Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of March 18, 2014

The City Council took the night off last Tuesday, but this week they're back with what looks like a pretty full agenda.

Strategic Direction

A resolution on this week's regular City Council meeting agenda would approve the 2014 City of Tacoma Strategic Direction, as identified by the Council last month.

The annually adopted strategic direction aligns with City Council policy priorities including:

  • Strengthen and maintain a strong fiscal management position. 
  • Strengthen and support human services, public education, and diverse higher learning opportunities in Tacoma. 
  • Foster neighborhood, community, and economic development vitality and sustainability. 
  • Plan for and improve public infrastructure that meets the transportation needs of all Tacoma residents and visitors. 
  • Encourage and promote an open, effective, results-oriented organization. 

The strategic direction gives the City Manager and staff a clear understanding of Council goals and objectives, and is used as a tool in identifying priorities for funding and staff time. Read details of the items identified for 2014 previously from Exit133.


Metro Parks Prop 1

Another resolution on the regular Council meeting agenda for the week would express support for Metro Parks' Proposition 1, which reads as follows:


The Board of Park Commissioners of the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma adopted Resolution No. RR15-14 concerning bonds for neighborhood parks and recreation facilities and safety improvements. If approved, this proposition will authorize the District to upgrade Point Defiance Park, Zoo & Aquarium, exhibits and critical animal-support systems; improve parks, security, deteriorating playgrounds, pools, sports playfields, family community centers; expand waterfront access; preserve cultural and historical landmarks; protect natural areas, lakes, creeks, trails; clean up arsenic-contaminated parks; issue $198,000,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within a maximum of 20 years and levy annual excess property taxes to repay the bonds, as provided in Resolution RR15-14. 

Should Proposition No. 1 be:

Voters will get to decide on the proposition to provide nearly $200 million in funding for Tacoma's parks on April 22.



A pair of ordinances related to Tacoma's downtown Business Improvement Area are scheduled for a first reading at this week's Council meeting.

The first would continue the downtown Business Improvement Area for another year. Along with that continuation, it would provide for the the levy of assessment and other income from members of the BIA; and approve the BIA's renewed work plan, budget, and assessment rates for the 12 months beginning May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2015. The BIA is made up of representatives designated by the owners of properties within the district. Members elect a Board of Directors to oversee BIA operations, including the budget and workplan for the year. The BIA provides security, maintenance, and marketing for the represented area.

The second ordinance would approve the modification of BIA boundaries to include the abutting northern properties on Stadium Way. These properties are owned by the McMenamins, who have requested that they be included in the BIA. The public hearing for this addition is also scheduled for this week's Council meeting.



Temporary Homeless Camps

A proposed amendment to the Tacoma Municipal Code would establish a permitting process and development standards for temporary homeless camps run by religious organizations. The proposal would add regulations to protect health and safety for the general public as well as the members of such camps. Rules would cover camp size, number, and frequency of camps, as well as specific health and fire regulations for up to 100 residents to safely live for up to 123 days. Development of the proposal involved public outreach, analysis of similar regulations in other Washington cities, and site visits to active homeless camps. The proposed conditions for location and lot size could potentially be met by approximately 50 church sites in Tacoma

A resolution on this week's City Council meeting consent agenda would set Tuesday, April 1, as the date for a public hearing by the City Council regarding the proposed amendments to Chapters the Municipal Code related to land use permit procedures and zoning.


The Henry

Last month the Henry Foss Group broke ground on its Foss Waterway mixed-use development called The Henry. The developer has requested the vacation of a portion of the air rights over Dock Street, north of SR-509, to allow them to build angled design elements beginning at 16.5 feet above grade. A design review found that the angled element would serve as a visual gateway to the Foss, adding visual interest to the design.

An ordinance on this week's Consent Agenda would vacate that portion of Dock Street air rights to allow for the construction of those modulation and design features for The Henry. No one appeared to oppose the air rights vacation request at the public hearing.



