City Hall News: McMenamin’s BIA Expansion, Knights of Pythias turns 150 and Enviro Services strategic plan

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 and council meeting. Tacoma City Council’s Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday afternoon.

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

EXPANDING BIA TO INCLUDE MCMENAMIN’S

Downtown Tacoma’s Business Improvement Area (BIA) could soon include the future McMenamin’s Elks Lodge brewery and hotel.

The BIA was created 26 years ago to provide maintenance, security, and streetscape improvements paid for by property owners within the BIA boundaries. Today, the BIA encompasses an 84-block area of Tacoma that roughly stretches north to south from South Seventh to South 21st Streets, and east to west from Cliff Street to Court D.

Washington State law allows the BIA footprint to be expanded, but only after more than 50 per cent of property owners within the proposed area of expansion show their support, and after a public hearing is scheduled.

According to City of Tacoma staff, McMenamin’s, which owns four parcels of land (most notably, the former Elks Lodge at 565 Broadway) within the proposed expansion area, has asked to participate in the downtown Tacoma BIA.

Councilmembers are scheduled to vote on a resolution on Tues., Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. at Tacoma City Hall, located at 747 Market St., First Floor, in downtown Tacoma that would set Tues., March 18, as the date for a public hearing to consider changing the boundaries. The council meeting next week will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and online at tvtacoma.com.

Meeting materials and supporting documents are available here and here and here.

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TACOMA’S KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS TURNS 150

Tacoma City Council is expected to formally recognize the 150th anniversary of Tacoma’s Knights of Pythias during a city council meeting on Tues., Feb. 25. The Tacoma Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, located at 926 Broadway, was built in 1906 by prominent local architect Frederick Heath. It is listed on Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.

Seven years ago, Historic Tacoma and the Knights of Pythias were awarded two grants — $1,000 from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation’s Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund, and $2,000 from the Colonial Dames of Washington (the Knights of Pythias provided $3,000 in matching funds) — to complete restoration work on the organization’s historic building. The Knights of Pythias aim to promote friendship, benevolence, and charity through their community service and charitable works.

Three years ago, Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission honored the Knights of Pythias with an award for outstanding achievement in historic preservation for the group’s work renovating its original windows and neon sign, adaptively re-using its retail space, and hosting historic preservation meetings and workshops in the building.

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TACOMA AREA COMMISSION ON DISABILITIES APPOINTMENTS

Appointments and re-appointments to the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities are expected to be finalized next week.

The 11-member commission advises city councilmembers in policy-making, and partners with the community to bring awareness of issues that affect individuals with disabilities. Commission members also participate on committees, help educate the public about disability issues, and serve as a resource for City of Tacoma staff. According to City of Tacoma staff, commission terms have become aligned such that more than one-half of commission member terms will expire in the same year. Also, there are currently three vacant positions on the commission (one expired term and two three-year terms).

Last month, Tacoma City Council’s Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee asked City staff to realign the expiration terms to ensure a staggered rotation of commission members. The council committee also interviewed applicants and recommended the appointment and re-appointment of 11 individuals to the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities.

If Tacoma City Council adopts a resolution on Tues., Feb. 25, Esther Bennett would be re-appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2015; Luke Byram would be appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2015; Susan Dye would be re-appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2016; JoAnn Fritsche would be re-appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2017; Todd Holloway would be appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2015; Donald Izenman would be re-appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2015; Roxanne Miles would be re-appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2016; Krystal Monteros would be appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2017; Linda Moran would be appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2017; Gerrit Nyland would be re-appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2016; and Gary Peterson would be appointed to a term to expire on Aug. 31, 2016.

More information is available here and here.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES STRATEGIC PLAN

Councilmembers are scheduled to meet Tuesday at City Hall to hear from City of Tacoma Environmental Services Department staff on the department’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, which emphasizes the department’s vision, mission, and values, as well as its goals and objectives, while addressing the increasingly complex environmental issues in Tacoma. The plan is also designed to align with Tacoma City Council’s strategic direction and the goals of Tacoma’s City Manager. The study session will be held on Tues., Feb. 25, at 12 p.m., at Tacoma City Hall, 733 Market St., Room 16, in downtown Tacoma.

A copy of the agenda is available online here.

CITY SEEKS BIDS TO SECURE DAMAGED BUILDINGS

Finally, the City of Tacoma announced this week it is accepting bids from select contractors interested in assisting the Tacoma Fire Department, Tacoma Police Department, and Neighborhood and Community Services Department by providing materials, supplies, and labor to secure buildings damaged by vandalism, burglaries, and other emergencies. The City will hold a pre-bid meeting on Thurs., Feb. 27, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at 747 Market St., Room 148, in downtown Tacoma for Small Works Roster contractors notified directly by the City of Tacoma. The project budget is $60,000. Bids will be received until 11 a.m. on Thurs., March 6, 2014. More information about the project is available online here.