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Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of August 20, 2013
On the agenda for this week's City Council study session is a discussion of charter review. Staff will review the proposed process for the upcoming City Charter Review, including creation of the Charter Review Committee; appointment of Committee Members; the timeline for reviewing the Charter; staffing needs; community outreach; and, a review of the 2004 Charter Review. Apparently it's time again to think about how we run our city.
Staff Donations to United Way
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, the City passed an ordinance creating a program to allow employees to contribute their unused leave to the American Red Cross as a cash donation. On this week's agenda we'll hear the first reading of a new ordinance to amend that leave-based contribution program to make it easier for employees to contribute unused vacation or personal time off to the United Way of Pierce County. All City employees would be eligible to contribute between two and 16 hours, so long as their accumulated leave hours remain above 80. The donations would be sent directly to the United Way as cash donations, and would count as taxable income for the employee.
As the number of rain garden in Tacoma grows, a second ordinance getting a first reading this week would create incentives to further encourage them. The ordinance would amend the TMC to authorize the program, which would offer a rebate to property owners who build their own rain gardens, or a rate break for those who volunteer to adopt one owned by the City. Those eligible for the rebate would get $2 per square foot of rain garden, up to $2,000, and adopters of City-owned rain gardens would be eligible for up to a one category rate break. Read more about the proposed rain garden pilot project from Exit133.
Expanding Tacoma Water
A resolution appearing on this week's agenda would approve the expansion of the Tacoma Water service area by 14.7 acres and authorize an agreement to extend the water mains to 15 residents currently served by the Fennel Heights Maintenance Water System in unincorporated Pierce County, surrounded by the Tacoma Water service area. Fennel Heights currently operates a community well that is out of compliance due to arsenic levels that exceed the maximum contaminant level established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The extension of distribution system will be funded by a $300,000 Jobs Now Grant from the
Washington State Department of Health. Project costs in excess of the grant amount will be borne by the 15 residences through a customer surcharge.
This week's purchase resolution contains two items:
- $403,882 budgeted from the CDBG Fund and the Neighborhood Business District REET Fund, for Business District Sidewalk Improvements in the Dome Business District, McKinley Hill Business District, Pacific Avenue Business District, and install ADA curb ramps at the corners of South 6th and South I Streets
- $292,400, plus applicable sales tax, budgeted from the Information Systems Fund, for a four-month contract to conduct a strategic assessment of the City’s core Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
Item 1 would replace unfit or unsafe sidewalks and install ADA compliant curb ramps where needed in four locations, paid for with funding available in the CDBG and Neighborhood Business District REET Fund. The project would be expected to begin construction in September and be complete by year end 2013.
Item 2 would fund "a strategic assessment of the City's core Enterprise Resource Planning systems, currently based on the SAP ECC6.04 platform and include reviews of the ERP infrastructure, IT operations/administration, and business applications with a goal of identifying opportunities to improve overall value, performance, alignment of services with current business priorities, cost efficiency, and strategic/operational planning. Additionally, the assessment will include high-level benchmarking based on industry best practice performance measures to compare the City's ERP practice with leaders in state or local government. Lastly, the assessment will include a slate of specific, actionable, prioritized recommendations to frame the City's forward-facing continual improvement plans." Now that's a lot of buzz words.
The mayor will proclaim August 22, 2013 as Tacoma Link Day and September 2013 as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
Three motions may be considered:
- To authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all violations of the Toxics Substance Control Act alleged by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to used oil management activities at the Tacoma Landfill upon payment by the City in the amount of $40,000.
- To authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all claims against the City in the matter of Terri Coe vs. City of Tacoma, Pierce County Cause No. 2-2-09484-1, upon payment by the City in the amount of $87,500.
- To authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all claims against the City by Margaret Wilkins, Claim No. 14409, upon payment by the City in the amount of $37,658.35.
Another resolution appearing on this week's agenda would authorize a non-exclusive perpetual easement to Robin Bueche, individually and as Successor Trustee of the O'Donnell Family Revocable Living Trust, in the amount of $10,000, for ingress, egress, and utilities over and across the Tacoma Rail Mountain Division right-of-way in the Ashford area.
A final resolution appearing this week would designate the property owned by Norma J. Sands and Linnea C. Sands, located at 615 South 82nd Street, as open space for property tax purposes under the City and Pierce County's Open Space Current Use Assessment program. This item went to public hearing at the July 30 Council meeting, and drew no comment, so it's moving ahead.
We will hear the final reading of the pair of ordinances from last week's meeting relating to rates of pay and compensation for certain City employees.
Tonight's Council meeting is also the date set for the appeal of the finding of the Hearing Examiner regarding the request to reclassify approximately 1.78 acres of a larger property located at 4601 South Orchard Street from a “R-2” Single-Family Dwelling District to a “M-1” Light Industrial District.
Next Monday, August 26 the City will be hosting the first of its series of information sessions on Tacoma's Proposition 1; this one will be at Lincoln High School at 6 p.m.
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