North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington council discusses airport fees

 


A few weeks ago, the manager of Arlington Airport proposed waiving fees for the Arlington Fly-In’s use of the Arlington Airport, but, after a state audit of airport practices in the past year, council members had questions.

Now the city administrator is proposing an ordinance that would create a process for evaluating the benefits of events to the city.

The 2013 annual audit by the State Auditor’s office (SAO) recommended that the city align its own special event process with the airport’s special event process to ensure that the process was consistent and fair for users of all city properties.

A similar recommendation was made by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a separate audit, according to workshop documents.

Airport and city staff have been working since early 2015 to address issues around processes that were raised in both state and FAA audits.

Under the current process, special events may be required to pay for city services. Events are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, weighing the cost of city services against the economic and community benefit.

Planners of events on airport property must go through this process twice – a special events permit from the city and an airport use agreement with airport staff and the airport commission.

A proposed ordinance is intended to realign the process so all special events are treated the same. To change the process, city council is being asked to adopt an ordinance defined as a “proposed mutual benefit agreement” which would allow the airport commission to waive fees for events at the airport if the event is determined to have sufficient benefit to the city. The proposed ordinance would give the airport commission authority to determine which airport services require compensation.

Reviewing tourism grant priorities

In an effort to review council’s priorities for lodging tax grants for tourism promotion, a sub-committee was formed to update the grant application.

This Monday, the subcommittee was scheduled to present a worksheet for council to rate priorities for granting funds from lodging taxes. Once agreed upon, the priorities will guide the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee – LTAC’s scoring of applications. The city has been collecting lodging taxes for hotels and accommodations inside the city limits since 2005. Lodging tax revenues are to be used for promoting tourism in Arlington.

Other workshop discussions

• Arlington’s administration has proposed adding an assistant city administrator position to city staff, a position that was created in 1998 and eliminated in 2014 during a reorganization.

• This Monday, administration presented information on an inter-local agreement with Arlington School District on electrical equipment improvements that need to be made at Weston High School to accommodate the Advanced Manufacturing Training Education Center (AMTEC)in the building that the district leases from the city on airport property.

AMTEC North will provide specialized training that supports manufacturing businesses.

• Arlington’s Cemetery Board and staff have been working on a marketing plan for Arlington Cemetery and are proposing a 10 percent discount on a package of common burial items as an incentive for customers to purchase items all at the same time. A proposed price list includes 15 traditional burial packages and 18 cremation burial packages.

• Council was scheduled to discuss this Monday the reappointments of Dawn Boyden to the Arlington Library Board and Skip Smith and Maxine Jenft to the cemetery board. The reappointment is expected to appear for a vote on next week’s council meeting agenda.

 

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