The city of Des Moines will ask its residents to raise their utility tax by 2 percent for 20 years to pay for preserving and maintaining the pavement on city streets.

A proposition to increase the city’s utility tax from 6 percent to 8 percent will be on the Aug. 6 primary ballot. The extra 2 percent will be earmarked for the paving projects.

Interim Public Works director Dan Brewer proposed to lawmakers that the increase be for 10 years.

But Councilmember Jeanette Burrage said ten years is too short a time. Burrage added that the city could repeal the tax increase before the 20-year deadline if it was not needed. She noted the utility tax increase rejected by voters last year would have been permanent.

Burrage said she couldn’t see another source of funding available for maintaining the street pavement.

Brewer noted that preventative maintenance costs a lot less than replacement of roads.

“You get more bang for your buck,” he noted.

The goal would be to maintain 4 to 5 miles of pavement each year, he said. Brewer reported the city has 215 lane miles of city roadway.

International passengers traffic Up 8.8%

Press release:

A record total of passengers spent a record amount of money eating and shopping last year at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

More than 33.2 million passengers passed through Sea-Tac in 2012, the second straight year the airport surpassed its all-time record.

International passenger traffic increased 8.8 percent while overall traffic went up 1.2 percent. 

Airport concessions business benefitted with a record $180 million in sales, including a record $14 million in duty-free sales.

Sales per boarded passenger rose to $10.91, a six percent increase from 2011. The Port of Seattle collected $25 million in revenues which go directly back to airport improvements.

“Sea-Tac Airport continues to advance as a leading tourism and business gateway for our entire region,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “These numbers point out the tremendous value of the airport as an economic engine to bring jobs and continued growth in business and tourism.”

Seattle Icon Joins Lineup of Popular Northwest Musicians 
Voicing Announcements and Contributing Overhead Music to Sea-Tac Airport

Press release:

Your next trip to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport just got upgraded with the sweet, warm voice of legendary Seattle musician Quincy Jones.

In Quincy’s unique soulful style, he will be welcoming travelers to the airport, telling them about the local music playing overhead, giving security advice and even talking about the Airport’s progressive environmental stewardship programs.

Jones is the latest addition to the highly successful Sea-Tac Airport City of Music that showcases the northwest region’s music culture. 
"Seattle’s rich musical history -- from Clark Terry and Ernestine Anderson, to Bumps Blackwell, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Heart and Nirvana, to name a few -- is rooted in the city’s cultural diversity.

It is where my wonderful musical journey began and I can’t imagine a better place to have honed my craft,” said Quincy. “In doing these voice over announcements, I hope that everyone traveling through the airport will be encouraged to experience the great music, musicians and cultural vibrancy that the city of Seattle embodies.”


Press release:

The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather. It’s not too late to have your vehicle checked, saving you from the cost and hassle of unexpected emergency repairs when severe weather strikes.

Battery - Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Batteries don't always give warning signs before they fail completely so it’s wise to replace batteries that are more than three years old.

Antifreeze - Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a reminder, do not add 100 percent antifreeze as full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.

Brakes - Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item and is key while driving on icy or snow-covered roads.

Tires - Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires will lose pressure when temperatures drop.


Having been on the Des Moines City Council in 1994-1995 and now again starting in January of 2012, I see big differences in the funding available to provide city services.

The city of Des Moines has cut back on parks and police a little, but has not been maintaining the roads for the last four years.

By maintaining, I mean doing pavement overlays, which not only make the roads easier to drive on, they extend the life of the road at a fraction of the cost of building a new one. (We have continued to fix potholes.) There has not been sufficient money in the budget to do any road overlays for four years.

The deteriorated roads are a pain for citizens and they also discourage development, which could bring in additional tax dollars to restore some city services.

Tax cutting initiatives, a bad economy, and state transfers of city money to the state have left some cities in a pickle to deliver basic services.

