The Kennewick City Council will meet in an unusual session June 28 to vote on supporting parking at the Three Rivers Convention Center.
The city announced plans for the 8 p.m. session on Monday. The meeting will follow a regularly scheduled workshop.
The council can’t vote at a workshop so it had to schedule a special meeting.
A copy of the resolution was not immediately available. An earlier version was distributed to council members when they met June 21, but no vote was taken.
The resolution itself comes on the eve of a critical election. On Aug. 2, Kennewick voters will be asked to increase the sales tax by two-tenths of a percent to expand the Three Rivers Convention Center. The expansion will add a Broadway-style theater and other amenities.
Ballots for the primary election, which includes the Link project request by the Kennewick Public Facilities District, will be mailed about July 12.
By affirming its support for convention center parking, the council tackled one of the thorniest questions: If you expand the convention center, will you also aggravate event-related parking shortages?
City spokeswoman Evelyn Lusignan said parking has emerged as an issue in the campaign and the council felt it needed to show that parking is a city priority.
The owns several parcels near the convention center but has not dedicated a particular one for more parking.
“We recognize additional parking will need to be added,” she said. “Parking has to be part of any good development.”
Kennewick City Councilman John Trumbo questioned why the city would put the resolution before the council under such urgent circumstances. Trumbo said he opposes raising the sales tax to expand the Three Rivers center, but not the project itself. He was out of town and does not plan to attend the special session.
“My burning question is, ‘What’s the hurry?” he said.
Lusignan said it was chiefly a matter of scheduling.
City staffers weren’t certain there would be enough business to hold a regular council session on July 5 and didn’t want to wait another two weeks. Lusignan said they council will meet July 5 if there is enough business.
The resolution needs a simple majority of the council members present to pass.
The Kennewick City Council’s workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. and the parking vote is planned at 8 p.m. The council meets at Kennewick City Hall, 210 W. Sixth Ave.