Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bellevue URA disburses funding

Crosswalks and Memorial Park get benefits of tax-increment financing

Express Staff Writer

Two public works projects in Bellevue will get a boost from the city’s Urban Renewal Agency, which was established in 2007 and now has $17,000 in its coffers.

Planning Director Craig Eckles reported to the Bellevue City Council on Thursday, Sept. 13, that $3,200 in upgrades at Memorial Park would be paid for out of the URA, including grading of existing surfaces and laying of two asphalt walkways. 

Eckles said the URA would also fund about $900 of concrete work needed for the installation of solar-powered crosswalks across Main Street, a project planned for completion in three weeks. The $20,000 crosswalks project, which will provide safe passage for pedestrians at Spruce and Cottonwood streets, is funded in part with a $17,900 federal grant. 

Urban renewal agencies are funded through tax-increment financing, meaning they get the amount of property taxes that result from property value increases during the time of the URA's existence. They then use the money to invest in urban renewal projects.

Eckles said the Bellevue URA was established to benefit from property valuation increases in the “tax-increment financing area” of property along Main Street and in rights of way throughout the city.

In other Bellevue news:

( Bellevue Marshall Larry Clark and volunteers rebuilt a speed-reading radar machine to make it more portable, at no cost to the city. 

( Eckles said a group of boating enthusiasts will soon present plans for a proposed kayaking park that could be installed south of the Broadford Road Bridge. 

( Early in September, a motorist knocked the top off of a fire hydrant near the Giddyup Cafe, sending water spraying into the air. The accident is covered by insurance.

( The Public Works Department sold used vehicles at auction, raising $400. Another auction is planned for the near future and will be advertised in the Mountain Express. 

Tony Evans:

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