City of Tacoma News: Tacoma City Council

Here's what the City Council is tackling this week during its study session and regular meeting.

Tacoma City Council
Study Session
Noon, Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Room 16
Tacoma Municipal Building North
733 Market St.

Social services funds
As social service needs increase and precious revenues decrease, local funders of those services have accelerated their search for better ways to ensure the limited dollars have the greatest benefit to the community. Staff representatives from Tacoma and Pierce County will talk with the City Council about new performance criteria that, when implemented, will direct more funding toward those agencies that achieve the greatest outcomes while delivering their services. The City Council not take any public comment.

County-wide planning policies
The Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) recently approved a process to give elected officials more involvement in policy direction of the County-wide Policies for Pierce County, which, among other things, provides rules for urban growth areas and controlling sprawl. The City Council will learn more about its role in an upcoming comprehensive review of the policies, look at the timeline for review and discuss some of the issues that could affect the direction of growth in Pierce County and the cities within the county. The first comprehensive review meeting by the PCRC will take place March 13.

Tacoma City Council
Regular Meeting
5 p.m., Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Council Chambers
Tacoma Municipal Building
747 Market St.

UW Tacoma parking garage loan
The University of Washington Tacoma may get a $1 million loan to help build and operate a 300-stall parking garage at South 17th and Market streets, if the City Council passes an ordinance up for public comment.Under the proposal, the city would loan the institution $1 million in federal funds to pay for a portion of the estimated $7 million parking structure. Approximately 94 units of privately financed housing would top the structure. Residents, UW Tacoma visitors, students and faculty, convention goers and the general public would all use the garage. UW Tacoma would finance the structure’s additional $6 million cost contingent on securing state funds during the current legislative session. In return for its participation in the project, the city would receive a portion of net revenues as loan repayment and have stalls available for convention center events and other public uses. The council expects to vote on the ordinance March 18.

Continuation of BIA
Tacoma would authorize continuation of the Local Development Council’s (LDC) Business Improvement Area (BIA) for the sixth year under an ordinance up for public comment. The BIA covers an area downtown between South Seventh and 21st streets and Market and Cliff streets. Property owners in the BIA assess themselves to pay for additional security (including “cops on bikes”), cleaning and maintenance of common areas such as sidewalks and streets, banners, general marketing and promotion of local events. The ordinance would allow the city to collect and appropriate $651,570 for the BIA between May 1, 2003 and April 30, 2004. The LDC will then submit reimbursement requests to pay for BIA expenses. The Council expects tests to pay for BIA expenses. The Council expects to vote on the proposal March 18.

LeMay Museum drives forward
Tacoma would use federal grant money to pay a major portion of the bill for the LeMay Museum’s site analysis, design documents and other pre-construction details under a proposal up for public comment and a vote. The City Council will take up an agreement for up to $1,081,977 with M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, the architectural firm that would do the work. The LeMay Museum, which would house the world’s largest car collection in a new building next to the Tacoma Dome, is required to pay 13.5 percent of the company’s bill; the city-using grant funds-would pay 86.5 percent of the bill.

Emergency series streetlights fund
Tacoma would like to transfer $200,000 into an emergency series streetlight fund and wants the City Council to approve the idea. The Tacoma Economic Development Department’s Neighborhood Council Office has proposed amending its Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development, transferring money from the Local Improvement District Assistance Program into a fund that would pay for series streetlight repair in low- to moderate-income areas. Four of the 20 series streetlights that don’t meet the city’s minimum safety criteria qualify for funding. The $200,000 would cover the cost of those repairs. The council will take public comment before its vote.

Juvenile housing zoning changes
The City Council will review and take public comment on an ordinance that would change the zoning code to recognize the state’s authority to place non-adjudicated youth sexual offenders in group care homes in Tacoma. The Planning Commission made a recommendation on Feb. 5 and the City Council conducted a public hearing Feb. 25. If the council approves the zoning code changes, the ordinance will meet the criteria defined in the state Growth Management Act. The City Council expects to vote on the proposed changes at its March 18 meeting.

This is an incomplete agenda. The Index prints as much as space allows.

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