City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
As we end the month of July, islanders continue to face a range of important and challenging concerns. Public health issues, economic impacts, and social justice priorities are all front and center during the summer of 2020. The City is working to respond as effectively as possible in the cases where the City’s direct services and outreach are helpful. The City also seeks to provide partnership and support in the cases where other community organizations are best positioned to provide leadership.

What is clear as we head into August, the sixth month of our national COVID-19 emergency, is that we need to prepare to navigate an extended period of crisis and response. At a community level, this means continuing the strongest support possible for public health guidance like face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing. It also means that we should work proactively to support our local economy and do whatever we can to offset the real costs and damage that follow from extended closures and restrictions. Alongside this, many island households will also experience impacts from job loss, and may struggle with housing and food insecurity. This will increase the demand on our local nonprofit support network, at a time when these organizations are themselves struggling with the effects of a broader downturn.

Let’s work now to be as ready as possible for a more extended period of challenges. Our community has more economic resources than many, and more human capital resources as well. We are accustomed to celebrating our island connections and using community relationships to solve problems and apply creativity. Many of us have more time on our hands now than before. Let’s use that time to lean forward into our current challenges, recognize that some parts of our community will need help from others, and aim to demonstrate true resiliency.

At the Business Meeting this week, the City Council approved immediate funding to support local businesses in their economic recovery efforts and agreed to consider additional actions going forward. The Council also received a briefing on county-wide discussions related to population growth in the region, and reviewed the plan for public outreach to inform renewal of the City’s franchise agreement with Comcast for cable TV services.

At the Study Session next week, the Council will receive an update on the Green Building Task Force’s progress, will review options for improvements to the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center, and will discuss the potential to re-design the “low float” portion of the City Dock at Waterfront Park. The Council will also review the results from the first year of the COBI Connects all-island monthly newsletter, will confirm priorities for the next cycle of lodging tax (LTAC) funds, and will discuss options for the upcoming two-year funding cycle for the City’s human services funding.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Governor pauses indefinitely phased reopening plans
On July 28, Gov. Jay Inslee extended the pause indefinitely on counties moving ahead in the Safe Start Washington plan.

He also released additional guidance that outlines the updates to gatherings, live entertainment, restaurants and taverns, entertainment and recreational centers, card rooms, movie theaters, and weddings and funerals and builds upon guidance released during the week of July 20.

Read the full update here.
Council discusses COVID-19 economic recovery plan
At the Council meeting on July 28, members of the Council Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Recovery (Mayor Schneider, Deputy Mayor Deets, and Councilmember Medina) presented a report with recommendations on steps the City could take to support the Bainbridge Island economy. The report provided a series of suggested actions, and several items were proposed for immediate Council consideration.

Following discussion, the Council agreed to several next steps. First, the Council determined that City funding for most of the economic support programs under consideration should be funded via the General Fund, rather than as part of the City’s CARES Act funding. Doing so would allow for greater flexibility, as the City’s General Funds could be used to support activities that might not meet the strict eligibility requirements of the CARES Act federal funding. The use of the City’s General Funds would also eliminate the need to expend funds before the federal deadline of October 1.

Having adjusted the planned source of funding, the Council next determined which suggested actions would move forward immediately. The Council agreed to provide up to $20,000 to support a “Save Our Stores” program launched by the Chamber of Commerce and the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association (BIDA). This program would entail a marketing campaign to encourage islanders to shop locally, and would feature banners, posters, and other advertising.

The Council also agreed to provide BIDA with up to $5,000 of the City’s CARES Act allocation to reimburse BIDA for eligible direct expenses related to COVID-19 response and impacts.

The Council acknowledged other key policy issues that affect island businesses, including options for businesses to make use of public right of way, the need to improve and expand broadband services, and concerns related to Winslow-area parking. Future follow-up discussion on these topics is anticipated.

