Tacoma City Council Meeting - June 11, 2013

CONSENT AGENDA

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES 

Ordinance No. 28152 Vacating the west 200 feet of the alley right-of-way lying south of Puyallup Avenue and east of East L Street for a commercial fueling facility. (Red Bull, LLC; File No. 124.1335) [Troy Stevens, Senior Real Estate Specialist; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No comment.

 

REGULAR AGENDA

A motion may be made to authorize the City’s full and final settlement of all claims against the City in the matter of Germer v. City of Tacoma, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No. 12-2-07469-6, upon payment by the City in the amount of $35,000.

The motion was adopted without comment.

 

RESOLUTIONS 

Purchase Resolution No. 38679 Awarding contracts to:

  1. Totem Electric of Tacoma, Inc., on its bid of $703,955.53, sales tax not applicable, plus a 10 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $774,351.08, budgeted from the Streets Special Revenue Fund, for traffic signals and pedestrian beacons located between South 56th and South 74th Streets for the Tacoma Water Ditch Trail Traffic Signals project – Specification No. PW13-0007F; [Chris Larson, Engineering Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]
  2. Totem Electric of Tacoma, Inc., on its bid of $838,181.03, sales tax not applicable, plus a 10 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $921,999.13, budgeted from the Streets Special Revenue Fund, to install and upgrade traffic signal for the South 25th Street Corridor Signal Improvements project – Specification No. PW13-0012F; [Chris Larson, Engineering Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]
  3. Northwest Cascade, Inc., on its bid of $1,253,849.24, including sales tax, plus a 10 percent contingency, for a cumulative total of $1,379,234.16, budgeted from the Streets Special Revenue Fund, for Local Improvement District No. 8659 – Specification No. PW13-0108F; and [Chris Larson, Engineering Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]
  4. Tri-State Construction, in the amount of $35,000.00, plus sales tax, for a cumulative total of $1,927.511.50, budgeted from the Tacoma Rail Mountain Division Fund, to increase the contract for the Blakeslee Junction Track Realignment project – Specification No. PW11-0038F. [Chris Larson, Engineering Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]

The item passed without comment.

 

Resolution No. 38680 Amending the General Government Fee Schedule for Special and Miscellaneous Services, to include charges for housing providers who operate rental properties outside the city limits and attend the Crime Free Housing Program Phase I Landlord Training. [ChiQuata Elder, Landlord Tenant Coordinator; Tansy Hayward, Director, Neighborhood and Community Services]

The City of Tacoma Crime Free Housing Program is a training program available to anyone interested in attending the class, whether they live in Tacoma or not. The program has been free, and leads to a certification, which until now has been available only to those operating rentals in Tacoma. About one-third of program participants are from other areas. Staff attributes this popularity to the frequency and comprehensiveness of Tacoma’s program. The changes adopted with this resolution will allow attendees from outside Tacoma to be certified through Tacoma’s program, and will allow the City to recoup the cost of the training for those attendees with the new $50 fee. That fee will only apply to landlords not operating properties in Tacoma.

 

Resolution No. 38681 Authorizing the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma, in the amount of $375,000, budgeted from the 2009 LTGO Bond Series E Fund, for the City’s portion of the replacement of approximately 3,300 linear feet of existing water main and the addition of seven fire hydrants to Fort Nisqually in Point Defiance Park, with an estimated project total of $750,000. [Jeffrey Jenkins, Facilities Management Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]

Councilmember Mello shared a little background on this one. The pipes and water supply system in Point Defiance are aging, and in some cases failing. Many of the pipes are decades old and made of wood. This resolution funds the replacement of one section of this failing system. In keeping with the plan to transition responsibility for Tacoma’s parks to Metro Parks, the project will be funded through 50/50 cost-sharing between the two entities.

 

FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES 

Ordinance No. 28153 Amending Chapter 12.13 of the Municipal Code, relating to Click! Network Cable TV Products, to revise rates for cable television products and related services, effective August 1, 2013. [Pam Burgess, Business Operations Manager; Tenzin Gyaltsen, General Manager, Click! Network]

The ordinance passed without Council comment.

 

Ordinance No. 28154  Amending Chapter 6B.220 of the Municipal Code, relating to taxi regulations, to further specify digital security camera requirements, clarify additional taxicab vehicle and driver requirements, and update language consistent with other licensing sections of the Municipal Code.[Danielle Larson, Tax and License Division Manager; Andrew Cherullo, Director, Finance]

The cameras required will capture a series of still images, rather than video or audio. Drivers will be responsible for keeping the images for five days, after which point they will be recorded over. Cab drivers and law enforcement will have access to the images, and only law enforcement will be permitted to retain the images for more than five days. The rules require that signage be posted both outside and inside the cabs, notifying passengers of the presence of cameras.

