City of Tacoma News: Tacoma City Council

Tacoma City Council
Study Session
Noon, Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Room 16
Tacoma Municipal Building North
728 St. Helens Ave.

Murray Morgan Bridge update
The City Council will be updated on the status of the Murray Morgan Bridge. Representatives from the Washington State Department of Transportation and the city’s Public Works Department will provide the council with an update of the bridge’s condition, the proposed closure and the environmental process required for the bridge project. The state transportation department owns the bridge. The council will also receive an overview of the Central Business District to Port Connection Study. The public may attend, but the council will not take comment.

Tacoma City Council
Regular Meeting
5 p.m., Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Council Chambers
Tacoma Municipal Building
747 Market St.

Shedding light on Tacoma’s streets
The contract with North Coast Electric Company will be in the spotlight when the City Council considers a proposal to boost the contract with the company from $83,000 to $343,000 to purchase new streetlight poles. By approving the additional funds, many of Tacoma’s streetlights-turned off earlier this year for safety reasons-will start lighting up people’s lives again. If approved, city staff will have authority to expedite the process for replacing the series streetlight circuits that are currently not operating. The council will take public comment before voting on the measure.

Revised utility rate format for BSIP
Utility bills are inevitable, but the switch to a new billing system will allow for even more accurate bills. The council will discuss whether to allow for revised utility rate formats to be compatible with the new billing software, part of the Business Systems Improvement Project to be implemented this fall. The rates will not increase after the changes in formats, but the method for calculating charges will improve. The city calculated wastewater rates, for example, by rounding up to the next highest number, whereas the new format will charge users the actual flow amount. The new system will also handle meter readings to the nearest cubic foot instead of the nearest hundred cubic feet. The council will take public comment on two measures that recommend changing the utility rate format and will vote at a later date.

Tahoma Salt Marsh contract
Will the URS Corporation get the thumbs up to start restoration work on the Tahoma Salt Marsh restoration project? The council will decide. The Lakewood-based company submitted the lowest of six bids for the project, coming in at more than $378,000 less than the highest bidder. URS will clean up and restore the Commencement Bay shore lands at the south end of Ruston Way. The company’s work will include excavating soil and importing clean material to create an intertidal channel and enhancement of the shoreline, removing invasive and non-native plant species and planting native trees and shrubs. If the council approves the contract, work on the Tahoma Salt Marsh will begin in the fall. Citizens may share their thoughts before the council votes.

This is an incomplete agenda for the Aug. 26, 2003, meeting of the City Council. The Index prints as much as space allows.