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Mosely explains city's financial plan

City Manager David Moseley is touring Federal Way to explain the city’s capital facilities needs and from where the money might come to fund them.

Moseley spoke to the Federal Way Kiwanis last week and to the Federal Way Sunrise Rotary yesterday in the first two of nine presentations to local clubs and organizations.

“The goal for the presentations is to share with the public the city’s financial situation, show what we’ve accomplished, show what the need is and show what the challenges are in meeting that need,” assistant city manager Derek Matheson said.

The City Council agreed at its January retreat that transportation, capital facilities and parks will be the top capital budget priorities this year. City staff are estimating a $209.3 million capital facilities budget over the next six years.

Transportation needs, from major highway improvements to traffic signals, top the city’s list of capital priorities. Staff estimate a $101.5 million budget for the six-year transportation plan.

A new City Hall is the top community facilities projects and is the most expensive at $28.5 million, though other projects include a multipurpose field house ($10 million), a performing arts center ($25 million) and community and senior centers ($17.5 million and $4.5 million).

The capital facilities budget is projected at $91.5 million.

City staff estimate the city will need $16.3 million for the six-year parks plan, which includes maintenance for existing parks, development of some neighborhood parks and land banking for future park space.

The trick will be to figure out the funding.

Traditionally, the city has funded capital projects through a combination of federal and state grants and one-time money transfers from excesses in the city’s general fund, Matheson said.

But with shrinking state and federal grant sources, the slow economy and tax-limiting voter initiatives, the city is looking at limited funds for capital facilities.

Meanwhile, the city is growing, with increasing numbers of people driving on the roads, visiting the parks and using city services, Matheson said.

“There’s a citizen expectation that we’re going to keep pace,” he said.

In addition to Moseley’s presentations to local organizations, two open houses have been scheduled at the Federal Way libraries for members of the general public.

One is set for May 15 at the West Campus branch and the other for May 22 at the South 320th Street branch.

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