Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Seattle City Councilmembers approve Seawall replacement bond levy
$290 million levy likely to be on November ballot
SEATTLE – Seattle City Councilmembers today unanimously approved Council Bill 117498, a 30-year property tax bond measure of $290 million to provide public safety and protection of the Central Waterfront and related public infrastructure. Once approved at the Full Council meeting next week, the measure will be on the November 6, 2012 General Election ballot.
A new Seawall is projected to protect the City and its residents and workers for the next 100 years or more. A 30-year bond spreads the cost of this project to existing and future Seattle residents who will benefit from today’s investment. The 30-year bond for $290 million would cost the owner of a $360K home about $59 per year.
"Replacing the seawall is essential both to public safety and to the local and regional economy," stated Council President Sally Clark. "Failure of the wall could severely disrupt transportation and commerce and lead to widespread property damage, injury and loss of life."
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee chair said today, "Seawall replacement is also necessary to support construction of a new Alaskan Way surface road following removal of the Viaduct. The seawall must be removed and rebuilt by 2016 to ensure that Alaskan Way can be rebuilt on time to serve as a vital corridor for moving people and goods."
"The seawall project is the foundation for Seattle’s future waterfront. Regardless of what kind of development will happen we are taking the next important step to providing a safe corridor and pedestrian friendly waterfront," stated Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Central Waterfront, Seawall and Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program Committee.
"The first priority is to fix the seawall for public safety and get our public piers back in working order so that we can safely use them again," stated Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. "This is the beginning of reclaiming Seattle’s waterfront."
A replacement Seawall is essential both to public safety and to the local and regional economy because the current Seawall is not designed to withstand seismic events. Seawall failure could lead to widespread property damage, injury and loss of life while severely disrupting public transportation and commerce.
The proposed bond would go before voters in November. The dollars generated would pay for construction of the new seawall from South Washington Street to Virginia Street and provide funds toward replacing the deteriorated pilings and decking of the two City-owned piers that extend from the seawall: Pier 58, known as Waterfront Park, and Pier 62/ 63, both of which are owned and operated by the Seattle Parks Department. Pier 58 is seismically vulnerable and the structural deficiencies of Pier 62/63 have forced the City to limit use of the pier to protect public safety.
The $290 million bond measure would complete project funding for this stretch of the seawall in combination with approximately $30 million from the King County Flood Control District and nearly $30 million already identified in the City’s General Fund. Seawall replacement is also necessary to support construction of a new Alaskan Way surface road following removal of the Viaduct. The seawall must be removed and rebuilt by 2016 to ensure that Alaskan Way can be rebuilt to provide public access to the waterfront and area businesses.
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