City briefs: City endorses effort to fund transit and roads, plans for former Stevenson Farm move ahead

Council endorses effort to fund transit and roads through new tax

Funding for transit funding in King County has shrunk dramatically. Metro is faced with significant cuts to bus service as the only way to cover the shortfall. If the cuts take effect, it's likely that Islanders will lose several bus routes including the 202, 203, 205, and the 213, and see modifications to route 204.

In the absence of any progress on transportation funding options at the State Legislature, the King County Executive has proposed the creation of a countywide transportation benefit district (TBD).  The funding tool would appear on the April 22, 2014 ballot and, if approved, would institute a 0.1 percent sales tax and a $60 car tab fee (replacing an expiring $20 fee).  The revenues would preserve local bus service and generate approximately $500,000 annually for Mercer Island road improvements.

With City Council endorsement, Mayor Bassett joined elected officials from 14 regional cities to sign a letter of support. The Mayor also spoke last week to the King County Council urging the County to bring this issue to the voters. He described the measure as the only available option to solve the looming transit funding crisis.

YFS Food Pantry needs a volunteer coordinator

The Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) Food Pantry has continued to respond to an ever-growing need for supplemental food among Mercer Island individuals and families. Local organizations, schools and companies have responded generously with food donations.

The food pantry relies heavily on volunteers and is seeking to fill an unpaid Coordinator position to organize all these helpers. The Coordinator will work as a team member with MIYFS staff and other pantry coordinators to enroll new volunteers, help with signups, and publicize projects. The position requires a commitment of five hours per week, and offers a flexible schedule (daytime, evenings, or weekends) and the option to volunteer from home.

For more information contact Evonne Noble at (206) 275-7811.

Plans for home at Stevenson Farm move ahead

The new owners of the former Stevenson Farm, a five-acre parcel at 6053 Island Crest Way, are an Island family who intend to continue its equestrian tradition.

In a statement they announced plans to house four horses on the property. New landscaping will add trees, a meadow and a small orchard area. A rain garden will asborb stormwater runoff from rooftops and a pasture on the eastern and western edges of the property will provide a buffer and privacy for neighbors, reads the statement: “MI Funny Farm is looking forward to creating a beautiful property to share with family and continuing the tradition of horse related activities on the Island.”

A spokesperson from McClellan Architects said that it hopes to have a building permit by the end of March.


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