On Monday, October 2, the Area Council held its regular monthly meeting. Topics discussed were: Fire District 43; Citizens’ Survey; and Rural Economic Opportunities.
King County Councilman Reagan Dunn visited the Area Council. He made some opening remarks regarding on-site sewer systems, garbage collection, exempt private wells, taxes, and transportation infrastructure. He took a series of questions from members of the Public and the Area Council.
Fire District 43
Aaron Tyerman, Chief of Fire District 43, discussed the ramifications of the recently failed August ballot measure. Serious budget issues remain. The Maple Valley Fire Station 83 (on 216th Ave SE near the PlaMor Tavern) was recently closed due to budget cuts.
Chief Tyerman stated his staffing is now down to seven firefighters (similar to 1993 levels!) with a total staff is 52. He stated 91% of his budget goes to wages and benefits. The average age of firefighters of 47 yrs. old also is of concern.
The district is getting some support from other nearby districts (which is reciprocated), but this is not sustainable, since they can’t staff such help indefinitely.
Chief Tyerman plans to continue to support 911 service and other critical services as priorities.
On this November’s ballot there will be a Levy Lift. It would take the $1.16 per $1,000 assessed value back to $1.50. Should the Levy Lift not pass, Chief Tyerman stated he will have to layoff ~20% of staff in the next year.
The Area Council is finalizing the questions for its Biennial Citizens’ Survey. The Survey has proved one of the best ways to ascertain concerns, issues, etc. of citizens’ in our Rural Area. The Area Council uses results of these Surveys to better engage officials of King County and other government agencies on issues of importance to Rural Area citizens.
Rural Area citizens will receive a postcard in the mail announcing when they can go online on the Area Council’s web site to take the Survey. Please watch for it. Thank you in advance for participating in helping keep our government officials cognizant of issues facing the Rural Area.
Rural Economic Opportunities
The Puget Sound Regional Council’s (PSRC’s) Economic Development Board approved a Regional Economic Strategies (RES) plan. The Area Council provided detailed comments earlier this year (see the Area Council web site’s Correspondence page) on the rural aspects with many being accepted. The Area Council plans to work with PSRC Staff who are tasked with both finalizing and implementing the plan.
The Area Council is hosting an all-Rural Area UAC meeting on Tuesday, November 28, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM, at the KCLS Service Center, 960 Newport Way, Issaquah with PSRC and King County officials to discuss the RES and its implementation. More details will be forthcoming in this newspaper and on our web site.
Annual Train Show—Weekend of October 21-22, Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM, at Gracie Hansen Community Center, 27132 SE Ravensdale Way, Ravensdale. Operating Model Trains, Trains and more Trains Featuring creative operating layouts in most gauges! Bring your own trains (Lionel/HO/other) to run on our tracks. It is in a very relaxed atmosphere where people can wander about and enjoy the trains at their own pace. There will be a variety of trains of most gauges shown operating at the show. There also will be trains with live steam engines. There will be historic displays from the Black Diamond Museum.
Monthly Meeting—Monday, November 6, from 7 – 9 PM, at the Fire Station located at the SE corner of SE 231st St & SR-169 intersection across from the Police Precinct. Special Guest Speaker will be Fred Jarrett, Deputy King County Executive, who will discuss …….All members of the Public are welcome to attend. Each meeting begins with an open Public Comment period.
All-Rural Area UAC Meeting with the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) —On Tuesday, November 28, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM, at the KCLS Service Center, 960 Newport Way, Issaquah, PSRC Executive Director, Josh Brown, will discuss the newly approved four-County Regional Economic Strategies. Discussion will focus on Rural Area economic opportunities. All four Rural Area UACs will participate: GMVUAC, FCUAC, UBCUAC, and GV/LHA.
Your Area Council serves as an all-volunteer, locally elected advisory body to King County on behalf of all rural unincorporated area residents living in the Tahoma School District. For more information, please visit: http://greatermaplevalleyareacouncil.org/.
*** NOTE: Five positions are open on the 16-member Area Council. If you live in the Tahoma School District outside the City of Maple Valley (see Service Area Map on our web site), you are invited to apply to become a member by sending a letter of interest to GMVUAC, P. O. Box 111, Maple Valley, WA 98038 or attend our ne