FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Voters Overwhelmingly Approve 0.2% Sales Tax within Transportation Benefit District Supporting the Interstate 5/State Route 501 Interchange Replacement Project
Press Contact Information:
Justin.Clary, City Manager
Ridgefield, WA, November 5, 2008 – Unofficial election results released by the Clark County Elections Office today indicate that a 0.2% sales tax increase supporting the I-5/SR 501 Interchange Replacement Project in Ridgefield, Washington has been approved by an overwhelming margin of 73%.
The sales tax, which equates to two cents in sales tax on a ten dollar purchase, was identified as a revenue source that could generate up to $2 million towards the Interchange Project over the ten year life of the tax. The sales tax will only be incurred within the boundaries of a Transportation Benefit District that was created by the Ridgefield City Council as authorized under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 36.73. Through the election results, the City of Ridgefield became the first agency in the State of Washington to successfully enact a sales tax increase through a transportation benefit district. "Ridgefield is a small, but rapidly growing community. The City 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 paying 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 $4 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 10 to 15 years, the City of Ridgefield expects to grow to a population of over 20,000 persons with an employment base of over 13,000 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.