Published May 4 2023
Plus, Keep Bellevue Beautiful program, tourism promotion and proclamations for Asian heritage, firefighters and public servants
On Monday, the City Council received recommendations from the Human Services Commission for allocating just over $3 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to organizations in the community addressing Bellevue’s most critical human services needs.
The council has allocated more than $21 million for a variety of human services needs since the beginning of the pandemic, made available through ARPA, Community Development Block Grants, the CARES Act and city contingency funds.
In the most recent funding process, 35 agencies applied for over $7 million, more than double the amount available. The 28 agencies recommended for funding specialize in a variety of human services including childcare, legal assistance, homelessness support, food access, support for domestic violence survivors and a new category: fostering wellbeing in the face of racial and ethnic discrimination.
The council voted unanimously to have the city prepare an ordinance in line with the commission’s recommendations and is expected to approve the funding for the 2023-2024 ARPA Critical Human Services Needs Funding at a future meeting. More information on the funding and agencies applying can be found in the meeting materials.
Ramping up 'Keep Bellevue Beautiful' program
The council also heard an update related to the new Keep Bellevue Beautiful program that was included in the 2023-2024 Budget to enhance litter and graffiti prevention and removal in the city.
The initiative focuses on contributing to Bellevue’s reputation as a clean, safe and vibrant city with cleanup efforts by volunteers. The city will recruit and coordinate teams of volunteers, collaborate with related city programs and coordinate volunteer events.
The program will roll out different elements in 2023-24 through a phased approach, starting with volunteer engagement, education and outreach this summer, along with multiple citywide events. In later phases, the program will incorporate an Adopt-a-Street program to involve the community in ongoing maintenance of key corridors.
Additionally, the city has contracted with a service provider to begin abandoned shopping cart retrieval, which includes weekly sweeps of identified hot spots of abandoned carts. Residents can report abandoned shopping carts on the MyBellevue app and web portal.
The full council discussion is available on Bellevue Television replay.
Tourism Promotion Area picks up steam
Also at Monday’s meeting, the council received an update on establishing a Tourism Promotion Area in Bellevue and Redmond. The TPA will generate funding for tourism promotion by collecting fees from overnight visitors in Bellevue and Redmond. Revenue from the TPA is expected to reach $3.5 million in its first year.
Councilmembers unanimously agreed to place an ordinance on a future consent calendar to establish an advisory board and adopt two chapters in the City Code about the TPA’s administration. The board would be made up of representatives from lodging businesses in the TPA and would have several responsibilities, including developing an annual strategic plan and budget, reviewing tourism promotion activities and expenditures, and updating the council.
The TPA was adopted by the council on Feb. 13, after a public hearing on Feb. 6. The full discussion from this week is available on Bellevue TV replay.
Proclamations celebrate Asian heritage, firefighters and public servants
In other business, the council proclaimed May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The city is celebrating with several activities including free, exhibits showcasing art and history at City Hall.
Several Fire Department team members attended the council meeting to accept the proclamation for International Firefighter’s Day, honoring the dedication and sacrifice of firefighters around the world in service to their communities.
And City Manager Brad Miyake joined with councilmembers to accept a proclamation for Public Service Recognition Week, stating, “We are here to do a job as public servants to serve the community, and it’s a great honor that there is a proclamation speaking to that here this evening.”