Thursday, March 10, 2016
By Pete Rose, City Administrator, Lake Forest Park
I. Intergovernmental and local issues update
• Meetings: The City Administrator attended the SCA Manager and Administrator meeting on March 2. The University LINK light rail station will open March 19 to Husky Stadium. The light rail from there to downtown Seattle will be an 8 minute ride. PSRC is planning an upcoming meeting on the UW campus to test the line. The opening will also feature a huge test of the integration strategy between Sound Transit and Metro Transit.
There was a brief legislative update at the same meeting. Final budget negotiations are underway. The houses are at cross purposes as to the use of the rainy day fund to assist in balancing the supplemental budget. City issues are once again taking a back seat to budget balancing. Stormwater grants and toxic clean-up are funded from the same tax on petroleum. There is a huge shortfall due to oil prices, and there is some wrangling over which program will receive the greater burden of the cuts. The public records legislation (reasonable hour limits) has died, but made it further than any other bill that would limit the reach of the PRA has ever made it. Police Body camera legislation is still moving and may pass.
II. Internal City Information:
Acting City Administrator: The City Administrator is off site to a major risk management training and Frank Zenk will be Acting City Administrator from March 4-9.
Long time Police Support Officer Jackson Beard has resigned to pursue a career in fire service. Beard was very instrumental in helping Police work through its staff shortage in 2015, and is a certified trainer in some officer skills, such as firearms qualification. The position is covered by Civil Service.
Both robberies that occurred last month in LFP have been solved. The same suspect committed both crimes. Witness and citizen information was critical in developing the leads resulting in the arrest and recovery of significant evidence. Another example of our partnership with the community.
The School zone camera on NE 178th is back on line.
|Passport services processed almost a thousand|
applications in two months
To date, the Lake Forest Park Passport Office has processed 948 passport applications and $32,000 in processing fees and photo revenue in just the first two months of 2016! We anticipate we will exceed the projected income revenue if this trend continues for the remainder of the year. In an effort to reduce the wait time during this rush for passport renewals, the City has hired five part-time passport agents from neighboring cities to meet the demand on Saturdays. Lake Forest Park Passport Office is one of two passport acceptance agencies open on Saturdays for passport applications. Passport Office hours are Monday and Friday, 12-5pm, and Saturdays, 10am-4pm.
One of the major driving forces behind this upswing in applications is the 10-year anniversary of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). WHTI first went into effect in 2007 requiring U.S. citizens to have passports to travel to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. In 2007, 18 million people applied for U.S. Passports, and many of them will choose to renew early in 2016 to avoid the rush and additional costs!
Metal art sculpture outside of City Hall was cleaned this week.
|Rodger Squirrell crafting a prototype |
of the original piece in front of City Hall.
Rodger Squirrell is a Lake Forest Park resident and artist. He won a competition for the development of a “signature piece of public art” for the City’s 50th Anniversary. Mr. Squirrell works in metal. His pieces range from small mushroom art that is in his garden to eight feet tall metal scriptures.
The piece for the City is a collection of five pentagon pillars of various heights that have a water motif. This gift from the Garden Tour will be located on the City property at the intersection of Ballinger and Bothell Way.
Additional shoulder work will be needed prior to the street overlay this year. Team members are preparing this year’s overlay roads. Street sweeping routes are under way and general shoulder cleanup is in progress.
Public Works has restocked all the First Aid kits throughout City Hall and Public Works Operations Facility as well as the city vehicles.
|Slope mowing and vegetation management is ramping up.|
The team is doing their best to keep on it with limited resources
Elevator, sprinkler and general security alarms have been recertified for the year by their respective companies. This includes the Sonitrol emergency panic buttons throughout the different departments.
Drainage culverts are being cleaned from this winter’s weather events as well as vactor service cleaning will happen later this year. The vactor service is cleaning the catch basin in certain zones and assists with water quality for our streams. This program is a proactive measure that also helps to meet the city’s required NPDES II permit activity.
Numerous street signs repaired throughout the city due to the wind events in the last several weeks.
Park maintenance is also beginning to ramp up with the trails, vegetation, drinking fountains, irrigation, garden areas, playground equipment inspections, asphalt trails, parking areas, lighting, and tennis court maintenance, etc.
III. Council Information: The upcoming PIC meeting at SCA will include a discussion of the ST3 process, which is of significant interest to Lake Forest Park.
Staff has reviewed the grant application provided by the Stewardship Foundation for the SPU surplus utility property (5 Acre Woods). This application will be submitted to Conservation Futures with a couple of procedural amendments to conform with City processes. It has been signaled to the leadership of the Stewardship Foundation that this is an agreement to apply, and that further deliberation and planning would be needed by the Council to consider accepting the property.
Shoreline 145th Preferred Option: Mayor Johnson, City Administrator and Councilmember Kassover attended the “reveal” for the corridor plan. The concept between Bothell Way and I-5 can be described as having some widening at the signalized intersections to improve transit access and enable queue jumps for the busses when the signal starts its green phase. There is limited widening for the four blocks between the signals, but a little to improve transit passage, sidewalks and a treed green strip. Bicycle corridors will be moved outside the 145th corridor. The Shoreline City Council will consider the proposal at its April 4 meeting. The Shoreline Council has proposed a joint meeting with the LFP Council on June 11.
Joint Meeting Proposed: The City of Kenmore has proposed a joint meeting with the LFP Council and Northshore Fire District Board on April 4, to discuss the emergency management coalition and several matters of joint interest, including SR 522 and ST3.
Legislative Steering Committee Update:
- State: The City’s request to transfer the $475,000 in the State Capital Budget from a park and ride to a corridor study has been included in the proposed House, Senate and Governor’s supplemental capital budgets. This is very encouraging news and it appears likely that the transfer will be included in the final capital budget. March 10th is the last day of the session. The Senate and the House are also working on a supplemental operating budget. The Senate’s proposed operating budget is traditionally not friendly to cities and includes eliminating the $2 million in funding for Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC). There are discussions of not passing a state supplemental operating budget but the Governor has indicated that he will call a special session to ensure a supplemental budget is passed. The only policy bill on the City’s legislative agenda that has not died is the police body camera bill related to public records. The bill is on the Senate floor but seems unlikely to pass this year.
- Federal: A new bill called the Green Stormwater Investment (GSI) Act has been introduced. It would codify a Green Stormwater Reserve Fund in the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund. This would establish a permanent 20% reserve within each state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund dedicated to projects with a green stormwater component and make funds available for operation and maintenance associated with projects. The GSI act would also prioritize projects that utilize GSI for competitive federal transportation grants and infrastructure grants. It would also extend the duration of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems Permits (NPDES) from five years to ten. City representatives are travelling to Washington D.C. on March 21 for meetings with the congressional delegation to discuss the City’s federal legislative agenda. Senate will not be in session during the meetings so the City representatives will meet with Senate staff. The House will be in session.