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Tacoma City Council Meeting - February 4, 2014
The meeting started off with a motion to add to the agenda a pair of resolutions expressing Council support for Tacoma School District's propositions 1 and 2, and urging Tacomans to vote in the February 11 special election to support of both ballot measures, which would renew a pair of expiring levies that fund operations in Tacoma schools.
Resolution No. 38835 A resolution setting Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 9:00 a.m., as the date and time for a hearing before the Hearing Examiner on the request to vacate the remainder of the alley between Pine Street and South Junett Street north of South 50th Street. (4910 Pine Street, LLC; File No. 124.1339) [Troy Stevens, Senior Real Estate Specialist; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]
The full consent agenda was adopted.
Mayor Strickland proclaimed February 15, 2014 as Chancellor Debra Friedman Day in the City of Tacoma, in honor of Friedman's contributions to both the University and the wider Tacoma community. A memorial for Friedman will be held on February 15.
The Mayor also proclaimed the week of February 7 - 14, 2014 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Congenital heart defects are the most frequently occurring birth defect, and the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths around the world.
Councilmember Lopez, on behalf of the Mayor and Council, proclaimed February 2 - 8, 2014 as Toastmasters International Week.
Deputy Mayor Woodards recognized Fab-5, on behalf of the Mayor and Council, for their completion of the Hilltop Business District Flower Pot Painting Project. Fab-5 worked collaboratively with other Hilltop individuals and organizations on the project, funded by a City of Tacoma Innovative Grant, for the revitalization of the neighborhood.
We heard from one commenter from the Stadium District Business Association, expressing his support for the Link expansion selection and the collaborative process.
Resolution No. 38836 A resolution awarding a contract to Rodarte Construction, Inc., on its bid of $1,860,582.25, sales tax not applicable, plus a 15 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $2,139,669.59, budgeted from the Transportation Capital and Surface Water Funds, for concrete roadway improvements to South Mildred Street from South 12th to South 19th Streets - Specification No. PW13-0693F. [Chris Larson, P.E., Engineering Division Manager; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E. Director, Public Works]
The project, which has been in the works for a while, will improve the major arterial by replacing the failing asphalt with concrete, which will stand up better to heavy use by buses and other traffic. In keeping with Tacoma's Transportation Master Plan, the project will also add bike lanes and pedestrian improvements, ultimately connecting to planned improvements along South 12th to the north of this project, and University Place improvements to the south. The contract being awarded came in well below the pre-bid estimate for the work.
Resolution No. 38837 A resolution relating to Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail, recommending the removal of alignments A3 and B2 as options; and moving the A1/B1 alignment into the environmental review phase of the Tacoma Link Light Rail Expansion project. [Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]
Council support for the A1/B1 alignment was based on a number of factors, not least of which was the projected cost. Another major factor was limiting the disruption of the urban fabric. That second consideration nixed routes that would have disrupted Theater Square or other key parts of downtown Tacoma. Councilmember Woodards expressed preference for the A2 Broadway route as more in line with the ridership and economic development goals for the project, but ultimately voted with the rest of the Council in light of the cost differences between the two routes.
Councilmember Boe noted that, although he has some reservations about the A1 choice, he feels that it is the best option in light of the hand of cards dealt by the decisions of previous Tacoma city councils. The drawbacks are there for the route, which would essentially run along the edge of the city, with development on only one side for a significant portion of its climb up the hill, but recent improvements to Stadium Way and the end cost of the other routes make it the best of what there is to work with. Boe described the situation as having the cannon already loaded, and pointed up Stadium Way.
The resolution drops the A3 and B2 routes, which got primarily negative responses in the public comment process.
Resolution No. 38838 (added to the agenda) A resolution expressing support for and urging Tacoma voters to vote "Approved" for the passage of Proposition No. 1 submitted by Tacoma Public School District No. 10 at the February 11, 2014 Special Election, which reads as follows:
SPECIAL ELECTION – PROPOSITION NO. 1
SUBMITTED BY TACOMA SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 10
REPLACEMENT OF EXPIRING LEVY FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONS
The Board of Directors of Tacoma School District No. 10 adopted Resolution No. 1943 authorizing an educational programs, operations and maintenance levy. If approved, Proposition No. 1 would fund day-to-day school operations, including classroom teachers, librarians, nurses, textbooks and instruction materials, athletics, arts and music programs, technology support and maintain roofs, heating, electrical and plumbing systems, playgrounds, playfields, alarm, sprinkler, security and emergency preparedness systems, and would authorize the District to levy the following excess taxes, to replace an expiring levy, on all taxable property within the District:
Prop 1 would replace an expiring levy funding day-to-day operations in Tacoma's public schools. This would include things like classroom teachers, librarians, nurses, textbooks, maintenance, utilities, athletic materials, security, roofs, emergency preparedness, and more.
Resolution No. 38839 - A resolution expressing support for and urging Tacoma voters to vote "Approved" for the passage of Proposition No. 2 submitted by Tacoma Public School District No. 10 at the February 11, 2014 Special Election, which reads as follows:
SPECIAL ELECTION – PROPOSITION NO. 2
SUBMITTED BY TACOMA SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 10
REPLACEMENT OF EXPIRING LEVY FOR SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS AND UPGRADES
The Board of Directors of Tacoma School District No. 10 adopted Resolution No. 1944 concerning district-wide technology improvements and upgrades. If approved, Proposition No. 2 would fund technical training, support and up-to-date tools for teaching and learning, replace outdated classroom computers for teachers and students, and improve the District’s online system for parents, students and teachers to monitor academic progress, homework and attendance, and would authorize the District to levy the following excess taxes, to replace an expiring levy, on all taxable property within the District:
Prop 2 would replace a second expiring levy for shools, funding district-wide technical improvements and upgrades. These would include the replacement of outdated computers, improvements for online systems, and training for faculty and staff.
FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. 28203 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for non-represented employees and changes in classifications to reflect the organizational structure. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]
The ordinance passed without further comment.
COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee - Councilmember Mello reported on recent topics covered by the committee.
- Briefed on the Sustainable Tacoma Commission's work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Tacoma. Based on an inventory done by the commission, Tacoma's emissions are down 24% since 2005, putting us well on our way to making long-term goals.
- Discussed transportation equity with Tacoma Urban League staff, including a review of the Growing Transit Communities equity grant program, and the negative impacts of not ensuring transportation equity across all of Tacoma's neighborhoods.
- Introduction of the Transportation Master Plan, including long-term vision for transportation infrastructure in Tacoma, land use, roadways, transit, non-motorized transportation, and Port marine access.
- And a few other items...
Councilmember Lonergan shared that the Charter Review Committee has announced its first public meeting on Monday at 5:30 to take public comment on recommendations to change Tacoma's charter. Everyone is encouraged to attend and participate. Learn more at cityoftacoma.org/charterreview.
Mayor Strickland recognized Councilmember Joe Lopez for his sevice, brief as it was, on the Council. Appointed effective January 1 to temporarily take Councilmember Ibsen's seat, this will be his last meeting, as Ibsen will return February 11. Lopez's fellow council members had very nice things to say about their brief time working with him. Thanks for serving.
As one of his last acts as interim council member, Lopez will be presenting at the opening of the 2014 Tacoma Sister Cities International Film Festival this Thursday at UPS. Lopez also thanked everyone for his time on the dais, saying that he applied becasue he loves Tacoma, and that the people of Tacoma "will always have my undying love."
[Awww, sniff, sniff. We must have gotten something in our eye...]
For more on the items on this week's agenda, see our City Business Preview for the week.
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