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Mayor’s state of North Bend: Big gains, big changes ahead for the city
Mayor Ken Hearing revealed the following changes and projects in his 2013 State of the City of North Bend address, March 5.
• “Last year, I reported it would be a slow climb back from the bottom of the Great Recession. I am happy to report that in the last year we experienced some growth that makes me cautiously optimistic that we are seeing slight recovery in the local economy.”
• “The acquisition of water rights has led to an impressive amount of new development in our city. We issued 72 building permits for new homes during 2012, and we expect similar activity in 2013. Since the beginning of 2012, the city has received eight plat applications for a potential total of 354 new building lots and new homes....the city expects two more Preliminary Plat Applications to be received in the first quarter of 2013 for a potential additional 203 new building lots and new homes.
• “ Citizen approval of the Transportation Benefit District provided us with an ongoing revenue source for transportation projects for the next 10 years...Planned projects include the overlay of a large portion of North Bend Way from Torguson Park to 436th Ave, reconstruction of a portion of Mount Si Boulevard, improvements to the North Bend Way sidewalk from Downing to Orchard, as well as creating a vibrant downtown plaza with multiple improvements from Bendigo to Ballarat. “
• “We are very excited to have an application pending for the construction of a hotel within the city abutting the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. I see this project as pivotal in drawing visitors to our downtown core... We anticipate the hotel starting to grade its site during the summer months and the hotel’s goal is to open its doors by summer of 2014.”
• “A new contract was negotiated for solid waste and recycling services (that) provides lower residential rates and added service including curbside yard waste recycling for all residents. As a result, North Bend was able to increase its 2012 annual recycling collections to 51 percent. For the first time, North Bend’s citizens sent more waste to recycling than to the landfill. And this increase took place in just six months’ time.”
• “The city has also elected to make a change in the delivery of our police services. We want to thank the King County Sheriff’s office for being an outstanding partner for over 30 years. The decision was difficult but we believe we can expand our services at a lower and more dependable cost by contracting with Snoqualmie. “
• “In April of 2012 a new expanded website was launched with a host of new offerings including video access to council meetings and an increased social media presence. Most recently, the Economic Development Commission with staff collaborated to launch a North Bend Webcam to display the beautiful view of the city, laid out on the Upper Snoqualmie Valley floor with Mount Si and the Cascades as a backdrop.”
• “Staff has coordinated an amazing array of events over the past several years and 2013 will be no different. In April the University of Washington will again host its Cycling Road Race, and the first North Bend Blues Walk will be held featuring 11 great venues in Downtown. These are just a sampling... go to the City’s website for a full listing of all upcoming events.”
• “At our recent council retreat, we began discussions about the benefits of downtown redevelopment and moving City Hall out to North Bend Way. Discussions with the community will occur over the next year and the council believes that, with the help of the citizens, a major facelift and economic boost is possible.”