MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island

Table of Contents

Like us on Facebook

(For event details, visit the City's online calendar or click on a specific event)

Feb 6
1:00pm Long Term Care Facility Meeting

7:00pm City Council Regular Meeting

Feb 7
7:00am MIYFS Foundation Annual Fundraising Breakfast

6:00pm Planning Commission Regular Meeting 

Feb 10
8:30am Ham Radio Class and Test
10:00am Community Meeting - Financial Challenges

Feb 13
7:00pm Utility Board Meeting

Debbie Bertlin

Volunteer Opportunities 

9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040



Monday - Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm

Donations Requested 

The Mercer Island Food Pantry relies on your non-perishable food donations to keep the shelves stocked year-round.
Click for more info.
Jan 31, 2018 | Vol. 13 | No. 5
FS92Fire Station 92 Wins National Architectural Award
Fire Department staff celebrate the grand opening in 2015; click for details
The City of Mercer Island was recently notified that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has recognized its rebuilt Fire Station 92 with a national award, presented to project architects Miller Hull Partnership.
The AIA intends its prestigious award program "to highlight exemplary projects that show the world the range of outstanding work architects create and highlight the many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives."
Originally built in 1962 as a small volunteer station, FS92 was incrementally enlarged over time, but was considered seismically deficient by today's building code standards and at high risk of damage in an earthquake.  The new building, officially opened in 2015, provides much more usable space, and intentionally invites views into the apparatus bay from passersby outside, creating a positive and interactive connection with the community it serves.
According to Mercer Island Fire Chief Heitman, crews are "thrilled with this functional new space and enjoy serving residents from this location." About 700 calls per year (both fire and medical) are handled by the station.
The station also incorporates a number of energy-saving features such as underfloor radiant heat and an airtight building envelope that performs 75% better than the levels allowed by state energy code. 
Healthy_YouthMI Healthy Youth Initiative Advocates in Olympia
Attendees at Prevention Policy Day in Olympia; click to learn more 
about the City of Mercer Island's services for youth
About 200 students gathered for Prevention Policy Day on Monday, January 15 at the State Legislature in Olympia. Students from Mercer Island's Healthy Youth Initiative joined with Issaquah's Youth Opposed to Drug Abuse to advocate for youth sobriety.

MIHS senior Hannah Stewart, a recognized local leader in the healthy youth movement helped host the day's activities. "We all have a personal story of a friend or family member who has been negatively affected by drugs," she said. "We're from everywhere, from all over the state, and we all care about the same issues."

The annual event raises awareness for drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse - some key issues this year include raising the minimum age for tobacco purchasing to 21 (House Bill 1054), as well as the state's ongoing opioid crisis.

The City's Youth and Family Services Department offers a number of programs for youth including mental health counseling services in Island schools.
Bus_RoutesChanges to I-90 Bus Routes in September
Click to learn more
In September 2018, the Rainier Freeway Station on I-90 in Seattle will close for five years, while Sound Transit converts this facility into the future Judkins Park Light Rail Station.

Buses currently using that stop will bypass it, or be rerouted to surface streets such as Rainier Avenue South (with additional mitigation such as signal timing, bus priority lanes, etc).

For Mercer Island riders, the most noticeable changes will be the Route 550 not stopping at Rainier Avenue and the Route 554 exiting onto Rainie r Avenue northbound.

Learn more via this online open house  
MIFD_CostsFire Department Cost Reduction Strategies
Click to learn more 
about MIFD
The Mercer Island Fire Department (MIFD) recently began contracting with EF Recovery in an effort to recover some of the costs associated with responding to expensive motor-vehicle accidents, hazardous materials spills and the like.  
A number of these incidents occur on I-90 and don't involve Mercer Island residents, but require MIFD to respond because it's in the City's jurisdiction.  Auto insurance companies, not individuals, are billed for the claims.
The new program is anticipated to generate approximately $60,000 per year for the City. It's similar to a program started a few years ago to recover costs associated with transporting patients to the hospital, under which the City recovers approximately $270,000 per year on total billing of about $500,000.   "We bill their health insurance and accept whatever they pay. There's no direct charge to the patient," says Fire Chief Steve Heitman. "Our priority is to continue to be able transport the patients who need it."
Only about half of local fire departments transport their residents to the hospital - a service appreciated by Mercer Island residents and their families because of the comfort and continuity of care it offers patients.
The Fire Department, like all City departments, continues to be tightly constrained by the City's structural budget imbalance (revenues not keeping pace with inflation or expenses).  It hasn't added staff in about 17-18 years, although call volumes grow right along with the population: up 18 percent in just the last five years alone.      
Mercer Island Goes Green
KC_WasteKing County 20-Year Waste and Recycling Plan
Mercer Island's unrecyclable garbage goes to Cedar Hills 
Landfill; click to learn more about the 20-year plan
King County is working together with dozens of cities countywide, including Mercer Island, to develop a plan for how to manage garbage and recycling over the next 20 years. The plan will provide direction on how to deliver the services customers expect while keeping fees as low and stable as possible.

A draft Plan and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates the potential environmental impacts of options in the draft plan are now ready for public review and comment.  Islanders are invited to learn how King County's garbage and recycling system works and weigh in on the three big issues ahead:
  • What actions are required to get from a 52% recycling rate to 70% countywide? (Note: Mercer Island homes already achieve a 65% rate)
  • What are the most important services at transfer facilities?
  • How should the County dispose of its garbage over the long-term?


For questions and comments on the MI Weekly, contact
Sustainability & Communications Manager Ross Freeman at

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.