Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 7/2/2019

We started this meeting with what hopes to be good news for the City, regarding the proposed 135th street mid-block crossing. Council had previously expressed the concern that the county should be contributing to the project, as the apartment dwellers primarily affected are outside Mill Creek’s border. Tonight, City Manager Michael Ciaravino asked that the issue be delayed until a future meeting, to give time to continue promising conversations with Terry Ryan about burden sharing. Mayor Pruitt asked if anyone had objections, and hearing none, the matter was set aside for the night.

As promised last week, we returned to the issue of updating Mill Creek’s server infrastructure. While the Agenda Summary included a recommendation to approve contract spending, but Mayor Pruitt clarified with Ciaravino at the beginning of the conversation that no action was going to be taken at the time. The council was given the opportunity to choose from hearing just new information, or hearing the full presentation, as Pam Pruitt and Mike Todd had been at a conference during the previous meeting. The City Manager gently encouraged the full presentation, but the Council opted to just hear the updates.

Mill Creek currently operates two physical, and fourteen virtual servers. Forty-two percent of the City’s business is conducted on local networks, and the rest is spread among cloud-based software solutions. The two options under consideration are a hyper-converged infrastructure or the Microsoft Azure Cloud Infrastructure.

A big update from last week was a correction to the estimates previously made by the Microsoft Azure representative. This brought the three-year cost estimates for that option down by roughly $100k to $160k. The hyper-converged option, utilizing service-provider Nutanix, will cost less than $66k over three years. Additionally, the equipment to be purchased will probably have a useful life beyond that time frame. As such, that option is almost certainly the one that we will move forward with, even though no final action was taken at the time. For more information, you can take a look at the Agenda Summary.

The next item was a proposed interlocal agreement with Snohomish County to update Heron Park. At 27 years old, the playground equipment is wearing out, and the shelter/restroom building needs a new roof and paint job. The proposal is to install a metal roof, LED lighting, and all new play features. The City budget includes $300,000 for the project, this agreement will contribute another $150,000. Construction is anticipated for 2020, at an estimated cost of $410,000.

The first area of questions from the council, led by Holtzclaw and joined by Todd, were regarding the mechanism for getting getting money from the county. Because we are receiving the funds on the condition that they are used for play equipment, and due to some language in the agreement about invoicing, Director Hortillosa was exhorted to careful with details.

Next, I was pleased when Mayor Pruitt asked if we might consider including an accessible swing. The inclusion of disabled members of the community should be part of every council decision. Hortillosa responded that, while a swing specifically might not be the right fit, we can look into various types of accessible features. Vince Cavaleri suggested that creating accessibility might give us access to additional grant funds.

The discussion ended with a few short points. Pruitt is concerned that the equipment will be more expensive than we expect, and wants to make sure we get things that are durable. Todd wants certain ambiguities cleared up before the final signing. He also brought up the need to collaborate with Parkside on the design. The neighborhood apparently does not want a metal roof, and Hortillosa stated that conversations are already happening. The agreement was unanimously approved.

Finally, after retiring to Executive Session to consider a purchase of property, the council came back and approved a resolution for consideration of purchase of land, with a six month window for due diligence. The acreage is contiguous to property already owned by the city, the development of which is on this year’s council To Do list.

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