Through support from the State Legislature, the City of Sumner recently
- raised $17 million to redo the regional SR410/Traffic Avenue interchange and hope to go out to bid in a few short weeks,
- launched a pilot project for water rights and mitigation measures that make sense, and
- collaborated with agencies and tribes in our region on the White River Restoration Project.
As always, there’s more to do. Below is our 2019 Legislative Agenda with specific requests of how the State can help us continue to serve the people who live and work in Sumner.
Staging Solutions to SR410 Traffic Messes
Built over 40 years ago, SR410 through Sumner has three outdated, congested interchanges:
- SR 410/Traffic Ave Interchange: We leveraged your investments into $18 million in funding from diverse sources ranging from the Port of Tacoma to Sound Transit, Freight Mobility to private developers. We head into construction this spring to build a second overpass with two more lanes and separated pedestrian access. Into construction—Thank you!
- 166th Interchange: Vehicles throughout the region use this route access Lakeland Hills, Bonney Lake, Tehaleh, Orting, South Prairie, Buckley as well as Sumner. It is now the main access for East Sumner, including the regional YMCA facility that serves over 21,000 members. (Sumner has only 10,000 residents total.) Yet, this interchange’s poor design makes it a fatality waiting to happen. The City has already invested $150,000 for an intersection control analysis study. Allocate $500,000 to design a safe interchange on this heavily used route and prepare us to request construction funding in next round of transportation grants.
- Valley Avenue/SR162: Unprecedented growth south of Sumner including Orting, Tehaleh and Plateau465 has turned this highway into a parking lot from through Sumner all the way out to Military Road.
This interchange requires a major regional approach for any solid solutions.
Protect Critical Streamlined Sales Tax
In 2017, the State legislature scheduled elimination of streamlined sales tax mitigation for October 1, 2019, promising the Marketplace Fairness Act would make city budgets whole. It will not. Sumner alone faces a loss of $425,000 for our general fund (police, parks, planning). Cities who enjoy sales tax from the sale of Simmons mattresses, bikes from REI, or any product from Costco or Amazon relies on Sumner’s distribution centers. They are a regional benefit that drives billions in retail sales tax in other communities. The entire supply chain should be protected. Support a strong economy by reinstating streamlines sales tax mitigation funding and keeping the entire supply chain healthy.
Extra Innings for Youth/Climate Health
Keeping residents, especially youth, active during our dark winter is a priority. So is reducing our carbon footprint. We could do both at once by converting the Bill Heath Sports Complex lights to LEDs. This regional facility is well used every night, but the main obstacle to further use is affording the power bill. We already pay an additional fee for the surcharge to turn on the lights. Allocate $500,000 to convert the lights at Sumner’s regional Sports Complex to LEDs.
BONUS: this is an issue facing many cities at sports complexes and park facilities across the State. Consider allocating $2.5 million to create an Extra Innings pilot program, helping cities including Sumner convert or add field/park/trail lights to LEDs while giving our planet’s climate Extra Innings as well.
- Fund the State Recreation & Conservation Office allocation for Wildlife & Recreation Program. It includes $500,000 to build a covered sport court at Sumner’s Rainier View Park.
- Fund MRSC – laws have not kept pace with technology (public records!) and we all need assistance to ensure critical funding is not lost to lawsuits.
- Speed up State lab turn-around times. The judge has dismissed DUI cases due to lack of evidence in a timely manner. We’re also struggling with critical rape kits, DNA tests and other laboratory work that convicts criminals.
- Maintain the Public Works Trust Fund – infrastructure isn’t keeping pace with growth already, and cities need every financing tool available to keep us from total gridlock.