City focuses legislative priorities for 2013
By KRIS HILL
Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor
January 2, 2013 · Updated 4:49 PM
Roads, parks and economic development are at the top of the city of Covington’s legislative priorities.
Covington’s lobbyist, according to documents provided by City Manager Derek Matheson, will focus on a joint legislative agenda in partnership with Black Diamond and Maple Valley to encourage lawmakers to find money, both state and federal funds, to make improvements to state routes 169 and 516 as well as for transit alternatives in the three cities.
In addition, the city will lobby to retain state shared revenues such as liquor license fees and taxes as well as funding requests for specific projects with the highest priority being the Jenkins Creek to 185th Avenue Southeast improvement project on Southeast 272nd Street followed by the second phase of Covington Community Park and the Covington Town Center economic impact and infrastructure cost study.
Covington’s fourth priority of active lobbying will focus on supporting “increased funding for cities’ infrastructure design and construction needs.” This includes the surface transportation program, land and water conservation fund at the federal level, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, public works trust fund, street utility concept and transportation package discussions at the state level.
City officials will throw their support behind several other efforts by others to lobby a number of other issues.
For example, Covington will support constitutional amendments as well as legislation which creates pure tax increment financing, funding to expand on existing economic development tools designed for cities as well as efforts to make those tools easier to use and more flexible.
Other items the city will support include tax exemptions for municipal capital projects from sales tax as well as exempt utility and enterprise revenues from the state business and occupations, legislation to change the threshold for passing local government bond and levy elections from a supermajority, or 60 percent, to a simple majority, or 50 percent, as well as oppose unfunded mandates.
Another issue of significance for Covington is the effort to provide cities time to annex neighboring land after a county classifies it as urban but before property is developed.
Finally Covington will support the legislative programs of the Association of Washington Cities and Suburban Cities Associations when consistent with other legislative priorities.
The Covington City Council adopted its legislative priorities list at its Dec. 11 meeting.
Contact Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor Kris Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 432-1209, ext. 5054.