A pair of purchase resolutions on the agenda this week would award funds budgeted from the Wastewater Fund for work associated with the Central Treatment Plan.

The first would award $3,293,532 for upgrades to the Solids Dewatering Facility Upgrade Project. The "dewatering system" used as a part of the process that turns biosolids at the CTP into TAGRO is at the end of its useful life, and has become unreliable with high operation and maintenance costs. The requested funds would replace the existing four belt filter presses with three new screw presses, and would upgrade mechanical, electrical, instrumental, and ventilation systems for the facility.

The second would okay a $122,706 amendment to a contract for consultant engineering services associated with the design of the Central Treatment Plant Flood Protection project, through December 31, 2017, bringing the cumulative total for the project to $649,574. This project will increase the level of flood protection at the CTP, improving capacity to avoid potential negative impacts of flooding, including untreated wastewater entering the water system. The requested increase over the initial contract would cover changes that occurred during the design process, including an increase in the length of the flood wall from 1,700 feet to 2,600 feet, automation of three large flood gates, the increased need for additional creative design solutions to mitigate subsurface risk during construction, and additional quality assurance design reviews for the project.


Final Readings

This week we'll hear the final readings of three ordinances that got their first readings at the last Council meeting, on March 4. The first two would make adjustments and clarifications to the Tacoma Municipal Code as it relates to business licenses. The third would enact approved amendments to the compensation plan for a group of represented City employees.


Citizens' Forum

Because there was no Council meeting last week, this Tuesday is the date for this month's Citizens' Forum - your chance to tell the City Council your thoughts on anything over which it has jurisdiction.


Other Items

A second resolution on this week's consent agenda would set Thursday, April 24, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. as the date for a hearing by the Hearing Examiner on the request to vacate a portion of the South Adams Street right-of-way north of South 62nd Street to purchase a section of the parking lot. The proposed vacation will allow the business to own a portion of the parking lot that they have been renting via a Street Occupancy Permit, will lessen the City's maintenance and permit review responsibilities, and will return the property to the tax rolls.

Proclaiming March 18, 2014, as Tacoma Kick Butts Day. Maybe you read that as "Tacoma Kicks Butt Day" (we did the first time through), and thought "well, of course, but do we need to declare a day for that?" But no, this is Tacoma Kick Butts Day, which looks like it's part of a national Kick Butts Day aimed at getting kids to say no to smoking. Maybe we'll have Tacoma Kicks Butt day next week...

A resolution on the regular City Council meeting agenda this week would reappoint John. R (Jack) Connelly to the Tacoma Public Library Board of Trustees for a five-year term beginning March 18, 2014 through March 18, 2019. 

Another resolution on this week's agenda would declare surplus and authorize a Quit Claim Deed to convey just under 11 acres of property southeast of East Q Street to Sound Transit for its Sounder Commuter Rail service and infrastructure improvements to reduce major congestion and increase safety. An agreement authorized in January gave Sound Transit City-owned property in exchange for $4 million and a little over an acre of ST land. Sound Transit has requested that two additional, city-owned parcels be included in the previously authorized deal. The City has determined that these parcels are surplus to the City’s needs. 


Other Meetings

At this week's Council study session the main item on the agenda is a presentation from Community and Economic Development and Neighborhoods and Community Services staff on their funding recommendations for federal Housing and Urban Development Community Planning and Development funds for Tacoma in 2014 - 2015. These will include Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant funds. 

The Council is also scheduled for a joint session with the Public Utility Board, at which the two bodies will disucss technology and market impacts on municipal communication networks, and Tacoma Public Utilties' franchise agreement with municipalities. 

Briefing items for this week's City Council Committee of the Whole meeting will include citizen committees, boards and commissions application processes and recruitment methods. Council will also hear a requested update on Tacoma’s Auto Row.

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Fred Davie

“Voters will get to decide on the proposition to provide nearly $2 million in funding for Tacoma’s parks on April 22.”

Request for less than $2 million and…... it’s going to the voters?,

March 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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