Civic center ballot measure short (correction)

  • By Evan Smith, Herald writer
  • Tuesday, August 7, 2012 9:21pm

Mountlake Terrace voters were giving a 56 percent majority to a bond measure to build a new civic center, but the ballot measure needed a 60 percent majority to pass.*

City manager John Caulfield had said Friday night that he hoped that late-arriving ballots would increase the majority.**

Mountlake Terrace voters had a ballot return rate of 23.63 percent as of Tuesday morning.

Snohomish County elections officials had expected a much higher voter turnout.

The measure is a scaled-back version of a measure that the voters defeated in 2010.

Caulfield said that the City Council had put the new measure on the ballot expecting it to pass.**

If approved, the proposition would authorize the city to issue bonds to construct a new civic center, including a community/senior center, police station and library improvements. It would authorize issuing up to $25 million in general obligation bonds maturing within 30 years and authorize the annual levy of excess property taxes to retire the bonds.

The proposed civic center would include a community/senior center and an expanded and remodeled police station and replace the roofing, furniture and heating/air conditioning system at the library. The project would include green space and a natural amphitheater to link the site to the adjacent Veterans Memorial Park, as well as street improvements along 58th and 232nd as part of the Town Center revitalization plan.

Currently the city is renting office space after a ceiling collapsed at the former Civic Center in 2008, Mountlake Terrace has no money to continue renting space beyond 2014.

The bond measure would increase the property tax for the owner of an average ($208,581) home at current levy rates by about $7.42 per month starting in 2014, and average $11.59 per month beginning in 2015.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

*Correction. Aug. 8, 2012: The original version of this article omitted the 60 percent requirement for the bond measure to pass.

**Addition, Aug. 8, 2012: The original version of this article omitted the comments from city manager John Caulfield.

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