Snoqualmie City Council held a Special Meeting on Aug. 1 to discuss the 2020-2025 Non-Utilities Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
The plan covers 26 capital projects or programs in categories for facilities, parks and transportation. The CIP includes about $45 million in expenditures, setting aside $10 million for two proposed facilities upgrades, some $11 million for 11 parks projects or programs, and $24 million for 13 transportation updates or additions.
“The preservation of city infrastructure and facilities is critical to maintaining the quality of life in Snoqualmie,” Mayor Matt Larson said in a message to the public. “Long-neglected historic downtown infrastructure requires costly repairs and reconstruction.”
He aims to improve aging infrastructure through ongoing maintenance to avoid costly future failures. Larson said the proposed CIP is the culmination of several years of work and community discussions revolving around investments to improve the quality of life for Snoqualmie visitors, businesses and residents.
Principal Ian Stewart from EMC Research, a public opinion and market research company, conducted telephone surveys of Snoqualmie residents about the CIP. The study randomly selected citizens to be questioned by professional interviewers between July 15-29.
“A sample of 300 is good, especially for a city this size. We are trying to randomize the universe and then call into it to get responses from people,” Stewart said. The analysts aim to minimize bias, he explained.
According to city ratings found by the surveys, people are very happy with the city’s park system. However, residents are evenly split between support and opposition in how the city handles tax dollars.
A majority of residents want to see the community center expand to provide children with more activities. Nearly half of the community said a lap pool for swimming lessons is a very high priority.
Residents have previously suggested partnering with the Si View Metro Parks District to construct a bigger regional aquatics center near North Bend, rather than build a lap pool in Snoqualmie. In the survey, 48 percent of people supported the idea and 51 percent expressed opposition.
The proposed plan document highlights each proposed project in the non-utilities CIP. The 56-page document provides context and budget information for each program, improvement and project.
The two facilities projects include the City Hall annex and community center expansion. The bulk of the budgeted money is aimed at increasing the size of the community center by 24,000 square feet, as well as adding parking, building a six-lane lap pool and other updates.
The 11 parks programs and projects revolve around updates to playgrounds throughout Snoqualmie. Other additions include a potential community park amphitheatre and various phases on the Riverwalk project. Parking lots, trails, sport courts and parks require improvements and restorations to provide safe environments in the city.
The category of projects under transportation primarily contain road and sidewalk replacements or upgrades. Multiple additions to state Route 202 will increase safety along the road, and work toward separating certain flows of traffic. A large portion focuses on phase three of the town center improvement project, which may help fix parking issues and decrease traffic along SR 202.
“I think there is a lot of work to be done between now and the time we are asked to vote,” said Councilmember Bob Jeans. The council suggested bringing forward a resolution in the next few weeks.