The following are the Pasco City Council's legislative priorities for the 2017 session of the Washington State Legislature, as passed by the City Council in November 2016. Click here for a presentation given to City Council in May 2016 by the City's legislative consultants on the results of the 2016 session.
LEWIS STREET OVERPASS: The Lewis Street Overpass project replaces a deteriorating and functionally obsolete 1937 underpass on a former state highway. The Connecting Washington package includes $15 million in state funding for the overpass, and indicates that the remaining funding for this estimated $40 million project be identified from local sources. The City is actively working to reduce costs and identify local funding sources for the project, including seeking state and grant funding to close the gap. Pasco also requests project funding to begin in earlier biennia in order to realize design and permitting cost savings.
PEANUTS’ COMMUNITY PLAZA: At the epicenter of Downtown Pasco is Peanuts Park, the primary and historic gathering place for the community. Named after Peanuts, a dedicated resident who shared his love of community through candy, the park today is the heart of a culturally diverse downtown core. The City seeks $3 million in funding to revitalize the downtown plaza, upgrading this important community gathering place in a way that will spur economic development. Among other enhancements, the plan provides for renovations of the existing farmers market, a new streetscape, children’s splash pad and festival stage area.
ALLOW CITY PUBLIC FACILITY DISTRICT TO FUND AQUATIC CENTER: The Pasco Public Facility District (PFD) would like to fund and construct an aquatic center. Regional and county PFDs are authorized to construct “recreational facilities”; however, city PFDs are not. The City requests legislation allowing city PFDs the same authority as county and regional PFDs.
PASCO DNR PROPERTY: The City of Pasco hopes to continue working collaboratively with the Department of Natural Resources to facilitate the sale of the commercial and residential properties along Road 68 and all their associated water rights.
PRESERVE STATE-SHARED REVENUES: Pasco receives approximately $1.3 million annually from the state, categorized as “state-shared revenues.” Pasco supports restoring liquor profit revenues to pre-2012 levels by removing the 2011 cap, and restoring the 50/50 revenue sharing relationship over multiple biennia and dedicated the revenue to public safety.
REFORM THE PUBLIC RECORDS ACT: Pasco supports reform to statutes governing public records requests to provide cost recovery, alternative dispute resolution, and greater access to funding to modernize records collection. In approaching this reform, the City recognizes the importance of transparency and accountability in government.
MAIN STREET PROGRAM: Pasco supports legislation that increases the tax credit limits on the Main Street Tax Incentive Program.
BASIC LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY: Pasco supports additional state funding to the Basic Law Enforcement Academy to increase the number of training slots available for law enforcement officers. Pasco supports re-evaluating how training slots are allocated to agencies throughout the state to ensure that they are equitably distributed based on geography and demand.
LABOR REFORM: The City supports legislation reducing labor costs. Modification of the arbitration statute to provide clarity on “comparability” would better balance the interests of uniformed employees with those of the taxpayer.
Optional Authority to Adjust 1% Property Tax: Pasco supports proposals that provide local jurisdictions with the option to adjust property tax by a growth/inflation factor each year, rather than 1%.
Election of Judges: Pasco opposes legislation mandating that part-time municipal court judges be elected rather than appointed.
Voting Laws: Pasco supports legislation that changes the state voting laws to allow greater flexibility for local jurisdictions to meet federal Voting Rights Act goals.
INFRASTRUCTURE & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Model Toxics Control Account: Pasco supports funding solutions to the Model Toxics Control Account that maintain and increase funding to storm water and clean up.
Infrastructure Program Funding: Pasco supports full funding of programs that support development and maintenance of local infrastructure such as the Transportation Improvement Board and the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board.
Economic Development Tools: Pasco supports reinvigorating economic development programs currently in statute that now remain unfunded, such as the Local Revitalization Fund, the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool, the Job Development Fund, and others. Additionally, Pasco supports establishing a tax increment financing or value capture financing program, similar to what is established in other states.
Marijuana Laws: Pasco supports solutions to assist local governments in implementation of the recreational marijuana system, and support policies that retain local authority on regulations that govern marijuana production or sale.
Body-worn Cameras - Pasco will monitor recommendations from the task force on body worn cameras, established by the 2016 Legislature.
Notification of Pre-Annexation Agreements - The City supports legislation improving notification of existing pre-annexation agreements in the home buying process.
Annexation of Unincorporated Islands: Pasco opposes legislation mandating cities to annex unincorporated islands, but supports incentives that encourage annexation, such as lowering the percentage of petition signers needed to annex unincorporated islands.
SEPA Reform: Pasco supports efforts to reform the State Environmental Policy Act to streamline the process and remove items from the SEPA analysis that duplicate work already being completed by other ordinances and laws.
For more information, contact or call the City's Manager's office at (509) 545-3404.