City of Tacoma News: Tacoma City Council

Tacoma City Council
Study Session
Noon, March 12, 2002
Tacoma Municipal Building North
Room 16
728 St. Helens Ave.
CitiesFirst, personnel rules
The City Council will learn about a unique public/private partnership opportunity and the city’s streamlined hiring practices. Don Harris of the Sacramento-based Nehemiah Corporation of California will give a presentation on CitiesFirst, a public/private partnership between the United States Conference of Mayors and Nehemiah Corporation. With a focus on affordable housing opportunities and public land restoration, Nehemiah Corporation also offers business assistance, student internships in urban ministry and provides financial support for faith-based human service and education programs. In seven years, the corporation has generated more than $8.7 billion in real estate transactions and helped more than 82,000 families and individuals become homeowners, making it one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations. The study session presentation will follow a round table discussion with local business and community leaders, as well as members of the financial and affordable housing communities.
Director of Human Resources Phil Knudsen will brief the new members of the City Council on the recently revised personnel rules. Approved by both the Civil Service Board and the City Council in Dec. 2001, the rules allow the city to better compete in today’s labor market with reduced required posting times for job announcements, a faster screening process and an expanded list of eligible applicants. The result? Managers can fill open positions more quickly from a larger pool of qualified applicants.

Tacoma City Council
Regular Meeting
5 p.m., March 12, 2002
Tacoma Municipal Building
City Council Chambers
747 Market St.
BIA levy
If the City Council continues the Business Improvement Area (BIA) program for the 15th year on March 19, then business owners in the downtown area will pay their share of a $577,050 levy.
But this year, they will pay less, and get more for their money.
If the council approves, the May 1, 2002 to April 30, 2003 assessment will decrease by 6.1 percent to .09 per square foot for occupied space and .03 per square foot for unoccupied space.
And the budget – which includes approximately $43,000 from reserves – is an actual 11percent increase from last year and will include funding for street banners and Business District marketing services and a 100-percent increase for Tacoma Police Special Emphasis Team patrols.
The larger budget and lower assessment is because an increase in assessable space.
On March 12, the council will discuss continuing the program, as well as approving the work plan, budget, assessment rates and new schedule. Established in 1988, the BIA levies annual assessments on buildings and other real estate.
The council will take public comment on the proposed ordinance and expects to vote March 19.
Nativity House
The City Council will take public testimony and vote whether Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority (TCRA) can give a $350,000 grant to Nativity House.
The grant would actually come in the form of a 0 percent interest loan that Nativity House would use toward the $2 million construction costs for a new daytime shelter at South 23rd Street and Jefferson Avenue.
As part of the grant agreement, the city and TCRA would review other funding sources, construction documents, permitting and other project details and terms.
So long as Nativity House continues to maintain a day shelter for the homeless at its new location for the next 20 years, then the TCRA would forgive the loan in 2022.
The grant is in addition to the $383,000 relocation agreement that the City Council approved in October for relocation expenses, property purchase and start-up construction costs.
The city negotiated the relocation agreement with Nativity House to move the day shelter that was housed on the future site of the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.

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