MLT to vote on new proposed civic center

By Gurminder Singh

The city of Mountlake Terrace has proposed a new plan to build a new Civic Center that will be located near the Mountlake Terrace Library.

The new Civic Center will include a city hall, community center and senior activity center. There will be public rooms for meetings, a banquet hall for community use and there will be a place for special events. To meet the requirements of the law enforcement standards, there will be a remodeled police station in the Civic Center. It will also contain Veteran’s Memorial Park and an amphitheater, which will be used for outdoor music and art events.

Currently, the city spends $500,000 a year on office space for the interim City Hall but does not want to continue paying the rent.

“In Mountlake Terrace, we have always been able to unite over issues that benefit all of our citizens. The Civic Center in downtown Mountlake Terrace is one of those issues,” former city of Mountlake Terrace mayor Pat Cordova said.

Due to the poor economy, the construction is very competitive so the City Council brought the cost of the project down from $37 million to $25 million. Property tax will not increase for Mountlake Terrace residents until 2014, when the average household’s property tax will increase $7.42 per month.

In 2015, the average household’s property tax will increase $11.59 per month. Disabled or low income seniors with incomes less than $35,000 a year may be free from paying the special levy taxes. Mountlake Terrace homeowners are paying an average of $98.00 in property taxes in 2012. A major reason why residents might vote against the Civic Center is the increased property tax.

If voters pass the plan, designing of the New Civic Center will begin immediately. The construction will start 12 months after the vote is passed. The construction is estimated to be completed in August 2015.