Category Archives: Surface Water Pipes

Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 6/25/2019

“In space travel,” repeated Slartibartfast, “all the numbers are awful.”
–Douglas Adams, “Life, the Universe, and Everything”

An awful lot of numbers were proffered this meeting regarding two major decisions before the Council: How much money should we borrow through our bond ordinance?; What technology will we use to make necessary upgrades to City servers? First, however, Sarah Sidman, the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Communications from the ArtsFund organization, presented the results of a recent study on the social impacts of the arts.

ArtsFund is a non-profit organization dedicated to support of the arts in the Puget Sound region. Having seen the presentation in Seattle, John (Councilmember) and Lisa Steckler arranged to bring it to Mill Creek. A healthy crowd turned up specifically to listen to the PowerPoint presentation.

An interesting paradox is that a large majority of people feel that art has a big impact on them, but very few believe that it similarly influences the community. However, research shows that art programs improve education outcomes, contribute to well-being, and enrich the vitality of communities. This is on top of the financial benefits from tapping into a 2.4 billion dollar segment of Washington’s economy.

These are some of the many reasons I support Councilperson Steckler’s vision of building a Performing Arts Center in Mill Creek, as part of the development of the city-owned Dobson-Remillard-Cook Properties. A performance space for our students, dance, theatrical and musical groups is one of the very few important things that Mill Creek lacks.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 6/25/2019”

Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 6/11/2019

Audience Communication was star-studded at this meeting, we heard from Chuck Wright, columnist for the Mill Creek Beacon, and Rep. John Lovick, speaker pro tem and representative of the 44th district in the Washington House of Representatives. Mr. Wright spoke in favor of this year’s Memorial Day Parade, saying he found it very respectful. He mentioned that there are some arguments in favor of changing to a Memorial Day service, and a parade on Armed Forces Day, but that he has been assured we will not do so. Rep. Lovick expressed admiration and gratitude for the Council’s ongoing work, and specifically praised the management of construction on 35th.

Moving on to New Business, both items related to the extensive repairs that must be done on Mill Creek’s surface water infrastructure. This project has actually been discussed in prior meetings (3/12/2019, 4/23/2019, 5/14/2019), but the specific votes to be taken qualified as “new business.”

First, Public Works Director Gina Hortillosa and Finance Director Peggy Lauerman gave an update on the project costs of pipe repairs. Where the previous conversations have been about planning and estimations, this discussion was a foray into execution and actual costs. The biggest change from the original budget comes from the surprisingly high bid for work that was approved at the May 15 meeting. A cash flow analysis projecting out to 2026 shows that, without intervention, our capital improvement reserves will drop below a safe amount. Options to increase revenue or redistribute funds will be evaluated as the project unfolds.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 6/11/2019”

Mill Creek City Council Meeting 5/14/19

The majority of the time at the May 14th City Council meeting was spent on two very complicated and difficult decisions: Creating a safer Mid-Block crossing and whether to accept a contract bid for making repairs to our surface water infrastructure. Both situations involve big money, and significant risk.

On SR 96/132nd Street, west of 35th, there is a point where there have been multiple incidents of cars striking people. The reason for this is a residential area on one side, and commercial on the other, where it would require several hundred yards of walking to reach an established crosswalk. Therefore, it has become common practice, one most people admit they would be prone to, to cross mid-block. Generally, one-lane is crossed at a time, with a stop at the median.

Unfortunately, we learned in Audience Communication that the median is far from safe. A young woman and her family came and shared their personal story of tragedy. The teen had been standing in the median when a truck came on to it, knocked her off, where she was then hit by another car. Her grandfather spoke, describing the problem with the lack of official crosswalk, and read his granddaughter’s account of her experience. The chamber fell absolutely silent as her mother spoke about the experience of learning that her child had been struck.

The family acknowledged how lucky they had been that she survived, and offered a plea on behalf of those who might not be, in the future.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting 5/14/19”

Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 4/23/2019

Three presentations were on the agenda this meeting, beginning with an update on Community Transit projects, presented by CEO Emmett Health, and June DeVoll, Manager of Regional Programs and Projects. One happy note was that, at the last update, plans were discussed for the Swift Green Line, which opened recently to great celebration. Upcoming, there are extensive plans for capital expansion projects to create a high-capacity integrated transportation network. I’m sure we all join Community Transit in hoping that traffic issues can be greatly improved by multiple approaches to smoother transportation in the region. Detailed information about the organization’s plans through 2030 are available here.

Next, in celebration of National Volunteer Week, members of several groups were recognized. Kristen Rasmussen presented, giving an overview of each organization, and introducing every member in attendance. Groups recognized were: the Art and Beautification Board; the Civil Service Commission; the Communication and Marketing Event Volunteers; the Design Review Board; the Park and Recreation Board; the Planning Commission; the Mill Creek Police Outreach Volunteers, and the Youth Advisory Board. As a contributor to MCPD support, and graduate of the Citizen’s Academy, I was pleased to be included.

Members of the Citizen’s Patrol were sworn in by Chief Greg Elwin, who gave an overview of the Patrol’s activities and history. This group is a special subset of the police volunteers who go through additional training and receive a limited commission that empowers them to respond to citizen’s issues such as vacation checks, lock outs, traffic control, parking issues, and other low-risk needs.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 4/23/2019”

Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 3/12/19

The meeting got started with Audience Communication, where Wil Nelson addressed the Council in opposition to The Farm. This was followed by the heart-warming presentation of a ceremonial plank from the USS Ralph Johnson. Several members of the Navy came to make the presentation, as part of a community outreach program where a ship develops connections to local organizations. The mayor read a related proclamation affirming the bonds and declaring the sailors of the USS Ralph Johnson honorary members of the Mill Creek community.

Brook Knight, CEO of the Northshore Senior Center, made a presentation generally describing the services they offer. With locations in Bothell, Mill Creek, and Kenmore, Northshore is one of the largest and most respected senior centers in the country. The center’s primary values are to be welcoming, holistic, collaborative, and impactful. Employees and around 500 volunteers offers many classes and other services to seniors, disabled people and caregivers.

These services are important due to the damages to seniors, 28% of whom live alone, of social isolation. Activities help promote cognitive abilities, mental and physical health. Another important service is helping the 60% of seniors who are low income manage financial difficulties, including with rent, food, equipment and accessing public services.

Goals for 2019 and beyond include increasing transportation assistance, additional clinical services, as well as expanded classes, outreach and community partnerships.

In New Business, Peggy Lauerman, Director of Finance & Administration, presented a motion that will make it possible for the City to pay for surface water expenses, and reimburse itself with future tax-exempt bonds.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 3/12/19”