A group of property owners began to cast their votes yesterday on whether to move forward with a $14 million project that would bring infrastructure and streetscape improvements to a section of downtown Tacoma designated a Local Improvement District.
It’s the second time in less than two years that property owners near St. Helens Ave., Broadway, and Market St., between So. 2nd St. and So. 9th St., have voted on an innovative LID that would time much needed sewer, water, and storm water upgrades with street improvements that include new sidewalks, landscaping, streetlights, and painted lanes directing two-way traffic along a section of Broadway.
This week’s vote follows a poll taken last year.
At that time, owners of 246 parcels in the LID narrowly rejected a plan to pay $3.9 million for the aesthetic improvements. But LID supporters argued that votes were weighted based upon assessed property value. They argued that the votes of property owners with more property in the LID carried more weight. As such, according to City staff, last year’s vote showed approximately 51 percent opposed the LID; however, approximately 65 percent of parcel owners (160 parcel owners) supported the LID, and approximately 35 percent (86 parcel owners) opposed it. As a result, on April 18, 2006, City Council voted 6-3 to overrule property owners and form the LID.
Votes will be collected through Aug. 17. City Council is expected to discuss the results during its study session Aug. 21. The City will also post results on the Broadway LID Web site, located at www.cityoftacoma.org.
By Todd Matthews – Tacoma Daily Index