2021 Legislative Agenda
Fund key transportation budget projects
Fund final $7 million for Stewart Road Bridge for flood protection & transportation.
This one bridge does it all: it finishes a key east-west transportation corridor, serving Auburn’s Lakeland Hills, Lake Tapps, Bonney Lake as well as Sumner; it connects the regional trail system for non-vehicular access, and it raises and free spans the White River, improving critical endangered fish runs and reducing flood risk as part of the White River Restoration Projects (see next item). This $30 million project is nearly fully funded: a final $7 million in funding would send it to construction and success. Currently 30% designed, we anticipate this project to be shovel-ready in Summer 2022. Listed by Pierce Co Regional Council (PCRC) as a Project on Local Streets of Statewide Significance.
Update existing $500,000 funding and allocate $2 million more for SR 410 Interchanges
Five years ago, we asked for help with all three obsolete State interchanges in Sumner. Since then, your support helped Sumner partner with WSDOT to complete the Traffic Avenue interchange improvements. WSDOT is studying the next interchange at Valley Avenue. The third at 166th remains the most dangerous situation. Two steps will keep us all moving forward: redirect $500,000 already allocated to the Traffic Ave project to the 166th interchange for design/right-of-way. We didn’t need it on Traffic Ave, so we didn’t spend it there. Allocate another $2 million to 166th to fund full design and right-of-way, getting this next critical project shovel-ready. Serving as a cut-through corridor for Bonney Lake, Orting, Tehaleh, the 166th interchange also provides access for businesses and the regional Gordon Family YMCA. Listed by PCRC as a State Highway of Local Significance.
Support White River Restoration PSAR funding
Confirm PSAR’s recommendation of $15,244,000 for White River Restoration Habitat project.
The Habitat Project is ranked third on Puget Sound Partnership’s Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) funding list for projects of regional significance. Approving their recommended $15,244,000 in the capital budget completes funding for this project, sending it to construction, restoring 170 acres, creating side channels and wetlands as large storage area for floodwaters and sediment plus additional habitat for endangered salmon. This project was designed by the White River Dialogue Group, including the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Pierce County, BNSF, Cascade Water Alliance and other partners. This project protects over 16,000 jobs in Sumner’s Manufacturing Industrial Center, protects regional supply chains for Amazon, REI, Costco, Helly Hansen and aerospace and builds habitat for salmon, fulfilling Treaty promises and supporting Orcas in Puget Sound.
RELATED TO THIS AGENDA ITEM:
Please approve continuation of the Foster Pilot Project Joint Legislative Task Force.
In addition, the White River Restoration project is also setting the standard for future recommendations for a viable groundwater mitigation strategy. Sumner was chosen to be a test site for the Task Force, and through the designed White River Restoration project, we plan to successfully model mitigation that achieves net ecological benefits. In short, the White River Restoration provides a collaborative approach to flood protection and habitat restoration while also setting the standard for groundwater mitigation throughout the state.
Fund equitable child health efforts
Help build Sumner’s Rainier View Park covered playshed by approving RCO’s recommendation of $350,000 in the Youth Athletic Facilities program in the capital budget and $244,625 request in Local Community Project funding.
Coronavirus has taken away opportunities for youth health that we previously took for granted–P.E., birthday parties, after-school sports. As families struggle with finances, kids, as well as all ages, rely on City parks to provide active options that are safe. The combination of funding from the State Recreation & Conservation Office’s (RCO) funding and Local Community Project funding would complete Sumner’s other funding to build a covered playshed in Rainier View Park, expanding the parks’ useful hours in hot sun, in rainy winter, and in dark evenings. It allows more use with distancing for activities such as shooting hoops and playing pickleball. And, as an equity issue, it serves lower income families who can’t afford memberships to private gyms.
Other Topics/Agendas & Sumner
COLLABORATE WITH CITIES’ EXISTING WORK TO FULFILL GMA VISION
Cities need to add density, affordable housing and other measures to fulfill the vision of the Growth Management Act (GMA). The best results will come from all cities doing that work within their own community rather than a one-size-fits-all effort. Together with the public, Sumner has invested extensive time and funding into a Housing Action Plan, a Town Center Plan and, of course, updates to our Comprehensive Plan. Our work has led to the addition of 500-700 multifamily units already in the permitting process to add to Sumner’s density in the next 5-7 years. For real success with planning, State guidelines need to push cities lagging behind while remaining flexible enough to respect and build on the work already done at local levels in cities like Sumner.
RESPECT STATE SHARED REVENUES & ADD FISCAL FLEXIBILITY WHERE POSSIBLE
We support similar agenda items from AWC.
State cuts already cost Sumner half a million in shared revenue approved for 2020: we request continuation of the Streamlined Sales Tax program or equivalent funding support. As you head into a difficult State budget, please protect shared revenue. In addition, we know what’s best for our residents, our small businesses on Main Street and our distribution centers that are now shipping more directly to customers from Sumner. Give us flexibility to support them rather than a cookie-cutter response that misses the mark.
INCLUDE UTILITY NEEDS WITH HOUSING INSTABILITY ASSISTANCE
We support similar agenda items from AWC and South Sound Housing Affordability Partners.
Sumner runs our own water, sewer and stormwater utilities. Many business and residential customers are falling farther and farther behind in payment, yet by State law, we can’t enforce collection of more than four months in unpaid water costs. We offered assistance through sharing our CARES Act funds, but that assistance came with a limited time-frame. If we can’t collect outstanding accounts, we must raise rates, putting further pressure on all residents and businesses, pushing those on the bubble into instability.
COMMIT TO AND FUND POLICING REFORM
We support similar agenda items and proposals from AWC and Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs.
Police departments want the best policing possible, and change can happen in smaller cities as well as large ones. Our Chief has been at the fore-front of police accountability and reform across Washington State for decades. Please give us the support, flexibility and funding for real reform and help us set the standard of excellence for topics like racial equity in policing.
Mayor Bill Pugh 253-299-5790
Jason Wilson, City Administrator, 253-299-5501
Carmen Palmer, Communications Director, 253-299-5503