The Seattle City Council unveiled its 2020 budget balancing package but further bad news about I-967 could mean another scramble before all is said and done.
Budget chair — and outgoing council member — Sally Bagshaw unveiled the package (PDF) of around 150 proposed additions and updates to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s 2020 budget proposal Wednesday morning. CHS reported here on Durkan’s $6.5 billion 2020 budget plan where some of the big gains — and small, too — in the proposal come from “one-time” revenue infusions from events like the Mercer Megablock sale and public benefits cash received in exchange for public right of way used in the expansion of the downtown convention center.
Independent news site Seattle City Council Insight documented some of the important highlights in the package including:
- Funding to open three additional tiny home villages
- $1.5 million for a new youth homeless shelter
- $1.8 million for a health clinic to be embedded in a shelter
- $1.28 million for mobile bathroom facilities to serve the homeless population
- $3.5 million of additional funding for the LEAD program
- $124,000 for a sex industry workers diversion program
- $3 million of Sweetened Beverage Tax revenues allocated for P-Patches has been cut down to $500,000
- $45,000 for ongoing funding for Indigenous People’s Day, Human Rights Day, and MLK Jr. Unity Day celebrations
- $244,000 was added to provide additional shower services at several community centers and renovate some existing shower facilities
Meanwhile a budget battle over the SPD-assisted Navigation Team and homeless encampment sweeps resulted in no cutbacks but a requirement for quarterly reporting on the program.
An addition of $150,000 proposed by Lorena González for a Capitol Hill “Public Life” study that could someday lead to the creation of a pedestrian and bike only Pike/Pine superblock also made the cut.
A few line items championed by District 3’s Kshama Sawant are also in the package though at a reduced level including a proposal to provide just over $1 million to fund an organization in the Central District to power an organization to help “black churches and cultural institutions” develop plans for “transforming vacant and under-utilized properties into mixed-use buildings, affordable housing, small business retail, social service, and cultural community spaces.” The balancing package has cut that amount to $150,000.
Other Sawant proposals were left out including a line item for a study of what it would take to provide free transit in Seattle. Sawant’s proposal for a pay cut for City Council members and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also did not move forward.
The council will continue budget negotiations next week so expect the balancing roster to change. The city might also need to quickly sort out how to replace millions in funding that could be lost due to I-976.
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