Also, design for new youth theater unveiled
The City Council Monday voted 4-3 to maintain the current local property tax level for 2010.
The council's action followed its decision during 2009-2010 biennial budget discussions to consider annual 3 percent increases in the city's share of the local property tax for 10 years to pay for critical transportation and other infrastructure projects.
In 2009, the council did approve a 3 percent increase, which resulted in a local property tax increase of $17 for the average Bellevue homeowner. A 3 percent increase in 2010 would have meant an additional $17 increase for the average homeowner.
All council members acknowledged the importance of the projects.
However, council members Don Davidson, Conrad Lee, Jennifer Robertson and Kevin Wallace, citing the current economic downturn, voted against increasing the tax next year.
Council members are expected to continue their discussions early next year on how to finance transportation as well as other major capital projects.
Feedback: Tim Waters, Director of Communications, 425-452-4090 or email@example.com
Theater design unveiled
The council reviewed the design for the new Bellevue Youth Theatre. To be located at Crossroads Park, the $8 million facility will offer versatility and environmentally friendly features.
Since its establishment in 1990, the BYT has grown into a popular city program, with nine performances a year, summer day camps and theater classes. The theater has outgrown its current home in the former Ivanhoe Elementary School.
Designed by Becker Architects of Bellevue, the new theater is planned as a 11,700 square-foot facility that would allow multiple seating configurations, including theater-in-the-round, with capacity for up to 150. A small outdoor stage extends from one side of the building.
Taking advantage of the site's hilly topography, the building is designed into an existing slope. Much of the roof is park lawn. The hillside design will generate less runoff and demand less energy for heating and cooling as the earth provides natural insulation.
Funding for the new theater will come from the 2008 Parks & Natural Areas Levy and the city's Capital Investment Program. The Bellevue Youth Theatre Foundation told the council it aims to raise $1 million for the project, with a fundraising campaign to begin in January.
Design plans are expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2010. Depending on the availability of funding, construction could start in early 2011.
Feedback: Glenn Kost, Parks Planning Manager, 425-452-5258 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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