FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Ridgefield City Council Approves Creation of a Transportation Benefit District Supporting the Interstate 5/State Route 501 Interchange Replacement Project
Press Contact Information:
Justin.Clary, City Manager
Ridgefield, WA, June 26, 2008 - At their regularly scheduled meeting held last night, the Ridgefield City Council unanimously adopted Ordinance No. 998 approving the creation of a Transportation Benefit District (or "TBD") to support the Interstate 5/State Route 501 Interchange Replacement Project in Ridgefield. Through this action, the City of Ridgefield became the first public agency in the State of Washington to enact a TBD, as authorized under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 36.73. Ordinance No. 998 specifies one sole revenue source of a number of sources authorized under RCW 36.73 – a two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) increase in sales tax on taxable sales within the district boundaries. Based on RCW 36.73, this sales tax can only be implemented following voted approval by a majority of the residents within the district boundaries. The City of Ridgefield currently plans to present this measure to the district residents on the November 2008 ballot. Should the measure be approved, the sales tax will be effective for a ten-year period with the estimated $2 million in revenues dedicated to the Interchange Replacement Project.
"Ridgefield is a small, but rapidly growing community. The City Council is proactively addressing an infrastructure issue that will allow commercial and employment-based development to occur that will, in turn, improve the quality of life of our community" said Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow. "The sales tax component of the transportation benefit district legislation is fair in that anyone using the new interchange to buy goods at a store that has been constructed due to the new interchange will be helping pay their fair share. At two pennies for every ten dollars of purchased goods, the tax will be a bargain compared to the cost of driving to a neighboring community to make the same purchase."
Transportation Benefit District Boundaries:
Information about the I-5/SR 501 Interchange Replacement Project:
The City of Ridgefield's primary access to Interstate 5 is provided via the I-5/SR 501 Interchange, which was built in 1964 to serve a rural community. With community growth projected to cause the existing interchange to reach full capacity and failure within the next decade, the City of Ridgefield, Port of Ridgefield and community stakeholders began working in 2005 to secure the necessary funding for construction of a new interchange with sufficient capacity to serve the community. The City's growth projections, combined with the recognition that Ridgefield is anticipated to be the next major employment hub in the Portland/Vancouver Metropolitan Area, have led State of Washington and Federal legislators to secure approximately $23 million in funding for this $40 million project. The City of Ridgefield has also allocated $2 million of City funds towards the project. The City of Ridgefield initiated project design early in 2006; "90 Percent Design" was completed this past February, and right-of-way acquisition and final design are now underway. The current project schedule anticipates a construction-ready design complete in Summer 2009. Construction is estimated at 18 to 24 months.
The City of Ridgefield, incorporated in 1909, is a rapidly growing community located in northern Clark County, Washington approximately 10 miles north of Vancouver, Washington. Over the next 20 years, the City of Ridgefield expects to grow to a population of over 31,000 persons with an employment base of over 20,000 jobs. The City has adopted a Council-City Manager form of government. The City Manager acts as the chief executive officer of the City overseeing daily operations, annual budget development and implementation, and personnel. The City Manager works with a management team composed of the Director of Finance and Administration, the Community Development Director, the Public Works Director and the Police Chief to insure that community services are provided and that the policy directives of the City Council are carried out in the most efficient manner possible.