Published December 9 2022
Plus, arts grant funding, Airfield Park development and award-winning student poet featured
On Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to move ahead with a draft Eastside Climate Partnership Interlocal Agreement (ILA) between the Eastside cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Redmond to cooperatively focus on environmental stewardship efforts.
As the city enters its third year after adoption of the Environmental Stewardship Plan Initiative, this cooperative opportunity represents a way to increase efficiency and collaboration in achieving environmental goals. The intent of the ILA is to allow deeper partnership and collaboration amongst the five Eastside cities, with a main near-term focus on managing the Energy Smart Eastside program to encourage residents to gain energy efficiency awareness and install high efficiency heat pumps. The ILA would also make it easier for the cities to accomplish joint procurement, shared contracts and shared sustainability staff positions through pooled funds.
The full council discussion is available on replay through Bellevue Television.
Arts grant funding
The council also reviewed proposed 2023 budget allocations for the city’s Eastside Arts Partnership Support grants and Project grants as recommended by the Arts Commission.
These grants support arts activities by artists, arts and culture organizations, and creative businesses in the community to ensure visitors and residents can experience diverse art and cultural experiences in Bellevue. They also represent an opportunity for the entire community to get a return on their investment in the arts. Nationally, people who attend arts events spend an additional $33, on average, in the community above and beyond the price of their tickets.
The 2023 budget for arts grant funding was $181,000 – that’s 40% of the total 2023 requests for funding of $454,295. This year’s 53 applications represented a 67% increase in the number of applications submitted. The Arts Commission recommended funding 45 of the 53 applications, which included 29 Eastside Arts Partnership grants and 16 Projects grants.
Artists and arts groups funded by the city are expected to serve an estimated 1,637,292 residents and visitors in 2023 through in-person and virtual programs, performances, cultural festivals, and arts education. The council voted unanimously to approve the recommended arts grant funding.
More details are available in the meeting materials.
Airfield Park development
In other business, councilmembers weighed in on three alternatives for the redevelopment of the Bellevue Airfield Park property. The alternatives were developed after years of planning and a robust recent community engagement process that included a site walk, community meetings, mailings, email notices and direct engagement to understand the features most wanted by residents.
The community feedback reflected a desire for Bellevue Airfield Park to be inclusive, safe, environmentally responsive, and active. People most desired active recreation, including an aquatic facility, playground, sport courts and off-leash facilities. The top requested passive park elements included trails, picnic areas and natural areas.
During council discussion, councilmembers leaned toward the alternatives that included an aquatic center, and the discussion will inform a final preferred master plan alternative for the site, which is expected to come back before council in early 2023. The full discussion is available on video replay.
Award-winning student poet featured
At the start of the meeting, Interlake High School senior Diane Sun read a poem she presented at the White House earlier this year as part of the National Student Poets Program.
She is among just five young people in the country awarded the highest honor in the nation for youth poets presenting original work. Her poem is available in the meeting materials.