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150 years of working for you King County Sesquicentennial - 1852-2002
Milestones—The 1990s
What we're celebrating
How King County works for you
150 years of service
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  • Population of King County is 1.5 million.
  • Judge William Dwyer rules the Metro Council unconstitutional. County council and cities convene "Summit I" to discuss reorganization.
  • Bus service begins on September 15, 1990 in the $483 million transit tunnel in downtown Seattle.
  • County Assessor's Department receives an international award for excellence in providing public information.
  • King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way opens for Goodwill Games.

  • First King County web site launched.

  • Voters of both Seattle and King County approve an amendment of the county's charter that authorizes the merger of King County with Metro. The implementation of the merger is phased in with changes scheduled to take place in 1994 and 1996.
  • Excavations at West Point reveal Native American middens of archaeological significance.
  • Women's shelters for domestic violence victims open in East and South King County.
  • First unincorporated area council formed.

  • First archaeological property (Bear Creek Shell Midden) and first ethnic property (Mukai property, Vashon) are designated as King County landmarks.
  • Metro and City of Seattle begin selecting shoreline improvement sites using the $30 million set aside to mitigate for potential loss of shoreline public open space caused by upgrading West Point.

  • Metro and King County merge: Metro becomes King County Department of Metropolitan Services and reports to the County Executive.

  • Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Transit Plan passes.

  • King County Regional Justice Center opens in Kent. The Center has courtrooms, detention facilities and administrative offices.

  • Department of Development and Environmental Services becomes self-supporting in 1999.
  • PugetPass, the first regional transit pass is made available and is honored by all of the region's transit agencies.
  • Seattle hosts the annual World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting. During the three-day event, protesters clash with police officials in what would become known as the "Battle in Seattle."
  • The office of public defense receives an outstanding service award from the department of community and human services (DCHS) for providing outstanding service during WTO.
  • The Sounder, Sound Transit's new commuter train makes its debut, traveling the 42 miles between Seattle and Tacoma in 42 minutes.
  • King County Veteran's develops the Veterans Incarcerated Project, which receives the Governor's Quality Initiative Award.
  • Washington State voters approve Initiative 695, which replaces the graduated motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) with a flat $30 fee. The courts find the initiative unconstitutional but the flat fee is enacted by the State Legislature.
  • DDES contracts with 17 suburban cities to provide permit processing and Fire Marshal services.

1840s     1850s     1860s     1870s     1880s     1890s

1900s     1910s     1920s     1930s     1940s     1950s

1960s     1970s     1980s     1990s     2000s

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Updated: July 11, 2002

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