City Council Goals
Every two years, the City Council establishes specific goals designed to guide the work of the City. Following two community forums and a business owner forum, the Council held a goal-setting retreat at the end of March 2012. The 15 goals which grew out of the retreat were adopted by the Council on April 16, 2012. The goals are:
- DNR Property near Road 68 Interchange: the Department of Natural Resources controls the western half of the property adjacent to the City’s busiest freeway interchange – I-182 and Road 68 – and gateway to the center of commercial activity in Pasco. As DNR’s experience/focus is largely on rural property, it is ill-equipped to manage property within an urbanizing area. While limited commercial development has been established in the quadrant north of I-182, the property lease required by DNR effectively discourages retail developers, indirectly harming the Pasco community. Continued DNR control of the property (and its use for farming) at this high traffic interchange neither benefits the state nor allows the City the advantage of urbanization (highest and best use) of the property in this area and conflicts with objectives of the state’s Growth Management Act. To address this issue, the City will endeavor to initiate urban infill development of the DNR property at the Road 68 interchange.
- Industrial Development: the Pasco community relies on one of the lower “per capita” assessed values (total taxable property value divided by total population) in the state. The City needs to foster more industrial investment to increase the non-residential tax base and, in turn, improve the ability of local public agencies to deliver needed services. The City has worked diligently with its partners (Port, PUD, County, etc.) to create “development ready” industrial sites, particularly the Heritage Industrial Center, Foster Wells area and along the SR12 corridor. The City will continue to partner with the Port, TRIDEC and others to focus on the development of “professional wage” jobs and to actively market the particular development opportunities offered by those industrial areas.
- Lewis Street Overpass: the existing underpass (now 75 years old) continues to show signs of deterioration, posing an eventual threat to public safety as well as potential harm to the BNRR system which has mainline tracks over it. The City has secured most of the necessary right-of-way and has completed final design, thus making the project “shovel ready” but cannot afford to finance construction of the project. Thus, the City will work to obtain state and federal funding commitments for at least 85% of the estimated $27 million project construction cost.
- Road 68 Congestion: the extent and nature of urban growth on the plateau, combined with the limitations imposed by the current configuration of the Road 68 interchange at I-182, have led to a pattern of intolerable congestion at the intersection of Road 68 and Burden Blvd. Though the City has made numerous improvements, and has plans to make additional improvements, the most promising solutions require modification to the I-182 freeway and are, therefore, subject to approval of WSDOT and FHWA. The City will obtain necessary approvals for at least one major impact project in addition to implementation of the recommendations of the Road 68 corridor study.
- TRAC Conversion to Regional Aquatic Center: the TRAC facility has served the community for nearly 20 years. While the facility itself is nearly paid for and has provided a quality venue for a number of events in the region, significant ongoing operational losses and the prospect of significant future maintenance and upgrade costs cannot be ignored. With the approaching expiration of the City’s agreement with Franklin County to share the expenses of the TRAC, re-purposing of the facility as a regional aquatics facility provides a win-win opportunity to enhance the established sports and recreation complex surrounding the facility and reduce, if not avoid, continued financial subsidy of the facility. To that end, the City will foster an agreement with Franklin County and the Pasco Public Facilities District to allow the project to be considered by the Regional Public Facilities District.
- Emergency Communications: for more than 30 years, the City has relied on the Franklin County Sheriff for emergency communication services (police and fire). Operational and technological constraints along with growth of the City represent an increasingly ineffective emergency system. Regionalization of call processing and dispatch services has been evaluated and promises to be the most cost effective and reliable way to assure future emergency communication services for the public as well as emergency responders. The City Council will work to complete implementation of the regional emergency communications recommendations.
- Gang Prevention/Suppression: Pasco has managed its gang problem relatively well, but the problem requires constant vigilance. The growth of gang activities in the region could lead to escalation of criminal and nuisance activities in Pasco. In addition to the deployment of a new street crimes police unit, the City will encourage gang prevention programs by assisting the provision of program facilities while improving the effect of its graffiti abatement program.
- Oregon Avenue: Oregon Avenue is a major arterial serving a primary industrial area of the City. Recent efforts with WSDOT have produced an agreement on concepts for development of the roadway to more adequately accommodate traffic and better serve adjacent property which is intended to encourage more private investment in that vicinity. To that end, the City will complete Phase 1 of the Oregon Avenue Improvement Plan.
- Downtown: as have many older urban centers, the downtown business district continues to struggle in its effort to revitalize itself. The formation of the Downtown Pasco Development Authority in 2011 and the recent appointment of an executive director for the organization accomplishes an important first step toward revitalization. To further encourage downtown improvement efforts, the City will complete a downtown street plan (anticipating the construction of the Lewis Street Overpass) and assist the Downtown Pasco Development Authority with its building façade program and revitalization plans.
- Police Station: the explosion of residential growth in the City over the past decade has led to a corresponding increase in City staff necessary to sustain and improve municipal services. The Police Department has outgrown available space at the civic center which is at capacity for virtually all departments. Voter approval of a sales tax for public safety purposes in 2011 provides the City with a funding source which should allow the issuance of bonds for the construction of a new police station. To that end, the City will prepare design and financing plans for construction of a police station in 2015.
- Waterfront Plan: over the past decade, the City has made notable improvements along the Columbia River shoreline. Both the City and the Port of Pasco control a significant amount of shoreline property east of the Cable Bridge. Given the unique opportunity to develop the area as an economic and recreational asset, the City will work in partnership with the Port of Pasco to develop and implement a common plan for redevelopment of the waterfront area between the Cable Bridge and Osprey Point.
- Code Enforcement: Pasco citizens’ satisfaction levels with code enforcement and animal control services appear to have declined over the past several years. Quality programs, which effectively deal with perceived problems, should appeal to most citizens. The City will evaluate the objectives and effectiveness of its code enforcement and animal control programs.
- Water Use: while, over the last few years, the City has been able to clarify the picture on its water rights and is relatively assured of adequate water rights to accommodate its growth projections, there is no longer an abundance of low cost water available to cities. In this “new era” water must be utilized much more carefully and purposefully. In order to promote the wisest use of its water resources, the City will develop an action plan to ensure optimum utilization of limited water resources.
- Neighborhood Revitalization: residential areas in the central portion of the City include many homes approaching 60-75 years of age. Designed for a different age, the neighborhoods often lack adequate off-street parking and experience higher population densities while they are frequently characterized by planting strips with large (and often problematic) shade trees. To address these issues, the City will undertake an effort to develop and implement a neighborhood revitalization plan for the area east of 10th Avenue and west of the BNRR mainline.
- Historic Preservation: the City has a unique history and has acknowledged the importance of preserving artifacts of historical significance by establishing a Historic Preservation Commission. A variety of concepts have been suggested to highlight historical elements of the community. In order to best evaluate what future action plans may be most desirable, the City will assist the Historic Preservation Commission with the development of a Historic Preservation Plan for the City.
For more information about the Council's goals, contact the City Manager's Office
at (509) 545-3404.