Meeting is Jan. 22, 2 p.m. at airport conference center

Update: The meeting time has been switched from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The Port of Seattle Commission’s January 22nd regular meeting will include an update on Sea-Tac Airport’s Part 150 Noise Study.

The update will include information on the draft recommended options for reducing aircraft noise in the new proposed noise remedy area around the airport.

The Part 150 Study will be available for public review sometime after the January 22nd Commission meeting.

The dates of the Part 150 public comment period, along with the date of the final public outreach event, will be announced in the near future.

For your convenience, please visit the dedicated Part 150 Study website for all documentation connected to the study.


Press release:

Sound Transit will conduct a public hearing on proposals to dispose of surplus property in SeaTac on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.

Public Hearing
Disposal of Surplus Real Property to a Public Agency
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013
12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Union Station
Ruth Fisher Boardroom
401 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104

The agency is seeking public comment on a proposal to sell two parcels totaling approximately 30,000 square feet of developable land in SeaTac.

The parcels are located on the northeast corner of International Boulevard and South 176th Street with the former addresses of 2810 S. 176th and 17400 International Blvd.

The proposed use of the land is for development of office space for and by the Port of Seattle. Transactions are contingent on ongoing discussions and future approvals by the Sound Transit Board and Port of Seattle.

The Ruth Fisher Boardroom is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information on the public hearing or to request ADA accommodation, please call Sound Transit at 800-201-4900 or 888-713-6030 (TTY) or visit


Burien Public Works director Maiya Andrews briefed lawmakers Dec. 3 on steps the city is taking to prevent cost overruns that have plagued projects along First Avenue South and Ambaum Boulevard Southwest.

“I’ve had big concerns about several recent projects but my biggest concern is that we not keep making the same mistakes,” Councilmember Jack Block Jr. declared. “

Andrews said the city seeks to keep costs in line by project estimating, monitoring change orders and managing risk along with other cost controls.

City Manager Mike Martin emphasized Andrews has 20 years of experience managing projects.

He said previous public works managers did not have Andrews’ project management experience.

“We are head and shoulders above where we were in project management,” Martin noted.

Martin added the first phase of the First Avenue project that involved undergrounding wires was “extremely complicated.”

He said the various utility agencies did not coordinate very well on the project.

“We’ve evolved,” Martin added.

Andrews noted, “It is important to have the utilities in the game with us.”


Port of Seattle press release:

The Port of Seattle Commission approved Wednesday, Dec. 5 an aggressive 25-year program that positions the port as a leader to help create 100,000 new jobs in the region while reducing the port’s environmental footprint.

“We established bold, achievable goals for the port and regional stakeholders in our Century Agenda,” said John Creighton, Port of Seattle commissioner. “It builds on the 100 plus year role the port has played in creating economic growth for the Puget Sound region and the state of Washington. The Commission thanks the hundreds of citizens who worked with us to a set a path forward for the next 25 years.”

“As commissioners, we’re getting to work, contributing resources and joining teams to pursue these new initiatives,” said Tom Albro, Port of Seattle commissioner. “We look forward to working with stakeholders throughout the region to accomplish the goals of the Century Agenda.”


Press release:

The fall holiday travel season gets underway with one of the busiest days of the period this Friday, Nov. 16 and an estimated half of a million travelers during the busiest week at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Even though this is not the busiest travel season of the year at Sea-Tac, we do see many infrequent travelers during the holidays that can benefit from our annual holiday travel tips. 

The busiest day for the upcoming holiday period will be the day before Thanksgiving with almost 91,000 passengers projected to go through the airport. The next busiest day will be the Sunday after Thanksgiving (86,856 passengers) when travelers begin to return home from the holiday.

What are the slowest travel days? Thanksgiving day and the following Friday, when only a bit more than 65,000 travelers will be on hand.
Those numbers are still much lower than an average summer travel day, when Sea-Tac sees about 100,000 passengers per day.

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