Bellevue Council reviews using LID for Wilburton work
June 14, 2010 · Updated 9:27 AM
The Bellevue City Council on Monday, June 7 gave the go-ahead to further study using a local improvement district to help pay for high-priority road projects in the city’s west Wilburton area, just east of Interstate 405.
A local improvement district, or LID, is one of several funding options being considered to pay for two major transportation improvement that are part of the Wilburton Connections project. The package of upgrades is designed to accommodate future growth, reduce congestion and improve traffic flow between the downtown, Wilburton and Bel-Red areas.
An LID is a financing method used to pay for the design and construction of public works improvements. It’s a way for property owners who derive a “special benefit” from the improvements to pay a proportionate share of the project costs through assessments. The special benefit is the difference between the fair market value of the property before and immediately after the project is completed.
The Council reviewed a “feasibility analysis” conducted by a consultant, an early step in determining the special benefits to properties in the district. They also signed off on proceeding to the next step, a “formation analysis” that includes a more detailed analysis of special benefits to each property within the LID boundary.
The Wilburton Connections LID would help pay for two specific transportation improvement projects: the Northeast Fourth Street Extension Project, from 116th to 120th Avenue Northeast, and the 120th Avenue Northeast Widening Project, between Northeast Fourth and Northeast Eighth streets. When completed, both projects will include two travel lanes in each direction, a center turn lane where needed, bike lanes and sidewalk on both sides, and other improvements.
Total cost for the two projects is estimated at $47.5 million, most of it ($29 million) to acquire the needed right-of-ways for construction. The current funding gap is estimated at $17.7 million.
Work so for by the consultant, Macaulay & Associates LTD, shows the estimated special benefit to property owners within the local improvement district in the $13 million to $18 million range. The upcoming formation analysis is expected to refine the estimate.
In addition to an LID, other funding options that could be used to fill the gap include right-of-way donations by property owners, additional state and federal grants, additional property tax increases, and transportation impact fees.
Next steps in the LID process tentatively include a public meeting in July on the feasibility analysis, followed by a September presentation to the council once the formation analysis is complete.
The Wilburton Connections work is part of a broader Mobility and Infrastructure Initiative, a group of construction projects and other capital projects in the downtown, west Wilburton and Bel-Red areas that are designed to respond to increased travel spurred by downtown development.