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Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of January 28, 2014
Technical & Community College Initiatives
The first item on this week's Tacoma City Council study session agenda is the presentation from the Pierce County Coordinating Council. The Council, which represents the five area technical and community colleges, will update the City Council on thier legislative initiatives.
Link Light Rail Expansion
Also on the agenda for this week's study session is a discussion on the Council's preferred alignment or alignments for the future expansion of Tacoma's Link Light Rail. Council will review the options, along with feedback from the Planning Commission and Tacoma Transportation Commission, and choose specific route(s) it prefers to be recommended to Sound Transit to be advanced to the next phase for state and federal environmental review.
The Planning Commission, which calls the Tacoma Link expansion "one of the most significant transportation investment projects to be realized in the South Puget Sound Region in the foreseeable future," does not make a specific preferred recommendation, but instead offers several factors in considers critical in the alignment ultimately selected. That route, the commission says, should
- offer the best opportunity to maximize economic development,
- incentivize transit-oriented development,
- minimize the disruption to the urban fabric and urban lifestyles,
- be consistent with the Draft Hilltop Subarea Plan, and
- ensure the ease of accessibility, especially for the physically challenged.
The Tacoma Transportation Commission also offered its recommendations to the Council, but was less hesitant to name a favorite route. In a letter last week, the commission expressed its support for the A1 Stadium Way and B1 MLK (without the J Street couplet) alternatives. The Commission also strongly emphasizes the importance it places on extending the Link all the way to South 19th and MLK.
Old Town Dock Restrooms
A renovated Old Town Dock reopened to the public last summer. The restrooms once available at the head of the dock have yet to reopen, but that looks like it will be changing soon. A resolution on this week's City Council meeting agenda would award $262,533 for a new public restroom and "site improvements" at the intersection of Ruston Way and McCarver Street. That $260,000 would cover two restrooms, sidewalk and Ruston crosswalk improvements, rain garden, landscaping, and irrigation. The Daily Index has images of the planned restrooms here.
Public Safety Interlocal Agreements
Three separate resolutions appearing on this week’s consent agenda would authorize three separate interlocal agreements. The first would authorize an agreement with Pierce County to renew Enhanced 911 Public Safety Answering Point Participation Agreement for 2014, allowing the City to accept $246,190 in funding collected by the state from telephone service, to be used for the continued operation of E911 services. A second would authorize an agreement with Washington State Patrol to allow reimbursement of fire mobilization costs incurred pursuant to activation of the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan. This would allow Tacoma Fire Department to be eligible for reimbursement in a situation where another jurisdiction in Washington needs assistance after having expended all local and mutual aid resources to manage and mitigate an emergency incident.
The third would authorize an agreement with participating agencies, in the amount of $10,000, for use in the distribution of funds and allocation of resources pursuant to the 2013-2015 Washington Auto Theft Prevention Grant Award, to respond to, prevent, and investigate auto theft and related crimes. This resolution would allow the City to accept grant funds for a coordinated effort with ohter municipalities providing mutual aid and sharing resources to fight auto theft.
A resolution on this week's consent agenda would approve the final plat of “Chambers Ridge” (formerly “Sunset Estates”), a twenty-five lot subdivision for single-family development located at 1418 South Sunset Drive.
A pair of resolutions on this week’s regular Council meeting agenda would appoint and reappoint individuals to the City’s Citizen Review Panel and Human Rights Commission.
A second purchase resolution on this week's agenda would approve $405,000, budgeted from the Tacoma Dome and Convention Center Funds, for temporary personnel services for the Tacoma Dome and the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, for an initial three-year period, plus the option to renew for one additional two-year period, for a projected contract total of $675,000.
Also on the agenda for this week’s regular City Council meeting is the final reading of an ordinance that we heard the first reading of at the January 7 Council meeting. The ordinance would amend a telecommunications franchise agreement to allow Zayo Group to construct, operate, and repair a telecommunications system throughout the city both above and below ground, and clarifies certain provisions, terms and conditions of the franchise.
An ordinance is scheduled for a first reading this week, which would implement rates of pay and compensation, and changes in classifications to reflect the organizational structure, for non-represented City employees.
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