Fee reduction package expected to pass Bonney Lake council vote tomorrow

The two ordinances would temporarily eliminate the city's traffic impact fee for qualifying businesses as well as reduce sewer and water system development charges by 30 percent each.

Tomorrow, the Bonney Lake City Council is expected to pass a new package of fee and rate reductions designed to spur development in the city.

The two ordinances would temporarily eliminate the city’s traffic impact fee for qualifying businesses as well as reduce sewer and water system development charges by 30 percent each.

“I think it’s the right thing to do at this time,” Mayor Neil Johnson said during a discussion on the issues at Tuesday’s council workshop.

Both reductions are designed to sunset, but can be extended.

All new businesses in the downtown core are eligible for the traffic fee reduction, as are Eastown and Midtown businesses that will generate $15,000 per year in sales tax revenue over a three-year period.

In addition all sit-down restaurants that generate $20,000 per year in sales tax for three years are eligible.

Fast food and other counter-style businesses are not eligible.

A special $500,000 fund will be created, most likely using money originally set aside to pay for a YMCA, to make up the difference. The program will last one year or when the fund runs dry, whichever comes first.

The program is an expansion of one the council has tried in the past, but no businesses used it.

The council will also vote on an across-the-board 30 percent cut to sewer and water system development charges.

According to the agenda bill, the charges were based on needs during pre-recession levels of growth, but the decline in development has led to a corresponding slowdown in the need for new infrastructure, allowing the council to lower the costs.

If approved, the water development charge on commercial buildings would drop from $10,334 to $7,234 and the sewer charge would drop from $9,277 to $6,494.

For a single family home, the water rate would drop to $5,689 from $8,328 while the sewer development charge would lower to $6,571 from $9,387.

Bonney Lake’s development charges and fees are among the highest in the county and several councilmembers have urged a drop in rates as a way to reinvigorate building in the city.

Several developers, as well as the Master Builder’s Association of Pierce County have also asked for and spoken in favor of the reductions.

During discussion Oct. 16, Councilman Randy McKibbin said he and Community Development Director John Vodopich had met with a developer recently who indicated the two programs would be used “faster than you think.”

McKibbin and Vodopich have been meeting with representatives for Red Robin, believed to be interested in the pad next to Applebee’s on state Route 410, though no official word was given as to what business he was talking about.

“We should see something come out of this,” agreed Johnson.

The ordinances met with little opposition during the workshop and were expected to pass.

More in News

Taxing district was independent, now part of city government

In a move that was philosophically opposed by a pair of council members, the city of Enumclaw has taken control of the local Transportation Benefit District. The move may not be noticeable to the general public, as the collection and distribution of money should be unchanged. Also, the people controlling the dollars and cents remain the same.

Wilbanks wins close Buckley race

It took a month, but Luke Wilbanks finally knows he’ll be occupying a seat on the Buckley City Council.

Smooth holiday travel requires planning, patience | Department of Transportation

No matter what your holiday plans, being prepared for winter conditions and holiday traffic will help make your trip smoother. The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to “know before you go” and plan ahead for smoother travel.

Pierce County burn ban lifted | Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Update

The weather may be getting colder, but burn bans have been called for multiple counties due to deteriorating air quality.

Local authors publish their first novels

Sometimes, you just can’t get an idea out of your head. For two local authors, this certainly has been the case. Since they were kids, James Peet of Enumclaw and Tommy Rice of Bonney Lake had some ideas in their heads, ones that never quite left them, even as they grew older, got jobs, and settled down with their wives and kids of their own.

Scammers posing as the State Supreme Court Clerk | Office of the Attorney General

Scammers are posing as the Washington State Supreme Court Clerk to call Washingtonians to demand money and threaten arrest. The fraudulent calls have so far targeted individuals with Hispanic last names.

Enumclaw’s Van Hulse to compete in national music showcase

Erik Van Hulse, who also goes by his stage name Siboh Nisoh, has been working toward this big break for almost as long as he can remember.

Kiwanis honor four as Students of the Month

Members of the Buckley Kiwanis Club honored a trio of “Students of the Month” during an Nov. 16 gathering.

Pepper addresses ‘false’ recall charges in community meeting

The meeting, held at the Black Diamond library, was a chance for voters to have “an opportunity to hear from both sides before they decide to sign,” the recall petition, Pepper wrote in an announcement for the meeting.

Most Read