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Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of August 6, 2013
Port Air Quality
At this week’s Tacoma City Council study session, Port of Tacoma staff will provide an update on the Port’s Clean Air Strategy. The Port of Tacoma, along with ports of Seattle and Metro Vancouver developed a Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy based on a 2005 Puget Sound Maritime Emissions Inventory, which provided detailed information about the source and nature of port air emissions, and was used to set goals for reductions. A second maritime air emissions inventory was completed for 2011, and the ports are now updating the NWPCAS to include new information and new or amended federal and international regulations.
Healthy Homes / Healthy Neighborhoods
Also on the agenda for Tuesday’s study session is a presentation on the City’s Healthy Homes/Healthy Neighborhoods Program, which aims to help residents improve the health of their homes and neighborhoods. The program is a partnership of local organizations bringing information on money-saving and neighborhood environmental protection programs offered in Tacoma. Workshops are organized based on resident interests and needs, as gathered through door-to-door canvasing by project staff.
Flexible Shoreline Public Access
A resolution on this week’s consent agenda would authorize an interlocal agreement with the Port of Tacoma for review and authorization of a flexible approach to shoreline public access provision under the Shoreline Master Program. Current regulations require shoreline permit applicants, including the Port, to provide public access as mitigation for use of shoreline areas that exclude public use. Those regulations have often allowed Port projects to be exempt from the public access requirement, but new state rules put an end to those exemptions. In order to comply with these changes, while taking into account the limited opportunity for quality public access on Port property, Tacoma’s new Shoreline Master Program allows the City to work more flexibly with the Port and other public agencies. Specifically, changes allow agencies to meet public access requirements in places geographically separate from new developments, including through the use of a public access fund and in-lieu fees.
Elements of the interlocal agreement aim to provide a mechanism to better ensure that public access mitigation for Port projects contributes to an integrated, connected public access system; identify and jointly prioritize public access projects in locations the public will actually use and enjoy; streamline permitting for Port and private shoreline projects; provide certainty over the 10 years covered by the agreement for the City Port, and private sector partners; and provide a methodology for the use of a public access fee-in-lieu that can be used by both the Port and private parties.
Transportation Benefit District
The Tacoma Transportation Benefit District Governing Board will meet again this Tuesday 5:30 p.m. during the regular City Council session to consider the final reading of the ordinance we first heard at last week’s TBD board meeting. The ordinance is a bit of housekeeping to get the City set up to properly receive the revenue collected from the car tab fee that went into effect in June.
A second resolution on this week’s consent agenda would put together funding from various sources to provide energy efficiency measures in City-owned and operated facilities. The measures covered by this funding will reduce energy consumption by 29%, and come with a total projected cost of $1,092,707. Funding sources are as follows: $273,000 from the Washington State Department of Commerce + $333,238 from a Conservation Incentive Agreement with TPU + $486,469 in City matching funds from the 2010 LTGO Bond Series D Fund = $1,092,707. That amount would be deposited in the City’s Municipal Building Acquisition and Operations Fund. This week’s purchase resolution awards the contract in that amount to an Energy Services Company from Seattle based on an RFP and interview process. No Tacoma-based companies submitted proposals. If it all passes, installation is anticipated to begin this December and be completed by June 2015.Purchase Resolution
The one item on this week’s purchase resolution would award the $1,092,707 budgeted from the Municipal Building Acquisition and Operations Fund, for procurement and installation of energy efficiency measures for the Tacoma Municipal Complex
No first readings appear on this week’s agenda, but we will hear the final reading of the ordinance we heard last week, which would amend the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget to appropriate funds for unanticipated expenditures and other budget adjustments. Those expenditures come in three areas. First funding allocated to the Transportation Benefit District fund. Second, due to higher than expected sales tax revenue more money than expected will go to mental health and chemical dependency programs. Finally, due to an increase in construction activity, permitting revenues are up; those funds will be redirected to improve permitting processes and efficiency, including hiring new staff.
Another item on the agenda this week is the presentation of the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
A pair of resolutions on the agenda this week would appoint three individuals to the City Events and Recognition Commission and two to the the Sustainable Tacoma Commission.
The City Council has authorized the allocation of a little more than $1.7 million in revenue collected through the 0.1% sales tax to support mental health and chemical dependency programs in Tacoma. Three of the programs awarded funding for youth, community-based care, and jail and hospital services received more than $200,000, and so require specific approval from Council. Those awards go to Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, in the amount of $241,375; Metropolitan Development Council, in the amount of $312,500; and Comprehensive Life Resources, in the amount of $324,381. Seven other contracts awarded were under that $200,000 threshold.
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