Ordinance No. 28155 Repealing and reenacting Chapters 2.02, 2.06, 2.07, and 2.10 of the Municipal Code to implement the 2012 International Building, Residential, Existing Building, Mechanical, and Fuel Gas Codes; the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code; and the 2012 Washington State Energy Code, to establish the minimum requirements for building construction to safeguard the public’s health, safety, and welfare, effective July 1, 2013. [Sue Coffman, Professional Engineer; Peter Huffman, Interim Director, Planning and Development Services]

Councilmember Boe clarified the “5 over 2” rule included in the code. It allows for up to five floors of wood frame construction to be built over two floors of concrete construction. Wood frame is less expensive than concrete or steel construction, so this allows developers an affordable way to develop higher density projects, maximizing their investment by getting a lower cost per square foot.

Ordinance No. 28156 Repealing and reenacting Chapter 3.02 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Fire Prevention Code; providing for the issuance of permits and penalties for violation; and adopting local amendments to the 2012 International Fire Code along with the State of Washington amendments, effective July 1, 2013. [Ryan Erickson, Fire Code Official; James Duggan, Chief, Tacoma Fire]

The federal government requires all cities to adopt standards equivalent to, or greater than the international fire code. Tacoma does this by adopting the state fire code (which is the international fire code) and making amendments.

 

CITIZENS’ FORUM  

The big topic of the day was the effort underway to require employers in Tacoma to offer paid sick leave to their employees. We heard support for the idea from a wide variety of speakers including city employees, union reps and members, workers with multiple jobs, and others. We heard stories of workers afraid to call in sick for fear of losing wages or losing their jobs; and of the negative impacts of this situation on workers, their families, co-workers, customers, and public health. We also heard statistics and stories from other cities like Seattle and San Francisco where this approach has been tried. Speakers asked the Council to be proactive in working to enact legislation requiring paid sick leave. This won’t be the last we hear of this issue.

This week we heard complaints about the justice system from two different speakers - one our long-time regular with concerns about the Ladenburg family and just about every level of government.  The second spoke through an interpreter, and was followed up by another representative, about concerns that the Tacoma Police Department is in need of a “racial assessment.”

We also heard from a speaker hosting an all ages Taylor Swift concert tailgate party fundraiser for the Tacoma chapter of the American Red Cross; and a final speaker voicing support for City to move quickly on its plans for the Prairie Line Trail.

 

COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Councilmember Ibsen announced the re-opening of Old Town Dock this Sunday, June 16 from 11 to 1. The community celebration will include live music from Pearl Django, and the chance to explore the interactive art installation from Chandler O’Leary. Oh, and while you’re at it, you can enjoy Tacoma’s waterfront - right now the weather forecast for Sunday is looking pretty good.

Councilmember Campbell announced the upcoming Community Transit Equity Forum, hosted by the Tacoma Urban League and Transportation Choices Coalition at the Salishan Family Investment Center on Thursday, June 20, from 6 to 8 pm.

ADJOURNMENT 

... and with that, we’re adjourned. Mayor Strickland was absent. 


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Comments

fred davieRegistered

pay germer $35K for what?

no comment, that’s OK to give someone $35K and there’s no comment?

when do we start getting the transparent and fully accountable city government our council members promised during their campaigns?

June 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davieRegistered

“We heard stories of workers afraid to call in sick for fear of losing wages or losing their jobs; and of the negative impacts of this situation on workers, their families, co-workers, customers, and public health.”

If people learned how to budget their income properly they would know how to put a little money away from each paycheck into a personal rainy day fund.  Parents should instruct their children how to develop a budget so that they will be able to provide for their families when they grow up without constantly appealing to elected officials for some sort of political fix. There are lots of books available at the Tacoma Public Library which can be borrowed for free on the subject of personal finance.  Please don’t drag the beleaguered business owners in Tacoma into this vortex of irresponsibility.

June 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Rize

Not everyone is as privileged as ya are to make enough $ to put some away. Many, many people have to take care of sick parents, children, & other family-members who are in need. Some folks get sick & have huge medical-bills/debts to deal with. If only it was as easy as ya make it seem to be.

June 13, 2013 at 8:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

I never claimed to be “privileged.” As a business owner and employer I have the same obligations you mentioned such as taking care of sick parents, children and other family members who are in need and I have to pay huge medical bills and debts to boot. I ALSO have to pay all the obligations of owning the business such as taxes, fees, rent, insurance, utilities. inventory, theft, etc.  If only it was as easy as ya make it seem to be.

June 13, 2013 at 10:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Rize

Ya don’t have to claim to be “privileged”. Ya spoke from a place of privilege. It’s evident in yo comment. If a single-parent is working a full-time below family-wage job - then ya should know it is not possible for them to set money aside for a rainy-day.

