It's Official â€“ Burien's Annexation Date Will Be April 1st
Finally, itâ€™s official â€“ Burien will annex unincorporated southern North Highline on April 1. City Council members voted 6-1 at their Jan. 11th meeting to establish the effective date.
Their action came after a delay of almost two months in setting an effective date, which occurred when the city learned in late November of an eleventh-hour maneuver by former King County Executive Kurt Triplett to sell Puget Sound Park in the unincorporated annexation area to the King County Library System.
New county Executive Dow Constantine announced on Jan. 6 that King County will not sell the five-acre park at 1st Ave. S. and SW 126th St. and, instead, will cede it to Burien as part of annexation.
Councilwoman Lucy Krakowiak cast the lone no vote against setting a formal annexation date. Krakowiak has continued to oppose annexation even after residents of southern North Highline voted by a large margin on Aug. 18 to become part of Burien.
City Manager Mike Martin told council members before the vote, â€œThis is the long-awaited resolution â€¦ Iâ€™m very pleased to bring it to you.â€
He said setting an effective date â€œwas not a matter of pulling it out of thin air.â€ Rather, annexation on April 1 â€œallows the maximum amount of revenue to be provided to the City from King County while allowing time for technical work needed to make the annexation effective.â€
That work includes conducting a population census of the annexation area, contacting businesses there, and working out transition details with the state Department of Transportation.
During public comment, Burien resident Ed Dacy urged council members to use their influence to discourage any move by the King County Library System to close the White Center and Boulevard Park libraries â€“ both of which are in the annexation area â€“ and consolidate them in a new facility.
The library system earlier hoped to acquire Puget Sound Park as a location for a consolidated library â€“ although the library board, on which Krakowiak also serves as a member, has not voted to close the two community libraries that soon will be within the City of Burien.
A 2004 bond issue passed by King County voters included funding for replacement or remodeling of both the White Center and Boulevard Park libraries. That money remains untouched in the library systemâ€™s capital budget.
The future of these library sites will be discussed by members of the King County Library Systemâ€™s Planning Committee at 12 noon this Thursday, Jan. 14, in the second floor meeting room of the Burien Library. The committee will take comments from the public during the meeting.