May 22, 2013
Small businesses have to work hard to keep ahead of the big box stores, and King County wants to recognize that.
Small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs in the county, according to a press release from King County. For the third year in a row, King County Executive Dow Constantine is celebrating small businesses by asking for nominations for the Small Business Awards.
May 22, 2013
After being unemployed for five years, Phil Lacefield Jr. decided to start his own business with his wife, Calye Lacefield, making themed T-shirts with North Bend references.
“We’ve lived here for going on eight years and we’re pretty tight with the community, but we couldn’t understand why no one sells North Bend clothes,” Lacefield said.
May 20, 2013
Chase celebrated the opening of its newest Washington banking branch May 7, at 35019 S.E. Center St., Snoqualmie.
The new branch will open about 10 jobs to local residents, according to a press release from Chase Bank. The opening was marked by a celebration at the branch May 9, featuring a ribbon cutting with the chamber of commerce.
December 16, 2011
Farmers in King County should have an easier time receiving and making deliveries of materials, supplies and equipment within the county’s Agricultural Production Districts, which cover much of the lower Snoqualmie Valley.
To ease delivery issues, the County Council approved legislation in November allowing farm vehicles such as hay trucks to stop along the side of a road.
December 12, 2011
A Bellevue-based development company has filed paperwork with North Bend to begin the permitting process for construction of a new hotel complex along Bendigo Boulevard next to the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River.
The company, New Sky wants to build at least one and possibly two hotels on the nine-acre site. Most of the land would be left untouched as a buffer.
According to the development proposal that the company filed with the city in early November, New Sky would first build a 106-room Holiday Inn Express hotel on a 1.91 acre site, and potentially build an 85-room Hampton Inn and Suites on a 1.32 acre site in the future.
December 1, 2011
Local insurance agent Kevin Hauglie has received his company’s highest award for district managers and agents.
Hauglie joined the President’s Council of Farmers Insurance Group in recognition for his high overall performance, according to a news release from the company.
Membership on the council is an honor attained by few agents and district managers. Of the roughly 17,000 Farmers agents and district managers in 41 states, only 160 individuals are being named to the council for 2011.
October 26, 2011
In November, voters in King County, including those in Snoqualmie Valley, will be asked to choose from among four candidates hoping to serve as commissioners for the Port of Seattle.
The port includes both the seaport in downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport. According to the port’s annual report for 2010, the port collected $75.6 million in property taxes in 2009. The projection for 2010 was $73.5 million. Those collections come from all King County residents.
“The port is an economic engine for the entire county, not just the city of Seattle,” said Charla Skaggs, corporate media officer for the port.
Both Skaggs and other port officials said thousands of jobs depend directly and indirectly on port operations. According to what is billed by the port as an independent report released in 2009, the port was directly and indirectly responsible for 190,000 jobs in the Puget Sound region.
Port facilities generated more than $17 billion in revenue for businesses who deal with the port or the port tenants who operate the maritime terminals. All in all, those employers and employees pay about $867 million in state and local taxes.
Finally, the 2009 report stated that more than 135,000 people are employed at regional businesses that have cargo moving through the Port of Seattle.
North Bend City Council votes against proposed zoning change to allow event venues in some residential areas
April 6, 2011
North Bend City Council voted 1-5 against a proposed change to the city’s zoning code to allow a venue for weddings and other events to be built near downtown.
The proposal would have allowed event venues to be built on parcels zoned as cottage residential, a designation created in 2006 to encourage more affordable housing near downtown.
Several City Council members said the zoning had not had time to be effective. The city had a self-imposed building moratorium until 2009. By the time the ban was lifted, the housing market had fallen apart, leaving little demand for new homes.
March 23, 2011
It has been a long time since the sun shined on Snoqualmie Ridge’s housing market.
The outlook for 2011 isn’t any better, according to market analysts.
Home prices in King County fell in February to a new low since the real estate boom collapsed in 2008.
Prices have been pulled down by short sales and foreclosures, which are often priced below market value. That is especially true of the Ridge, which has a higher rate of distressed properties — bank-owned homes and short sales listed for less than the owner owes the lender — than the rest of the county.
The number of distressed properties is expected by analysts to rise in 2011, meaning prices will likely continue declining for the rest of the year.
Experts don’t expect prices to stabilize before 2012.
February 2, 2011
Plans for a hotel in North Bend near the highway have stalled due to the tight credit market. Other parties remain interested in other hotel sites in the upper Snoqualmie Valley, but those plans wouldn’t be pursued for at least a couple of years.
George Wyrsch has been trying to build a hotel in North Bend for more than a decade. The planned site, immediately south of Interstate 90’s Exit 31, is overgrown with vegetation.
Residents from the neighboring Forster Woods development have stymied Wyrsch’s efforts through City Council and litigation. In the early part of the past decade, City Council prohibited hotels south of I-90.
The residents opposed the development, which, they say, will lower home prices, increase crime and take away from their neighborhood’s rural character.