- November 4, 2010
- Members of the City Council
City of Tacoma, Washington
Dear Council Members:
1. Please mark your calendars for the upcoming Council Budget Workshops. All the workshops will be held in the Council Chambers so they can be televised live on TV Tacoma.
Tuesday, November 9th, 9:00 -11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, November 16th, 9:00 -11:00 a.m.
Thursday, November 18th, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 23rd, 9:00 -11:00 a.m.
2. Don’t forget that City offices will be closed on Thursday, November 11th, in honor of Veterans Day. Next week’s agenda packets and weekly report will be delivered to you on Wednesday, November 10th.
TOPICS OF INTEREST
3. The City of Tacoma has a contract with Land Recovery Inc. (LRI) for disposal of municipal solid waste at LRI’s landfill facility in Graham through 2020. Recently, the City began diverting a portion of its solid waste stream for disposal at the Tacoma landfill, which is allowed by the contract but results in lost revenue for LRI. This diversion is being performed to fill and “close” the last disposal area at the landfill (also known as the Central Area). The City has a Consent Decree obligation to close the Central Area in two phases.
The first phase must be completed by the end of 2011.
Recently, LRI contacted the Public Works Department to explore amending the contract so LRI can sell and deliver soil to use as fill in the Central Area. The Public Works Department, in concurrence with the City Attorney’s recommendation, considered LRI’s proposal and decided against pursuing an amendment based on an evaluation of the following considerations:
1) receiving soils from LRI does not fall within the scope of the original contract;
2) it is unclear whether delivering soils for use as fill in the Central Area is a solid waste disposal activity, or a “service” subject to competitive bidding under state law; and,
3) any legal challenge to the amendment could cause the City to miss its closure deadlines for the Central Area.
4. At Tuesday’s Council meeting, there will be a public hearing on the 2011-2016 Capital Facilities Program, which is the implementing strategy of the Capital Facilities Element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The program is both a planning document that prioritizes the capital improvement projects over the next six years and a plan for funding those improvements. A copy of a memorandum from Finance Director Bob Biles, recommendations from the Planning Commission and other supporting documents for Council’s consideration has been provided in your mail packets this week. In addition, the electric version of the Capital Facilities Program may be found at:
STUDY SESSION/WORK SESSION
5. The Joint City Council/Joint Municipal Action Committee Study Session of Tuesday, November 9, 2010 will be held in Room 16 of the Tacoma Municipal Building North. The Joint Study Session discussion item will be: (1) Tacoma 360. Regular Study Session discussion items will be: (1) Pierce Transit Tomorrow – System Redesign Update; (2) Other Items of Interest; (3) Agenda Review; and (4) Closed Session – Labor Negotiations and Executive Session – Performance Review.
Tacoma 360, created by an Interlocal agreement between the City, the Tacoma School District and Metro Parks in the fall of 2009, has been operating since its incorporation on March 1st of this year. At Tuesday’s Study Session, Strategic Director Julia Garnett will report on Tacoma 360’s progress to date in the areas of research, convenings, communication, organization, and finances. In addition, Council and Board members will discuss the future direction of Tacoma 360 and related issues in education.
In July, the Pierce Transit Board adopted Alternative 2 – the Preservation Plan. At Tuesday’s regular Study Session, Pierce Transit staff will provide an update to Council on how the plans could affect service in the City of Tacoma.
At the conclusion of Tuesday’s Study Session, there will be a Closed Session to discuss labor negotiations and an Executive Session to review my performance.
6. The updated Tentative Council Study Session, Workshop, and Town Hall Meeting Calendar is attached for your information.
7. In response to questions asked during the October 12th Joint Public Utility Board Study Session budget discussion, Director of Utilities Bill Gaines provides the attached memorandum with responses from Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU). In addition, general government staff provides responses to the following questions also asked during the Joint Study Session.
Please provide a systematic analysis of the financial policies of both TPU and General Government utilities.
In regards to General Government utilities, Public Works Director Dick McKinley provides the attached 2001 Resolution No. 35288 adopting a Financial Management Policy Statement for the Public Works Environmental Services utilities. (Please see question #11 in Bill Gaines memorandum related to TPU financial policies.)
What is the statutory authority to provide discounts to utility rates (both TPU and Public Works related) for senior, disabled and low-income citizens.
Chief Deputy City Attorney Bill Fosbre provides the attached memorandum, which states Washington State RCW 74.38.070 allows the City to offer these reduced rates.
8. In response to Deputy Mayor Fey’s request for an update on the Point Ruston Local Improvement Districts (LIDs), Public Works reports construction of the Sanitary Sewer LID has been completed. The sanitary sewer is one of four LIDs included in the first phase of work under the Agreement for Improvements within the Asarco Tacoma Smelter Superfund Site between the City of Tacoma and Point Ruston, LLC. Remaining Phase 1 work includes the Tacoma Power LID, Ruston Power LID, and Water LID. Point Ruston is currently working with Tacoma Water to finalize an installation agreement and expects construction of water improvements to begin shortly thereafter. Installation of power in Tacoma and Ruston is scheduled to begin the spring of 2011. Pursuant to the current agreement, the City will acquire improvements constructed in the first phase following construction completion and approval of the allocable LID project costs. Phase 2 will consist of the Roadway and Lighting LIDs. Point Ruston plans to begin roadway and lighting construction in the spring of 2011. Formation of the Sanitary Sewer LID has been completed and formation of the remaining five LIDs is underway. Point Ruston has requested the City look at alternatives for completing the LID work and acquiring the improvements, including raising the total amount of the LIDs from the current $15.5 million cap to $22 million. The Finance Department, City Attorney’s office and Public Works Department are working together with Point Ruston to discuss options and present possible sequencing scenarios to assist in moving the project forward. We are currently working with an appraiser to complete a ‘special benefit’ analysis of the property for the LIDs.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
9. You have been invited to the following events:
• Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County’s Investor Briefing on Friday, November 5th, Noon, at the Port of Tacoma, Fabulich Center,
located at 3600 Port of Tacoma Road, Room 104.
• Annual Holiday Tree Cutting Ceremony and Luncheon on Wednesday, November 10th, Noon, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
• Point Defiance Zoological Society’s Annual VIP Breakfast on Saturday, November 6th, 7:30 a.m., at Point Defiance Zoo, Upper North Pacific Aquarium,
located at 5400 North Pearl Street.
• Northwest Sinfonietta Gala Celebration on Saturday, November 6th, 5:00 p.m., at Hotel Murano, located at 1320 Broadway Plaza.
• 2010 Small Business Forum hosted by Washington Policy Center on Tuesday, November 16th, 7:30 a.m., at LaQuinta Inn, located at 1425 East 27th Street.
• Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Event on Saturday, November 27th, 6:00 p.m., at the corner of 9th and Broadway in front of the Pantages Lobby.
ERIC A. ANDERSON