June 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Christine

May I have $35k? I’m a nice person and I will be very grateful.

June 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jesse

Did I read that right?  WOOD water pipes at Point Defiance?  Wow!  If that isn’t proof we need more infrastructure improvements, I don’t know what is…

June 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Dan

I’m skeptical of the wooden water pipes.  I know they were sometimes used around the turn of the 20th century and earlier, but they don’t last nearly that long.  For wood pipes to currently be in operation I would think they’d have to have been installed in the 80s at the earliest.  I think it is possible that some are left rotting in place underground, but hooked up to the pressurized fire suppression water system at the park?  I’ll have to see it to believe it.

June 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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DerekRegistered

I saw some broken wooden water pipes up in Kent about ten years ago. They were still in use, estimated to be from the ‘20s, although nobody seemed to know why they still worked. Several people took pieces as souvenirs for their offices. So, I’m not totally skeptical.

June 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Christine

Fred, it’s hard to listen to a guy lambasting you when he drops “ya” and “yo” instead of real words. How stylized!

June 14, 2013 at 8:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Rize

It’s not an English-exam or paper. Why YA got to be such a Grammar-Nazi YO!?

June 14, 2013 at 8:54 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Christine

I know, two comments in a row….

About the wooden pipes in Pt. Defiance. There was a major pipe replacement project about 10 years ago downtown replacing these same type pipes. When kept out of sunlight and without oxygen, cedar will last for a very long time but eventually give out. As for the pressure of the hydrant system, that flows on static pressure that is created from where our water supply originates; up on a glacier. As the water flows downhill, it creates the head pressure that is our system, and since the pipe are underground, the surrounding soil pressure is what keeps everything contained. Think of the pipe as the walls of our water system, much like our veins keep blood flowing, but would be weak without the surrounding tissues.

I believe that the city water department has some online materials describing our system, it is a very extensive and well-designed water system.

June 14, 2013 at 8:59 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Rize

“...and since the pipe are underground…”
It’s hard to listen to a gal when she doesn’t even know how to use the proper plural form of a word. See how easy that was!

June 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Dan

I stand corrected.  I’m just surprised.  Wooden boats exposed to water need constant maintenance.  A wooden pipe lasting underground for 80+ years is pretty incredible.  I don’t think all of the pressure just comes from the elevation where the water originates though.  A majority does come from the Green River in the Cascade foothills, but a good portion also comes from wells in South Tacoma and those are quite a bit lower than where I’m at in the north end.  There are definitely some pumps in the system.

June 15, 2013 at 12:34 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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James

If you think wooden boats on the water need a lot of maintenance, try pulling them out of 50 degree waters and into dry dock. If hauled for any length of time, the hull dries, paint and caulk crack from the wood shrinking. Then when you drop the boat back in, wood expands and everything needs patching again… I’ve had the misfortunes, luckily not my own boat.

As for wooden pipes used for domestic water, I’m still not sure I understand how rotting wood pipes and soil can withstand 50psi and still have pressure at the end of the line. But then again, I don’t get how electricity works.

June 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Christine

Dan, I believe that your are correct, I forgot about the wells.

James, take your boat hull in the water example and think of when centuries-old boats are brought up from an oxygen deficient atmosphere. In a cold temperature without light or oxygen, wood can last a long time.
http://www.euronews.com/2011/07/20/1600-year-old-ship-found-in-turkey/

June 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Fred Davie

Mandatory sick leave legislation will result in:

1. Employers may trim employee head counts
2. Employers may reduce hours available
3. Some job openings will be cancelled
4. Some prospective businesses may cancel plans to open in Tacoma
5. Some marginal businesses will fail
6. Marginal increases in local prices
7. Upward pressure on unemployment rates
8. Upward pressure on foreclosure rates

In summary. there are a lot of negatives bundled with this feel good plan.  Of course, that’s never stopped the city council before.

June 16, 2013 at 6:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

If employers can avoid paying for this in Tacoma by moving to UP, Fife, or wherever, they will.  In fact, the business I am working for is thinking about opening up another Puget Sound location.  Because of the B&O taxes in Tacoma, we may end up in a close-in neighboring community.  Adding another tax (it is an indirect tax) will seal the decision to locate elsewhere.

We offer sick time off and vacation time.  But, to be boxed into something like this takes away options for us if we ever need to dial down staff to the point where there’s just a few.  This is idealistic and I don’t think city staff should be this involved in such day to day operations of business.  Now, if this were a federal thing where all surrounding communities had to abide by the same rules, evening out the playing field, I may feel a little different about it.

Maybe cities with employers clamoring for space in said city can do this, but, if you haven’t noticed, Tacoma is not growing much and is not a magnet for business.

June 16, 2013 at 9:02 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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