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TBD projects await only the revenues

The Transportation Benefit District project list is ready.

Now all the city officials

must do to begin fixing streets and sidewalks is wait for enough money to accumulate from the two-tenths of 1 percent sales tax increase that takes effect in April.

Voters approved the 10-year sales tax increase last week by a 911-679 vote or 57.2 percent.

It is projected to yield $600,000 annually with an estimated two-thirds coming from non-Sequim residents.

Mike Gowrylow, spokesman for the state Department of Revenue, said if the paperwork is filed on schedule, businesses should begin collecting the extra tax in April and the city should see the revenues in June or July.

The money can be used for transportation projects listed in the city's transportation improvement plan, which was approved by the council in July.



Second time around

Councilor Susan Lorenzen said she was thrilled with the election results, especially after trying three times to get the tax increase approved.

"I took it to the council the first time in June 2008 and they didn't want to put it on the ballot. I thought it was a no-brainer so I laid out more of the simplified facts," she said.

"Then two weeks later they put it on ballot and it lost by 61 votes. So we felt the public was not educated enough about its benefits.

"They thought it was just another tax and didn't see value in it. So we worked hard at it to show them the benefits."



Preserve sidewalks

Mayor Laura Dubois said two priorities for the new funding should be preserving existing streets and sidewalks.

She hopes to see more sidewalks along school walking routes and current ones in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"And I myself would like to set aside a small amount for the Simdars interchange matching funds. That is important to the traffic flow on the city's east side," Dubois said.

After the U.S. Highway 101 bypass project, the Simdars Road interchange with Highway 101 wasn't finished.

That means drivers in the city's east end can't enter the highway westbound or exit it eastbound.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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