Kenmore creating a Public Works department - no more contract with LFP

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Kenmore City Hall
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
From the City of Kenmore

Effective January 1, 2019, the City of Kenmore city staff will begin providing Public Works operations services in-house.

The City of Kenmore currently partners with Lake Forest Park to provide Public Works service, a contractual agreement that has been in place since 2001.

As a new city, this partnership was beneficial and cost-effective. As our city has grown and workloads have changed, we have outgrown the partnership.

Providing excellent service and meeting our community public works needs is a top priority for city leadership and city staff. Moving services in-house gives us more local control over work order prioritization, and in-house staff can be more flexible and responsive to community needs. After careful study, we believe we can provide these services for the same or less cost, especially over the long term.

This transition will require hiring several new public works employees who will start in late November or early December. The new employees will be funded by the savings that result from no longer contracting with Lake Forest Park. We also need to purchase equipment and find a permanent 1.5 to 2-acre site for a permanent Public Works/Parks shop and yard.

Interim public works facilities will be located at the ½ acre old Shell property at the northwest corner of SR 522 and 67th Ave NE. This property has been owned by the City since 2013, and the city will need the entire property for its public works operations. Espresso Works drive-through is currently occupying part of this property under a 1-year temporary lease. City Council approved a 1-year temporary lease starting in November 2014. Espresso Works moved to the location and applied for a building permit in June 2015.

The Espresso Works 1-year temporary use lease was extended for an additional year in November 2016 and again in November 2017. Their current lease expires in November 2018 and we have mutually agreed to extend it again until December 31, 2018, at which time Espresso Works will no longer reside on the property.

The zoning code does not allow for drive-through uses on the old Shell property. To accommodate Espresso Works, since 2014 the City Council has approved several one-year temporary use permits to allow Espresso Works to operate its drive-through on the site in parallel with the one-year lease and subsequent one-year extensions.

Public Works is currently in the process of requesting a temporary use permit to utilize this space, and this should happen in the next few weeks. Once approved, fencing will go up around the property and there will no longer be space available for parking. In addition to the property on SR 522, we’ll also be using the back side of the Post Office building at 6700 NE 181st St (another city-owned building) for indoor storage and working space for maintenance workers.

As we make this transition, we want to thank the Lake Forest Park staff who have worked alongside us for many years; we appreciate their support and professionalism. 
Even though our contractual public works relationship has changed, the City of Kenmore and City of Lake Forest Park will continue to collaborate and share information on regional issues, community events, incidents, and programs to benefit both our communities.


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