"Tacoma City Council Agenda News for Tuesday, June 27, 2000"

“Tacoma City CouncilStudy SessionNoon, Tuesday June 27Room 16, Municipal Building North728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaBudget UpdateCity Budget Officer Judith Shoudy will summarize the current balance of revenues and expenses for the 1999-2000 budget cycle in preparation for the 2001-2002 General Fund budget.The discussion will cover the $7 million in one-time revenue used to balance the current biennium’s $297 million General Fund budget and the total revenue – vs. – expenditure funding gap that needs to be filled for 2001-2002.Future study sessions will go into more detail on budget solutions.Tacoma City CouncilCouncil Meeting5:00 p.m., Tuesday June 27Room 16, Municipal Building North728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaDevelopment Tax BreakA $25 to $30 million multi-use development could possibly help fill the downtown’s so-called donut hole.Council members will take public testimony and vote on whether to approve a property tax exemption for The Place at the corner of South 15th Street and Tacoma Avenue South. The project is to include approximately 270 market-rate apartments and condos, 300 parking stalls and 8,000 to 10,000 square feet of commercial space.The housing portion of the project qualifies for the City’s multi-family housing tax incentive. The program exempts property taxes for 10 years on new and rehabilitated housing projects.Since the program’s inception in 1996, the incentive has resulted in construction of 1,300 units of mixed-income housing.This development by Vision One, would sit at the outer edge of the donut hole of undeveloped property identified as a prime area for development of market-rate housing in the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team study recommendations.The developer expects to open approximately 170 condos for occupancy by summer 2001.Lifting Residency RequirementThe Council may waive the three-year-old Tacoma residency requirement for appointive officers and employees, including department heads and professionals. The Council will vote after public testimony.In early 1997, the Council voted to require all newly hired appointive City employees to reside in Tacoma, narrowing down the previous Pierce County residency requirement in effect since 1989.The City employs approximately 443 appointive – or unclassified – employees not covered under the civil service system or union contracts. In May of 1999, the Civil Service Board waived the residency requirement for all classified employees.New Centralized OfficeThe City is seeking to more closely tie strategic priorities and performance to budget decisions through creation of a new department to oversee planning, budget and performance measurements.The Council will take testimony on a proposal to create the Office of Management, Budget and Analysis. The new nine-member department will not include any new hires, but will shift three existing full-time positions in grant management and capital facilities planning over from other departments to join with the Budget Office, currently under the Finance Department.The new department will handle:- Strategic Planning- Operating and capital budgets- Performance measurement process, including data gathering, establishment of measures, program and service outcomes, and audits- Ongoing program analysis- Capital projects and special projects- Grant management- Budget-related financial information for labor negotiations- Growth management capital facilities plan.The Council intends to vote on the proposal at its July 11 meeting.Five-Year Strategic PlanA new strategic plan could have City government focusing its time and resources on community safety, economic development, neighborhood enhancement and government performance during the next five years.The Council, which has spent the past six months updating and revising its strategic plan, will take public testimony and vote whether to adopt the plan.The City initiated a strategic planning process in 1990 to establish Council policies for effecting change to improve quality of life in Tacoma. The proposed Strategic Plan 2000 would cover 2000-2004.Zoo Tax AgreementA measure before the Council will show support for a ballot issue for a one-tenth-of-one-percent sales tax increase for regional zoos and parks, and outline the responsibilities and makeup of the Zoo & Trek Authority in an interlocal agreement.If the Council approves the zoo tax resolution after public testimony, the regional zoo funding ballot measure will come before the Pierce County Council July 11 for the final approval prior to going to the voters in September.With a yes vote, Council members would also approve the agreement between the City, Metro Parks Tacoma and Pierce County on the establishment of the Zoo & Trek Authority. The seven-member board would distribute half of the revenues – an estimated $4.5 million a year – to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Elected officials from the City of Tacoma, Pierce County and other cities would make up the board.”