Murray makes final pitch for ‘Let’s Move Seattle;’ opponents decry cost

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SEATTLE - Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is making one last push for a nearly $1 billion plan to fix aging roads and bridges throughout the city.

Outside of Olympic View Elementary on Monday afternoon, the mayor said the lack of sidewalks in the neighborhood is one reason voters should approve Proposition 1, known as the “Let’s Move Seattle” transportation levy.

"This is one of many Seattle neighborhoods that lack basic infrastructure like sidewalks," said Mayor Murray.

At a cost of $930 million, the levy would replace the Bridging the Gap levy that expires at the end of 2015. The plan seeks to repave 180 miles of arterial streets, reinforce bridges and add new bike lanes and sidewalks. It would be paid for with a property tax that would cost homeowners $275 dollars a year on a $450,000 home, which is $145 more than they pay now.

"Ultimately, I'm giving you my word we are going to deliver these projects on time and on budget," Murray said.

Several groups, including Keep Seattle Affordable, are against the levy. Organizer Eugene Wasserman said that not only does the plan drive up the cost of living in Seattle, it also means trusting the city with more taxpayer money.

"The mayor cannot guarantee anything and there are no mandatory projects in this proposal," Wasserman said. "This is about how the city fixes its streets and maintains the streets and they have not done a very good job, yet they keep asking for more and more money and nothing to show for it."

Murray said the levy includes plans for an oversight committee to be appointed to monitor how the money is spent, and that people will be able to track the projects online.

Murray said if the levy fails, there will be millions of dollars in cuts to basic road repairs when the current measure expires.

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