Tacoma City Business Preview - Week of May 20, 2014

Charter Changes

Just one item on this week's City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, but it's kind of a big one; the Council will be discussing the Charter Review Committee's proposed amendments to the document that shapes Tacoma's government. You can view all the recommendations that came out of the committee, as well as dissenting opinions at cityoftacoma.org/charterreview. As with public comment and media coverage so far, we're expecting that changes to the utility structure and a proposal for a change in Tacoma's form of government will take up most of the conversation as the Council weighs which issues it will pass along to the voters.


Community Based Services

At this week's City Council study session, the Council will hear from Neighborhood and Community Services on a couple of topics. First up is a presentation of information on the Community Based Services Speaker Bureau. Neighborhood and community groups can request presentations on City programs, projects, and resources from the City's subject matter experts. According to last week's City Manager's report to Council, the CBS Speaker Bureau prgram is being recommended as part of the expansion to a citywide program model. 

The Council will also hear a presentation on the recent CBS Windshield Survey, which was completed in March. The survey came as part of an effort at outreach and education related to City codes, focused on Tacoma's key corridors and neighborhood business districts. The City identified potential code issues, and informed property owners of the situation and resourses available to help preemptively address the problem. On Tuesday staff will give the Council an update on the effort.


Comprehensive Transportation Improvement Program

An ordinance that would adopt the amended Six-Year Comprehensive Transportation Improvement Program Amended 2013-2014 and 2015-2020 is on this week's City Council meeting agenda for a first reading. We didn't hear any comment at last week's public hearing on the matter.


Click! Rates

An ordinance that would approve a 10% average increase in Click! cable rates is up for a final vote this week. At last week's first reading, the Council had some questions for staff about the breakdown of cost increases leading to the requested raise for rates, and what Cick! might be doing to improve its competitiveness in the future. We look forward to hearing what they have to say.


City Property

A resolution on this week's Council meeting consent agenda would set Tuesday, June 3 as the date for a public hearing by the City Council on the surplus and negotiated sale 
of approximately 13.06 acres of property located off Howe Road in Lewis County to Mr. David Filla in the amount of $160,515. TPU acquired the land from Filla back in 2011 as part of a larger 73-acre fish habitat management acquisition related to the Cowlitz Hydroelectric project. With the completion of an additional study, TPU has signed off that it does not require these 13 acres, and will be able to sell the land back to Mr. Filla pending Council approval.

An ordinance on this week's agenda would vacate a narrow strip of City-owned right-of-way on South Adams Street, just north of a previously vacated section of South 62nd Street for use in connection with an adjacent business. The business has been using the area in question, where a retaining wall, and small parking lot extension were constructed, under a Street Occupancy Permit.

Purchase Resolutions

A purchase resolution on this week's regular Council meeting agenda requests a $91,000, seven-month contract extension for security services at the Tacoma Municipal Complex. The extension is being requested to give Public Works time to refine additional guard duties to support the upcoming changes to the Customer Support Center and the Public Access Safety and Security initiative. When the current contract expires, the new contract will be issued for public bid.

A second purchase resolution this week would authorize a $369,600, four-year extension of the contract for custodial services at the Tacoma Police Campus.


Other Items

In 2004 the City of Tacoma entered into an agreement with the Washington State Department of Corrections to allow Tacoma to use a radio communications building and tower on McNeil Island in exchange for surplus radio equipment owned by the City. The unique location on McNeil Island supports South Sound 911 network communications. Now that the DOC has closed its operations on the island, the building is now the responsibility of DSHS. A resolution on this week's Council meeting consent agenda would basically transfer the agreement the City had with DOC to DSHS.

Mayor Strickland will proclaim May 22, 2014 as Franke Tobey Jones Day, and May 2014 as Mental Health Month. With Bike Month and Historic Preservation Month already declared for May, it's looking like a pretty popular month.

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