Oct. 1, 2019 | Volunteers, Legislative Priorities and More
Posted on 10/03/2019

The Newcastle City Council roundups offer a digest of notable items for those who can't make it to the regular meetings. View the meeting agenda packet here. and listen to the audio here. View past City Council roundups at newcastlewa.gov/councilrecaps.

GENERAL UPDATES

— Oct. 7, 2019, is Volunteer Appreciation Day in the City of Newcastle. The Newcastle City Council presented the special proclamation to volunteer Community Activities Commissioners Diane Lewis and Patti Magers during the Oct. 1 meeting. All of our community’s volunteers will be honored at a special celebration on Oct. 7.

— The Council offered initial feedback and suggestions for the City’s 2020 legislative agenda. Newcastle annually adopts the agenda as a way to communicate the City’s policy priorities and capital needs to state representatives. The City often uses the Association of Washington Cities’ list of priorities as a starting point. This year’s list includes initiatives on affordable housing, transportation and more. Councilmembers also presented their own ideas for consideration, including a goal to prioritize additional public transportation options for Newcastle, exploration of a funding mechanism for rising public safety costs and more. The Council will finalize the legislative agenda at an upcoming meeting.

— The Council approved changes to the City’s tree retention and replacement standards in an effort to better preserve and enhance Newcastle’s tree canopy. The amendment aims to discourage nuisance tree species that pose hazards to other trees, underground utilities, people and structures.

— The Council approved a Comcast cable TV franchise agreement and a new Verizon Wireless franchise that would facilitate small cell 5G. A franchise is a contract between the City and a provider (typically a utility, such as water, sewer, cable and/or telecommunications) that regulates the provider’s use of the right of way.

— The Newcastle City Council approved an ordinance adopting a local sales tax option to support affordable housing. This was made possible thanks to a new state bill that enacted a significant new funding tool for local jurisdictions to increase investment in affordable housing, with no increased tax on consumers. The tax would be used for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing or facilities providing supportive housing in partnership with A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH).

The Newcastle City Council wants to hear from you! Members of the public are invited to share thoughts during public hearings or two open public comment periods at meetings. Regular meetings of the City Council occur on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at City Hall, starting at 7 p.m. You can also email your thoughts to Councilmembers. To send a message to the entire Council, email citycouncil@newcastlewa.gov. You can also email them individually (view all Councilmember emails here).  

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