Sunday, July 8, 2012

Give the Port of Seattle a billion dollars and your Hostages (Rails to Trails, and SODO arena) will be freed.

The Port wants about a billion tax dollars to fund the SR 509 project to get containers from the sea port to Kent.
If you think the Port just wants somebody else to pay for a $180 million dollar Lander Street Overpass, you're fooling yourself.
I-5/SR 509 Freight and Congestion Relief - Schedule and Funding
In order to complete the right of way purchases, design and roadway construction, an additional $975 to $995 million of funding is needed (in future expenditure dollars).
Anybody see the addition of an arena (and Rails to Trails) on this map, or the absence of a billion tax dollars, preventing this Port of Seattle 25 Year expansion pipe dream from happening?

(map from WSDOT project page)

The Port and King County revisited this billion dollar gift to the Port on June 18.
County Council, Port Commissioners discuss opportunities to strengthen regional collaboration
Here is a link to the King County Resolution 2012-0227 that commits the county to, in part, fight for state funding for the SR509 project as mentioned in the video from the 6/18/2012 meeting linked here.

The Port does not care about a warehouse in SODO becoming an arena, or a Rails to Trails project, they care about a billion dollar tax payer funded road to Kent. The Port holds somebody else's project hostage in order to force politicians to lobby for more tax money (roads and trails on the east side, the arena on the west side, all to go after a billion dollar road to Kent).
Wake up.

Seattle is a tourist destination for the cruise ships the Port makes money from, and a point where containers are unloaded, but that's the end of it for Seattle. The Port wants a tax payer funded billion dollar road to the Kent distribution center.


Anonymous said...

The arena is toast, get over it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the most common anti-arena argument!

MarkS said...

According to your link the $65 million has been spent so fare on "studies" for the project.

Anonymous said...

You are obviously over medicating yourself if you think the Arena is dead.

The Arena is a red herring. It has nothing to do with the issues the Port has and everyone in power knows it.

In the end their issues will be dealt with but the Arena deal is going to happen. It is far to good a deal for the region for electeds to pass it up.

Like the Port (who is run by elected officials) the City and County like more tax dollars to play with. This gives them that, there is no way they let it go.

Them's the facts, get over it.

Mr Baker said...

The Port folks discussed having the county help get that road built to Kent in the 6/18 meeting. They want the county to lobby Olympia. It is key for getting containers from the port to Kent.

Without that, the cantainer part of their 25 year vision is worthless.

The bullshit the Port pulled hurt them with the county. Two of the sponsors of the working together Resolution at the county (Lambert and Gossert) were not impressed by the Port's taking hostage of Rails to Trails. Not only might the Port ensure the council accepts the arena, but they might lose lobbying cooperation in the short term with the county.

Mr Baker said...

The Port has been successful with these leverage and bully tactics in the past, the problem they have is that they are attempting too many at the same time while doing it while there is a lot of media attention.

They think it's a PR issue, when it is a mass realization of what the Port is and does to get its way issue.
They might be a reason the arena DOES pass.
I'll send them a Thank You card.

Mr Baker said...

The arena is toast?

You are not understanding how this works. The Port wants a billion dollars from a legislature that struggles to get out of session on time just passing a budget. It's a giant hole in their "plan". It's not a plan but a wish list of tax dollars. The Port expansion isn't free, that little fact gets glossed over by Larry Phillips and the other arena opponents, but, not for long.

Meanwhile there is somebody that has the money and means to put a half a billion dollar construction project on the books, shovel ready. The city doesn't give a shit about a road to Kent, they need funding for a bridge across Lake Washington long before that SR 509.
Council is looking for a way to get the arena done, because they know it is real.

Peter said...

So is this story good or bad for us?

Mr Baker said...

The story that no matter what happens with the arena, the Port needs a billion dollars to make its container traffic expansion plan viable, that is a good fact for me to point out for a very long time.

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