Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of April 22, 2014

Study Session

The main item on this week's Tacoma City Council study session will be an update from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency on solving our area's fine particle pollution problem, and on investments in air quality and climate protection in the Agency's new strategic plan. The Council will also hear a legislative wrap-up from the City's Government Relations Officer, Randy Lewis. 


Water, Water...

A resolution on this week's regular Council meeting agenda would amend Tacoma's Water Rate and Financial Policy to allow for the development of term-limited, market-based wholesale water rates. Tacoma's water supply is described as "unconstrained," and multiple utilities in King and Pierce counties have paid for access to our surplus water. Most, however, have not used Tacoma's supply because of its cost. Tacoma Water has identified marketing of the excess water as a key initiative to optimize developed resources and infrastructure. Because most wholesale customers have alternative supplies, Tacoma Water is requesting approval to negotiate market-based rates for these wholesale customers.

A second resolution on this week's agenda would accept a $12,120,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan through the Washington State Public Works Board for a 20-year term at a 1.5% interest rate with a 1% loan fee for the Green River Filtration Facility Project. Sufficient funding has been secured for completion of the project, but Tacoma Water estimates that the additional low interest loan will reduce repayment costs for customers and ratepayers by $2.9 million over the 20-year period. 


Homeless Camps

This week the Council is scheduled to hear the final reading of the ordinance creating a defined permitting process and fees for temporary homeless camps. We heard a full range of comments at the April 1 public hearing on the issue, from full support to fairly strong opposition; and at last week's first reading of the ordinance some commenters raised questions about enforcing distribution of the camps around Tacoma. From what we heard last week from the City attorney, changes seem unlikely at this point, but you never know.


Housing & Community Development

This Tuesday's Council meeting is also the date set for a public hearing on recommendations of the Community and Economic Development Department for Tacoma's proposed 2014-2015 Annual Action Plan for Housing and Community Development. This is the City's annual plan for how it will distribute the federal Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, and Emergency Solutions Grant funds it receives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. For fiscal year 2014-2015 Tacoma has been allocated approximately $3.5 million between the three categories. Actual grant amounts for the two larger categories of funding, CDBG and HOME grants, are slightly down from the last fiscal year, while the smallest of the three, ESG funding, is up 16.5%. Details on programs funded were included toward the end of last week's City Manager's report to Council (pdf).


Purchase Resolutions

A contract approved last November funded the construction of a material storage canopy and Recycled Asphalt Pavement/Recycled Asphalt Shingles equipment foundation for Environmental Services. The project ended up with additional costs due to unforeseen site conditions and other needed modifications and revisions. A purchase resolution on this week's Council meeting agenda would increase the project contract by $115,000 to cover the additional costs, forr a cumulative amount of $639,363, budgeted from the Solid Waste Fund.ent and shingles.

A second purchase item on this week's agenda would award a $290,914 contract for automotive parts for Ford vehicles in the City fleet. The contract would provide instantly available parts for Public Works, Environmental Services, and Police vehicle maintenance on an as-needed basis, for an initial contract term of three years with the option to renew for two additional one-year periods, for a projected contract total of $493,679.



It's a big week for proclamations, with four items in this category on the City Council meeting agenda.

  • Recognition for Diane Cecchetini. 
  • Proclamation for Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Month. 
  • Proclamation of April 22, 2014 as Earth Day. 
  • Proclamation of April 26, 2014 as Domestic Violence Awareness Day. 


Other Items

An ordinance on this week's consent agenda for a final reading would form a second section of a proposed Local Improvement District that would pave and provide storm drainage for an alley between North 30th and 31st, from Monroe to Mason in north Tacoma. 

Another ordinance on the consent agenda for its first reading would vacate an alley between Pine Street and South Junett Street north of South 50th for a low-density multi-family housing development.

Two resolutions on the regular agenda for this week's Council meeting would make appointments - one appointing and reappointing five individuals to Tacoma's Human Services Commission; the second making one appointment and one reappointment to the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority Board.

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