Mountlake Terrace civic center measure still short

  • By Evan Smith, Herald writer
  • Thursday, August 9, 2012 8:55pm

The votes favoring the Mountlake Terrace Civic Center went up from 56 percent Tuesday to 57 percent Thursday, but the ballot measure was still short of the 60 percent needed to pass.

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

Officials will continue to count votes through certification of the election Aug. 21. Officials release the next returns Friday afternoon.

As of Thursday, Snohomish County officials had counted 26.34 percent of the ballots they had sent out countywide, although 35.18 percent had arrived at the County Auditor’s Office, still far less than the expected 44 percent.

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 civic center proposition would authorize the city to issue bonds to build 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.

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 house, worth $208,581, 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.

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