City of Tacoma News

1. System-wide water rates would rise an average of 12.4

System-wide water rates would rise an average of 12.4 percent in two steps beginning Jan. 1, 2005 if the City Council approves an ordinance on its Dec. 7 agenda. The rate increase would help Tacoma Water meet projected costs of operation and maintenance, debt service and mandated programs through Dec. 31, 2006. Time for public comment will be available at the beginning of the meeting.

2. Pay rate changes to be voted on by City Council

Rates of pay and compensation for union and non-union employees of the City of Tacoma are set for a vote by the City Council on Dec. 7. As considered during first reading Nov. 30, the ordinance includes general wage increases ranging from 1.8 percent up to 3 percent in 2005, along with clarifications on longevity pay and other issues.

3. New 129-unit apartment building could receive tax exemption

City Council members will consider authorizing a Multi-Family Housing Limited Property Tax Exemption with Court 17, LLC, regarding construction of 129 market-rate apartment units located at 1717 Market St.

4. Council may direct Planning Commission to review height restrictions

The City Council will consider a resolution Dec. 7 that would direct the Planning Commission to review and develop recommendations concerning height restrictions in the Lower Portland Avenue Mixed-Use District and to report the findings and recommendations to the Council no later than May 6, 2005.

5. Council to decide on interim regulations for protecting critical areas

The City Council will vote an ordinance regarding interim regulations related to preservation of the City’s critical areas Dec. 7. The interim regulations are meant to maintain adequate protection and to prevent harm of critical resources during the intervening period until permanent regulations are drafted and adopted next year.

6. Bond approval would help engineering company move to tideflats

$8.25 million in tax-exempt, non-recourse revenue bonds from the Economic Development Corporation of Pierce County would help with the acquisition, construction and equipping of industrial development facilities at 1840 Marine View Dr. for Jesse Engineering Company, if approved by the City Council at the Dec. 7 meeting.

7. Budget deliberations lead study session agenda

The City Council will spend more time deliberating on the 2005-2006 Biennial Budget during the Dec. 7 noon study session. Council members will also hear an update on the Jail Transition and Sobering Center before an executive session related to labor negotiations. The public may attend the 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 study session live.

8. Sprinkler system saves lumber building

On Nov. 24 a fire sprinkler system quickly extinguished a sawdust fire in the Pony Lumber building located at 3701 Taylor Way in Tacoma. The sprinkler system was able to extinguish the fire before it spread throughout the building and the lumber company was open for business shortly after the fire. The business, which had recently been purchased for $5.5 million, only suffered an estimated damage of $2,000 from the fire.