Mountlake Terrace Civic Center future

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By Nick Fiorillo, Editor-in-Chief

125 more votes. Proposition 1 only needed 125 more Yes votes to pass the required 60 percent of the vote. Proposition 1 to fund the construction of a new civic center in Mountlake Terrace received 56.83 percent yes votes and needed 3.17 percent more to pass with a super majority.

The vote, although not pass- ing, left the Yes Campaign and city leaders optimistic and hopeful that residents are becoming more convinced that a civic center would be the better option. “While it didn’t meet the 60 percent super majority requirement, it certainly shows that an overwhelming majority of the community supports [the civic center],” Mountlake Terrace City Manager John Caulfield said.

The problem that was present still exists.The City of Mountlake Terrace does not own their city hall. The Mountlake Terrace Interim City Hall is currently located on second floor of a business complex at 6100 219th St. SW. Community members

are concerned that the “Where [the city] is renting right now is owned by somebody out of state, so the [rent] isn’t even staying here [in Washington state],” President of the Yes Campaign for the Mountlake Terrace Civic Center Bonnie Mercer said.

There are several problems with the current situation. The most pressing problem is that the funding to rent the office space will run out soon, according to Caulfield. “We don’t have funding to continue renting the interim [city hall] after 2013,” Caulfield said. If the city wanted to continue renting the building, they would need to pass a property tax levy to provide rent funding. Or, they would have to cut city services to provide rent funding

The other option is for the bond measure to provide fund- ing for the civic center to be put back on the ballot, an option which city officials and the Yes Campaign would prefer. “We have land, we have property that the city owns, that we can build on,” Mercer said in support of building the on the land

that the city has planned for construction of the civic center. “The civic center provides a wide range of benefits, including, quite frankly, being more cost-effective over the life of the building,” Caulfield said.

The proposed civic center bond measure is not just for the construction of city hall. There are other city buildings that would be improved if the proposal passes. The library and police station would be renovated, and are definitely in need of it. The Mountlake Terrace Police Station has outgrown its building. If you take a tour of the building, the problems become obvious. Several closets have been transformed into offices, due to lack of space. Previously, the station had two holding cells. Now, one of the holding cells, without any ventilation or windows, has become and office. Lack of space again caused this. Officers said that because they are short on space, they face many privacy, efficiency, and safety issues.

City council will meet Sept. 8 to discuss the next steps for the civic center.