“Tacoma City Council Agenda News for Tuesday, February 29, 2000″

“Tacoma City CouncilStudy SessionNoon, Tuesday February 29Room 16, Municipal Bldg. N.728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaCity-School Board SessionThe City Council and the Tacoma School Board will meet for a joint study session to look at issues and programs aimed at improving the lives of kids in Tacoma. Topics include ways to increase the percentage of Tacoma high school graduates who go on to attend college, after school activities, and the Tacoma Police Department’s truancy program.Tacoma City CouncilCouncil Meeting5 p.m., Tuesday February 29Room 16, Municipal Bldg. N.728 St. Helens AvenueTacomaSystem AssessmentThe Council will take public testimony and vote on hiring Pacific Technologies, Inc., to assess the City’s needs in utility customer billing, financial management, human resources and work management computer systems.If the Council approves the $400,000 contract, PTI will search for a cost-effective way to replace the City’s hardware and software systems to provide faster work times, reduced cost and better customer service. System changes would take place in the 2001-2002 biennium.Public Art FundingPublic art could get a new funding source under an ordinance up for public comment. The ordinance would create a Municipal Art Fund for financing art in public locations in Tacoma.Public works projects such as buildings, parks, sidewalks or bridges, would contribute 1 percent of the construction cost to the art fund. Each biennium an ad hoc committee of citizens, client departments and members of the Tacoma Arts Commission would review the City’s six-year street plan, the capital projects budget and the Capital Improvements Projects list, and recommend which of these public works projects should receive arts funding.The Municipal Art Program would give priority to projects that are visible, usable and accessible by the public. Downtown BIA LevyOver 300 downtown property owners will have the opportunity to speak about the Business Improvement Area fund for security, cleanup and marketing during a public hearing.The BIA is an 84-block area in downtown Tacoma. An assessment is collected on properties for services such as private security patrols, sidewalk cleanup, lighting and graffiti removal. Assessments can range from less than $20 for an unimproved piece of property to over $20,000 for an office building.Citizens can also comment on the BIA’s budget of $515,935 and its business plan. The Council is expected to take action on the fund at a later date.New Narrows BridgeConstruction projects that cross over city boundaries and require land use permits from the City of Tacoma and another governmental jurisdiction would require only one hearing under a proposal up for public comment. The proposal would transfer responsibility for the permit from the Land Use Administrator to the City’s Hearing Examiner, who would host a joint hearing with the neighboring jurisdiction’s Hearing Examiner.The types of permits this change would impact include shoreline, wetland, special/conditional use, temporary use permits as well as land use permits such as variances, waivers and exceptions now in the jurisdiction of the Land Use Administrator.Projects like the second Narrows Bridge would benefit. The Council plans to address the issue at its March 7 meeting.”