City of Tacoma News: Tacoma City Council

Tacoma City Council
Study Session
Noon, Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Room 16
Tacoma Municipal Building North
728 St. Helens Ave.

BSIP project summary
As the Business Systems Improvement Project (BSIP) comes to a close on Dec. 31, Director Karen Larkin will deliver a project summary to the Tacoma City Council and the Tacoma Public Utilities Board at a Dec. 9 joint study session. The wrap-up will include system performance, issues resolved and continuing, project budget and timeline, as well as system value measures. The public may attend, but the council will not take comment. CityPost – Channel 77 on Comcast, Channel 85 on Click! – will air the audio portion of the study session live.

Tacoma City Council
Regular Meeting
5 p.m., Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Council Chambers
Tacoma Municipal Building
747 Market St.

Mid-biennium budget modifications
An ordinance to adjust the revenues and expenditures for the 2003-2004 operating budget is on the agenda. At a Dec. 2 public hearing, city staff introduced recommendations for correcting a $2.7 million mid-biennium budget shortfall. The recommendations were developed to minimize the direct impact to citizens and the communities that use city services.
While there are a number of alternative funding options that will help support the general fund, the bulk of the funding gap ($2.1 million) will be closed by program and service reductions, many of which are related one-time savings from unfilled positions during the current year (2003). Other reductions affect items such as employee travel and training, business support services, hanging baskets and ornamental pools, records management, right-of-way permits, tax compliance audits and other programs.
Public comment will be taken (also Dec. 16). The council plans to vote on the ordinance at its meeting Dec. 16.

Leave pay for active duty
A new ordinance, if passed, will give paid leave to city employees called to active duty as a member of the armed forces or organized reserve. Amending the Compensation Plan as of Jan. 1, 2004, the ordinance would continue all employee medical, retirement and other benefits during the length of the involuntary military service and/or deployment. The goal of the ordinance is to lessen the financial impact on employees who currently experience a drastic drop in benefits and earnings when called to active duty. This would apply to every officer and employee of the City who is a member of the Washington National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marine Corps Reserve who receives written orders for active duty for more than 15 days. Public comment will be taken (also Dec. 16). The council plans to vote on the ordinance at the Dec. 16 meeting.

Commercial cardboard recycling fee
To meet the high demand for commercial cardboard recycling in Tacoma, the City Council will discuss implementing a monthly collection fee for cardboard recycling service. About 125 businesses use the currently free service, but more than 240 businesses are on a waiting list. In order to serve more customers, Solid Waste Management needs to increase staffing levels. The proposed ordinance would charge a nominal $20 monthly fee covering the costs of basic, every-other-week service, with a proposed $10 charge for each additional pick up. Other commercial cardboard recyclers in the area charge higher fees. If approved, the fee will take affect immediately for new customers. For current customers, the fee will take affect in March 2004. The council will take public comment (also at the Dec. 16 meeting) before voting on the proposed rate creation at the Dec. 16 meeting.

This is an incomplete agenda for this week’s City Council meeting. The Index prints as much as space allows.