Seattle City Council
5/9/2005 3:29:00 PM
COUNCIL APPROVES OVER $56 MILLION IN 2005 BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS
Adjustments “enhance public safety citywide.”
SEATTLE –Today, the City Council approved 2005 Budget adjustments that concentrate on enhancing public safety, with a net impact on the General Subfund of $9.4 million. Impact on other funds reaches the sum of $46.7, totaling $56.2 million.
One-time adjustments, possible through a rise in real-estate excise tax revenues, were:
- $100,000 for a traffic light at a pedestrian crossing on Crown Hill’s intersection at 15th and 87th;
- $1,000,000 for a large backlog of major street maintenance:
- $500,000 for red light traffic cameras for four intersections;
- $100,000 for lighting in Pioneer Square to help meet the city’s commitment to integrate the new Hygiene Center facility into the neighborhood;
- $500,000 improving pedestrian safety with traffic signals for targeted intersections;
- $300,000 funding the Mount Baker Boathouse restoration and upgrade project. This adjustment will support private efforts to raise more funds.
Adjustments to the General Fund were:
- $12,000 increasing international promotion of Seattle through the Trade Development Alliance;
- $40,000 restoring Pritchard Beach’s lifeguard, cut from the 2005 budget process;
- $50,000 funding HistoryLink, a web-accessible history resource.
“This 2005 budget adjustment was a smooth and cooperative process among my colleagues, and I thank them for that,” says Councilmember Richard McIver, chair of the Finance and Budget Committee. “What we were able to do was gratifying and endorsed by the city’s departments.”
“The improving economy and a booming real estate market have allowed us to make these budget adjustments,” said Council President Jan Drago. “With these hopeful signs, we’re moving forward today to, among other things, enhance public safety citywide.”
The Council’s support for the Mount Baker Rowing & Sailing Center’s capital expansion, a $2.1 million project spearheaded by the Center’s Boating Advisory Council, is added to $1.5 million the group has already raised towards their goal.
“The Center’s rowing, sailing, kayaking, and water safety programs,” says McIver, “offer young people, many of them from Southeast Seattle, an exciting opportunity to learn the values of exercise, team work, and discipline.” McIver notes that program youth have parlayed rowing skills into college scholarships.
These budget measures also include $40,000 needed to provide lifeguard services at Pritchard Beach in the Rainier Beach area, services that were eliminated in 2003 in response to a tight City budget. It is now the only city-owned beach without lifeguard services.
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is pleased with the inclusion of $100,000 in funding for improving public lighting in Pioneer Square. Earlier this year, the Council identified a site in Pioneer Square for a new homeless service center and agreed on public improvements to integrate the facility into the community.
“We’re delivering on our commitment to create a safer environment for residents and business owners in Pioneer Square,” said Rasmussen. "This is an important and meaningful first step," he added.
The Council’s budget action today includes funding for several pedestrian and traffic safety enhancements. $500,000 has been allocated for a demonstration project to install traffic cameras at busy intersections and school crosswalks to discourage drivers from running red lights. Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata have been examining this technology and will be developing a proposal for this project later this summer.
Speaking of today’s budget adjustments to enhance public safety—especially in regards to pedestrian crossings, Councilmember Richard Conlin said, “Our goal must be zero tolerance for ‘jay-driving’—drivers who violate pedestrian space. Everyone in Seattle should be able to walk safely in their own community. New traffic signals and cameras are a major step toward that goal.”