At the Jan. 3, 2017 meeting of the City of University Place City Council, Mayor Javier Figueroa presented his report on the Council’s activities during 2016. He pointed out that it had been a busy and eventful year, with a total of 17 ordinances and 25 resolutions being passed by the Council.
Among the Council’s notable legislative actions during the year were:
Res. 808: Passed in April, this approved the Town Center Lot 4 Development Agreement which will bring an additional mixed-use building offering retail and professional space on the north side of Market Square in the Village at Chambers Bay.
Res. 814: Passed in August, the USGA Interlocal Agreement for Chambers Bay provides opportunities for the City of University Place and its neighboring municipalities and Pierce County to collaborate on future tournaments and events at the golf course.
Ord. 674: Passed in September, this ordinance approved the refinancing of 2005, 2007 and 2009 limited tax general obligation bonds at a lower interest rate, a move that will save the City $3.1 million in interest costs over the next 17 years.
Res. 816: Passed in September, this approved the City Council’s stated goals, which call for efforts to support:
1. A safer and more livable community through a commitment to public safety and community amenities
2. Stronger financial conditions through prudent fiscal decisions
3. Greater trust and confidence through regular communications with citizens
4. Increased economic vitality through continued economic development initiatives
Ord. 675: Passed in October, this enables the City of University Place to compete for Complete Streets grants at the state and national level to ensure the completion of work that was begun in 1997 to provide a network of sidewalks, bike lanes and motor vehicle improvements that will improve safety for all residents.
Ord. 677: Passed in November, this approved the City’s biennial 2017-2018 budget. The budget was balanced without using any one-time revenues, calls for no deficit in the 10-year forecast and was a significant factor in Moody’s Investor Service decision to upgrade the City’s bond rating to A1.
Res. 823: Passed in November, this important resolution ensured that the senior citizens of University Place will continue to enjoy meals and programming at the Senior Center, which will remain open, operated and fully funded by the local non-profit Community Connection Place.
Res. 825: Passed in December, this resolution approved the Town Center Lot 12 Development Agreement that will bring additional retail and professional space to Bridgeport Way across from the Village at Chambers Bay.
In addition to these official legislative accomplishments, Mayor Figueroa also noted that the City’s 2016 Capital Improvement Program saw the completion of the improvements to the Bridgeport LID, the Elwood Safe Routes to School program and along Mildred Street. Two additional programs were begun during the year, including improvements along 27th Street and Bridgeport Way Phase 5. In addition, the City received $3.1 million in grant funding, including a portion from the Puget Sound Regional Council, to support five new projects: Bridgeport Way Phase 4; 35th Street; 67th Avenue Overlay; Mildred Overlay; and Morrison Road.
The mayor also stressed that Moody’s Investor Service noted that its decision to upgrade the rating of the City’s general obligation limited tax bonds from A3 to A1 was due to “substantial improvement in the city’s financial position with healthy reserves and liquidity.”
Other notable highlights from 2016 included the City’s continued interaction and partnership with the 16th CAB as the unit’s Community Connector, as well as popular community events such as the Duck Daze Parade, Moonlight Movie in the Park and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Market Square.
“When I look at all we accomplished, I can’t help but feel very proud of the work we’ve done,” Figueroa said. “There were some tough decisions that had to be made along the way, but I truly believe our current City Council is the ‘A-Team,” and has demonstrated that in all that we’ve done.”
At the same time, however, Figueroa stressed that the group’s work is not complete. “There are still many more issues to tackle and opportunities to grasp,” he said. “I have no doubt that 2017 will be as successful—if not more so—than 2016.”