Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean an end to the West Seattle Water Taxi season.
The King County Ferry District received a grant this year that will allow for West Seattle service to be extended past October. The plan is to offer morning and evening commuter service from November through April of next year, when the full seasonal schedule will resume.
This is another step towards my goal of strengthening the fledgling Ferry District and solidifying the water taxi’s role as a real commute alternative. We’ll be relying on these ferries more and more to keep District 8 connected as big road projects ramp up around the region.
Tough budget decisions coming this fall
King County is facing a projected $60 million shortfall or more, and that means cutting at least 12 to 15 percent across the board in order to balance the budget.
The council has put the criminal justice system at the top of our budget priorities, and we’re going to need a laser-like focus on funding core services to balance the 2011 budget.
The council will begin its review of the King County Executive’s proposed budget when it is delivered on September 27. Approval of the final budget is expected in late November.
County submits grant request for South Park
After pulling together funding pledges totaling more than $100 million for a new South Park Bridge, King County submitted its TIGER II grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation in late August.
Along with the funding commitments from partners like the state, the City of Seattle, the Port of Seattle, and the Puget Sound Regional Council, more than 1,000 signatures and support letters were submitted along with the grant application.
I think the closure of the bridge in June really brought home the importance of this project. There’s a real sense of urgency now, and I think it really helped spark a renewed energy among our funding partners and stakeholders. This grant request is our last big push, and everyone is committed to making it a success.
Replacing the South Park Bridge has truly been a team effort, and I want to thank all of our partners, stakeholders, and community members who have come together with such a strong unified voice.
Announcement of TIGER II grant awards is expected in October.
September 11th has been designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance, and as autumn approaches and budget cuts loom for governments and non-profits alike, I’m reminded that volunteers are needed now more than ever.
The Great Recession has strained King County’s resources as well as many non-profit organizations throughout the county. Times are tough and money is tight, but there is one resource that each of us has that can sustain our communities and get us on the road to recovery—volunteering!
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities. Whether it’s at your local school, your neighborhood watch, a food bank or a park, a homeless shelter or animal shelter, your community council or your community center, donating your time as a volunteer makes a difference. So find your passion and volunteer in District Eight!
Track what’s happening in your part of District 8 and when Councilmember Drago plans to visit your neighborhood. Visit Drago’s website at www.kingcounty.gov/Drago to view the community calendar, or get event updates on Drago’s Facebook page.
King County Councilmember Jan Drago