Published October 6 2022
Plus, ARCH 2023 budget presented and council issues proclamations to raise awareness for domestic violence, disability employment and antisemitism
On Monday, the Bellevue City Council continued their budget discussions with a deeper look at specific sections of the Preliminary 2023-2024 Operating Budget and 2023-2029 Capital Investment Program (CIP) plan. The discussion during this meeting focused on investments in public safety, homelessness response, use of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and a clean city program.
In the areas of public safety, the preliminary two-year budget proposes investments in Fire Station 10 personnel, equipment and construction, an increase in patrol officers to meet rising calls for police service and support, and funding for a specialized Eastlink Transit Unit who will specialize in responses and patrol of the light rail infrastructure coming to Bellevue. The budget also includes funding for targeted anti-crime initiatives, a police body-worn camera program and the Community Crisis Assistance Team (CCAT) program, a partnership between Police and Fire designed to better support and respond to community members in crisis.
The Preliminary Budget continues the City’s efforts to address homelessness in Bellevue, with specific investments in a safe parking program, support of shelter programming and help transitioning people to the men’s shelter being constructed in Bellevue, as well as continuing funds for outreach and housing access efforts to connect those who are unsheltered with stable housing as quickly as possible.
Elsewhere in the budget, the City has $12 million in remaining ARPA funds. The budget proposes these funds be focused on critical human services including housing assistance and eviction prevention ($10 million, with $2.4 million to be spent in 2022) and small business recovery and support ($2 million.) The budget proposal also includes $300,000 for a targeted outdoor litter and trash management program as well as development of an ordinance on graffiti in the city.
ARCH 2023 budget
In other business, the council received a report on the 2023 budget and work plan for A Regional Coalition for Housing, or ARCH, as they celebrate their 30th year in existence. The coalition of 15 Eastside jurisdictions and King County has produced or preserved more than 5,200 affordable housing units to date.
The agency’s work plan in 2023 is a continuation of their ongoing efforts to grow capacity for program administration as the region grows and support ARCH member affordable housing initiatives that are evolving over time to best meet the region’s housing needs. In Bellevue, that will include support of the newly restructured Multifamily Tax Exemption program, providing support and expertise as the city develops more transit-oriented development areas and affordable housing actions, provide training for property managers, a housing needs assessment, and supporting Bellevue-specific efforts such as the Housing Stability Program (using HB1590 funds) and the city’s Next Right Work for housing priorities.
ARCH has proposed adding two new positions for the upcoming work plan to accomplish the above needs for ARCH jurisdictions. Bellevue’s contribution to fund the work plan in 2023 is $429,000, which is included in City Manager Brad Miyake’s preliminary budget document.
The council voted 6-1 to move forward with drafting legislation that would approve the ARCH 2023 budget and work plan, with Councilmember Lee voting ‘no’. The full ARCH presentation and details are available in the meeting materials.
Proclamations raise awareness for domestic violence, disability employment and antisemitism
At the start of the meeting, councilmembers read and presented proclamations for topics important to the city in the areas of inclusion and community safety.
A proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month reminded community members of the broad toll domestic violence has on a community and that we must be vigilant together to stop this kind of violence.
Meanwhile, members from one of the city’s three Employee Resource Groups – the Disabilities Allyship Resource Team – were on hand to accept a proclamation from the mayor and council on Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, highlighting the benefits and advantages of including employees with disabilities in our workforce.
And the council presented a proclamation condemning antisemitism to local members of the Jewish community as a way to educate and show solidarity against discrimination.
The full proclamation readings and presentations are available on replay through Bellevue Television.