Second Budget Public Hearing October 23

Seattle City Council’s second budget public hearing will be Thursday, October 23, 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. The public will have the opportunity to address Councilmembers regarding their priorities as it relates to the 2015 city budget.

Council received the Mayor’s 2015 budget proposal on September 22. Councilmembers will spend the next two months reviewing and modifying the proposal to meet the needs of Seattle residents in areas such as public safety, education, transportation and affordability.

For more information on the Council’s budget process, visit http://www.seattle.gov/council/budget/.

 

 

 

Council to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed 2015 Budget

Seattle City Council will host its first public hearing on the proposed 2015 budget this Tuesday at Garfield Community Center. The public will have the opportunity to address Councilmembers regarding their priorities as it relates to the 2015 city budget.

Council received the Mayor’s 2015 budget proposal on September 22. Councilmembers will spend the next two months reviewing and modifying the proposal to meet the needs of Seattle residents in areas such as public safety, education, transportation and affordability.

WHAT:

Seattle City Council Budget Public Hearing

WHEN:

Tuesday, October 7
Sign-up for public comment begins at 4:30 p.m.
Public hearing begins at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:

Garfield Community Center Gymnasium
2323 E Cherry St
Seattle, WA 98122

WHO:

Members of the Seattle City Council
General Public

Council’s second budget public hearing will be Thursday, October 23, 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. For more information on the Council’s budget process, visit http://www.seattle.gov/council/budget/.

 

City Awards Nearly $1.65 Million to Support Neighborhood-Initiated Projects

Gathering Buildings for Beacon Food Forest, a 2012 Large Project Award Recipient

Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council announced today nearly $1.65 million in matching funds to support neighborhood-initiated projects across the city. Forty-three community groups received awards from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund Program for projects as diverse as an Afro-Latino arts education program to the creation of welcoming gateways to neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Matching Fund recipients received awards from the Large Projects Fund (for projects up to $100,000) and the 2nd round of the Small and Simple Projects Fund (for projects up to $25,000). These cash awards go to neighborhood groups committed to fostering and building a better community. In total, the awards range from $3,523 to $100,000, and communities have pledged to match the city’s $1,648,289 million contribution with resources valued at nearly $2.9 million.

“The Neighborhood Matching Fund demonstrates the city’s commitment to provide concrete ways to help community members make Seattle such a vibrant place to live,” said Mayor Murray. “In order to initiate these projects, neighbors have to connect with each other to create a common vision. The Matching Fund provides the opportunity, and our community members turn their creative ideas and energy into reality. Since this program started 26 years ago, thousands of projects have happened across the city.”

Recipients of the Neighborhood Matching Fund match their awards through a combination of locally raised money, donated materials and expertise, and volunteer labor. “I am always impressed by the dedication of the volunteers who work so hard to make these projects happen,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee. “These volunteers are committed to making our neighborhoods better, and we are all richer due to their efforts.”

For the Large Projects Fund awards, the Citywide Review Team (CRT) recommended the projects to the Mayor and City Council through an open competitive application process. Made up of volunteer representatives from each of the 13 neighborhood districts, plus four at-large community members, the CRT reviews applications, interviews applicants, and makes funding recommendations. The applications are also reviewed by members from district councils.

The Large Projects Fund awards up to $100,000 and is open for applications once a year. The Small and Simple Projects Fund, which has three opportunities to apply annually, awards up to $25,000. The next deadline is October 6, 2014.

Created to promote and support neighborhood-based, self-help projects, the Neighborhood Matching Fund is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Since the program began 26 years ago, the Fund has awarded approximately $50 million with a community match of more than $71 million to thousands of events and projects around the city. To learn more about the Fund, visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/.

Seattle City Council Approves Five New Historic Landmarks

Seattle City Council recently approved landmark designation ordinances for five new city of Seattle landmarks. Located in Belltown, Leschi, Cedar Park, and South Lake Union neighborhoods, these buildings showcase the rich cultural and architectural heritage of Seattle.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Board approved the nomination, designation, and controls and incentives for each of these landmarks, and provided draft ordinances to City Council for approval.

The new landmarks are:

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program is responsible for the designation and protection of more than 400 historic structures, sites, objects, and vessels, as well as seven historic districts located throughout the city. For more information on the landmark designation process and to view other city landmarks, visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/preservation/.

 

City Council Approves Seattle City Light Strategic Plan

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for Seattle City Light today.

The new plan is an update of the utility’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. It will help City Light deliver what customers want most: reliable energy at an affordable cost. Customers have asked City Light to offer tools such as instant access to energy usage data; ways to save money and lower energy use; reduced outages; and better customer service. The plan addresses all of these, and more.

The updated plan will keep City Light rates at some of the lowest levels in the country. New technology will help monitor and manage the power lines in real time to reduce outage frequency and duration. Master planning for improvements at the utility’s aging service centers also will take place to improve efficiencies and reduce risks. The plan also lays out a path to lessen the likelihood of rate surcharges during poor water years and increases operational efficiencies that will save the utility at least $18 million per year by 2015.

The plan furthers City Light’s rich tradition of environmental leadership with renewed investment in energy efficiency incentives, renewable energy, climate change adaptation research, and customer outreach. City Light is the nation’s first carbon-neutral utility and is a leader in discovering new and innovative conservation strategies and fish-friendly operation of our hydroelectric projects.

“In the first two years of our Strategic Plan, we have made significant progress in reducing costs and investing in aging infrastructure while providing our customers with low, predictable rates,” General Manager Jorge Carrasco said. “More remains to be done, particularly as we find new ways to promote energy-efficiency in the face of flat load growth, and I thank Mayor Murray, the Council and the Review Panel for encouraging us to look for innovative solutions.”

Eleven years ago, City Light went through some of the toughest times in its 100 year history. The West Coast energy crisis hit and the utility had no financial reserves. Its bond rating was downgraded, an aging infrastructure had been neglected, and customer satisfaction was low. Today, the utility’s finances are strong, its bond rating is the highest of any Pacific Northwest public utility and customer satisfaction is at an all-time high.

“This strategic plan builds on our past successes and drives us towards our vision of providing the best customer experience of any utility in the country,” Carrasco said.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.