Here’s our recap of the Kent City Council meeting held on Tuesday night, Oct. 17, 2023:
Proclamation: Hindu American Awareness & Appreciation Month
According to this month’s proclamation, 4.3 million Hindu Americans live in the US, with a significant number residing in Kent. They come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Afghani, Nepali, Bhutanese, Fijian, Caribbean, and European descent. Hindu Americans often face stereotypes and misconceptions, and have been the target of bullying, discrimination, hate speech, and other hate crimes.
Hindu Americans contribute to Kent’s economy, vitality, wellbeing, and growth. Representatives of the Hindu American community in Kent received this proclamation, and noted that during this month they are collecting food donations to give to area food banks.
Council wanted to remind everyone about these upcoming community events. Fall Curbside Cleanup will take place from November 6 – 17, and is an opportunity to have extra garbage picked up for free. All trash must be bagged, and will be picked up on normal yard waste collection days. See above link for more details.
Looking for a way to volunteer and celebrate Arbor Day? You can sign up to plant trees, shrubs, and pollinator plants at Morrill Meadows Park on November 4th. See this link for details on where to park and meet, and how to sign up.
And right around the corner is the Haunted Boo-Levard on Tuesday October 31st. Families can celebrate this free event, trick or treating at participating businesses and at the Trunk-or-Treat area. The event runs from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Here is the event link, and the following link is for anyone interested in decorating their vehicle for Trunk or Treat.
Two New Officers Sworn In
Kent Police welcomes two new officers to the force: Officers Anthony Blackwell and Karl Peterson. Anthony Blackwell is originally from Gig Harbor, but after doing ride-alongs with several different agencies, he decided Kent was the most appealing police force and the one he wanted to join. Karl Peterson was born and raised in Auburn, and decided to become an officer after working for the 911 dispatch. He said he witnessed the officer camaraderie among Kent PD during his dispatch job, and it inspired him to become an officer. They will both begin street training next week.
Scout Troop 407
A group of Scouts was present at the meeting and one spoke about their Eagle Scout projects, which they do to help the community. He said he had helped build a vegetable garden in order to grow produce for the food bank. Scout Troop 407 also does many other outdoor activities, and kids of any gender are encouraged to join.
Other City Business
The Mid-Biennium Budget Adjustments and the 2024-2029 Capital Improvement Plan both had second public hearings. Mid-Biennium Budget adjustments include the addition of just under $100 thousand in opioid settlement funds. This money will go to support the Community Court program.
There were also public hearings for a new tax levy, the Comprehensive Plan Capital Facilities Amendment, and Code Adjustments for School Impact Fees. Regarding the new tax levy, the property tax rate will go from $1.06 to $1.07, per $1000 in assessed property value. A median value home of $600,000 will be taxed $640 in 2024, compared to $619 in 2023. This equals about 11% of the total property tax paid by homeowners. The rest of what homeowners pay goes to support public schools, King County, libraries, fire stations, and other organizations.