Lynnwood City Council Nov. 16 set to discuss 2021-22 budget, 196th Street SW street widening

Following last week’s public hearing on the matter, the Lynnwood City Council at its Nov. 16 work session will continue its discussion regarding the preliminary 2021-22 biennium budget.

The council invited the public at last week’s business meeting to comment on the preliminary biennium budget, which includes cost-saving measures that city staff say could affect city parks, services and personnel.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, city staff have projected a decrease of more than $7 million from the last biennium in both revenues and expenditures. After weeks, city staff were able to identify $5.6 million in reductions in travel, training, services and other expenses.

The proposed budget also included a reduction in property tax revenue paid to the city in 2021 and a flat property tax of $4.3 million — the same amount levied in 2020. Staff decided to maintain a flat rate to help residents financially impacted by the pandemic. At the Nov. 9 meeting, the council held a public hearing to allow input on the proposed rate.

Also during the work session, the council is scheduled to receive an update on plans to award the construction bid for the 196th Street Southwest Improvement Project.

The council is set at its Nov. 23 business meeting to approve plans to widen 196th Street Southwest from five to seven lanes between 48th Avenue West and 37th Avenue West. Improvements include new street lighting, new water, sewer, and stormwater systems, converting the overhead power and utilities to underground, new traffic signals, planted center medians, wider sidewalks and landscape features. The improvements are intended to create an “enhanced pedestrian environment with a boulevard appearance,” according to the city.

Due to the magnitude of the city’s financial commitment for the project — which spans over two bienniums — staff decided it warranted a discussion with council prior to awarding the construction contract.

In other business, the city council will discuss switching from a council-appointed judge to an elected judge for the 2022-25 term.

Since the establishment of its municipal court, the city has appointed its judge and the municipal codes provide guidance on the method of determining when a judge is appointed or elected. A part-time judge may be appointed or elected, while full-time judges must be elected. With the anticipated growth of the city and the planned expansion of the court increase, staff anticipate a likelihood that the judge will be full time during the span of the next term. Prior to holding an election for the next term, an ordinance is required to be adopted by the council amending the city code.

The council will also review a report from the city’s Housing Policy Committee that will determine the city’s housing policies. The council decided at its February council retreat create the committee to discuss and develop housing policies that help meet the current and future needs of our expanding city. The committee met 11 times between March and September.

Councilmembers will be meeting remotely via Zoom and will stream the meeting at 6 p.m. live online. Fore more information about the council’s video streaming service, visit the council’s webpage.

To view the full meeting agenda, click here.

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