City Hall News: $300K strategic plan contract, bike/pedestrian safety improvements, and BIA renewal/expansion

 

Tacoma residents will have plenty of opportunities next week to learn more about what’s happening in city government.

On Tuesday, Tacoma City Council will hold its regular weekly study session at noon to discuss “P3 Partnerships,” a public/private partnership between the Tacoma Police Department, Tacoma Fire Department, and community organizations that serve as components for providing City of Tacoma services; its twice-per-month committee of the whole meeting at 3 p.m. to discuss recruitment tools for City of Tacoma committees, boards, and commissions; and its regular weekly council meeting at 5 p.m. to vote on a range of issues.

On Wednesday afternoon, Tacoma City Council’s Government, Performance, and Finance Committee will meet to discuss fourth quarter performance measures related to the City’s “24/7″ program and budget book.

Here is a look ahead at some notable meetings, events, and issues on deck next week at Tacoma City Hall.

TACOMA STRATEGIC PLAN CONTRACT

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote next week on a resolution that would award a $300,000 contract to BDS Planning & Urban Design for the creation of a Citywide Strategic Plan and Visioning documents.

Earlier this month, the Tacoma Daily Index reported seven consulting firms submitted proposals for the contract before the bid deadline expired on Tues., Feb. 25. Two weeks ago, the City of Tacoma announced six firms were selected to be interviewed by Tacoma City Council during a public meeting on Mon., March 17, at Tacoma City Hall. The firms included Athena Group, LLC (Olympia, Wash.); Beckwith Consulting Group (LaConner, Wash.); BDS Planning and Urban Design (Seattle, Wash.); Community Attributes, Inc. (Seattle, Wash.); Fern Tiger Associates (Oakland, Calif.); and Strategies 360 (Seattle, Wash.).

If a contract is awarded, BDS Planning & Urban Design would be tasked with guiding the development of a Citywide Strategic Visioning Plan, which aims to provide an action plan for the next five years and set the course for Tacoma over the next decade, according to City of Tacoma officials. The plan would also help the City of Tacoma direct its resources toward a defined vision for a future that is reflective of community priorities, considers current and future trends, and bolsters the City’s unique position within the region.

The strategic planning and visioning process will aim to address seven key focus areas: public health and safety; quality of life and livability; economic vibrancy and employment; culture, arts, and recreation; educational opportunity and attainment; effective, efficient, and economical government performance; and infrastructure, mobility, and environmental sustainability.

Additionally, Tacoma City Council and City of Tacoma staff will use public feedback received throughout the civic engagement component of the strategic planning and visioning process to inform the way the City of Tacoma develops its 2015-2016 Biennial Budget and future budgets. The Strategic Visioning Plan will also aim to serve as the overarching document by which all other City of Tacoma plans, policies, programs, and department or individual evaluations are established.

The City of Tacoma last embarked on a similar project 10 years ago when it developed “Tacoma Tomorrow: 2005 – 2010,” a strategic plan that aimed to identify the City’s priorities, opportunities, and initiatives.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to award the contract during its meeting on Tues., April 1, at 5 p.m. at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the resolution and staff memo are available online here and here, respectively.

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BIA RENEWAL AND EXPANSION

Tacoma City Council is scheduled next week to hear the final readings of two ordinances related to the downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area (BIA).

The BIA, which was established in 1988, provides services such as security patrols on bicycles; support for the Tacoma Police Department; coordination of downtown security officers; an e-mail alert system for downtown property owners and managers; pressure washing, sweeping, and cleaning of sidewalks and other common areas; installation of street bannersgraffiti removal; providing timely information for potential investors; and overseeing Web sites and regular print publications that promote downtown Tacoma.

The first ordinance would renew the City of Tacoma’s agreement with the BIA for the 27th year beginning on May 1, 2014 and through April 30, 2015. The second ordinance would expand the BIA’s boundaries to include the future McMenamin’s Elks Lodge brewery and hotel.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinances during its meeting on Tues., April 1, at 5 p.m. at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the ordinances and staff memos are available online here and here and here and here, respectively.

Downtown Tacoma BIA bike patrol officers Sarah Kirkman and John Leitheiser carefully make their way beneath I-705. They regularly inspect the area for homeless encampments. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

Downtown Tacoma BIA bike patrol officers Sarah Kirkman and John Leitheiser carefully make their way beneath I-705. They regularly inspect the area for homeless encampments. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index’s complete and comprehensive coverage of downtown Tacoma’s Business Improvement Area, click on the following links:

FIRE PREVENTION GRANTS

The City of Tacoma has recently applied for nearly $56,000 in grants aimed to curb fire-related emergencies by expanding home inspections and smoke alarm installations among vulnerable populations in Tacoma. One grant application has been submitted to FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program for $3,300 (no matching funds are required). A second grant application has been submitted to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program for $52,620 ($2,631 in matching funds are required).

