It’s an especially busy time at City Hall as we work to develop the 2017-2018 Budget. Just as you work to manage your own household budget, we, too, must live within our means. As part of budget development, I asked the City Council to define their vision for Bothell. I also asked them to formulate strategies and values that would guide the City in reaching that vision in 20 years.
The Council identified 12 top priority goals for 2017-18. There are many more things we want to accomplish, but we can’t do them all at the same time, so we selected our top priorities, not in any order:
- Safe Streets and Sidewalks
- Main Street Enhancements
- Heroin Addiction Action Plan
- Citywide Technology Strategy
- Fire and E.M.S. Training & Equipment
- Community Events & Activities
- Start Canyon Park Master Planning
- Complete Downtown Redevelopment
- Affordable Housing Strategy
- Wayne Golf Course Plan and Purchase
- Parks & Recreation/Open Space Partnerships
- City-Wide Teambuilding, Training, & Organizational Development
See www.bothellwa.gov/RoadMap for the complete Bothell Road Map.
I’ll highlight a few of the goals and address some in upcoming columns.
Residents of Bothell have identified road and sidewalk maintenance and improvements as top priorities for Bothell. The City Council placed Proposition 1, Safe Streets and Sidewalks, on the November ballot for your consideration. This nine-year levy would replace funding lost to other voter-approved tax limits. Proposition 1 would provide dedicated funding to repair and maintain municipal streets, invest in safe routes to schools, and other pedestrian safety upgrades.
The Main Street Enhancement project has been planned for some time, but has taken on a greater urgency after the Main Street Fire. We’re proposing funding it so the project can begin in 2017.
Heroin addiction is a nationwide problem, and Bothell is not exempt. We need to develop a plan to manage this growing health crisis.
Council is enthusiastic about supporting community events in partnership with not-for-profit organizations. Together we can work to bring events and activities to activate our community.
As we complete the downtown redevelopment over the next three to five years, we will work with the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College on their master plan and corridor connections to downtown. We also need to begin work on a master plan for Canyon Park, the downtown of northern Bothell.
Development of an affordable housing strategy is another priority. The City has long been a member of A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH), and we need to step up our efforts as we don’t want people to be priced out of Bothell.
In conjunction with the desire for more open space, the City is continuing efforts to develop a plan to fund the acquisition and maintenance of the Wayne Golf Course property. Earlier this year Forterra, a non-profit organization, purchased the property and plans to hold it for up to three years. The City has secured about $4 million in grants, but does not yet have enough dedicated funding to buy the land, estimated at $11 million. Efforts continue to identify additional funding sources.
We’re also working on strengthening our partnership with the Northshore School District on parks and recreation activities and shared use of facilities.
As you can see, we have an ambitious list of goals. We’d like to hear from you if we’re getting it right. You’re welcome to attend an upcoming Council meeting (first three Tuesdays at 6 p.m.), many of which will include budget discussions. You’re also invited to budget hearings; check the City website at www.bothellwa.gov for meeting dates later this fall.