City of Tacoma News: Tacoma City Council

Here's some of what's planned for this week's City Council study session and regular meeting.

Tacoma City Council
Study Session
Noon, Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Room 16
Tacoma Municipal Building North
728 St. Helens Ave.

Charter Review process update
The City Council will hear an update on the work of the Tacoma Charter Review Committee. The public may attend, but the Council will not take public comment. CityPost – Channel 85 on Click! and Channel 77 on Comcast – will air the audio portion of the study session live.

Tacoma City Council
Regular Meeting
5 p.m., Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Council Chambers
Tacoma Municipal Building
747 Market St.

Train to mountain track upgrades
The train to the mountain project may get a big boost if the council decides to authorize a $2.1 million grant agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation. The funds would pay for upgrades along a 64-mile stretch of the Mountain Division line between Tacoma and Morton, in Lewis County. The freight assistance grant would help to pay for track and bridge rehabilitation, track construction and improvements to loading facilities. For the project, the city also would need to provide $440,000 from its Capital Improvements-Real Estate Excise Tax Fund for engineering, inspection, environmental studies and contract administration. The council will take public comment on the proposed ordinance and expects to vote March 30.

New pay phone service provider
The city may transfer its franchise agreement for pay phone services from Horner Telecommunications Company, LLC (HTC) to Communications Management Services, LLC (CMS) if the City Council approves a resolution. The franchise transfer would give CMS the rights to provide pay phone services in the City’s rights-of-way. CMS has reached an agreement with HTC to buy its equipment in public rights-of-way. CMS now wants to take over the franchise, but needs Council approval. CMS isn’t seeking any changes to the terms and conditions of the existing agreement. The city’s original franchise agreement with HTC began in September 2000.

Reduced pet license fees for disabled
On Feb. 17, the City Council approved an ordinance that increased Tacoma’s pet license fees to match Pierce County fees. The council is scheduled to vote on reducing pet license fees for individuals with a permanent disability. The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County provides domestic animal control services to Tacoma. If approved, the new fees would give individuals with permanent disabilities the same discount as senior adults. The proposed fees are: altered cats, $5;altered dogs, $10; and unaltered dogs or cats, $30.

Chinese Reconciliation Park
The council may execute a $540,375 contract with the State of Washington Department of Community Trade and Economic Develop for the Chinese Reconciliation Park project. The proposed park is located on Ruston Way just east of, and adjacent to, Jack Hyde Park. The state funds would be used to construct a seawall, enhance the beach and complete other park improvements. The city would provide an additional $350,000 for the project. The city officially expressed its support for the proposed park as a means to reconcile the Tacoma Chinese expulsion and promote cultural diversity and harmony when it passed a resolution in October, 1993. The park is now in the design phase, and the execution of the state contract will allow the first phase of construction to begin. The city invested $70,000 for schematic design in 1998 and $403,393 for park design in 2001. The council will take public comment before voting on the resolution.

This is an incomplete agenda. The Index prints as much as space allows.

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