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Safe and Secure Bothell is a public safety program funded by two ballot measures that Bothell voters approved in the November 2018 general election. Proposition 1 was an operations levy that funds new police officers, firefighters and other additional public safety services. Proposition 2 was a bond that funds the tear-down and replacement of two fire stations.
The nature of law enforcement and emergency response has changed and increased in complexity over the last two decades. Increasing drug use, homelessness, mental illness, theft and school safety challenges; and aging fire stations and equipment are straining the City’s ability to deliver critical police and fire services.
In 2001, Washington State passed tax-limiting legislation I-747, which limits taxing jurisdictions like the City of Bothell from raising the amount of property taxes collected by no more than 1% per year without a vote of the people. The cost of delivering basic police and fire services increases at a higher rate than 1% each year, therefore, City Council placed Propositions 1 and 2 on the 2018 ballot to gauge Bothell’s level of desired public safety service. In 2031, when the public safety levy is set to expire, Bothell residents will have another chance to vote on the level of service they want.
Proposition 1: Public Safety Levy Lid Lift will last for twelve years (2019-2031).
Proposition 2: Public Safety Capital Bond allows the City to issue 20-year bonds. The City will issue two separate bonds at different times to better align spending with fire station construction progress. Bothell residents will make bond repayments from 2020-2043, depending on the timing of the bond issuances.
Bothell public safety services include police, fire, emergency medical and municipal court services. The City’s general fund pays for these services at an annual cost of approximately $29 million in 2018. A total of 162 dedicated public service professionals provide services to Bothell residents every day, year-round. Facilities and equipment include three fire stations, one police station, the municipal court, response vehicles, fire engines, aid cars and motorcycles.