City told it can expect financial aid, support from airport with pending agreement

By Jack Mayne

Deciding what the city of SeaTac and the Port of Seattle can and should do for the next 10 years will depend upon whether the two governments agree onto a new pending interlocal agreement the Council was given at its first briefing at Tuesday’s (Nov. 14) regular session.

During the SeaTac City Council’s study session, City Manager Joe Scorcio made a brief presentation on the interlocal agreement with the Port of Seattle, not just the Port’s airport holding. Scorcio said he plans a more in-depth session for the Dec. 12 regular meeting.

‘Key elements’
The new proposed agreement has some “key elements” including “unique land use and development regulations to meet the needs of the Port and the City.” Included are public safety and traffic enforcement from the port to the city in the amount of $1.4 million per year. The Council was told that could include, at their decision, addition of SeaTac city police officers.

Impact fees will come from the Port to the city to maintain special functions. Stormwater fees to the city will be $1.3 million a year along with the city and the Port developing “development permits integrated into the city system at a minimum of $226,000 a year.” The Port says that they – under the new agreement – support the SeaTac city parking permit program being developed now.

Community and Economic Development Director Jeff Robinson told the Council that the city has to remember that the Federal Aviation Administration has to follow those that sometimes impinged on the city’s desires or needs. Land purchased with FAA money would have to be developed fully to its potential even if that became a city issue.

Robinson noted the Port would make sure airport vendors would all all have up-to-date and appropriate SeaTac city business licenses.

Objections from Gipson
Resident Earl Gipson urged the Council at its study session to take its time and look carefully at the proposed new city and airport interlocal agreement. He suggested it was not good that the airport does not own that there any “traffic impact fees” according to the proposed agreement despite the volume of traffic on the road, vehicles not local, but those passing through SeaTac on the way to or from the airport.

He also expressed worry about that the proposed agreement would make the Port the agent for the city and there needs to be a way to complain to Port officials if the city considers them not doing the job, perhaps taking that task away from them.

The agreement that the Port would not owe back parking taxes means the loss of $24 million is equal to about 10 miles of sidewalks on both sides, he said.

So he asked that the Council not vote on the agreement until next January, after a public hearing and a third-party review.

“This is a big deal, no rushing into this one,” he said. “We rushed into the last one … I do not trust the port and they have proven to be untrustworthy.”

Port says it’s a foundation
Then Katie Halse, a Port of Seattle local government manager, told the Council the new agreement “lays the foundation for a stronger partnership, increased transparency” and enhances “how we can work together.” Halse said she appreciated the work of the city and staff on developing the potential agreement, noting that the airport lies completely inside the city limits and both sides are interdependent.

“The agreement proposed offers a fair and balanced agreement with consistency for both the Port and city,” she said.

Longtime Council observer Vicki Lockwood said the past should be forgotten and that she is very happy with the proposed interlock agreement.

“It is not perfect, we didn’t get everything we wanted, that is what negotiations are about,” Lockwood said, adding she wanted “to counter” what Gipson said earlier.

The Council also approved confirming that Robert Hamilton, currently a presiding judge in Enumclaw, will also complete the remaining two month unexpired term as SeaTac Municipal Court Judge. A new judge will be appointed by City Manager Joe Scorcio later to take a full four year term in January.


3 Responses to “City told it can expect financial aid, support from airport with pending agreement”
  1. fuzz hill says:

    Did the SeaTac Blog get this right? I recall CM Pam Fernald making the statements referenced, not Vicki. And I thought the appointment for judge was deferred to a later session.

    • Vicki Lockwood says:

      Fuzz, I said what Mr. Mayne said I said and the Interim Judge was approved just as Mr. Mayne said it was. Anyone who would like to know what was said by whom and what occurred can watch the video on the City’s website.

      I would like to clarify my spur of the moment comments made at the meeting. When I said ‘forget the past and move on’ I really meant to convey the notion that if we remain frozen in the past we will never make progress. We will atrophy and die in place. When a person or entity moves on from a bad experience they should not forget their previous experiences. They should retain the knowledge they learned from that bad experience and move forward more confidently than they would be had they not had that previous experience. This is what weaves the wisdom that we acquire as we mature and evolve. We become more competent and avoid the pitfalls of youth. This is the attitude that I was trying to convey to Mr. Gipson and others who insist on ‘getting even’ for past occurrences. When people take actions based on grudges they will inevitably make poor decisions and have exaggerated responses. I would like us to proceed making intelligent decisions that result in progress rather than for us to remain frozen in bitterness making emotional decisions that result in no forward progress.

      • Earl Gipson says:

        What a pile of hooey. It has nothing to do with grudges. I don’t even know most of the people on the negotiating team. It has to do with being walked on like a doormat again and again. Apparently wisdom is acquired at a slower pace for some than others.