(The Center Square) – The City of Enumclaw is asking voters to approve a tax-hike bond to help fund a proposed community center.
The city said it cannot fund the proposed community center through its general fund without cuts to city services, such as police, fire, parks and streets.
Instead, Enumclaw is asking voters to approve a bond projected at 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value that will appear on the April special election ballot. Taxes collected from the bond would help fund the proposed community center.
The average homeowner of a $500,000 home in Enumclaw would pay $12.50 per month or $150 per year for the community center if the bond is passed.
According to the city’s 2024 budget, general fund operating revenues are estimated at $14.4 million, whereas operating expenditures are estimated at $14.7 million.
The city says it has already identified $3.4 million in grants and city funds for the project and is pursuing private donations to further reduce the amount of funding needed by taxpayers.
Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro said the alternative funding sources are contingent on the bond passing this April.
The current senior center building was built in 1928 and was not intended to serve as a community center, and it cannot accommodate the growing needs of the city’s senior population, according to the city.
“The building needs major repairs and isn’t big enough for seniors to exercise safely, attend classes or enjoy meals together,” the city stated in a press release. “Additionally, the estimated cost to renovate the building exceeds the value of the building.”
According to Ordinance 2770, the bond would generate up to $19.5 million within a maximum term of 29 years to finance such improvements.
The Center Square reached out to Molinaro to request the cost estimates regarding the proposed community center, but did not receive a response at the time of this publication.