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Council OKs 15-year loan to pay for Streetscape

By Kevin Hanson, The Courier-Herald

A week after crews started digging up downtown Enumclaw, the City Council nailed down financing to pay for the project.

During their regularly-scheduled meeting last week, council members agreed to borrow $750,000 from the Banner Bank, a sum that will cover nearly half of the Streetscape construction cost. The Walla Walla-based bank was deemed to have made the best offer among a field of eight competing institutions.

The City Council last year established a $1.6 million construction budget for the downtown Streetscape project. Downtown merchants will be kicking in $250,000 through a Local Improvement District, $600,000 will come from money collected by the city through real estate excise taxes and it was agreed the rest would be borrowed.

The city received eight offers and accepted Banner's, which includes an interest rate of 3.6 percent. With fees added, the adjusted rate climbs to 3.75 percent. Over the 15-year life of the loan, the city will repay $982,867.

Zion's Bank offered the lowest beginning rate, just 3.46 percent, but the rate was subject to periodic adjustment, which caused the city to shy away. Others competing for the city's business were Cashmere Valley Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, KeyBank, U.S. Bank, Mount Rainier National Bank and Bank of America. With the exception of Zion's, which could not be calculated, all others had a total payback of more than $1 million.

The city will make quarterly payments to Banner Bank in the amount of $16,452.39, beginning Sept. 1. Money will come from the city's general fund.

In other business during last week's meeting, the Enumclaw City Council:

€ noted their next meeting would be Tuesday night, rather than Monday (due to the Memorial Day holiday.

€ approved a $10,000 addition to the budget to pay for cleanup of the former Industrial Skills building on Battersby Avenue. Industrial Skills abandoned the city-owned building, leaving hundreds of large boxes of donations lining the warehouse walls, along with commercial kitchen equipment, tools and office supplies. Before the city can determine what to do with the building - and there have been about a dozen queries, according to City Administrator Mark Bauer - the facility needs to be cleaned out. Council members noted the cost will be offset by lease payments from a tenant in a next-door building; since Industrial Skills pulled out, the city has been collected the $1,200 paid monthly by Del's Farm Supply.

€ learned a decision is still pending on filling a council vacancy. The group is down to six, following the resignation of Tim Temples, who moved from the area. Some have argued the city should solicit candidates and choose a replacement, while others believe it would be best to leave the seat empty and wait until November, when the position is up for election. The council's Committee on Committees, headed by Mayor Pro Tem Sean Krebs, was scheduled to meet early this week and is expected for forward a recommendation Tuesday night.

€ watched as Parks Director John Keates presented a certificate of appreciation to the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the congregation recently spent a day sprucing up Boise Creek Park.

€ recognized four employees in the city's Public Works Department - Mark Van Wieringen, Bruce Patrick, Virgil Bickler and Vickie Forler - for 25 years of service to the city.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at khanson@courierherald.com

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