City Hall News: Foss Waterway children’s park, strategic plan update, and Tacoma Dome Wi-Fi

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

On Tuesday, Tacoma City Council’s Economic Development Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss job training programs offered by Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region. Also on Tuesday, Tacoma City Council will hold its regular weekly study session at noon to discuss the City of Tacoma’s Strategic Plan and Visioning process. Finally on Tuesday, Tacoma City Council will hold its regular weekly council meeting at 5 p.m. to vote on a variety of issues.

On Wednesday, Tacoma City Council’s Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee will meet at 4:30 p.m. to discuss a range of issues.

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

3 GRANT APPLICATIONS: FOSS WATERWAY CHILDREN’S PARK, PRAIRIE LINE TRAIL, STEVENS/TYLER BIKE LANES

Three grants totaling just over $700,000 could help pay for a range of recreational amenities throughout Tacoma.

First, the Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA) has asked the City of Tacoma to submit a grant request to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office to help pay for a children’s play area at a park near 21st Street and Dock Street. According to City staff, the $60,000 funding request would be matched by The Henry Group, a private developer currently constructing a 161-unit, $32 million apartment building nearby. Although the park is City-owned, no capital, maintenance, or other City expenditures are being asked for the project. The Henry Group is providing half the cost of the project and the FWDA is contributing additional funds. There is no City match for the $60,000 grant request.

Second, the City of Tacoma is poised to submit a $400,000 grant request to the Washington State Historical Society to develop the Prairie Line Trail historic interpretation plan, which would install interpretive maps, public art, and informational displays on City-owned segments of the trail. The two-to-one match requirement tied to the grant will be met through use of Prairie Line Trail grant funds previously awarded to the City. Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution authorizing City staff to submit the grant application during its meeting on Tues., May 13, 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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Finally, the City of Tacoma is seeking a $252,000 grant to help pay for a project that would connect the Stevens Street / Tyler Street bike lanes. According to City staff, the grant would pay for traffic analysis and preliminary engineering for the connection from South Wright to South 6th, and from North 37th Street to North 46th Street. Bike lane improvements would also be made on South 66th Street from Tyler Street to the Water Ditch Trail, allowing cyclists to travel more safely to the STAR Center, Gray Middle School, and the South End Recreation Area. The funding would also help pay for the engineering costs associated with pedestrian improvements at three busy and well-traveled intersections along Stevens Street at South 19th Street, South 12th Street, and South 6th. The City would need to provide $30,000 in matching funds if the grant is awarded.

STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE

Tacoma City Council is scheduled next week to be briefed on the Citywide Strategic Plan and Visioning process, which aims to create a long-term, comprehensive strategic plan that will align with Tacoma City Council’s five policy priorities, establish the City’s long-term vision for Tacoma, and guide decision-making and resource allocation. According to City staff, the goal is to make Tacoma a leader in providing high-quality services for its residents, and offer an enjoyable and sustainable quality of life. The City has created a Citywide Strategic Plan Steering Committee tasked with guiding the engagement and implementation process, and advising Tacoma City Council and other community stakeholders on the developments and milestone progression.

City staff and BDS Planning and Urban Design, a consultant hired to facilitate the process, will provide an update on the process during Tacoma City Council’s study session on Tues., May 13, at 12 p.m., at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 733 Market St., Conference Room 16, in downtown Tacoma. A copy of the agenda is available online here.

GOODWILL JOB TRAINING PRESENTATION

Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region Workforce Development Director Richard Corak will be at City Hall Tuesday morning to share information about the organization’s range of job training programs, which offer opportunities for people who are at least 16 years of age to learn a wide variety of skills, from construction to retail, and also provide money management and computer training. Goodwill also participates in “Operation: GoodJobs,” a program aimed at helping post-9/11 veterans, their spouses, and dependents transition from military life to successful civilian life. Corak will share this information during Tacoma City Council’s Economic Development Committee meeting on Tues., May 13, at 10 a.m., at Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Conference Room 248, in downtown Tacoma. A copy of the agenda is available online here.

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TACOMA DOME, CONVENTION CENTER WI-FI CONTRACT

The City of Tacoma is accepting proposals for a project that would improve wireless Internet service at the Tacoma Dome and the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. According to bid documents, the contract would provide distributed antenna system and Wi-Fi infrastructure, as well as managed network services, for both City-owned facilities. A pre-bid meeting and walk-through will be held at 9 a.m. on Weds., May 28, at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, located at 1500 Broadway, in downtown Tacoma. The bid deadline expires at 11 a.m. on Tues., June 17. A contract is tentatively expected to be awarded by the end of this year. Work on the project would begin in January 2015. More information is available online here.

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MCNEIL ISLAND RADIO COMMUNICATIONS BUILDING AGREEMENT

Looking ahead, the City of Tacoma could enter into a five-year agreement with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for use of the radio communications building and tower located at McNeil Island in exchange for the City of Tacoma’s surplus of radio communication equipment. Tacoma City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on a resolution to authorize the agreement during its meeting on Tues., May 20, at 5 p.m., at Tacoma City Hall, 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma.