April 2024 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

April 2024

Energize program begins installing heat pumps

Heat pump installation

Just in time for Earth Day, the Energize program will install its first heat pump this month in White Center as part of King County’s Energize program.

Heat pumps can save residents up to 50% on energy bills compared to traditional electric systems, and they provide cooling in summer as well as heating in winter.

King County's Energize Program pays for up to 100% of the cost for 150 income-qualified homes in the White Center/North Highline and Skyway/West Hill unincorporated areas. The county works in collaboration with existing energy efficiency programs from the City of Seattle and the King County Housing Authority.

The team also refers homeowners to companies that will install the systems at a discounted rate, and county staff members can also help residents with paperwork.

Learn more on the Energize program website

Local Services

Community Advisory Group

Community Connectors gathered for a photo with King County staff members at a recent meeting.

Snoqualmie Valley/NE King County Community Advisory Group learns about county services

Some 14 community members in the Snoqualmie Valley/NE King County Community Service Area have been learning a lot about King County government programs and services. They met weekly in February and March with King County staffers to understand and share ideas about county projects to improve services and resources in their neighborhoods.

The group will finish its work in April. After that, King County will evaluate this approach as a possible model for other community service areas.

Learn more on the public outreach website

Alan Painter Community Engagement grants awarded

Fairwood Community group event in 2023

King County has named the recipients of its 2024 Alan M. Painter grants.

The program funds community projects that allow unincorporated area residents to participate in, and be more connected to, their communities and King County. Funded projects must demonstrate how they are accessible to all residents regardless of race, income, or language spoken.

A total of $90,000 was allocated for projects in 2024, in individual grants of less than $5,000 per project. 

View/download the list of 2024 grant recipients
Learn more about the grant program

Photo: A vendor offers treats at last year's Fairwood Greens Neighborhood Day, which received support from the 2023 Alan M. Painter grant program.

Road Services

Innovative safety program to target distracted drivers

New speed trailer

The King County Target Zero Traffic Safety Coalition has announced a new pilot program that provides real-time, educational feedback to motorists in an effort to reduce unsafe driving.

Over the next six months, four “smart signs” will rotate between 12 locations in King County, staying at each for eight weeks at a time.

The signs will detect whether drivers are distracted, wearing their seat belts, or speeding, and display appropriate messaging that is relevant to each driver.

Learn more on the Target Zero website


Ames Lake trestle bridge replacement project will close road for 8 months 

Ames Lake Trestle Bridge location

Summer is a busy time for road construction. One of the biggest projects on the schedule this year is replacing the Ames Lake Trestle Bridge on Ames Lake-Carnation Road NE. Road Services will close the bridge completely to all vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists for eight months between June 2024 and late February 2025.

The 100-year-old bridge was designed when vehicles were narrower and lighter. Its replacement will have no weight restrictions, better sight distances, and a smaller environmental impact on Ames Creek and the surrounding wetlands.   

• Learn more on the Road Services project website
• Join a virtual community meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24 (see website for Zoom info)
Check MyCommute to see other projects planned for this summer

Public Health

A new regional approach to gun violence

Gun lockbox event

To address increasing gun violence, King County Executive Dow Constantine has created a King County Regional Office of Gun Violence Prevention that will centralize coordination efforts across King County.

The new regional office uses a public health approach to gun violence prevention. This includes examining the root causes of gun violence, interrupting situations likely to result in a firearm injury, and collaborating closely with those most affected by gun violence.

Professionals in health, education, social services, justice, and policy collaborate on this work to promote community-wide safety and healing. Learn more on the Public Health Insider blog.

If you or someone you know has been affected by gun violence, support is available. Visit the regional office's Community-Based Resource Guide to get connected to resources.

Photo: Members of the Regional Peacekeepers Collective distribute gun lockboxes during a commemorative event on National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Learn more about the group

Natural Resources and Parks

Are parks and open space important to you?

Cavanaugh Pond

The King County Parks Levy is a voter-approved property tax that keeps both city and regional parks, trails, and open spaces available for everyone. No matter where you are in King County, the Parks Levy goes to support local parks and trails. The current levy is in effect through 2025.

What should be in the next (2026-2031) levy to improve the parks and outdoor spaces in your community? King County Parks would like to hear from you. Your input will help shape parks and trails for years to come.

Cedar Hills Regional Landfill community meeting on April 17

Cedar Hills Regional Landfill

Join representatives of the King County Solid Waste Division to ask questions and learn about the latest activities at the county’s regional landfill.

When: Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Where: Maywood Middle School, 14490 168th Avenue SE in Renton

Learn about the landfill on the King County website


Comments accepted through April 9 on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for NE Recycling and Transfer Station

King County Solid Waste is planning a new, modern transfer station in northeast King County. The new station will replace the aging Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland, which is nearly 60 years old and lacks many services people want.

In February, the county released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal for public review and comment. Comments will be accepted through April 9.

Visit the project website to participate via an online open house, review information, and submit a formal comment.

Comments can also be submitted by email or mailed to the King County Solid Waste Division / Attn: Mary O'Hara, Project Manager / 201 S Jackson Street, Suite 5701 / Seattle, WA  98104‑3855.


King County Parks offers paid summer internships for teens

Youth County Conservation Corps interns

The King County Parks Youth Conservation Corps is offering 16 paid student internship opportunities for high school students to gain hands-on experience in environmental leadership, restoration practices, and completing group and individual projects. 

The six-week program is based out of White Center and runs from Monday, July 8 through Thursday, August 15.
Applications are due April 21.

Learn more and apply

Rebates for homeowners on septic and sewer maintenance

If you or a hired contractor do maintenance on your septic system or make repairs to a side sewer system, you may be eligible for financial help.  

Rebates of up to $500 per property are available if you do regular maintenance—including inspections, pumping, or riser installation—on your septic system, and if you meet income eligibility requirements..

There is also a rebate with no income eligibility requirement of up to $5,000 to do side sewer repair work on properties in the Midway and Lakehaven sewer districts. Eligible work includes disconnecting roof downspouts or sump pumps, lining sewer pipes, and repairing existing side sewers.

Free workshop series on noxious weeds

Giant hogweed

Join the King County Noxious Weed Control Program for its annual free workshop series, which will be held online via Zoom on May 8 and May 14.

Pending approval: Earn up to 8 Washington or Oregon state pesticide applicator continuing education credits (4 per day). Each day will be recorded, but please note that to earn state credits you must attend the live session.

Register separately for each day to get the link and calendar invitation.

Into the Weeds (Day 1 - Morning): King County Weed Mgmt. Workshop Series Tickets, Wed, May 8 at 8 am

Into the Weeds (Day 2 - Afternoon): King County Weed Mgmt. Workshop Series Tickets, Wed, May 15 at 12 pm

Photo: Giant hogweed is just one of many noxious weeds found in unincorporated King County.

Emergency preparedness

Volunteer to be a trusted partner for your community during emergencies

The King County Regional Trusted Partner Network helps everyone in the county get important emergency alerts—no matter where they live, what technology they have access to, or what language they speak. Volunteers who speak a language other than English connect people with emergency alerts and information in that language. The network serves communities that have sometimes been overlooked or ignored in the past.

Volunteers communicate to their networks before, during, and after disasters such as severe weather or earthquakes. They also help people prepare for emergencies before they happen. Volunteers typically work for 15 minutes per month during normal conditions.

Learn more on the King County website

Flood control

2024 flood reduction grants


Photo: Cedar River flooding on Maple Valley Road SE

In early April, the King County Flood Control District will open its call for projects that reduce the impact of flooding. $12 million in grant funding is available for small and medium local flood reduction projects that address existing or potential flooding.

Eligible applicants include homeowner associations, schools, non-profits, tribes, cities and towns, and King County agencies. Applications and details about an upcoming information session will be available April 8. Applications are due May 31.

Learn more and apply

Transit news

Metro updates and improves bus schedules

Metro bus

Starting Saturday, March 30, Metro is updating bus schedules while maintaining the current frequent, safe and reliable service its riders count on.

Note for Vashon bus users: Vashon Island routes 118 and 119 will have new midday trips on weekdays to better connect to ferry service and meet customer demand during the midday.

Learn more on Metro's website

The site also features information translated into the following languages:

简体中文 (Chinese)  |  Русский (Russian)  |  Español (Spanish)  |  Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

Photo: Route 21 is one of many Metro routes affected by this service change.

Help improve south King County transit connections

Federal Way Link Extension

As Link light rail expands south toward Federal Way, the South Link Connections mobility project will adjust bus service to meet changing needs. Metro is collaborating with Sound Transit and other partners to develop a future transit network, and needs input from communities that will be affected.

The following Metro routes will be explored for potential changes as part of this project:
RapidRide A Line, 121, 122, 123, 154, 156, 157, 162, 165, 177, 178, 179, 181, 182, 183, 187, 190, 193, 197, 631, 901, 903

Learn more on the project website
Take a survey to share your thoughts

Community and Human Services

Apply by April 25 for funding to support services for immigrants and refugees

Support for Immigrants and Refugees

The King County Department of Community and Human Services is offering funding from the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy to support services for immigrants and refugees.

The goal to improve access to civil legal advice, civic engagement, and resources for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who live in King County.

Available funding: Up to $3,309,037
Investment period: August 1, 2024 to December 31, 2027 (subject to change)
Questions: Email Frank Video

Applications are due by 2 p.m. on April 25. Learn more and apply

County to offer online community planning session on caregiver connections and support


All are invited to a virtual community planning session to share plans and provide feedback on an upcoming funding opportunity: Caregiver Connections and Support.

This investment will support family caregivers of seniors and persons with disabilities to provide opportunities for connection, care, and respite.

When: Tuesday, April 2, 3:30 – 5 pm

Register here to participate via Zoom



The first half of 2024 property tax payments are due April 30 this year for those who pay property taxes themselves instead of through a mortgage company. Payments are accepted online, by mail, and by drop box. Visit kingcounty.gov/PropertyTax for details on payment options.

Catch the Wastemobile at a location near you! Bring your old batteries, oil‑based paint, antifreeze, pesticides, and more to the Wastemobile for safe, no‑cost disposal. Check the website for accepted items, quantity limits, and the complete 2024 schedule.

Greater Maple Valley news

Community council weighs in on proposed Cumberland mine

On March 12, the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council submitted comments to the King County Permitting Division asking the county to require an Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed aggregate mine and asphalt plant at a site east of Black Diamond. The comments are posted on the council's website.

Submitted by Peter Rimbos, Corresponding Secretary, Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Rural Area News

Joint Rural Area Team comments on county comprehensive plan update, permits, and the Cumberland Mine

Last month, members of the Joint Rural Area Team provided King County with oral testimony on many topics related to rural areas, including policy priorities, conditional-use permitting, and county roads. These comments are available on the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council website.

Members also submitted comments about temporary use permits for the Snoqualmie Event Center, and the Carnation Farms Event Center (these links point to documents posted on the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council website).

Submitted by Peter Rimbos, Coordinator, Joint Rural Area Team

Skyway news

Find support at the Skyway Resource Center Fair

The Skyway Coalition will host a no-cost multi-service resource fair on April 19. Get free resources for you and your family—diapers, transportation resources, health insurance enrollment and support, personal protective equipment, food resources, and more.

Where: King County Fire District #20 Administration Building in Skyway (12424 76th Avenue S)
When: Friday, April 19, 3-5 pm
For details: email src@skywayresourcecenter.org

Vashon news

Washington license plate

County seeks vehicle/vessel licensing subagent on Vashon Island

King County is accepting applications for a vehicle/vessel licensing subagent on Vashon Island. Applications are due by 2 pm on April 12.

See the Request for Proposals/Applications
Or contact Vicki Nakamichi (206-263-9299) or Michelle Poste (206-263-9303)

Community organizations

:: Community Alliance to Reach Out and Engage

Lord of Life Lutheran Church
12819 160th Avenue SE, Renton

See blog for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

:: Enumclaw Plateau Community Association

Third Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
Muckleshoot Library (King County Library branch)
39917 Auburn Enumclaw Road SE, Auburn

Monthly board meetings are open to the public, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information email Nancy Merrill.

:: Fall City Community Association

First Tuesdays – Hybrid meeting (virtual and in-person, 7-8:30 pm)
Fall City Fire Department meeting room
4301 334th Place SE, Fall City

The Fall City Community Association promotes building of community, proactively communicates on local issues, and takes action on selected issues that affect the Fall City community. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, and are open to the public. For more information, visit fallcity.org or email send email

:: Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council

Second Tuesdays – Virtual meeting via Zoom 

Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meeting dates and locations.

:: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Monday, April 1, 7-9:30 pm – in person or via Zoom
Maple Valley Fire Station
22225 SE 231st St (across from the King County Sheriff’s Precinct #3)

Visit the website for the agenda and Zoom information, which will be posted several days before the meeting.

:: Green Valley/Lake Holm Association

The Green Valley/Lake Holm Association advocates for those who live in unincorporated southeast King County. Primary goals are to maintain the community’s unique historic, agricultural, and rural character; protect the environment; and sustain quality of life in the area. They engage regularly with local government agencies to address concerns and influence policies on topics of mutual interest, such as growth and development, transportation, public safety, and flood control. Stay connected by visiting their Facebook page.

:: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Monthly board meetings are open to the public and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from local organizations. For more information, email Liz Giba.

:: Skyway Business Collective

The Skyway Business Collective aims to drive economic growth for entrepreneurs and small business owners living or working in Skyway, and to create a supportive and inclusive space for  small businesses to grow, connect, and thrive through free professional services tailored to the business's needs. Learn more at www.skywaybusinesscollective.org

:: Skyway Coalition

See the coalition's website.

:: Skywest Tool Library

Working to start a new tool library in Skyway. The purpose of the library will be to share ideas, teach, learn, and borrow tools and more. To learn more, email HNA71@msn.com

:: Upper Bear Creek Community Council

For information about the council, call Nancy Stafford at 425-788-5841 or visit the Facebook page and/or website. (Note: both the Facebook page and the website are currently being updated.)

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce

Send email or visit the website.

:: Vashon-Maury Community Council

Meetings are open to all and are held on the third Thursday of each month, both online and in-person. Topics include affordable housing, ferries, election candidates, transportation, aviation noise, and more. The council sets up committees and passes resolutions to King County and other organizations as needed. Voting membership is free and open to residents 18 and older. To learn more, visit the website.

:: West Hill Community Association

Meetings are in person or via Zoom
Skyway Fire District 20 Admin Building
12424 76th Avenue S, Seattle

Monthly board meetings are open to the public, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information, send email or visit the website.