Upper Kittitas County Port District Town Hall ~
Last Thursday’s (August 25th ), town hall meeting held in the Cle Elum City Council chambers was terrific! Not bad considering it was the same time as the Seahawks/Dallas game and the monthly Democratic team meeting. There was a total of 13 folks there, with some in and out. Four team members, 2 Press, and 7 new attendees (54%).Despite those competing events, we had a spirited conversation with some important questions being offered and discussed.
Here’s the highlights.
- We were asked about a Port’s involvement in community events like Pioneer Days and children’s programs. We were able explain that a Port District is neither a public works or social works organization. Its primary focus is economic development to:
- Promote good paying job opportunities
- Broaden our economic base
- Bring more value and revenue to the community at large
- Clarification that the tax liability could be anywhere from $.05 to $.45 per $1000 of assessed value. At the maximum, that would be $90 per year for a $200,000 property, or $450 per year for a $1million property.
- The timeline to establish an operating UKC Port District looks something like this:
- October 18, 2016: Ballots are mailed to approve the formation of the district.
- November 8, 2016: Proposition 1 is approved. (UKCPD)
- November 7, 2017: Three “At Large” Commissioners are elected and take office.
- January 1, 2018: The first time funds are deposited in the Port’s account.
- January 1, 2019: The new commissioners and citizen oversight committees will have established operating policies, procedures and organizational structure.
- January 1, 2020: The first port project should be in motion.
- How will you know if your money is returning value to the citizens?
The proof is in the results that will appear directly to your community.
- You will be able to see and touch them.
- Your money won’t be sent to Federal, State, County or City entities for re-distribution,
- Your money will be spent, with rigorous citizen involvement and oversight, to benefit the Port District Community directly and at large.
- John Storch, Parks and Recreation Commissioner, let us know that should the UKC Port District be established, they would look to form a relationship that might help assist with Park and Rec priorities. This makes perfect sense, and we expect that other organizations, especially C3, C4 and C6 entities will benefit from a relationship with the UKC Port. This is a common approach to making all these organizations more effective.
Stay tuned for information on the next in our series of UKC Port District Town Hall Meetings.