Budget committee of county council proposes an August ballot measure to replace the aging Youth Services Center

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Metropolitan King County Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee gave a “do-pass” recommendation today to a measure that would ask voters to fund construction of a new Children and Family Justice Center to replace the County’s dilapidated Youth Services Center. The legislation now goes to the full Council for final consideration.

“These facilities handle some of our most important and sensitive cases involving families and children,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, prime sponsor of the legislation. “King County has a responsibility to serve their justice needs and no one disputes that these facilities are dilapidated. They must be replaced.”

The proposed legislation places a measure on the August primary ballot for approval of a nine-year property tax levy lid lift of seven cents per $1,000 of assessed value. If approved by the voters, the levy will generate approximately $200 million for construction of a new Children and Family Justice Center. The annual cost to the median homeowner in King County would be less than $25.

The proposed new Children and Family Justice Center would replace the decaying Youth Services Center. Located at 12th Avenue and East Alder Street, the Center is the County’s central facility for cases involving children—juvenile offender cases, child abandonment, abuse and neglect cases and cases involving runaways.

Replacement of the Youth Services Center has been King County’s highest-priority capital project since 2008.
“With brown water, uncomfortable temperatures, and no space for families to meet privately with attorneys, the current deteriorating state of the county juvenile justice buildings is a travesty to the children and families who receive services there,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “Providing, safe, efficient and effective regional justice facilities for the children and families of King County must be a priority, and one we see through to completion.”

To place the measure on the August primary ballot, the Council must act by the end of April.


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