Tacoma City Council Meeting - January 14, 2014



Ordinance No. 28200 An ordinance vacating a portion of Milwaukee Way between East 11th Street and Lincoln Avenue to the Port of Tacoma, pursuant to the terms of an Interlocal Agreement relating to the planning and construction of Highway 509. (City of Tacoma; File No. 124.1108) [Phyllis Macleod, Hearing Examiner]

The Consent Agenda was adopted; we'll hear the final reading of Ordinance 28200 at next week's meeting.



Mayor Strickland proclaimed January 20, 2014 as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the City of Tacoma. The day will be a federal holiday and a national day of service in recognition of Dr. King's contributions to America and the world. The public is invited to join in the City's 26th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. This year's theme is youth continuing the legacy. The program starts at 11 a.m., followed by a community conversation.



Kevin Grossman, the developer for the proposed Kellog-Sicker Pochert development spoke in favor of the resolution that would give him a little more time on the deal to purchase the properties from the City. Grossman explained that although it is not a big project, figuring out how to proceed with the work of restoring the historic properties and bring them back into usable condition has been complicated. He's requesting a two-month extension to sort out final details with staff, and expects to close by the end of January, or early February. Grossman said his hope for the project is to bring some neat old buildings back online. He has been in conversation with local restauranteurs about going into the old Browne's Star Grill space, and converting the upstairs into residential spaces.




Resolution No. 38819 A resolution appointing four individuals to the Human Services Commission. [Doris Sorum, City Clerk; Elizabeth Pauli, City Attorney]

The expedited interview and appointment process for the five individuals appointed this week will allow the Human Commission to continue to meet quorum.



Resolution No. 38820 A resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to the agreement with Carollo Engineers, Inc., to increase the contract by an amount not to exceed $2,392,218, sales tax not applicable, for a maximum cumulative total of $4,053,700, budgeted from the Wastewater Fund, for owner’s representative services for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Computer Control System Upgrade project - Specification No. PW11-0422F. [Geoffrey M. Smyth, P.E., Science and Engineering Division Manager; Michael P. Slevin III, P.E., Director, Environmental Services]

The resolution was adopted without explanation or comment.


Resolution No. 38821 A resolution declaring surplus and authorizing the sale of approximately 10.82 acres of property within the Tacoma Rail Mountain Division right-of-way located from East D Street to Puyallup Avenue, to Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) for the amount of $4,000,000 and the conveyance of approximately 1.22 acres of Sound Transit property located near the intersection of Pacific Avenue and South 26th Street. [Gloria Fletcher, Senior Real Estate Officer; Kurtis D. Kingsolver, P.E., Director, Public Works]

The agreement covers the exchange of Tacoma Rail property for $4 million plus a smaller amount of nearby Sound Transit property, plus $200,000 for maintenance of that property. The deal provides for continued use of the rail by Tacoma Rail in perpetuity. A joint use agreement outlines maintenance and repair obligations for both parties, spelling out that Tacoma Rail will not be responsible for maintenance costs for the first 10 years, and will be relieved of all future capital improvement responsibilities. The agreement, which drew no dissenting comment at a public hearing on December 10, passed without further comment from Council.


Resolution No. 38822 A resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to the agreement with Kellogg Sicker Pochert, LLC, for property located at 1110 and 1114 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, to extend the buyer’s feasibility period and the closing date to February 28, 2014. [Martha Anderson, Assistant Director; Ricardo Noguera, Director, Community and Economic Development Department]

The amended agreement extends the closing date on the sale of the historic Browne's Star Grill property to the private developer to the end of February to allow for the settling of final details. We first heard about the deal to restore the buildings to mixed-use, including market-rate housing, back in May of last year, and the Council okayed the sale in August, along with an agreement to convey the abutting property to Tacoma Housing Authority for affordable housing.

The 10,000 square foot property has been mixed-use, with 10 existing residential units, has been owned by the City since 2005. The design concept for the project includes upstairs residential units over first floor retail/restaurant space, with hopes for outdoor seating. The property has been sitting vacant for nearly a decade now, and it's taking the developer a little longer than he had hoped to work out a plan for the remodel.




Ordinance No. 28197 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Custodial and Building Maintenance Unit, which consists of approximately 29 budgeted, full-time positions; Tacoma Firefighters Union, Local 31, which consists of approximately 351 budgeted, full-time positions; and the United Transportation Union, Switch Crew Unit, which consists of approximately 32 budgeted, full-time positions, retroactive to January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The ordinance passed without further Council comment.

Ordinance No. 28198 An ordinance amending Chapter 2.02 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Building Code, by reenacting Section 2.02.1000, to be known and designated as “Earthquake Recording Instrumentation.” [Sue Coffman, Principal Engineer; Peter Huffman, Director, Planning and Development Services]

This ordinance also passed without further comment.



Ordinance No. 28202 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 483, Clerical Unit, which covers approximately 197.2 budgeted, full-time positions. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

The ordinance will get a final reading next week.

Ordinance No. 28201 An ordinance amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the Tacoma Police Union, Local 6, I.U.P.A.; Tacoma Police Management Association, Local 26; and the Professional Public Safety Managers Association. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]

This ordinance will also be sent over for a final reading at next week's meeting.



We heard comments from a citizen who makes semi-regular appearances at Citizens' Forum, returning to ask the City Manager and Council why they have not yet followed his request to do a "racial assessment" of how minority police officers are treated and hired by Tacoma Police Department.

A second speaker asked the Council to "be bold, be for bicycling." The commenter asked that Council support further bike-related infrastructure investments in Tacoma, and sited numerous studies on the favorable impacts of cycling on both the local economy and personal well-being. A bunch of hipsters didn't just decide to make Portland a bike mecca, and Tacoma too could make the decision to support policies that would yield the benefits cited.



Councilmember Lopez invited the public to join The Conversation Tacoma, Associated Ministries and Urban Grace Church for an interfaith service to celebrate and keep alive the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event will be held at Urban Grace Church this Sunday, January 19, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. All are welcome.

Councilmember Boe was absent from this week's meeting.


For more on the items on this week's agenda, see Exti133's City Business Preview for the week.

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