News

Annexation date set for July 2008

By JACINDA HOWARD

The Mirror

The Federal Way City Council set the Icon East Federal Way Annexation Area inclusion date to July 1, 2008.

This means residents in the proposed annexation area — from South 272nd Street south to the Pierce County border and from Interstate 5 east to about 51st Avenue East — will be asked to vote on the issue in the state’s primary election on Aug. 21, 2007.

The July 1, 2008, date was one of three choices put before the council on Tuesday, and was seen as the most cost-effective for the city. Councilman Eric Faison made the motion to adopt the transition date. The other two possible options for inclusion were Jan. 1, 2009, and Jan. 1, 2008.

Letting residents in the proposed annexation area know when they can expect to begin receiving services from the city, rather than the county, is important, Faison said.

The city is expected to contribute about $460,000 for the annexation, said Iwen Wang, management services director.

Both Washington state and King County are providing Federal Way with funding to assist in the annexation. King County will supply $2.5 million, while Washington state will supply about $1 million, then $3 million each year until 2018, Wang said.

The city’s and county’s funding will be applied toward the total $2.7 million cost for equipment, such as police cars and dump trucks, and facility modifications, Wang said.

Most of the money provided by the state will go toward the hiring and training of city staff members, Wang said. About 75 employees, including police officers, will be hired, she said. This number is 23 percent of the current staff. The money will also be used to provide the necessary office equipment for these employees, she said.

Choosing to annex July 1, 2008, allows the city enough time to provide services to the annexed area without having to contract out to King County, Wang said. If voters approve the annexation, the city would need to begin ordering equipment and hiring staff this September, she said.

If the annexation is not passed by voters, the city council will decide whether to place it on the ballot again. However, after Jan. 1, 2009, the county will only offer $1 million, and after Jan. 1, 2010, the state will no longer contribute to the initial annexation costs, Wang said.

The next step is to continue to educate the public about what it can expect if annexation occurs, said Isaac Conlen, acting senior planner of the Community Development Services Office.

Community meetings will take place at schools within the annexation area, he said. Meetings will be in open-house formats where residents can ask questions regarding issues such as the level of services they will receive by the city, the taxes they will be expected to pay, and where school boundaries will fall.

Information will also be mailed to the proposed annexed residents, about 20,000 people who reside primarily in the Starlake, Camelot, Jovita, Lakeland and parts of the Parkway residential neighborhoods, Wang said.

Faison said he would like the community outreach portion of the annexation to be aggressive so that people in the area know exactly what they can expect once they are incorporated into the city.

Contact Jacinda Howard: jhoward@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

For more information, such as a timeline of events for this project, visit www.cityoffederalway.com. To ask questions, contact Isaac Conlen at (253) 835-2643 or e-mail isaac.conlen@cityoffederalway.com.

A map of the proposed annexation area can be found at www.cityoffederalway.com/Page.aspx?page=1209.

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