The Federal Way City Council voted to refinance the remainder of the city’s SCORE jail bond to officially remove them from the interlocal agreement they have been in since 2009. Courtesy photo

The Federal Way City Council voted to refinance the remainder of the city’s SCORE jail bond to officially remove them from the interlocal agreement they have been in since 2009. Courtesy photo

Federal Way to refinance SCORE jail bond

Council votes to refinance their SCORE Jail bond to officially leave the interlocal agreement in 2020.

After a decision the Federal Way City council made last year to leave SCORE Jail, the city will refinance their jail bond and officially depart from the interlocal agreement.

Created in 2009 in an effort to save money, SCORE jail was founded by Federal Way and six other local cities: Renton, Des Moines, Auburn, Tukwila, SeaTac and Burien.

However, during budget discussions last year Mayor Jim Ferrell said he and city staff realized their jail budget had increased substantially rather than decreased like it was supposed to.

Federal Way Police Chief Andy Hwang said that in 2012 the city’s jail budget was $2 million, but last year the budget was nearly $6.5 million.

Councilmember Dini DuClos agreed that Federal Way should exit the regional agreement.

“[This] was going to save us money. Unfortunately it didn’t, it cost us money,” she said.

Hwang told the council during a presentation last year that exiting the regional jail agreement would save the city over $2 million. He described the city’s participation in the interlocal agreement as a “financial burden that is unsustainable.”

The council unanimously voted on Tuesday to leave the agreement, and with the passage of this motion to refinance the remainder of the loan the city owes on the jail facility, the city will no longer be members as of January 2020.

The Federal Way Police Department will still be utilizing SCORE jail until next January, said the city’s communications coordinator Tyler Hemstreet.

The city is looking at several other jail contracts to replace the SCORE contract, including Kent City Jail and jails in Yakima, Issaquah, Puyallup, King and Kittitas counties.

Hemstreet said Kent City Jail, Issaquah Jail and Puyallup Jail have minimum bed guarantees for Federal Way Police Department arrestees, and the other jails are billed on a “use-only” basis.

During an April 16 presentation about bond refinancing, Federal Way Finance Director Ade Ariwoola said refinancing the bond will allow the city to “have control over our own debt.”

Ariwoola said refinancing can’t exceed $15 million and the bond maturity will be in 2039.

Once the bond is refinanced and all of Federal Way’s arrestees are moved from SCORE, all ties will officially be broken.

Deputy Mayor Susan Honda agreed with the decision to leave SCORE, saying, “I believe this is the best thing for us.”

According to Nancy Neras, bond counsel for the city of Federal Way and attorney with Foster Pepper PLLC, this bond refinancing would actually be a credit positive for the city and SCORE because both entities would get lower interest rates on the new bonds.

When Ferrell first announced the city of Federal Way was considering leaving the interlocal agreement for financial reasons, some mayors of other cities in the agreement expressed their concerns over some perceived false information Ferrell told council members during a council meeting.

The Mayor of Tukwila, Allan Eckberg, expressed his concern over what he saw as false information pertaining to the size of the budget. Eckberg said the actual adopted budget for Federal Way was $500,000 less than what the Federal Way council was told.

A back-and-forth via email letters occured between the mayors of some of the member cities, including Tukwila, Federal Way and Auburn.

Full reportage on Federal Way leaving SCORE can be found at www.federalwaymirror.com.

The April 16 and May 7 council meetings can be watched on the city of Federal Way’s YouTube Channel.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Photo courtesy of South Sound Media
Craigslist purchase turns into carjacking, kidnapping in Federal Way

Two suspects have been booked into King County Jail for multiple felony crimes, police say.

Republicans file lawsuit over Inslee’s emergency: ‘Facts, and the science, are clear’

Lawsuit says state has violated Constitutional rights of citizens.

Food boxes to be given away to Federal Way School District families in need

Boxes are available every Thursday from May 28 through June 11

MSC Crab Feed & Auction goes virtual for 2020 event

Item bidding begins June 1; event hosted via Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 6.

The Regional Homelessness Authority was created by agreement in December 2019. Pictured: King County Executive Dow Constantine shakes hands with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Courtesy photo
Regional homelessness authority takes first step amid COVID-19

The authority held its first meeting on Thursday.

Among the candidates for Washington state governor in 2020: (Top row, L-R): Omari Tahir Garrett, Winston Wilkes, Thor Amundson, Cameron Vessey, Martin ‘Iceman’ Wheeler, Ryan Ryals; (middle row L-R): Liz Hallock, Goodspaceguy, Gov. Jay Inslee, Don Rivers, Gene Hart; (bottom row L-R): Phil Fortunato, Tim Eyman, Alex Tsimerman, Cairo D’Almeida, Cregan Newhouse, Raul Garcia.
GOP gubernatorial hopefuls aim to oust Inslee amid COVID-19

Former Bothell mayor Joshua Freed and initiative-pusher Tim Eyman could be the front-runners.

Nonprofit launches new online COVID-19 local resource hub for King County

Hub collects links for more than 300 local resources for people affected by virus.

Free COVID-19 testing offered at Sea Mar Federal Way Medical Clinic

Testing is available on a weekly basis every Tuesday and Thursday; health insurance not required.

Most Read