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Issaquah, Washington
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April 6, 2011     The Issaquah Press
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April 6, 2011
 

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A2 * WEDNESDAY9 APRIL 6, 2Oll THE ISSAQUAH PRESS S By Warren Kagarise to subject to future demands for John Sullivan, Costco vice presi- Issaquah Press reporter 'unclaimed property,'" the lawsuit dent and associate general coun- states, sel, wrote in a March 2 letter to Costco filed a lawsuit against Under state law, uncashed the state. the state Department of Revenue rebate checks constitute The letter accompanied a $3.2 in early March, after the agency unclaimed property, million check delivered to a ordered the Issaquah-based The order for Costeo to pay the Department of Revenue field warehouse club to pay $3.2 nail- $3.2 million came after the office in Kent. lion in unclaimed customer Department of Revenue audited Costco attorneys also objected rebates. Costoo's customer-rebate program, to how the state notified the com- The complaint in King County In the complaint, Costco attor- pany about the payment. Superior Court came about a neys said the company relies on "In a terse statement coupled month after the state directed third-party companies to handle with nearly 4,000 pages of Costco topay into a state fund for rebate programs, records that Costco had never unclaimedproperty. The attorneys said the agency seen before, the letter demanded Costco paid the money, but is used third-party records to calcu- that Costco 'report and remit' seeking to recoup the dollars in late the $3.2 million figure, over $3 million in less than 30 the lawsuit. The amount repre- "Costco disagrees that it is obli- days' time," the lawsuit states. sents unclaimed rebates from the gated to pay any of the amount Costco employs 2,700 people in years 2004 to 2010, plus interest, that the state asserts is due, let Issaquah, more than any other "The department's action not alone the entire amount assessed, business. only harms Washington con- and it disagrees with the demand sumers, but also sets a toxic letter and accompanying agency Warren Kagarise:392-6434, ext. 234, or precedent for any individual or actions on the grounds that the~ wkagarise@isspress.cont Comment at business the department decides are arbitrary and capricious, www.issaquahpress.com. Mobile office coming to city and medical interviews. They can StoUed tire deadline extended also issue Electronic Benefits The Mobile Community Services Transfer cards for food stamps, Motorists can keep studded Office is coming to Issaquab from and receive documents, tires on vehicles until April 7 -- 2-5 p.m. April 12 at Issaquab The truck, run by the state or face a ticket after the deadline Community Hall, 180 Sunset Way. Department of Social and Health -- because the state Department The 40-foot truck is staffed by Services, will visit the community of Transportation has extended experienced f'mancial workers hall during the Issaquah meal the deadline to remove the win- who are able to handle cash, food program, ter-weather gear. Issaquah Press readers are invited to part/c/pate in a Community Conversation Group Times are changing! Tell us how you read the paper, what you read often, what you'd like to see added, how your reading habits have changed, and more. Our goal is to continue being your No. 1 choice for local news! Thursday, April 14, 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, April 15, 1-2:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served/ 12 readers per group will be invited to participate. Those not selected will be asked to participate in an online survey. Apply online at www.lssaquahpress.com Click on the link on the home page. ISSAQUAH PRESS By Warren Kagarise On the Issaquah council, Buffer Joshua Schaer Issaquah Press reporter serves as deputy council president, and appointed the No. 2 position on the board. Councilwoman Longtime Councilman Fred Buffer, In the campaign announcement, Stacy Goodman a respected authority on regional he referenced the accomplish- appear on the transit issues, announced plans ments the council achieved in the November bal- March 29 to run for a fourth term. past year, as well as upcoming lot. Schaer The incumbent candidate, a milestones for the city, including a n n o u n e e d Squak Mountain resident and a the scheduled opening of a plans last retired U.S. Army colonel, joined Swedish Medical Center campus in month to run the City Council more than a the Issaquah Highlands. for re-election, F "- decade ago, and served on the "While I want to continue to but no other IN MUff board as Issaquah experienced a focus on transit, there are a num- candidate has population boom. ber of other significant issues stepped forward. "I want to continue to serve the where I can help shape the vision Candidates must file to run in citizens of Issaquah and the and ture of Issaquah," he contin- Issaquab and other races by June region with my enthusiasm, ener- ued. Several that come to mind 10. gy and experience to make are the Central Issaquah Plan, the The electorate chose Buffer for Issaquah a better place," he said preservation of Park Pointe, and the council in 1999, and he cruised in a statement. "I am committed facilitating the integration of to re-election in 2003 and 2007. to working collaboratively to solve Swedish hospital and Bellevue Butler outpaced then-Planning problems. I pledge to work hard, College into our community." Policy Commission member Bryan listen and help when I can." Butler filed as a candidate with Weinstein in a landslide in the Butler, a Sound Transit board the state Public Disclosure November 2007 council election. member, served last year on a Commission last month andState Public Disclosure regional effort to guide King announced