City of Tacoma News: Tacoma City Council

See what issues your City Council is tackling this week at its study session and regular meeting.

Tacoma City Council
Study Session
Noon, Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Room 16
Tacoma Municipal Building North
728 St. Helens

Fire dept. nightclub, BLS update
How can the city help prevent tragedy like the one that occurred in a Rhode Island nightclub Feb. 20? The Tacoma Fire Department will address that issue with the City Council. Fire Department staff members have inspected nightclubs in Tacoma and will make preliminary recommendations for the council to consider.

The second part of the council study session will focus on the Basic Life Support transport pilot project conducted by the fire department. The fire department conducted a six-month test of the feasibility of providing basic life support transport services in lieu of private ambulance services. The fire department will report the results of the pilot to the council.

The public may attend the study session, but the council will not take comment.

Tacoma City Council
Regular Meeting
5 p.m., Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Council Chambers
Tacoma Municipal Building
747 Market St.

MOG, Convention Center deal
If the City Council approves a 15-year agreement between the Museum of Glass and the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, $315,000 will give the city access to the Museum’s Hot Shop and Theatre for up to four events per venue each year, along with loaned artwork for the Convention Center from the Hot Shop Visiting Artist program. The Hot Shop and Theatre would be available for city use, or for visitors booked at the Convention Center. Museum staff would choose the artwork for the Convention Center, maintain it monthly and replace the display yearly. The council will vote on the resolution, following comments from citizens in attendance.

Homebuying assistance could grow
First-time homebuyers may get even more of a helping hand if the council approves a proposal to double the down payment assistance amount and increase the areas in Tacoma that qualify for funding. The proposal would loan low-income, first-time homebuyers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance to help purchase a home in the South End, South Tacoma and Central neighborhoods. Currently, the Down Payment Assistance program is only available in the Hilltop and Eastside neighborhoods and loans up to $5,000. Since its inception in 1992, the Down Payment Assistance program has helped more than 500 low-income families purchase homes.

Land title for Foss development
A piece of property owned by the city for the last century may soon find itself in the hands of the Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA). The City Council will decide the fate of the property. At the time of acquiring the 17,000 square-foot parcel, the previous owners, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, stipulated that the city must use it as a street right-of-way. The city purchased the land for $26,000 nearly three years ago. If the council votes to convey the title to the FWDA, the property will become part of two development sites along the Foss Waterway.

Juvenile curfew code clarification
When the City of Sumner received a state Supreme Court judgment invalidating its juvenile curfew ordinance, the City of Tacoma realized it needed to clean up its own code. The City Council will review proposed amendments to Tacoma’s juvenile curfew ordinance which address the elements of Sumner’s code found indefensible-ensuring Tacoma’s ordinance will not be vulnerable to legal challenge. Some of the proposed amendments include defining the terms “errand” and “remain,” as they relate to juveniles out on Tacoma’s streets between midnight and 6 a.m. The council will take public comment on the measure and will vote at a later date.

Dude, no boarding in downtown
Skateboarders who want to get big air may have to do it somewhere other than downtown Tacoma. The City Council will consider a proposal to prohibit skateboarding in the downtown area, including around the County-City Building, Tacoma Dome, LINK Light Rail and the Thea Foss Waterway esplanade area. The council also will consider a proposal to prohibit bicycle riding on the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Grand Stair and plaza connecting the Bridge of Glass to the Thea Foss esplanade. The city has proposed the restrictions to ensure safety in public areas frequented by event-goers and tourists. The council will take public comment on the ordinance and will vote at a later date.

DNR to cash out Superfund liability
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will settle its Superfund claims for sediment contamination in the Thea Foss Waterway with the City of Tacoma, if the City Council approves a Settlement Agreement on. The agreement calls for DNR to make three cash payments to resolve its Superfund liability, which could total as much as $3.7 million between now and 2005, if the Legislature appropriates the full amount. The money will be distributed to the city, Puget Sound Energy, PacifiCorp and Advance Ross Sub Company under a previously adopted Memorandum of Understanding. The city will receive $542,500 of DNR’s first cash payment, due shortly after DNR signs its Consent Decree with the Environmental Protection Agency. The city also stands to receive another $542,000 from the DNR Settlement Agreement in 2005, subject to legislative appropriation. The city may receive less money if DNR provides sediments at no cost from state-owned aquatic lands for use in the cleanup. The Settlement Agreement also requires that DNR provide access to state-owned aquatic lands in the Foss Waterway for the cleanup work and allow the city to augment and reuse sediments on the Puyallup River delta if needed.

“Wired City” campaign a winner
The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) gave an award to the City of Tacoma this week for its Wired City advertising campaign. The campaign, which began in 2002 and will run through 2003, aims to direct the attention of Puget Sound-area businesses toward Tacoma’s outstanding business climate and new opportunities created by the city’s burgeoning development. AWC received 90-plus award entries this year and gave the Wired City ad campaign their “runner up” award. AWC honored the City of Tacoma and other award winners at a special luncheon on June 19 in Spokane.

Miller named vice president of AWC
The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) named Tacoma City Council Member Doug Miller vice president of its Board of Directors June 20.

Public hearing: Lake Kapowsin land
The Department of Fish and Wildlife has requested an easement to use a portion of property owned by Tacoma Water at Lake Kapowsin. If the city does not surplus the land and allow the easement, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will not be able to provide the public recreational use and access to the lake. If the city approves the surplus and easement, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will improve the property by upgrading the existing boat launch and constructing a handicapped-accessible boat launch, fishing pier and loading dock.

Note: The June 24 County Council meeting has been cancelled.

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