City Council combs over 2015 budget

November 7, 2014

The Newcastle City Council began reviewing City Manager Rob Wyman’s 2015 preliminary budget at its second October meeting.

The proposed budget places emphasis on public safety, setting the groundwork for an additional police officer in 2016, and outlines a robust capital investment program.

“I truly feel that the budget presented here provides a great value for the residents of Newcastle while reflecting the appropriate priorities, such as public safety,” Wyman wrote in the budget’s introduction.

The city could spend upward of $2.5 million on transportation projects if the budget is approved as is. In addition to the $550,000 the council commits annually to a pavement overlay program, residents could see projects such as pedestrian improvements to Southeast 73rd Place and the installation of flashing left-turn signals along Coal Creek Parkway in 2015. Read more

Notes from Newcastle: Video killed the radio star

November 7, 2014

Since Newcastle News comes out only once a month, I split my duties between this paper and The Issaquah Press, a weekly.

I work on community features and Liberty High School sports for The Press, but I usually stay away from the more newsy Issaquah items, saving those for the main Issaquah Press reporter.

Well, we bid a sad farewell last month to Peter Clark, our Issaquah city reporter who moved on to greener pastures. In his absence, and while we searched for his replacement, I picked up the slack a bit.

That meant, for much of October, I shuttled back and forth between Issaquah and Newcastle city council meetings. It’s the first time I’ve ever really attended a council meeting other than Newcastle’s, so it was interesting to compare and contrast the two. Read more

City looks to add youth voice

October 3, 2014

Newcastle teen leads charge to get peers involved in city government

The Newcastle City Council explored the possibility of adding a youth voice to its government structure at its Sept. 16 regular meeting.

The discussion comes after Newcastle teen James Ricks approached Mayor Steve Buri about the feasibility of creating a youth advisory board to the council.

“I want youth to care about Newcastle,” Ricks said. “Whether that’s evident in service projects, involvement in planning activities or tutoring, I want youth to be involved because they care about the city they live in.” Read more

Newcastle receives $255,000 Lake Boren grant

October 3, 2014

The city of Newcastle received a $255,000 King County Flood Control District grant that will help ease flooding at Lake Boren.

The district’s executive committee recommended Aug. 18 that Newcastle receive a portion of $2.6 million in grants available from a newly created program aimed at reducing the impact of local flooding. That recommendation was approved Sept. 29.

“This grant funding will allow the city of Newcastle to address longstanding flooding issues dating back prior to the city’s incorporation,” Reagan Dunn, King County Councilman representing Newcastle and chairman of the King County Flood Control District, said in a news release.

The city of Newcastle’s Lake Boren flooding mitigation project will receive $255,000 to improve the outlet channel by clearing and removing any overflow blockages at Boren Creek. Read more

Budget season calendar unveiled

October 3, 2014

It’s that time of year again, as the Newcastle City Council works to set the city’s 2015 budget.

Finance Director Chris Olson unveiled a preliminary budget calendar at the City Council’s Sept. 16 meeting. The outlined plan shows that the City Council will receive the preliminary budget document Oct. 11.

Residents then have three opportunities to offer comments about the budget. The City Council will hold public hearings during its regular meetings at City Hall, 12385 Newcastle Way, Suite 200, on Oct. 21, and Nov. 4 and 18.

The budget is slated for adoption Dec. 2, though dates are subject to change.

Newcastle in line for Lake Boren grant

August 29, 2014

The city of Newcastle is in line to receive a $225,000 King County Flood Control District grant that will help ease flooding at Lake Boren.

The district’s executive committee recommended Aug. 18 that Newcastle receive a portion of $2.6 million in grants available from a newly created program aimed at reducing the impact of local flooding.

“This grant funding will allow the city of Newcastle to address longstanding flooding issues dating back prior to the city’s incorporation,” Reagan Dunn, King County Councilman representing Newcastle and chairman of the King County Flood Control District, said in a news release.

The city of Newcastle’s Lake Boren flooding mitigation project will receive $255,000 to improve the outlet channel by clearing and removing any overflow blockages at Boren Creek. Read more

Editorial

July 31, 2014

Be responsible with your marijuana

Marijuana.

No matter how you feel about it, it’s now legal to purchase and smoke it in the state of Washington. (Leave it to officials to sort out the federal vs. state issue, though at this point, no one has announced plans to crack down on people who take a toke.)

And although there is not a local place to make a purchase, and there won’t be one in Newcastle anytime soon as a result of the City Council’s recent moratorium, 24 retailers in the Puget Sound area were granted licenses in early July by the state Liquor Control Board.

A majority of voters wanted marijuana, and now we all have it. In order to turn that initiative and vote into a real win, people must be responsible with their pot. Read more

Energize Eastside concerns shared

July 31, 2014

Energize Eastside was back on the Newcastle City Council agenda for the first time since Puget Sound Energy introduced the project April 1.

But this time, it was a pair of resident groups who had the opportunity to voice their concerns about the plan to bring new, higher capacity electric transmission lines to the Eastside in response to the region’s growing power demands.

The Olympus Homeowners Association and the Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy countered PSE’s proposal and questioned the project’s true requirement at the July 1 and 15 City Council meetings. Read more

Newcastle plans National Night Out events

July 31, 2014

Newcastle will join cities across the country to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 5.

The event aims to heighten crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals about neighborhoods organized against criminal activity.

National Night Out is celebrated with neighborhood block parties, often visited by local law enforcement.

The Donegal Park neighborhood event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Donegal Park, 7319 125th Ave. S.E. Neighbors are encouraged to bring folding chairs and food for grilling on the park’s barbeque, said event coordinator Lorinda Ecklund. Read more

Council passes marijuana moratorium

July 31, 2014

Newcastle residents won’t find a marijuana retail establishment in the city anytime soon.

The Newcastle City Council approved a six-month moratorium on marijuana-related business activity within Newcastle, at its July 1 meeting.

“A moratorium is simply a procedural mechanism this council can adopt to literally hold the status quo as is, meaning, it gives you six months to review something,” city attorney Dawn Reitan told council members. “Nothing comes in while that happens.”

Councilman Gordon Bisset made the motion instituting the moratorium. It passed 4-3, with council members Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson and Rich Crispo dissenting. Read more

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