King County’s $140 million dollar plan to rebuild the Youth Services Center has made it another step closer, with the King County Council moving to place the issue on the fall ballot. Voters will get the final say whether to increase the county’s sales tax by 0.1% to fund a new building to house juvenile and family courts and associated offices.
The existing facility at 12th & Alder has been repeatedly described as “falling apart” by various county officials, and has a $20 million backlog in basic maintenance.
Plans for the new construction would build a new court facility along 12th Avenue north of Alder, where there’s currently only a surface parking lot. A large, controversial parking garage would be placed east of that, leaving the northern third of the 6-block property for private development and open space.
Councilmember Julia Patterson was quoted in a county press release as saying “The proposal we adopted today improves upon the ballot measure passed last week, because it not only ensures we can maintain our award-winning criminal justice system, it also provides a permanent fix for our crumbling juvenile court facility.”
Last month, county officials cited a tax increase as the “fiscally responsible plan” because it will eliminate the need for the issuance of bonds and their associated interest costs.
Stay tuned for the next public meeting where King County will present their revised designs.