City Hall News: Broadway Center fundraising, railroad sale and legislative updates

Tacoma residents will have plenty of opportunities next week to learn more about what’s happening in city government.

Tacoma City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee will meet Tuesday morning to discuss fundraising and expansion plans for downtown Tacoma’s Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. Later that afternoon and evening, councilmembers will hold their regular weekly study session and council meeting, respectively.

City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee and the Auditor Advisory Board will meet on Wednesday to discuss Moss Adams’ preparation for its upcoming work related to Tacoma Public Utilities and Environmental Service Utilities audits, as well as the Washington State Auditor’s final work on its 2012 accountability audit report.

Here is a look ahead at some notable meetings, events, and issues on deck next week at Tacoma City Hall.

BROADWAY CENTER FUNDRAISING

The future of Broadway Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA) will be a topic of discussion at City Hall next week as City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee hears from BCPA staff on a fundraising campaign to mark downtown Tacoma’s Theater District Centennial in 2018.

According to a report prepared by BCPA staff, organizers are hoping to raise $32.8 million to pay for brick-and-mortar improvements, and $12 million to pay for long-term programming and maintenance at BCPA’s four City-owned downtown Tacoma venues — Pantages Theater, Rialto Theater, Theatre on the Square, and the Jones Building.

So far, the fundraising campaign, which began in 2007, has raised approximately $9.35 million of the total $44.8 million goal, according to the report. BCPA, which has managed the City-owned theaters for the past 35 years, is asking the City of Tacoma to contribute $15 million toward the campaign, and argues $7 million can be raised through tax credits that would not burden the City’s budget, according to the report.

Other BCPA-related items up for discussion during the meeting: paying off a $5 million credit investment debt dating back more than 30 years, and discussing concerns over the possibility of routing Tacoma’s Link light rail expansion along Broadway through Theater Square Park and in front of Pantages Theater.

The council committee is scheduled to discuss these issues during its meeting on Tues., Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., Conference Room 248. Copies of the agenda and meeting materials are available online here.

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To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, click on the following links:

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Also on Tuesday, Tacoma City Council will receive a legislative update from Tacoma Government Relations Manager Randall Lewis.

Last month, councilmembers adopted a resolution declaring the City’s priorities for the 2014 Legislative Session. Priorities include support for a transportation package that completes State Route 167 and other local projects; new local transportation funding tools, including street utility; new economic development tools; and opposition to any efforts that restrict or diminish its authority to tax and license.

Councilmembers will receive the legislative update during a study session on Tues., Jan. 14, at 12 p.m. in Room 16 of Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., in downtown Tacoma. Audio from the meeting will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and online at tvtacoma.com. On-demand audio archives are available on the Web within 24 hours of the meeting online at tvtacoma.com. More information is available online here.

TACOMA, SOUND TRANSIT RAILROAD SALE

The City of Tacoma is poised to sell a stretch of City-owned railroad to Sound Transit for the transportation agency’s operation of Sounder commuter rail service.

For Sound Transit, owning the 1.2-mile rail line, which runs between East D Street and Puyallup Avenue, will allow it to make future infrastructure investments, such as the planned replacement of a trestle between Freighthouse Square and K Street, which is currently scheduled for completion in 2017.

For the City of Tacoma, Sound Transit will pay $4 million for the property, transfer approximately 1.2 acres of property near the intersection of Pacific Avenue and South 26th Street to the City of Tacoma, and spend as much as $200,000 on landscape design and improvements on the transferred property. Sound Transit will also allow Tacoma Rail to continue its freight operations on the rail line.

According to documents prepared by City of Tacoma staff, the rail line was purchased from the Weyerhaeuser Company in 1995 and, beginning in 2003, was used by Sound Transit to operate Sounder rail service between Tacoma’s Freighthouse Square and Seattle’s King Street Station as part of a temporary operating agreement. Two years ago, City of Tacoma and Sound Transit representatives were negotiating a new agreement when they began to discuss the property sale.

Tacoma City Council held a public hearing on the proposed sale last month.

Councilmembers are scheduled to vote on the deal during a meeting on Tues., Jan. 14, at 5 p.m., at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma. The meeting will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and online at tvtacoma.com. Meeting materials and supporting documents are available online here and here and here and here.

 

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Tacoma / Sound Transit railroad sale, click on the following links:

TCRA APPOINTMENTS

Looking ahead, Tacoma City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote later this month on whether to appoint six people to serve on the 10-member Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority (TCRA) Board.

TCRA serves the local community by administering loans to low-income families who need help buying or repairing their homes, as well as to developers who provide multi-family housing to low-income families. The board also works with businesses that rehabilitate blighted commercial space, as well as with non-profit organizations that provide key services to the local community. The board consists of lawyers, bankers, contractors, certified public accountants, and real estate brokers or agents. They serve two-year terms. The board meets at 7:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month.

City Council’s Neighborhoods and Housing Committee interviewed candidates earlier this month and forwarded its recommendations to the full council. If a resolution is passed on Tues., Jan. 21, Chris Van Vechten, Steve Snider, Teresa Colby, Jason Kors, Edward “Curt” Curtis, and Michael McNiel would join the TCRA Board.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority Board, click on the following links: