City Council: Town Center Power Outage, Fire Station Bond, and Parking Issues All On Tap

Mercer Island City Council will hold a public hearing on a proposed EMS/Fire bond proposal and receive a report from the city on the June 25 car accident that knocked out power to nearly half the Island

Mercer Island City Council has busy agenda at tonight's (July 16) 7 p.m. meeting at in council chambers on a range of important topics.

Several City Councilmembers have requested the city report on why at 77th Ave. SE and SE 27th Street knocked out power to the Town Center business district and about half the Island's nearly 10,000 residential customers.

On the consent agenda, the 2012 Residential Street Overlays and Pedestrian/Bike Improvements Bid Award and atuhorization to complete the First Hill Booster Pump Station Improvements Project are scheduled.

For regular business, the council will hear the first reading of a Fire/EMS levy-lid lift bond ordinance to fund the construction of a new South-end , breathing apparatus and three new fire trucks over the next 10 years for $4.8 million.

The levy-lid lift bond ordinance, if approved by City Council, would require a 50 percent-plus-one majority of voters to approve the measure. If a resolution were to be placed on the November ballot, it must be filed with state and county election officials no later than Aug. 7.

Also for council consideration is the Open Space Conservancy Trust Work Plan, the Agreement Monitoring Report and new parking restrictions on the shoulders of three major arterial roads around the community collectively known as "the Mercer Ways" (East Mercer Way, West Mercer Way and North Mercer Way).

The meeting will also be broadcast live on the city's local television channel, MI-TV Channel 21, starting at 7 p.m.

Manuel Cawaling July 19, 2012 at 04:10 AM
It is true, our building has seismic issues. Though our building will likely remain standing in the event of a serious earthquake, it will be rendered unusable. Therefore, because of our genuine concern for the safety of our children and families, we are actively creating a plan to move out of our facility in four years to a newer, seismically superior facility. This issue is very important to us. To clarify, the Nisqually Quake was centered on the Nisqually fault line which is just outside of Olympia. How different would the impact have been on Mercer Island facilities if a quake originates along the Seattle fault, running through Mercer Island? Mr. Appelman, I certainly respect your opinion. And the nature of debate and conversation allows and welcomes diverse views. We just see things differently. Best wishes to you.
Ira B. Appelman July 21, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Dear Director Cawaling: Thanks for your comments. If the District and the City believed that your Youth Theatre NW building had seimic issues that affected, as you say, "the safety of our children and families," your building would be red-tagged by close-of-business. If you want to keep your job on this Island, if you ever detect a condition that affects the safety of children, call 9-1-1. The seismic safety issue (which is one of many safety issues continually monitored) is only raised publicly when the City or the District wants to replace a building. In the 1990s, the District remodelled and expanded the five schools including seismic upgrades. We learned recently that they were so concerned about earthquakes that they DID NOT UPGRADE the North Mercer campus where our youngest and most vulnerable students are housed. I believe the Superintendent was assured recently by professionals that there was no immediate danger from those buildings. Improvements to the south end Fire Station have been discussed at City Council FOR DECADES!!! In the interim, we've voted two multi-million dollar levies for parks, which apparently had a higher priority. Next in line is the demolition of a perfectly good City Hall becase the urbanizers running the City don't like WHERE THE VOTERS VOTED IN THE 1980s TO SITE IT and want it in the Town Center. Expect the reasoning that City Hall COORDINATES emergency response, so we need demolition/rebuild to bring it up to seismic code.
Kendall Watson July 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM
It was also mentioned several times at the Jan. 2012 retreat that moving City Hall to the Town Center could help boost local businesses there.
doris cassan July 21, 2012 at 11:20 PM
If the Council wishes to boost local businesses in the Town Center, why is the zoning so restrictive? Mr. Watson you might wish to investigate why the Town Center has empty store fronts. Is it not true that the cities that continue to thrive are the cities where the elected officials help create a business friendly environment? D.Cassan Doris Cassan
Kendall Watson July 22, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Thanks Doris. Your husband's company, Dollar, was subject to quite a bit of criticism from a few councilmembers earlier this year who seemed to surmise that rents were too high for the businesses there, driving them away, not to mention their complaints about parking. However, it looks like the Planning Commission and many on the council are in favor of revising the restrictions on tenants like the "No-net loss" and "60/40" regulations. I plan on writing about this and would be happy to interview Mr. Cassan. Please contact me at kendall.watson@patch.com. Thanks for the comment!


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