intentions to run for re- Commission records show Buffer County Metro Transit service in. the election at the Kiwanis Club of raised $6,524 in the race, corn- decades ahead. In addition, County Issaquah meeting March 23. So far, pared to the $1,640 raised by Executive-elect Dow Constantine he has $2,037 in his campaign Weinstein. tapped Buffer to serve on the tran- account. sition team as Constantine shifted In addition to Buffer's seat, the Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or from the County Council to the top council seats held by Council wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at county office in 2009. President John Traeger, Councilman www.issaquahpress.com. ,. at what level, Rittenhouse said. portation, if the facility is near bus PROM PAGE A1 people have stresses or serious mental-health issues. A human services campus is ideal for all communities, and serves individu- als and families of every stripe." for campus gould w? Issaquah leaders earmarked $1 routes. million to the project in 2008 and, so far, authorized $35,000 from the fund to complete the feasibility study. (If the human services campus does not come to fruition, the back- ~oPlan is to use the money for rdable housing.) mly dwl m cm mi Organizers enlisted The NonprofttCenters Network, a San Francisco-based consultant, to conduct the study. Consultants interviewed Mayor Ava Frisinger, council members and municipal staffers as part of the process. "Transportation barriers are particularly diffficult for low- income people, but all people ben- efit from garnering help at one location with easy access, lots of expertise and cross referrals," Mauk said. Organizers said a pressing demand exists for such a campus in Issaquah, especially amid human service cutbacks from county and state governments. Of the 67,000 people served at the Together Center in 2009, the figure included 1,186 Issaquah residents. "I was very, very concerned From the study, "we learned about the study initially, Issaquah has a much higher level Councilman Fred Butler said after of poverty than many of us may be the presentation, as city Human aware," Mauk said at the meeting. Services Commission members Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234. or wkagarise@isspress.eom. Comment at www. issaquahpress, com. HUMAN SERVICES CAMPUS11MELINE The push to open a human services campus in Issaquah started in early 2006. Since then, community leaders and elected officials embarked on a detailed process to turn the campus from a vision into reality. 2006 Initial discussions begin about how the city can help Eastside Baby Corner, Issaquah Valley Community Services and other nonprofit organizations meet space needs. Organizers send a survey to 45 nonprofit organizations, and 15 agencies report immediate or possible interest in the Issaquah campus. 2007 The city Economic Vitality Task Force endorses the human servic- es campus concept for Issaquah. Organizers vote to put the Issaquah campus under the legal umbrella of the Family Resource Center, a nonprofit Redmond human services campus. 2008 City Council members earmark $1 million in impact fees paid by the Talus developer for the human services campus. 20O9 The city Human Services Commission recommends the city join the Family Resource Center to conduct a feasibility study.The council later allots $35,000 to the center to conduct the study. 2010 The Family Resource Center releases the results of a survey of local nonprofits to gauge interest in the campus. 2011 Organizers deliver the complet- ed feasibility study to the council, and outline plans to select a site and raise funds. The price tags Rittenhouse and and representatives from nonprof- Mauk presented range from $1 it organizations sat in the audi- million for a lease to $11 million to ence. =We had lots of conversations build a 20,O00-square-foot facility, around the scope and eve~g, though the total cost could change but I m delighted that you re if,a donor offers land or a building beginning to identify some anchor to the project, tenants that would be interested." Other options outlined in the study The proposed lssaquah campus include $8.2 million to purchase and attracted interest from 14 organi- ronovam a 3 ,,ooo-mlu ro-foot spaco zations in a preliminary survey. or $4.3 million to do the same to a Many more noIlprofit organiza- 16,000-square-footspace.tions also requested additional The study presents leasing a site information about theproject. as the least-costly option. Organizations plan for the cam- Organizers could rent 16,000 pus to be open to human services square feet for $1 million or groups and other nonprofit organi- 32,000 square feet for $1.8 million, zations. "Our consultants tell us if we "This expanded scope will pro- have a site in mind, it's a much eas- vide added benefits, and provide ier fundralsing effort," Rittenhouse flexibility over time to meet needs said. "So, when we talk about as they develop," Rittenhouse said. securing a site and securing the The campus is meant to focus idea of a site-- something that can uncoordinated human services be presented to fundraisers -- programs in Issaquah. makes it a much more compelling "Whether looking at homeless- story and makes it much easier." ness or addiction, one-stop access to Organizers said the Together services is important," Mank said. Sources: City of lssaquah, The Issaquah Press archives Center is pursuing partners to Moreover, organizations located share in the cost and reaching out at the campus could share office to community members to launch equipment and facilities -- and the fundraising campaign, reduce operating costs. Mauk said The major takeaway from the a nonprofit campus keeps lease study is that each scenario can rates as low as possible. work well, depending on whether The campus concept could also property or funds are raised, and help clients using public trans-