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The briefing was, in many ways, deceptive, and ignored extensive public comment that the City received on this subject over the years. Here's just a few highlights:

1) The area to be annexed has serious road and sidewalk deficiencies, including along transit routes and school walking routes. These will cost $5 - $10 million to bring anywhere close to the City standards. That cost was not considered.

2) Olympia has a "level of service standard" to have a neighborhood park within 1/2 mile of each residence. That would require 2 new neighborhood parks to be built and maintained. A $5 - $10 million capital item, plus maybe $300,000/year in additional maintenance. That was not included.

3) The City counted the Metraddiopolitan Parks District tax as a revenue in calculating the $3 million/year net loss this annexation would generate. But those funds MUST be spent for parks (where we have huge needs), but they did not include ANY costs for parks on the "expense" side of the calculation.

4) The City assumed ZERO increase in central administrative costs: City Council, City Manager, City Attorney, Human Resources, or Information Services. All of those tend to grow in a pretty linear fashion as cities get larger.

This is an almost entirely residential annexation. Almost no sales tax, B&O tax, or economic benefit to the City.

The City ALSO failed to calculate how much the average resident in the annexation area will pay per year. Higher taxes for utility bills, additional property tax, and some other categories.

Finally, the City has not even asked the residents of the area to engage: no neighborhood meetings, no public hearings, no outreach, no property-by-property increased cost estimates.

I hope to write a longer piece based on the newest information provided by the City. Keep your eyes on The Jolt News for more.

From: Olympia City Council studies annexing urban growth area; weighs impacts on providing city services and finances

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