Moss Bay Co-Chair Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order. Penny Sweet, organizer of Kirkland's 4th of July festivities, gave us a preview of events for 2006. There will be a parade, fireworks, and a picnic. There is a need for volunteers and contributions to make these events successful. For more information, visit http://www.celebratekirkland.org
Mayor Jim Lauinger was our next speaker. Jim told us that Kirkland's sales tax revenue was ahead of forecast, though mostly driven by development activities that could wane. Sales at retail stores were up by 1-2%. All in all, the budget is looking good for this year, Jim thought.
Jim mentioned the annexation issue. Kirkland is considering annexing a large area encompassing 13,000 households and 35,000 people. These are mostly residential areas without good sources of sales tax, which could result in services provided costing more than taxes collected, an estimated $5 million annual shortfall. Help from the state will be available to bridge the gap for 10 years. Jim does not support burdening current residents with higher taxes resulting from annexation. If the city decides that it favors annexation, the issue would be decided by a vote of those residents in the annexation areas only.
Ray Steiger, Capital Projects Manager, Kirkland Public Works Department, was our next guest. Ray updated us on the planned 3rd St. Transit Center which Sound Transit will be funding at $13 million. Three "stakeholders" will have a say in what gets built, Sound Transit, King County Metro, and the City of Kirkland. There will be an Community Open House Thursday, May 25, 5-7PM at the Kirkland Maintenance Center - 915 8th Street - to review concepts. Citizen input is vital to a successful project. For more information visit these web sites:
A new traffic signal at Kirkland Ave. and 3rd Street will be installed soon after the transit center design is finalized.
Ray reported on the Central Way project to be completed by mid June, incorporating "bump outs" on the north side of Central and the trial elimination of one eastbound lane, which will add 45 parking spots. This summer State St. will be paved from 5th Ave. S. North to Kirkland Ave.
Deb Eddy was our next guest. Deb was a Kirkland city official for years and was mayor during the 90s. She is now running for state representative from the 48th district, a large area which encompasses the Moss Bay Neighborhood. Deb was instrumental in forming the neighborhood association movement in Kirkland. For more info on Deb's campaign, go to http://debeddy.net
Moss Bay's John Charpentier reported on his meeting with SRM development concerning their project on the site of the former Assembly of God church in the block between 2nd and 3rd Aves S. along State St. To be completed in the fall of 2007, the development will be a two story, 37,000 square foot office building with underground parking for 112 cars. Vehicle entry will be on 3rd Ave. S. only.
Glenn Peterson reported on another proposed project by SRM, this one an assisted living complex proposed for Kirkland Pub site on Kirkland Ave. Since the developer hopes to incorporate some city owned land into the project, hearings will be held, hopefully allowing some citizen input. The proposal is for 120 residential units on 4 floors with retail on street level. Merrill Gardens will operate the home.
Kirkland Parks Board member Cindy Zech was our next speaker. Cindy mentioned that "ivy pulls" are helping cut down invasive plants in parks, with the Carillon Woods site being the focus of removal at this time, and Watershed Park scheduled next. Cindy encourages folks to turn out to lobby against using Peter Kirk park land for the new transit center. Cindy is the Moss Bay liaison to the Parks Board and you can email her about park issues at firstname.lastname@example.org