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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
July 15, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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July 15, 2009

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A2 WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS ALL TD UP Above, a line of Model Ts is displayed at the Train Depot. Issaquah was a stop July 10- 11. The 54 cars left New York on June 14. At fight, Steve Shotwell (far fight) talks about his 1916 Model T Roadster. Shotwell volun- teers to restore and main- tain model %. PHOTOS BY ADAM ESCHBACH Issaquah, agencies and developers share award Issaquah officials and several partner organizations received a Governor's Smart Communities Award. Officials were honored for efforts to encourage transit- oriented development near the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride, The Smart Partnerships Award recognizes the development and assignment agreements for the YWCA's 146-unit affordable hous- ing project, as well as the pro- posed zHome development of 10 zero net-energy townhouses. City officials encouraged afford- able, sustainable housing near the 1,000-stall park & ride. City offi- cials have directed $5.3 million to purchase land for the projects. As officials refined their devel- opment vision, they forged part- nerships with King County, A Regional Coaltion for Housing, Puget Sound Energy, Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties, YWCA, Howland Homes and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities. "As we all work toward our common goals of transit-oriented development and sustainability, this award reinforces how valu- able our partnerships truly are," Mayor Ava Frisinger said. In addition to 146 apartments, the YWCA Family Village will include a childcare center, meet- ing rooms, outdoor gathering spaces, pedestrian access to the park & ride and an eco-friendly design. Most of the financing for the first phase of the project is now secured. Construction could start in late 2009 or early 2010. Financing for the zHome proj- ect has been more difficult to secure, and the development has been put on hold due to the down economy. (Offer available only on new Prevail credit card accounts.) 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Rate shown as Annual Percentage Rate [APR]. Rates not available in conjunction with any other offer. Qualifying rate luction good on purchases for one-year, but not available on cash advances. Transferred balances receive the reduced qualifying rate on the transferred amount for the life of that transferred amount balance. Your monthly payments will pay this transferred amount balance first, until it is paid off before paying any purchase balances, regardless of the rate on your purchases. Transferred balances may not come from existing Prevail Credit Union balances. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Ask for complete details. Must be or become a Prevail Credit Union member. Prevail is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Apply today! AVAILABLE NOW]) City Council could clear way July 20 for 1-90 Undercrossing BY WARREN KAGARISE City Council members will consid- er an agreement July 20 to lay the lgroundwork for construction of the ong-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing. The agreement con- cerns a key piece of land along the planned undercrossing corridor. Officials will decide whether to approve a development agreement with the U.S. Postal Service, which owns the property where part of the undercrossing will be built. The agreement clears the way for the city to use the postal service's right of way in order to build the road. The undercrossing will link Northwest Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 56th Street. Plans call for a two-lane road- way to be built from the traffic sig- nal at Northwest Gilman Boulevard at the post office. Crews would connect the road into the rail corri- dor behind Gilman Station. The roadway would continue beneath the existing 1-90 overpass. The road would be built within the former railroad right of way. North of 1-90, the road would form a T-shaped intersection at Southeast 62nd Street, then con- tinue north along 221st Place Southeast to Southeast 56th Street. Transportation planners hope the undercrossing alleviates traffic congestion at existing 1-90 inter- changes at Front Street North and state Route 900. The agreement requires the city IFYOU GO City Council regular meeting 7:30 p.m. July 20 Council Chambers, City Hall South 135 E. Sunset Way to build the undercrossing, and handle street improvements and the installation of a traffic signal at the post office entrance. The pact calls for the postal serv- ice to give the city an easement along the east side of the under- crossing for future street expan- sion. Planning documents said the dedication of the land would allow city officials to compete for federal grants to pay for construction of the undercrossing. In return, city officials will process required approvals and permits for development of the postal service property. The docu- ment states that no transportation improvements will be required if the postal service develops the property. In the case of develop- ment, environmental or develop- ment studies would not be required, per the agreement. Brock said city staffers have been negotiating with the postal service for several years for use of the right of way. City Council members will listen to comments from residents about the agreement at the July 20 meet- ing. The price tag for the undercross- ing is listed as $13.1 million in the city Transportation Improvement Program, a wide-ranging docu- ment that outlines plans for road- work and construction through 2015. When City Council members approved ,the TIP on May 4, the undercrossing was listed as a high priority. Though Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock andother city officials applied for federal stimulus money to build the undercrossing, regional trans- portation planners opted to apply for federal dollars for projects clos- er to breaking ground. Officials hope city crews can break ground on the project next year. Brock said the city could receive less favorable bids as offi- cials begin advertising stimulus projects to contractors. Brock wants city officials to advertise the project to contractors in the fall. He said construction of the under- crossing should last about six months. Officials hope to open the road by the end of 2010. City officials have recently received and awarded several bids at lower amounts than they had budgeted. Brock said he hopes the city could receive a similar deal for the undercrossing construction. "The .earlier the better for us," he added. Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392- 6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com. Budget FROM PAGE A1 tial equipment and supplies and enacted a hiring freeze. But officials said the next round of cuts could force the city to tap into its rainy day fund orlay off employees. "All of these things are being done, we hope, to make layoffs unnecessary," Frisinger said. "But they may not be sufficient and we've been real clear with people about that. "We've gotten to the point where it's jobs," she added. City Finance Director Jim Blake plans to provide updated financial data to City Council members this week. Officials said the data would provide a clearer view of the finan- cial difficulties the city faces. Budget documents show the city with $4.59 million in reserves March 31, the most recent data available. Officials could use the money to help patch budget holes. "We're still in a position in which a portion of the reserve may be used," Frisinger said. Councilman John Traeger said he was wary of spending reserve dol- lars. He said deeper cuts were all but certain to impact city services. "We're going to have to make some challenging cuts to services and cuts to operations," he said. .Traeger and some of his City Council colleagnes said city staffers were too optimistic when t'ney pre- sented earlier budget forecasts. "The projected shortfall the administration showed us this year is worse now than it was," Councilman David Kappler said. Kappler said cuts "are not going to be easy. There are some real basic services people expect in Issaquah," such as police and fire protection, and well-maintained infrastructure, he said. Councilman John Rittenhouse, a member of the Services & Operations Committee, credited city staffers for cutting expenses with- out resorting to widespread layoffs. "I think the approach the admin- istration has taken, in my opinion, has been prudent," he said. Officials said the state of the national economy dashed hopes for a quick recovery. Frisinger and council members said city officials would take further steps to weath- er the recession. "Hopefully, the economy will bail us out," Traeger said. "But I'm not counting on it." PSE hosts free bulb exchange Puget Sound Energy and Project ................. Porchlight volunteers will deliver ....... 275,000 free ENERGY STAR-quali- :;J;:! fled, energy-saving compact fluo- ...... rescent light bulbs to PSE residen- tial electric customers, door to :: door and at community events in ....... PSE's service area. The Issaquah event is from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. July 25-26 at Lowe's, 1625 11th Ave. N.W. Bring up to 10 incandescent bulbs and exchange them for a variety of free, energy- saving fluorescent bulbs. There will be snacks, games, tips and more. You must be a PSE residential electric customer to participate. Residents who participate will also be eligible to win part of $45,000 total in prizes. Interested volunteers for the door-to-door campaign can sign up at the event, online at porchlight.org. Call 1-888-362- 0363 toll-flee for more informa- tion. To learn more about the power of mental skills training and cognitive-based reading enhancement, call us today! 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