Three public meetings are planned this month before the city decides whether to ask voters for a tax increase to support transportation projects. The first meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Spruce Elementary gym, 17405 Spruce Way. A community survey also is planned this spring.
Lynnwood's transportation benefit district was formed in 2010. It currently collects a $20 fee, assessed when people living in the district purchase vehicle license tabs. That generates about a half-million dollars per year.
The money has been used mostly for pavement projects and some street maintenance, street-sweeping and pothole repair, said David Mach, a project manager in the public works department.
In addition to street maintenance, it's also time to look at long-term transportation needs, said Jeff Elekes, the deputy public works director and city engineer.
“The city has determined that it has insufficient funding for routine maintenance, street overlays, those kinds of things,” he said.
Three spots identified as needing work include:
* The Poplar Way bridge, a proposed new span over I-5 from the intersection of Poplar Way and 196th Street SW to the intersection of Alderwood Mall Boulevard and 33rd Avenue W.
* 36th Avenue W. from Maple Road to the northern city limits. This project is in the design phase.
* 196th Street SW, from the 3700 to 4800 blocks.
City officials want to know what projects and improvements are most important to neighbors, Mach said.
“We just want to get a good gauge from the public as to what we're doing and what we could do better. That's the big picture,” he said.
In addition, a community survey is planned this spring. About 5,000 people in town will receive mailers. Others who want to comment online should send their name and email address to LynnwoodTBD@ci.lynnwood.wa.us. The survey will be available online as well.
After the survey and three public meetings, city officials will decide whether to float two separate tax measures, Elekes said. They could do either, or some combination of both.
One proposal would be increasing the license plate tab fees up to $100 per vehicle. Another would be increasing sales tax by up to two-tenths of one percent. Both proposal would require voter approval.
The earliest voters would see either measure on ballots would be in the November general election.
If approved, the sales tax increase could generate $4 million a year. The license tab fees, if increased, could bring up to $2.5 million annually.
The next two public meetings are scheduled for 5 p.m. March 18 at City Hall, 19100 44th Ave. W., and at 5 p.m. March 27 at the city operations and maintenance center, 20525 60th Ave. W.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; email@example.com.
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