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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Council Roundup: Wilburton LID moves forward

The City Council on Monday took another step toward forming a Wilburton Connections local improvement district to assist in paying for important road improvements in the area just east of downtown and Interstate 405.

Council members directed city staff to prepare a resolution of intent to form the LID. The resolution is expected to be considered for approval at the council's next meeting on Sept. 20. Elected officials also specified a boundary for the proposed LID, which includes 83 parcels, and that the LID should assess property owners within the boundary at 75 percent of the estimated "special benefit" they receive from the planned improvements.

The LID being considered would help pay for extension of Northeast Fourth Street east through the Wilburton neighborhood, from 116th to 120th Avenue Northeast, and for widening 120th Avenue Northeast between Northeast Fourth and Northeast Eighth streets.

When finished, transportation improvements on both thoroughfares will include two travel lanes in each direction, a center turn lane where needed, bike lanes and sidewalk on both sides. The package of upgrades is intended to reduce congestion, accommodate future growth, and improve traffic flow between the downtown, Wilburton and Bel-Red areas.

An LID is a financing method used to pay a portion of the design and construction costs for road improvements and other public works projects. It's a way for property owners who derive a special benefit from the improvements to pay a proportionate share of the project costs through assessments. The special benefit is the difference between the fair market value of the property before and immediately after the project is completed.

In the case of the Wilburton Connections LID, at the proposed 75 percent level of the special benefit, the LID would generate about $10.17 million that could be used to help pay for the work. The total cost of the Northeast Fourth Street and 120th Avenue Northeast projects is estimated at $47.5 million. Most of that amount ($29 million) would be used to acquire the needed rights of way for construction. The current funding gap is estimated at $18 million.

The LID is one of several options being considered to help fund the two projects. Other ways to fill the gap could include more state and federal grants, additional property tax increases and general revenue, primarily from the sales tax or business and occupation tax. 

The next step in the LID process would be council's adoption next week of a Resolution of Intent to form the Wilburton Connections LID, and setting a date for a public hearing. After that would come a formation ordinance, then a protest period, construction of the projects over a roughly two-and-a-half-year period, followed by a final assessment to determine exactly how much each parcel owner would pay, and a final public hearing. Property owners could pay the assessment in one lump sum or over a period of years.

Wilburton Connections is part of a wider Mobility and Infrastructure Initiative, a group of construction projects and other capital projects in the downtown, west Wilburton and Bel-Red areas that respond to increased travel spurred by downtown development.

Feedback: Eric Miller, Capital Programming Division Manager, 425-452-6146 or emiller@bellevuewa.gov

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