Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Press Release: Mayor to deliver State of the City speech February 19

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Source: http://www.cityoffederalway.com/Attachment.ashx?id=819 (PDF)

Mayor to deliver State of the City speech February 19
Federal Way Mayor Jack Dovey will deliver the 2008 State of the City address at the Federal Way City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S.

The speech highlights major developments from 2007 including:
  • * Symphony Development: Located on the old AMC Theatre site next to the new Federal Way Transit Center, this downtown development of high-rise towers and retail includes 60,000 square feet of retail and 900 condos. It will break ground this spring.

  • * Proposition 1: In 2006, Federal Way voters approved a 1.75% increase in the City’s utility tax for public safety. The City added 18 police officers (most have already been sworn in), equipment and an additional Code Enforcement Officer. The work has already paid off: crime is down 7.2% from 2006, and Federal Way has one of the lowest municipal crime rates in King County.

  • * Safe City Project: Federal Way became one of the only cities in the nation to become a "Safe City" in 2007. We are the first in the Pacific Northwest. The program aims to reduce crime by law enforcement, businesses and City officials working together. One of the most high-profile pieces of the program is 25 wireless security cameras to be placed later this year in the City’s downtown core. The core is small, just one square mile, yet it contributes nearly a quarter of the City’s violent crime and property crime. With video evidence in hand, the City can catch criminals faster, streamline court procedures, and reduce court costs and associated staff time.

  • * Federal Way Community Center: The City opened its 72,000 square foot community center last March to much fanfare. More than 225,000 people have come through the doors since opening, including 80,000 for open swim events, 15,000 for swim lessons and 2,000 to climb one of the South Sound’s only public climbing pinnacles.

  • * Commercial Enterprise Zone: In July 2007, the City Council re-thought the City’s entire southwestern business sector -- near the Crossings and Costco -- and created the new Commercial Enterprise Zone where the "Business Park" and Community Business" zones used to exist. The types of uses allowed in this zone are broader than before, (ranging from manufacturing, restaurants, auto-related, retail sales, hotels, adult entertainment, and multi-unit housing) and give developers more choices.

  • * Preparing for Emergencies: In the wake of last year’s big windstorm, the City Council approved $1.5 million for emergency equipment. The City ordered snow plows, sanding trucks, generators, hand-held two-way radios and other equipment. The City even bought its own AM radio station (AM 900) to be activated in emergencies for real-time updates and recorded messages.

  • * Paying off City debt early: Using higher than anticipated revenues from real estate excise taxes, the City paid off two major debts in 2007. City Hall Mortgage: By paying the mortgage off ($5.8 million) instead of refinancing for 10 years, the City saved taxpayers about $1.5 million in interest. In addition, it frees up the $55,000-a-month payment for City capital needs. General Obligation Bond: By paying off this bond, used for several major projects including building the Knutzen Family Theatre, the City saved taxpayers $258,300 in interest and freed up a $430,000 yearly payment for future City capital expenses.
The speech also focuses on what the City Council and staff are doing about common concerns heard at City Council meetings such as speeding on neighborhood streets, traffic signals and count-down timers, junk cars, illegal parking and panhandling.

And, last but not least, the mayor’s speech focuses on how residents can join with the City in giving back to their community to make Federal Way a better place.

Catch the speech on Channel 21 or online

Can’t make the meeting? The mayor delivered a version of the 2008 State of the City speech at the Feb. 6 Federal Way Chamber meeting, and we caught it on tape. A 21-minute broadcast of that speech is being replayed on the City’s government access station, Channel 21, now through April. See http://www.cityoffederalway.com/Page.aspx?view=378 for the schedule.

You can also watch the speech online at your convenience at www.cityoffederalway.com/council. In addition you can access the text of the speech and the accompanying PowerPoint on the same webpage.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- February 13, 2008

Linda Farmer, APR, Communications & Government Affairs Manager, 253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211
Jack Dovey, Mayor, 253.835.2401



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