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King County Flood Control District Executive Committee approves expedited funding

The King County Flood Control District Executive Committee has approved, and sent to the full Flood District Board of Supervisors, a resolution expediting funding for the planned repair of the seawall along the Seattle Waterfront.

$5 million in Flood District funds that had been slated for distribution in 2015 will now be used in 2014 as the city of Seattle begins its renovation of the seawall, bringing the total amount of Flood District Dollars allocated in 2014 to the seawall to $20.81 million.

Expediting the 2015 money would lower the cost of the project to taxpayers in the amount of $375,000 by reducing the number of bonds required to be sold and the corresponding financing costs.

“By accelerating funding to the seawall, we are not only saving taxpayer money, but we are also helping to bring this vital project one step closer to completion,” said Flood Control District Chair Reagan Dunn. “The King County Flood District not only protects public health and safety but also exists to protect our regional economic centers, and this is another example of the flood district fulfilling its mission.”

“Expediting the remaining funds for seawall repairs was not only an example of how separate governments can work together to protect the safety and economy of our region, it was the right thing to do,” said Flood Control District Supervisor Larry Gossett, who is a member of the District’s Executive Committee. “Not only does this allow the City to move faster on the repairs necessary to ensure our regional economy continues to function for all King County residents, but it also saves the residents of Seattle money.”

The seawall, which runs from South Washington Street to Broad Street, has been seriously eroded by bore worms and tides. Built more than 70 years ago, it wasn't designed to withstand a major earthquake. Failure of the sea wall could have a catastrophic impact on the regional economy.

In 2012, Seattle voters approved a $290 million, 30-year bond measure to pay for repairs to the seawall. In 2011, the Flood Control District approved a total of $30 million in funding toward the repairs. The shifting of the $5 million from the 2015 budget increased the amount distributed in 2014 to $20.81 million.

“I thank the Flood Control District Executive Committee for demonstrating its commitment to the seawall project,” said Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess, the City Council's representative on the Flood Control District Advisory Committee, the panel that recommends a capital budget to the Flood Control District Executive Committee. “Their action reflects the recognition that this project is vital for the entire region, not just Seattle residents.”

“If we don't replace the seawall soon, Mother Nature will do it for us and we can't wait for that catastrophic event. The clock is ticking and I'm proud to join with my colleagues at the County to take this important step towards a safer seawall and fiscal stewardship,” said Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin, Chair of the Council’s Land Use Committee.

The Flood Control District’s Board of Supervisors will act on the seawall proposal at its November 4 meeting, when the Board is scheduled to adopt the Flood Control District Budget.

 

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