MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island


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



Sept 15


Sept 17

Sept 19

Sept 20



MAYOR
Debbie Bertlin
 
DEPUTY MAYOR 
 
COUNCILMEMBERS 



Volunteer Opportunities 

Address
9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040

Phone
206.275.7600


Fax
206.275.7663


Hours
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.
Sept 12, 2018 | Vol. 13 | No. 37
Property_Tax Property Tax: What Portion Goes to the City?
Click to learn more about property taxes
Many homeowners have noticed that nine different jurisdictions receive a portion of their annual property tax payments, but a lot of people don't realize the City only gets 11.6 percent of the total. In fact, 60 percent of your entire tax bill goes directly to education via the State School Fund and the Mercer Island School District, with a big jump recently due to the state legislature's "McCleary Fix" for education funding. The next largest amount goes to King County primarily due to a voter-approved Veterans and Human Services Levy from 2017.  See Table above, or view online here.
 
A typical Mercer Island homeowner with a median assessed home value of $1.20 million pays $1,209 to the City in 2018. This amount increased just slightly from 2017, when an average homeowner paid $1,171 to the City. 

Due to the City's rural character and small commercial footprint, there is not a significant retail tax base: as a result, property taxes represent a much larger percentage of the City's revenues ( 41 percent of the operating budget) than other Eastside cities.  The City uses almost all of this revenue to fund Police and Fire/EMS services, which account for 44 percent of total City expenditures. 
MI-ConnectCity Launches New Service Request App and Website
This image is also used on the City's homepage; click to visit MI-Connect
For the past two months the City's Public Works Department has been testing a convenient new online reporting tool that allows residents to submit and then track requests for service. This tool, called Mercer Island Connect, can be accessed via the City's website, or using a mobile app ( Apple; or  Google), and is powered by the vendor SeeClickFix.

Service requests, which can range from potholes to blocked stormdrains to missing street signs, can be submitted with just a few clicks and an uploaded image if available. The City's response to the request is viewable to the members of the general public, who can also add related comments themselves.  The reporting party is also notified of updates to their request and its ultimate resolution.

Jason Kintner , the City's Public Works Director, is excited to announce this rollout.  "This tool feeds right into our the workflow and scheduling systems used daily by our field crews, so we anticipate some real efficiencies as more and more people use MI-Connect."  While there are no plans to end email and phonecall requests, those methods do involve additional steps before field crews can be notified. 

Try MI-Connect today! Website visitors will also find a handy new " Service Request" button on the City's main homepage.
Crime_StatsCurrent Crime Stats for MI
Click for the latest 
MIPD crime stats
Some residents have been asking recently if crime numbers are going up. Overall, the MIPD is actually seeing a general decline in numbers for many crime categories on the Island. To help residents assess the statistics for themselves, there's a new MIPD webpage with crime stats.

In comparing the Year-To-Date (YTD) numbers for this time in 2018 vs. 2017, we see total "Calls For Service" down from 9042 to 8301. Meanwhile total YTD "Serious Offenses" for this time in 2018 vs. 2017 are down from 442 to 337.  These numbers do not include a crime spree in August by one individual (now apprehended) who is believed to responsible for several burglaries and other offenses; August data will be compiled in a few days.
 
The City's most recent citizen survey, conducted by mail using a third-party vendor and randomly selected participants (711 total) revealed that:
  • 95% of residents are very satisfied/satisfied with their overall feeling of safety
  • 85% of residents are very satisfied/satisfied with visibility of police in the community
  • 84% of residents are very satisfied/satisfied with police services
Residents wishing to explore criminal activity geographically are directed to our partner: www.crimemapping.com.  The MIPD continues to actively support a number of effective crime prevention programs and always welcomes additional participation.

The next event in the MIPD's ongoing "Coffee With A Cop" series is currently being scheduled and will provide a good opportunity to talk directly with the Police Dept about any concerns - details coming soon.
Mercer Island Goes Green
SolarizeSolarize Workshop This Saturday
Crews from pre-selected installer Sphere Solar Energy work on a  Solarize array on Mercer Island; click to register
Join your friends and neighbors at our next Solarize workshop this Saturday morning, September 15, from 10:00-11:30am at Islander Middle School.

Learn more about this installation campaign in which the City is partnering with the citizens' group  Sustainable Mercer Island and the local non-profit  Spark Northwest to work with a pre-selected, qualified solar installer.
 
If you have been contemplating rooftop solar, or if you missed out last time in 2014, NOW is the time to act:
  • Qualify for 30% federal tax rebate (until Dec 2019)
  • Receive a time-limited, Solarize group discount
  • Generous WA state incentives are expiring soon; possibly by year's end!
Don't miss out,  register today.
BusStop Rainier Freeway Bus Stop to Close Sept 22
Click to learn more about the closure of the Rainier Ave Freeway Bus Stop
As part of Sound Transit's East Link light rail construction, the Rainier Freeway bus station at I-90 will close for five years beginning on September 22, 2018. It will reopen as Judkins Park Link Rail Station in 2023. 

Most bus routes that currently serve the Rainier Freeway Station will bypass the area (e.g. the Route 550), but Routes 554, 217, and select Route 212 trips, will serve new stops on Rainier Avenue South and South Charles Street. 

In addition, the transit-only roadway that connects the Rainier Freeway Station to Downtown Seattle will also close, leading to modest increases in travel time. Sound Transit and Metro will invest in lane and signal improvements to help with bus traffic flow.

 Learn more from Sound Transit here

 

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

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.