Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of August 26, 2014

Every Other Week Garbage Collection

At this week's study session Council will hear the final report on the implementation of the every-other-week garbage pick up program, which rolled out last year. The report will include data on customer "right-sizing" (adjusting can size to fit household needs) and volume changes, revenue impacts for the City, recycling container sizes, diversion of waste, fuel use (and hopefully savings), carbon footprint impact, and customer feedback.


North Downtown Subarea Plan 

This third comprehensive plan for downtown Tacoma will set development in the area from South 15th up through the Stadium District, and downhill from Hilltop for years to come. The South Downtown and Hilltop plans are already complete, and this North Downtown plan has been moving quietly toward completion as well. The goal of the plan is to promote economic development in downtown Tacoma by doing some of the groundwork for developers, and providing clearer expectations for future development in the area.

A resolution on this week's Council meeting consent agenda will set September 9 as the date for a public hearing by the Council on the draft Subarea Plan and its accompanying Environmental Impact Statement. Ahead of that resolution, at this week's City Council study session Planning and Development Services staff will update the Council on the plan and EIS.


Tide Flats Emergency Response

An update from Planning and Development Services and Tacoma Fire is also on the agenda for this week's Council study session is an update. Staff will update the Council on development of an emergency response plan for the Tide Flats.


Marijuana Land Use

In November 2013, following the legalization of marijuana with the 2012 passage of I-502, Tacoma enacted some temporary rules governing where related businesses could locate within Tacoma's city limits. The 2013 rules were temporary, while the City waits to see what comes down from the State. They give guidance for the City as it evaluates marijuana license applications. The WSLCB began issuing marijuana licenses this year.

Those interim regulations are scheduled to expire this November. With marijuana businesses a relatively new thing in Tacoma, and with remaining unresolved issues around medical marijuana at the state level, City staff suggests that it is premature to commit to permanent regulations of the new industry, and so recommends that the interim rules be extended for another six months. That extension would require a public hearing before the City Council, which a resolution on this week's Council meeting consent agenda would set for September 16.


City Parking Contract

The City of Tacoma currently contracts with one company for the operation of the various City-owned parking garages, and with another for on-street parking operations. A purchase resolution on this week's meeting agenda would award a $4.9 million contract to Republic Parking Northwest for the management and operation of City-owned off-street and on-street parking facilities. That $4.9 million would cover an 18 month contract, with the option of an additional two-year term for a total cost of just short of $11 million for the three and a half years. That cost would be budgeted out of the City's Parking Enterprise Fund.

The contract would include about $1.6 million in deferred maintenance costs in the first two years, as well as $450,000 for a "Parking Branding Initiative." We've heard some discussion of this last item as a part of City conversations around improving public awareness, particularly of City-owned and operated lots.


Wastewater Purchase Resolutions

A second purchase resolution on this week's agenda would award a $396,750 contract, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund for the replacement of a portion of the Titlow Pump Station force main pipe, upgrading from 10-inch to 12-inch pipe to handle increased flows.

Much of the underground wastewater infrastructure in Tacoma is more than 100 years old, making failures likely, especially at times during the year when weather increases the risk. When multiple wastewater pipes fail at the same time, Environmental Services staff can't always respond to them immediately. A purchase resolution on this week's agenda would award a $326,800 one-year contract, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund, that would allow Environmental Services to enlist the help of outside contractors in such situations. 


Other Items

Beginning this Monday, you'll see some changes to downtown parking rates.

Council meetings scheduled for September 2 have been cancelled due to the Labor Day holiday.

A proclamation scheduled for this week would declare August 26, 2014 as Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful Day. 

At last week's City Council meeting we heard the first reading of an ordinance that would add five streets in the Port of Tacoma to Tacoma's heavy haul corridor. The final reading of that ordinance is on this week's Council meeting agenda.

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Parking consolidation and therefore better branding of public use lots is important for downtown businesses.  Great job on that.  Really.

August 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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