[EDITOR'S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at email@example.com.]
by Earl Gipson
Nothing much to be a wise acre about this time …(well maybe a little) but not to worry the SeaTac Council always comes thru for us. Here now is the news (from Tuesday’s Study Session and Council meeting).
The City-owned lakefront property (commonly known as the Hughes Property) has received a Purchase and Sale Agreement from TMI Marriott. This was an unsolicited offer for ~ 5.5 million for ~ 2/3 of the property. The City retains the 1/3 on the waterfront with a connecting easement to Angle Lake Park. A 140 room “extended stay” hotel will be built on the front (west) two-thirds. The City has owned the property since 1997 (purchased for 2.8 million) so this represents an approximate Return on Investment of 4 percent plus the perks such as the majority of the property returning to the tax rolls, the retention of the waterfront and additional revenue from construction tax, Hotel/Motel tax (when operational). So far, so good.
The question will arise as I am bringing it up now is where the 5.5 million in proceeds will go. Since this was a capital investment it SHOULD go into Capital Funds, infrastructure, etc and not the General Fund for recurring costs. This allows the City to make needed improvements throughout the City, increasing value and producing yet more revenue. Putting all of it into the General Funding would be just flushing it (like we are with the lease revenue from SeaTac Center where we took from the Port ILA funds, meant for capital, and are not repaying it). This is my opinion based on experience and I would humbly ask for yours in the comments to this article or at a Council meeting.
On a less than “high” note the Council was cited for dragging their feet on the marijuana producers/processors ordinance (speakers-Goddess Foods and Citizen Janice Taylor). It was stated the other Cities took 3 weeks to 3 months to make a decision. We are scheduled to take 6 months before it is even considered. How is this business friendly? The revenue (~ 2 million annually from the proposals) will just go to other jurisdiction/s that have figured out that pot is now legal and there are tax dollars to be had. At the rate our Council is proceeding, we will have missed the boat, the train, the flight, and be sitting in the waiting rooms wondering how to buy a ticket when it is being waved in our Council’s faces.
Finally, in the Study Session the new Community Building Committee gave an update for their year’s worth of work. They got their mission statement done, communication guidelines established, and a contact list of Community organizations that have already been created. So basically nothing that couldn’t have been done in a week, and their “products” seem redundant to the Human Services Advisory Committee. As many Citizens already said, we told you so. Lots of stating the obvious, lots of meetings, and lots of nothing.