Federal Way City Council sets priorities for 2018 legislative session

The Federal Way City Council has outlined eight priorities it wants the state Legislature to address in its next session, which begins Jan. 8.

The council unanimously approved the 2018 legislative agenda at its meeting on Tuesday night.

Three of the items on the agenda were included in the state’s 2017 capital budget, which was not approved this year.

“All of our capital budget requests that we had last year going into this are still on the agenda for this year,” Ehren Flygare, the city’s contract lobbyist, told the council at a Nov. 21 study session.

2017 items

Federal Way officials will again ask the Legislature for $250,000 to replace old Safe City cameras and add more. Video feed from the cameras is monitored for criminal activity.

This year’s legislative agenda also includes a $250,000 request toward the preservation of 53.8 acres of category one wetland, wetland buffer, lakefront and associated forests along North Lake on the former Weyerhaeuser campus.

The city and King County have each pledged $1 million toward the purchase of the property.

The city is also asking for legislative support for the preservation efforts.

A $1 million request for a kitchen upgrade at the Performing Arts and Event Center is back on the docket.

The upgrade would be used by the Native American Culinary Institute in partnership with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

“We have gotten some pretty substantial money for the PAEC from the capital budget over the years, so we have been very successful in doing that,” Flygare said.

Homeless shelter for families

In January, Mayor Jim Ferrell launched the Homeless Mothers and Children Initiative. The city is asking the Legislature to provide funding to help secure a temporary shelter.

“The main objective of that initiative was to address the lack of shelter in Federal Way for homeless families with children,” Yarden Weidenfeld, the mayor’s senior policy adviser, told the council.

HMCI is working with Mary’s Place and faith-based organizations to find a suitable location for a shelter in the city.

“The $100,000 grant would be a very good first step to help the partnership get off the ground,” Weidenfeld said.

University initiative

The city has been working with officials from the University of Washington-Tacoma, Highline College and the Federal Way school district to bring a higher education facility Federal Way.

The city is asking the Legislature for $800,000 to help cover start-up costs, which would include rent, furniture and equipment and hiring a site manager and site adviser.

Education

The City Council has agreed to support the Federal Way school district’s legislative agenda, which includes asking the state to fully fund the McCleary ruling, fully fund the cost of basic education and fully fund the cost of transporting students who are homeless.

Ferrell said at Nov. 21 session, in the past, the city has been more focused on its own issues.

“We didn’t really ever put our arm around the school district and say, ‘We know you’ve got a legislative ask. We are going to work the hill and work the members,’ ” Ferrell said. “That’s really what we are offering to do here.”

The city’s legislative agenda also asks for an unspecified amount of money to help with algae control at Lake Jeane.

The mayor’s Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force recommended the city ask for an amendment to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 53.54 to authorize the Port of Seattle to conduct abatement, mitigation, monitoring and research for the impacts of airports on Federal Way.

The City Council will host its legislative agenda breakfast at 8 a.m. on Jan. 4, in the Forest Lounge of the Federal Way Community Center, 876 S. 333rd St.

District 30 state Sen. Mark Miloscia, Reps. Mike Pellicciotti and Kristine Reeves and school district personnel are expected to attend the meeting.

Other council business

• The City Council unanimously approved the 2018 school impact fee schedule on Tuesday.

The impact fees are assessed to developers to help offset the cost of additional students in the school district. The fees for multifamily development in 2018 will be $20,086 per unit, up from $8,386 per unit in 2017. For a single-family development, the fee will $6,842 next year. The 2017 fee is $3,198. Federal Way Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Campbell told the council the fees, which are determined using a formula, reflect recent increase in multifamily developments in the district.

• The council unanimously voted on Tuesday to extend a development agreement with Wild Waves/Enchanted Village for 20 years. The agreement, which was enacted in 1998, was set to expire in April. Changes to the agreement include increasing the height allowed for rides from 125 feet to 200 feet, which brings the park in line with others in the area, according to Wild Waves representatives.

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