How should we pay for the Cross Kirkland Trail? Cast your vote by Feb 17

What’s Your Preference to Pay Back an Internal Loan to Buy the Kirkland Segment of the Rail Corridor?

Kirkland residents asked to take 3-question online survey by February 17

In December 2011 when the City Council agreed to purchase the “Kirkland Segment” of the Eastside Rail Corridor, it also approved interim financing for the purchase price of $5 million. The Council also approved a temporary interfund loan in the amount of $4 million from the Water/Sewer and Surface Water utilities and the contribution of $1 million from the surface water utility capital reserves. The interfund loan will have to be paid back within three years. The Kirkland City Council is considering three options to repay the $4 million internal loan and would like to hear from those who live, work, or have a business in Kirkland on their preferred method of repayment. An online survey, is available through February 17, 2012 for Kirkland citizens to consider and assess each of the following options. Survey results will be presented to the City Council at its February 21 meeting.

  • Option 1: Reprioritize parks and public works capital improvement projects. This option would involve delaying indentified capital improvement projects such as sidewalk construction and park development and renovation. It would reallocate $1.6 million of the $4 million dollars previously intended for the planning, development or renovations of six City parks including Waverly Beach and Spinney Homestead parks. Another $250,000 would come from sidewalk and crosswalk projects each year for four years, totaling $1 million. The remaining $1.5 million would come from real estate excise tax reserves, which pays for some capital projects and buys property.

  • Option 2: Issue non-voter approved councilmanic bonds. This option would allow the City to use existing revenue sources to pay back the bonds in the amount of $285,000 every year for 20 years. Councilmanic bonds do not require voter approval. While no specific projects would be cut under this option, the $285,000 would have to be paid each year before other parks and transportation parks could be funded.
  • Option 3: Include the acquisition cost in a voter-approved park bond. This option requires approval from Kirkland’s registered voters; similar to the park bond approved in 2002. The Kirkland City Council is considering a potential park bond for 2012 or 2013 and could include loan repayment as one element.

Cast your vote today.