• Council Roundup: COVID-19 impacts to city finances discussed

    Plus, human services funding and transportation contract

    The City Council Monday reviewed anticipated impacts of COVID-19 and the related economic shutdown on the city’s budget.

    The city is preparing for a significant shortfall in 2020. Staff estimated Bellevue’s general fund in 2020 could face a revenue loss of up to $28 million – representing 13 percent of the total general fund. 

    Bellevue, which has intentionally built its rainy-day reserve since the Great Recession, will be able to partially offset the impact with a portion of those funds. In addition, the city is actively curbing spending by eliminating any non-necessary travel/training, holding vacancies open and reducing all discretionary spending to reduce the gap.  

    The city’s general fund supports many critical direct services to the community such as police, fire, parks, community development, transportation and administrative services such as legal, city management, finance and others. 

    The council was also briefed on the future expectations for the 2021/22 budget, and ongoing impacts related to COVID-19 anticipated to continue into the next budget cycle. Staff will return at an upcoming budget workshop with additional information regarding the fiscal impacts and planning for continuing COVID-related events. 

    Additional information is located in the council background materials.

    Human Services funding

    The council approved the allocation of $996,557 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The city was awarded $489,623 in newly available CDBG funds this year in response to COVID-19, to go with $506,934 in unspent funds from prior years. 

    The council accepted staff recommendations for the funds to go toward homelessness services ($489,623), emergency financial assistance ($206,934), child care ($150,000) and legal assistance ($150,000) related to preparation, prevention and/or response to COVID-19.    

    The presentation and additional program details are located in the council agenda materials.

    Contract awarded as part of 124th Ave. NE project

    Also on Monday, as part of their consent calendar approval, councilmembers awarded a $1.63 million contract to replace two electrical transmission towers owned by Seattle City Light, which has an easement for the power lines that run through Bellevue. The current lattice-style towers, located along 124th Avenue Northeast, will be replaced with monopole-style towers that have a smaller footprint, the primary reason for the change.

    The towers must be replaced to make room for Bellevue’s 124th Avenue Northeast Improvement project, being built in phases from Northeast 12th Street/Bel-Red Road to Northup Way. Upgrades include widening the street and adding a multipurpose path or sidewalk and planter strip. 

    More information on the contract is available in the council agenda materials.

    Published on 05/20/2020