yakima money budget seal city of Yakima council government cash spending standing

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The possibility of increasing car tab fees by $19 to pay for streets and sidewalk projects will go before the Yakima City Council when it meets Tuesday.

In March, after months of discussion, the council voted 4-3 against increasing tab fees by $20.

Mayor Kathy Coffey said she’s bringing the issue back to the council because the March vote did not resolve all the issues surrounding a plan to improve streets and sidewalks.

While the issue has attracted supporters and opponents, it’s unclear how many might attend Tuesday’s meeting because it is being held at 2 p.m. rather than the usual 6 p.m. The meeting is early because some council members are leaving for the Association of Washington Cities’ annual conference in Vancouver.

Coffey said she hasn’t heard from any council members about postponing the vote to another time when more residents can attend and comment.

“I think we’ve already heard quite a bit about what people have to say,” she said. “But I would be open to hearing something from anyone if they wanted to postpone it.”

The council is also expected to revisit a discussion on providing $50,000 of additional funding for summer youth programs.

The council voted to allocate the money at an emergency meeting last week, but still has to approve contracts with the organizations that will receive the funds and operate the programs.

Parks and Recreation director Ken Wilkinson, who was instructed to determine which organizations should receive the funds, will be presenting information from meetings he’s had with those organizations.

“I’m not exactly sure which ones are going to be the best fit for the money at this point, but hopefully we’ll have that narrowed down by Monday,” he said.

He does not expect to have any contracts ready for the council’s approval by Tuesday.

The council will also hear an update about fundraising efforts for the Yakima Central Plaza. The Downtown Yakima Central Plaza Fundraising Committee says it has raised $34,151 since April for a total of $5.3 million in private funding. That means they have six months to raise the $3.7 million left to uphold their end of the contract, which requires they raise the majority of funds for the plaza, which is estimated at $11 million.

The meeting will start at 2 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 129 N. Second St.