Councilmember Jean Godden
Seattle City Council votes to add $3 million for city street improvements
Seattle – Today, the Seattle City Council confirmed its commitment to Seattleites by passing Council Bill 117207authorizing the Seattle Department of Transportation to spend $3 million from the sale of the Rubble Yard to fund road repairs. The funds will provide a 33 percent boost in 2011 street repair funding and prevent the elimination of 21 positions in the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).
"As Budget Chair, it was important for me to act quickly and ensure these dollars are put to work, improving our streets and retaining our skilled and valuable employees," said Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Finance and Budget Committee.
"Everywhere I go, people ask me if we can do more to fix the roads and make our streets safer for all users – drivers, bicyclists and bus riders," said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair. "These additional one-time dollars do not provide a long-term solution to our declining transportation revenues, but they will allow us to catch up on potholes, providing a smoother, safer ride while, at the same time, saving us from more expensive repairs in the future."
"These funds will help keep crucial street repairs on schedule for this year," said Council President Richard Conlin. "Summer is street repair season and potholes only get bigger, and more dangerous, during the winter."
In June, the City of Seattle agreed to sell the Rubble Yard located at Sixth Ave N and Harrison St to the Washington State Department of Transportation for $19.8 million. The sale of the yard, previously utilized by SDOT for material staging and temporary debris storage, provides funds that can be used only for transportation purposes.
While the SDOT director must still recommend how the remaining funds should be allocated, the Mayor and Council agreed to provide $3 million to fund roadway maintenance. The approval of the funds came as a part of the first quarter supplemental budget ordinance, which made several adjustments to the 2011 adopted budget.