Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Tim Burgess
COUNCIL SENDS PIKE PLACE MARKET LEVY TO NOVEMBER BALLOT
SEATTLE – The Seattle City Council today voted 8-0 to place a six-year, $73 million levy for improvements to the Pike Place Market on November’s ballot.
The last major renovations to the Market were made in the early 1980s with $50 million in federal grants. Since then the Market has been in constant use with more than 10 million visitors each year, 500 full time residents and 240 businesses.
The Council voted on a levy package that would largely fund: an upgrade of the Market’s electrical systems, which would bring them to modern safety standards, including replacements of several primary utility transformers; an upgrade of the Market’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems so an energy-efficient central system could replace the various mechanical systems that currently operate independent of each other; plumbing system improvements to replace degraded sanitary pipe drains; seismic retrofits to help the Market meet and exceed current code standards; improved accessibility for people with disabilities, including the installation of new elevators; two new sets of public restrooms on the Arcade level of the Market; and miscellaneous repairs to buildings throughout the Market, including rusted awnings, failing roofs, and replacement of degraded windows.
The City Council received a proposal for a Pike Place Market Levy earlier this year from Mayor Greg Nickels. The Council’s Committee of the Whole, chaired by Councilmember Sally J. Clark, held three public meetings in City Council Chambers and one public hearing at the Pike Market Senior Center over the previous five weeks to deliberate on the package. Seattle residents from neighborhoods throughout Seattle spoke to the proposal.
Councilmember Sally J. Clark, chair of the Committee, said, “It’s clear to me that Seattleites care about the Market. Now we leave it to them to vote on this package of investments.”
Councilmember Tim Burgess, Committee vice-chair, said, “The people of Seattle, including the City Council, are the stewards of the Pike Place Market. It’s one of our city’s greatest assets. This maintenance levy is designed to repair electrical and plumbing systems, install a new heating and cooling plant, upgrade the roof and windows, add an elevator, and strengthen seismic supports.”
The Pike Place Market Levy will appear on the November 4, 2008 ballot for City of Seattle voters. It will require a simple majority to pass.