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WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT FLOOD PROTECTION

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote next week on a resolution that would award a contract valued at approximately $6 million to IMCO General Construction, Inc. for a project to protect Tacoma’s Central Wastewater Treatment Plant against future floods.

In February, the City of Tacoma announced it would accept bids for the project, which calls for the installation of approximately 2,500 feet of sheet pile floodwall around the southern and northern portions of the plant. The project also consists of constructing five floodgates (of which three will be automated), a trench safety system, and a new pump station, among other things.

According to City of Tacoma officials, the plant, which is located just west of the Puyallup River in a low-lying area at 2201 E. Portland Ave., receives and treats more than 130 million gallons of wastewater per day during large storm events before it flows into Commencement Bay. Eighty per cent of the wastewater comes from Tacoma, but the plant also treats the wastewater from about 19,500 customers in Fife, Fircrest, and unincorporated Pierce County.

In October, the Flood Control Zone District Board of Pierce County announced it would award a $6 million grant to the City of Tacoma to help build the floodwall. The board noted the project was selected primarily due to its high-risk ranking — namely, an overflow from the plant could introduce untreated wastewater into Puget Sound, impacting water-based businesses, recreation activities, and wildlife. The City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services has funded the project’s $1.2 million design. The year-long construction project is expected to begin this year.

Earlier this week, the Tacoma Daily Index reported seven contractors submitted bids for the project before the bid deadline expired on Tues., March 11. The seven companies included Orion Marine Group (Tacoma, Wash.) — $5,938,500; James W. Fowler Co. (Dallas, Ore.) — $6,815,000; IMCO General Construction, Inc. (Tacoma, Wash.) — $5,050,775; Quigg Bros. (Aberdeen, Wash.) — $5,544,225; Massana Construction (Gig Harbor, Wash.) — $6,660,500; Tapani, Inc. (Battle Ground, Wash.) — $5,937,000; and Rognlins Inc. (Aberdeen, Wash.) — $5,216,625.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to award the contract during its meeting on Tues., April 1, at 5 p.m. at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the resolution and staff memo are available online here and here, respectively.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant flood protection project, click on the following links:

Tacoma's Central Wastewater Treatment Plant. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)

Tacoma’s Central Wastewater Treatment Plant. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)

BIKE/PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote next week on a resolution that would award a contract valued at approximately $1.9 million to Tucci & Sons, Inc. for a project to create bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements stretching between South Tacoma and North Tacoma.

In January, the Tacoma Daily Index reported three companies — Westwater Construction Company (Auburn, Wash.), Tucci & Sons, Inc. (Tacoma, Wash.), and Stan Palmer Construction (Bremerton, Wash.) — submitted bids to develop the second phase of Tacoma’s Top 4 Bikeways Project, an aspect of the City’s Mobility Master Plan that aims to improve the city’s bicycle network and general pedestrian accessibility by installing new pavement markings, signage, asphalt and concrete pavements, curbs and gutters, and pedestrian flashing beacons. The City of Tacoma issued a request for bids on Tues., Dec. 17. The bid deadline expired on Tues., Jan. 28.

If a contract is awarded, Tucci & Sons, Inc. would create bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements from South 96th Street and Park Avenue in South Tacoma to North 26th Street and Pearl Street in North Tacoma.

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to award the contract during its meeting on Tues., April 1, at 5 p.m. at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma. Copies of the resolution and staff memo are available online here and here, respectively.

2 HISTORIC BREWERY DISTRICT BUILDINGS

Looking ahead, Tacoma City Council is tentatively scheduled next month to consider a resolution to place two buildings dating back more than 100 years and located in Tacoma’s former warehouse district on the City of Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places.

The former J. E. Aubry Wagon & Auto Works Building, located 2015 S. C St., was built in 1910 by architect O. F. Larson (who also designed the Olympus Hotel in downtown Tacoma, as well as Jason Lee Middle School), according to a nomination prepared by Susan Johnson, an architectural historian at Tacoma-based Artifacts Consulting. The building’s original owner, J. E. Aubry, serviced wagons and carriages out of the three-story brick building. Aubry later shifted his focus to repairing automobile as modes of transportation changed.

The former Hunt-Mottet Warehouse, located at 2109-2115 S. C St., was built in 1907 by the architectural firm Bullard and Hill, which also designed the historic J. B. Stevens Garage, otherwise known as the “Graffiti Garage,” in downtown Tacoma, according to the nomination. The building’s original owner, Frederick Mottet, operated the Hunt-Mottet Company, a wholesale hardware distributor serving the local logging, farming, and mining industries, out of the two-story building.

The nominations were submitted by Horizon Commerce Partners, a Tacoma-based commercial real estate and investment company that owns both buildings. Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewed the nominations in December to determine whether the buildings met criteria required to be nominated to the local historic register. A public hearing on the nominations was held last month.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the former J. E. Aubry Wagon & Auto Works Building and the former Hunt-Mottet Warehouse, click on the following links: