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News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Council Roundup: Mobility update

Also, 'outcome' budgeting starts for 2013-2014

The mobility projects the council is considering are intended to ease travel in and out of downtown.The City Council on Monday scrutinized progress on a set of transportation projects designed to meet future growth needs downtown, in the Wilburton area east of downtown, and in the Bel-Red corridor.

First endorsed by the council three years ago, the Mobility and Infrastructure Initiative is a package of road improvement projects and other investments.

One of the main projects in the initiative is the extension of Northeast Fourth Street, from 116th to 120th Avenue Northeast. The council learned that design work for the project is now about 60 percent complete, though a final road alignment has not been selected.

A new alternative discussed Monday is the possible purchase by the city of the old BNSF railway corridor from its owner, the Port of Seattle. That could allow the city to use a portion of the BNSF land to reduce road construction impacts on nearby property owners.

Other road improvement projects included in the initiative are: 120th Avenue Northeast (in three separate stages), from Northeast Fourth Street to Northup Way; 124th Avenue Northeast, from 15th/16th Street to Northup Way; Northeast Sixth Street, from 112th to 120th Avenue Northeast; and construction of a new 15th/16th Street (in several segments) in the Bel-Red area, from 116th Avenue Northeast to Northup Way.

The original initiative plan estimated the overall cost at $299 million and included a funding plan with new revenue generated by property taxes, impact fees, local improvement districts, grants and other sources. So far, however, in the current 2011-2017 capital plan, $78 million has been set aside for the projects, leaving a significant funding gap.

The council is expected to provide guidance on the various projects in the initiative, such as design options and funding packages, at its meetings over the next several months.

Council agenda item

Feedback: Nancy LaCombe, Capital Projects Manager, 425-452-4382 or nlacombe@bellevuewa.gov

'Outcome' budgeting starts for 2013-2014
The city launches the budget process for the 2013-2014 Operating and 2013-2019 Capital Investment Program budgets, with services and programs to be evaluated based on community priorities or "outcomes" rather than city departments.

The council approved seven outcomes that city programs must deliver: safe community; improved mobility; healthy and sustainable environment; innovative, vibrant and caring community; quality neighborhoods; economic growth and competitiveness; and responsive government.

This is the second time the city is using a budgeting-for-outcomes process, following its introduction in 2010 for development of the 2011-2012 Operating and 2011-2017 CIP budgets.

Revenue shortfalls due to the recession forced the city manager to cut the General Fund budget by about $18.6 million or 6 percent for the 2011-2012 biennium, then slash another $6.5 million in a major mid-biennial adjustment late last year. Staff advised the council that further reductions may be necessary.
 
The budget process will take much of the year, with the city manager presenting proposed budgets to the council in September, and the council adopting the budgets after adjustments in December.

Feedback: Toni Rezab, Budget Manager, 425-452-7863 or trezab@bellevuewa.gov

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