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Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of July 22, 2014
At this week's study session, Tacoma City Council will hear an update on the various construction projects currently underway around Tacoma, as well as recently completed projects.
Last week City Council made its final decision on which proposed charter review amendments will go to the voters in the fall. Now it's all up to the electorate to decide whether changes will be made on a dozen different issues. Some are fairly straightforward adjustments to bring the code up to date, others are a little more contentious.
A resolution on this week's regular City Council meeting agenda would transmit ballot measures for each of the 12 proposed amendments to the Pierce County Auditor to be placed on the ballot for a Special Municipal Election to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
Before November, however, statements need to be drafted for and against each of the 12 items related to the Charter. The City has asked for applicants for each position, and some names have come forward.
They still need citizens to draft several of the statements, with the deadline for letters of interest set for 5 p.m., Monday, July 21. A resolution on this week's agenda would appoint the citizens selected to the committees for each proposed amendment. There are still quite a few openings, but this list could change between now and the Council meeting.
A pair of ordinances approving and implementing the 2014 amendments to Tacoma's Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulatory Code appear on this week's Council meeting agenda for a final reading. Both ordinances got a first reading at the June 24 Council meeting, at which time a few amendments were made.
A resolution on this week's Council meeting consent agenda would authorize an interlocal agreement between the City and the Port of Tacoma, accepting $601,949 in grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for the replacement of one switcher locomotive. A second resolution on the consent agenda would authorize a grant agreement between the City and the Washington State Department of Ecology. The $200,000 would also go to the replacement of one switcher locomotive.
Along with the EPA and Ecology grants, Tacoma Rail's match to fund the replacement is estimated at just under $703,000. The replacement of the diesel-electric locomotive will help improve air quality in the reduction of greenhouse gas and diesel emission fine particulates in the area where the Port is located.
A third resolution on the consent agenda would authorize a five-year lease agreement for two electro-motive diesel locomotives, with the option to purchase for a cumulative total of lease payments and end of term purchase of $6,985,000, budgeted from the Tacoma Rail Fund. According to the request, these locomotives would improve Tacoma Rail's ability to move full trains of "various commodities" ... whatever that means. The request comes at a time when Tacoma Rail is seeing increased volumes and in anticipation of implementation of something called "Positive Train Control," a measure meant to reduce railroad accidents due to human error.
A resolution on this week's Council meeting agenda would approve an amendment to Tacoma's City Charter that would enable the board of the Greater Tacoma Regional Convention Center Public Facilities District to actively participate in the Association of Washington State Public Facilities Districts, and to more effectively advocate on behalf of the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The original Public Facilities District charter was written to preclude lobbying activities. This resolution would change that to allow for Tacoma to participate in the state organization's work to extend a 0.033% tax rebate beyond the current 20 year time frame.
Human Services Plan
A resolution on this week's agenda would adopt the 2015-2019 Human Services Strategic Plan. The plan, updated every five years, identifies the City’s role in human services and describes the funding priorities and policies that the City will use in allocating resources to meet human service needs.
Key components identified as guiding City priorities and policies for the next five years of the plan include:
- Continue focusing on the four strategic priorities in the current plan.
- Inject equity in the human services funding application process and in decisions about distribution of resources.
- Develop a more incremental and integrated approach to systems impact.
- Ensure the City’s human services investments are serving the entire community, not just people who know how to navigate the human services system.
The next meeting in the current round of Community Budget Input Meetings is scheduled for District 5 this Thursday, July 24th, 6:00 p.m. at Birney Elementary Library, located at 1202 South 76th Street.
A purchase resolution on this week's Council meeting agenda would authorize an increase of $160,000, plus sales tax, budgeted from the General Fund, to an existing contract
for firefighting hose.
Four resolutions related to negotiated agreements with represented groups of City employees appear on this week's City Council meeting agenda. All four would authorize letters of agreement with the groups concerned. The agenda also includes the first readings of four related ordinances to implement the terms covered in those letters of agreement.
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