Also, budget nears approval
With the state Legislature beginning a new session in January, the City Council on Monday tweaked its 2013 legislative agenda in preparation.
Having a game plan for the legislative session is important because decisions made by state lawmakers can have a big impact on Bellevue and other cities. For example, with state government facing another deficit in its 2013-2014 biennial budget, it could opt to take a greater portion of revenue from the liquor tax or other state-shared revenue, leaving less for cities.
The Legislature convenes Jan. 14 and runs for 105 days. In addition to the state's fiscal challenges, there will be a new cast of elected officials, including the governor, attorney general and a representative for the 48th Legislative District, which includes Bellevue.
Another issue of concern for Bellevue will be a state transportation package with new revenue, such as a gas tax increase, that focuses on projects of critical importance to the city. They include the extension of Northeast Sixth Street to 120th Avenue Northeast; two additional lanes, one in each direction, on Interstate 405, from I-90 to Renton; and funding to complete the interchange at 124th Avenue Northeast at SR 520.
The council also received updates on federal legislation that could affect cities such as Bellevue, and on the King County Flood Control District, of which Bellevue is a part.
More information on the city's legislative agendas is available online at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/Agendas/CityCouncilAgendaExtendedStudySession11-26-12.pdf
Feedback: Joyce Nichols, Interim Director of Intergovernmental Relations, 425-452-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Budget nears approval
The council adjusted the proposed 2013-2014 operating budget Monday, adding $165,800 for arts, tourism and work related to the city's electrical system.
Overall, the draft capital and operating budgets -- which include core services such as police, fire, transportation and parks -- total about $1.29 billion for 2013 and 2014.
On Monday, the council approved $50,800 more in the operating budget for Visit Bellevue Washington, which markets the city as a tourism and visitor destination, and $60,000 to work with Puget Sound Energy to ensure the city continues to have adequate and reliable power to meet current and future needs.
Following a recommendation from the Arts Commission, the council added $20,000 for the city's arts program, restoring the program’s budget to the $110,000 annual allocation made before recession-related budget cuts in the current biennium.
The council also authorized $35,000 to place marble statues sent from sister city Hualien at City Hall for display. The gifts have been in storage since they were received in 2010.
The council is scheduled to adopt the operating budget, as well as the 2013-2019 capital budget, on Dec. 3. Both budgets include incremental increases.
The last of three public hearings concerning the budget was on Nov. 19. Two public forums about the budget took place in June as well.
More information, including the preliminary budgets, is available at Budgets.
Feedback: Toni Rezab, Assistant Finance Director, 425-452-7863 or email@example.com
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