on the Port of Seattle to “reconsider its decision to host Shell in Seattle.”
  • New Parks super: Also Monday, Jesus Aguirre was sworn in as Seattle’s new Superintendent of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • Landmarking McGilvra and Montlake Elementary Schools: The Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee Tuesday afternoon will take up ordinances setting out the protections for Madrona’s McGilvra Elementary School and the Montlake Elementary buildings which were designated as an official landmarks.

    Landmark Designation McGilvra Elementary and Montlake School


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