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Annexation could boost city coffers

NORTH BEND - In an effort to move the county to a regional government and help revive ailing coffers, King County Executive Ron Sims unveiled his 2004 budget last week that includes a $10-million "incentive" fund to encourage cities to annex nearby unincorporated areas.

In addressing the Metropolitan King County Council on Oct. 13, Sims said the incentive fund was needed to encourage cities to annex land due to a lack of a comercial property tax base that once acted as a catalyst for local governments to begin the process. If the county can entice cities to annex land, Sims said, King County can better provide regional and rural services - its long-term governmental role.

North Bend officials say that a piece of a $10-million pie might be enough for the cash-strapped city to actively pursue annexing the land surrounding its city center, which accounts for about 4,000 residents and will be home to at least one future business park.

"It's definitely something we're interested in," said city of North Bend Finance Director Elena Montgomery.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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