City of Tacoma News

1. Council to consider collective bargaining agreement

City Council members will discuss a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local Union 117, the Public Assemblies Facilities Unit, which covers 24 employees who work at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, during the March 8 meeting. If approved, the employees would receive a general wage increase of 2.5 percent effective Jan. 1, 2005, and subsequent wage increases in 2006 and 2007 of an amount equal to 100 percent of the increase in the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) in the Seattle-Tacoma area, based on the June index.

2. Resolution could adjust Comprehensive Plan amendment fees

City Council members will consider a resolution March 8 that would adjust the fees for applying for a change to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code. If approved, the change would create an exemption of the $1,200 application fee for changes submitted by Tacoma’s Neighborhood Councils and Neighborhood Business Districts. An exemption would also be granted to community organizations that have been involved in an ongoing planning study with the City. The exemptions would result in a loss of approximately $5,000 in revenue over the 2005-2006 biennium.

3. Breakthrough Change and Tall Ships updates at study session

City Manager Jim Walton is scheduled to update the City Council about progress on the Breakthrough Change Initiatives that aim to cut between $3 million to $5 million from the General Fund budget during the 2005-2006 biennium. Council members will also hear an update about the Tall Ships Festival that is scheduled to be in Tacoma June 30 through July 5, 2005. The public may attend the noon study session in Room 16, Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St., but the Council will not take public comment. CityPost (Channel 85 on Click!, Channel 77 on Comcast) will air the audio portion of the session live.

4. Ordinance would continue Business Improvement Area levy

On March 8 the City Council will hear the first reading of an ordinance that would continue the Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) for an eighteenth year. If approved, the ordinance would provide for the levy of an eighth year assessment of $728,850 – comprised of $638,068 in assessments and $90,782 from reserves. It would also approve the BIA annual budget, work program and assessment rates of 9.73 cents per square foot for occupied space and 3.24 cents per square foot for unoccupied space for the period May 1, 2005, through April 30, 2006 – a 0.05 percent increase in the assessment rate over last year. The Local Development Council held a public meeting and heard testimony from rate payers on Jan. 26, 2005.

5. City may accept $785,000 from WSDOT for sewer relocation

The City Council will hear the first reading of an ordinance March 8 that would allow the City to accept $785,000 from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for relocating sewers along the Interstate 5 corridor between South 48th Street and Pacific Avenue. The City needs to relocate the sewers prior to a highway widening project on I-5, which will span over the next three years in this area. All costs incurred by the City in performing the sewer relocation would be reimbursed by WSDOT.

6. Help improve the City of Tacoma Web site

A new survey on the City of Tacoma Web site asks visitors what works and what could be improved on the site at The City is considering ways to improve its Web site during 2005 and beyond. To take the survey, visit the Online Newsroom at