Yakima City Council Highlights: Downtown Proposal Chosen, Utility Tax Decision Made... Sort Of

The Yakima City Council decided between the five proposals put forth by Yakima native, architect Kathryn Gustafson. 

A 5-2 vote sends proposal Y-a back to Gustafson now to be tweaked for an October meeting that will begin finalizing how the project will be paid for and put it into process for voting by the 2015 election season.

Each of the proposals either featured a north or south section near Yakima Avenue in between 3rd and 2nd Streets. Proposal Y-a would be in the parking lot behind Sportscenter and Olive Garden giving downtown an open plaza for pedestrian traffic.

Parking is the main concern amongst local businesses in the area. Proposal Y-a would have as many parking spaces near the area as there currently is now.

Also up for vote was a motion to drop the utility tax from six percent to four percent. This brought up an extended conversation between council members and City Manager Tony O'Rourke about the estimated $800,000 that would be lost from the general fund budget.

The Council voted down the motion tonight but decided to have a public hearing on the subject September 16th to get the views of Yakima residents on the possible tax cut.