Council Roundup: Budget briefing on Community Development, Utilities

Kelsey Creek culvert construction

Council Roundup: Budget briefing on Community Development, Utilities

On Monday, councilmembers continued their discussion of the proposed 2019-2020 Operating Budget and 2019-2025 Capital Investment Program (CIP) plan. This week’s topics included CIP projects overseen by the Community Development Department and the Utilities Department’s draft budget and rates.

Bellevue's CIP presents a schedule of major public facility improvements that will be implemented over the next seven years. Community Development projects account for approximately 6 percent of the $693 million allocated. Key investment areas include the Environmental Stewardship Initiative, aimed at achieving eco-friendly goals, and the proposed “Grand Connection.”

The proposed Utilities operating budget of $316 million seeks to strike a balance between providing reliable service, continuing predictable rates, maintaining current local operations and replacing aging infrastructure. Prior to being included in the City Manager’s draft budget, the proposal was reviewed by the Environmental Services Commission; a resident advisory group. While rates will increase for 2019 and 2020, Bellevue remains very competitive when compared to neighboring cities.

Later, during the regular session, the third and final public hearing on the budget was held. Fourteen community members signed up to speak. The full comments are available for online viewing via BTV.

The council will likely provide staff direction regarding the 2019-2020 Budget next week on Nov. 26. Final adoption could take place as early as the Dec. 3 meeting.

Additional background on the budget process can be found in the agenda packet materials.

Grand Connection progress

The council was also briefed and provided direction on their preferred option for the Interstate 405 crossing of the “Grand Connection.” Councilmembers unanimously agreed to proceed with further study of “alternative 3,” which incorporates a park into the lid-like crossing. According to the city’s analysis, the design presents the best opportunity for creating a memorable public space, fostering a range of placemaking opportunities and catalyzing additional development.

The proposed Grand Connection will begin at Meydenbauer Bay Park, extend through downtown and ultimately connect with the regional Eastside Rail Corridor in a re-envisioned Wilburton commercial area. Moving forward, the city will complete the Final Environmental Impact Statement review, continue stakeholder outreach, explore funding options and report back to the council for additional input.

More details are available in the agenda packet materials.
Published on 11/21/2018
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