Also, city's greenhouse gas emissions measured
As Bellevue moves forward with plans to develop a new park at Surrey Downs, City Council members are facing a decision: Where should the district court and probation services located there be moved, and who should operate them?
Staff Monday presented Council with three possible scenarios:
- Moving the court and some probation services to the existing Issaquah District Court building owned by King County;
- Moving them to an existing building located near downtown Bellevue that would be owned by the city;
- In the long run, locating the court and probation services in a potential and yet-to-be constructed Eastside jail facility through an intergovernmental partnership.
The city presently contracts for infraction and misdemeanor court services with King County. The city operates the court and the Bellevue probation program at the former Surrey Downs Elementary School, where the park is being planned.
The Council will consider approval of the park master plan this summer. Environmental reviews of the plan are now underway.
Under state law, the city is obligated to provide court services either under contract or directly through a municipal court, according to Diane Carlson, who oversees intergovernmental relations for the city.
In addition to determining where to move the court, the city also has the option to choose whether to continue to have King County operate the court or to establish its own Bellevue Municipal Court, she said.
Council members are expected to decide on where to relocate the court and probation services by the fall.
Greenhouse gas emissions measured
Realizing that climate change is expected to have far reaching impacts on the region, Bellevue has measured the amount of greenhouse gas emissions for the city as a whole and those of city operations.
The City Council was briefed Monday on the results of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, which looked at measurements for 2001 as a base year and 2006 as an interim year.
The inventory comes as the Council prepares to consider a municipal action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from city operations. The plan is expected to go before the Council in late July.
The inventory conducted by the ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability indicated that in 2006, the city as a whole generated 1,775,479 metric tons of carbon dioxide, an increase of 4.9 percent from 2001.
Bellevue's city operations generated 18,423 metric tons of carbon dioxide, an increase of 25.2 percent from 2001. The largest sources of carbon emissions were electricity and transportation.
The City Council has said it is committed to reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions by taking action on the local level. As part of the city's larger Environmental Stewardship Initiative launched last year, the Council signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2007, and adopted a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
The city also has been working with ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), an international association of government organizations advancing climate protection and sustainability.
For more information about the city's environmental stewardship activities, contact Sheida Sahandy.
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