Letters to the Editor

Traffic and S. 312th Street | Federal Way letters, March 14

Open letter to the Mayor and City Council:

I read with great interest the article in The Mirror (March 7) about the traffic project at S. 312th Street.

In the sidebar that listed numbers to know, I found some very informative and troubling numbers. The two items that really got my attention were the number of proberties that will need to be purchased and the amount that is to be spent for said properties. It stated that 4 to 8 properties would need to be purchased, and it was expected that the cost would be between $3.5 million and $4 million.

Given these numbers, if all 8 properties needed to be purchased, the cost would average $500,000 per property, and if only 4 needed to be purchased, the cost would average $875,000. With the mean value of property in King County only at about $350,000, why would property in that area of Federal Way be that much more expensive on average than the mean cost in all of King County? I believe your numbers to be exceedingly high and that this would not be in the fiscal reponsible intrest of the citizens of this community. I believe that the cost range should be between $1.5 million and $3 million, saving the taxpayers of this city between $500,000 and $1.5 million on just this part of the project.

With these numbers being as high as they are, it makes me wonder what else in the project has been overstated as to the cost and the time frames. With the economy being what it is, it is my belief that government — be it city, county, state or federal — should be questioning every dime that is being spent on the taxpayers' behalf, and that glaring numbers such as these should be looked at very closely to ensure that we get the most for the money being spent.

Gary Carlisle, Federal Way

Reporter's note: This is an approximate number. Nothing has or will be settled until 2010 when the city knows how many properties will be acquired. At that time, the homeowners will be given fair market value for their homes/properties, according to the city. Project manager Maryanne Zukowski was asked at the last council meeting to estimate how much may be spent, and she threw that number out as a preliminary estimate. — Jacinda Howard

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