Enumclaw secures street improvement funds for 2017

With revenue streams flowing freely, Enumclaw can now go about the business of improving city streets.

With revenue streams flowing freely, Enumclaw can now go about the business of improving city streets.

Taking action during their Sept. 12 session, members of the Enumclaw City Council voted unanimously to issue bonds in the amount of $2.75 million – guaranteeing a ready pot of money that will be spent next year to provide motorists with a smoother ride.

The city will repay the bonds with cash generated by the local Transportation Benefit District. In early 2015, the TBD determined an additional $20 would be collected on every vehicle licensed in Enumclaw.

City Administrator Chris Searcy said the dollar amount of the bond sale, and the subsequent repayment schedule, was designed to match revenues from license fees. That sum will exceed $200,000 annually.

When looking to issue bonds for the road work, the city put out a formal Request For Proposals to more than 20 lending institutions. Four proposals were received, the best coming from Umpqua Bank, which agreed to charge the city a fixed interest rate of 2.4 percent. Capital One and Commencement Bank provided bids with slightly higher rates and Cashmere Valley Bank offered a variable rate that was deemed too risky.

Searcy said a consultant is now examining the city street inventory and will come up with a priority list. A single contractor will receive the bid to do all the work that fits in the $2.75 million budget, which will be included in the city’s 2017 spending plan.

The license fees are one of two cash resources made available through TBD action. Board members also had placed a measure on the November 2015 ballot, asking local voters if they wanted to increase the local sales tax by one-tenth of 1 percent. The tax bump was approved and is responsible for approximately $250,000 annually.

That money, Searcy said, also will fund street projects but will not be part of a large package of improvements.

Both pots of money – the license fees and sales tax – are mandated solely for street improvements.

The Transportation Improvement Board consists of the seven members of the Enumclaw City Council, working as an independent entity.

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