The City has received roughly $736,000 in CARES Act funding. The Council has previously decided to use one third of these funds – roughly $260,000 -- to support community partners. Helpline House has received $60,000 from the City to expand its rental assistance support. The Council actions on July 28 awarded $20,000 for the Save Our Stores program and $5,000 for BIDA’s expenses. The use of the remaining portion of community support funding ($175,000) will be determined through future Council discussions.

Watch the July 28 Council discussion here.
Kitsap Public Health reports record high of 37 COVID-19 cases on July 30
Please see information below adapted from Kitsap County's July 30 COVID-19 update . Subscribe to daily updates here .

The Kitsap Public Health District reported 37 positive COVID-19 test results yesterday (July 30) -- the highest number of daily cases since the start of the pandemic. The cumulative number of cases for Kitsap County is at 618. The highest increase has been in the 20-39 age range with a total of 545 cases, representing 88% of the total number of positive cases reported.

Staying home is still safest. If you do go out, keep it quick, keep your distance and wear a face covering. Recreate and do business locally to avoid spreading the virus across county lines. Limit the number of people outside your household that you gather with every week. If you feel symptoms of COVID-19, get tested.
Planned network outage will affect Kitsap Public Health services on July 31 and Aug. 1
Please see information below from the Kitsap Public Health District.

A planned network outage will affect some of our services from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31, through midday Saturday, Aug. 1. Due to this outage, we will not be able to post our regular COVID-19 data update on Saturday. We will resume our regular data updates on Sunday. 

Read the full Kitsap Public Health update here .
Project Updates
Share your thoughts on Comcast Cable TV services
We're seeking input on the Cable TV services provided by Comcast on Bainbridge Island, as part of a franchise agreement renewal process. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts in a brief survey.

In June 2016, the City granted Comcast a franchise for its cable television system located within the City. The 2016 franchise agreement is set to expire in June 2021.

The purpose of the survey is to gather information about residents’ views on the Cable TV service they receive from Comcast to help the City understand the needs of the community as the City reviews Comcast's franchise agreement.

Please respond to the survey by September 30, 2020 and only if you are a City resident or the owner of a business located on Bainbridge Island. Start the survey here.

For more information on the franchise agreement and the renewal process, please visit the City’s Comcast Cable TV Franchise Agreement webpage, which contains key dates, resources, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Asphalt repairs continue across island
The islandwide asphalt repairs will continue today (Friday, July 31) along Old Mill Road.

See the map for the anticipated schedule for next week that includes work along High School Road (between Sportsman Club and Weaver Rd) Wednesday, Aug. 5 & Thursday, Aug. 6.

People should expect some traffic delays and detours in the areas where the work is happening. 

The schedule is subject to change. Follow the traffic notifications here for the latest updates on road work.
City Council Updates
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the Aug. 4 study session.

  • Update on the development moratorium
  • Green Building Task Force update 
  • Discussion on Senior Community Center improvements 
  • Discussion on options for the low float section of the City Dock
  • Presentation on COBI Connects status and Communications priorities 
  • Plans for the next funding cycle for Lodging Tax (LTAC) funds
  • Plans for the next funding cycle for Human Services Funding

If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, sign up on the Council Agendas webpage.

Ways to Watch
  • Zoom
  • City website livestream (visit the Agendas & Minutes page, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts).
  • You can also watch the meetings on BKAT (Channel 12 on Comcast & Channel 3 on WAVE).
City Advisory Group Updates
Island Center subarea planning committee to resume next week
The Island Center Subarea Planning Process Steering Committee will meet Thursday Aug. 6, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. following a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting will be held remotely via the Zoom platform.

Committee members will recap work to date and assess the ideas presented at a public workshop on Feb. 10.

The Committee hosted a large public workshop to hear from the public about alternatives for Island Center subarea planning, including changes to transportation, open space and land use. Information from that workshop and other committee work can be viewed on the Island Center Subarea Planning project website here.

The Committee is working to create a draft subarea plan for Island Center that will be presented to the Planning Commission and City Council.
City Advisory Group application deadline is today
Today (Friday, July 31) is the final day to submit an application to serve on a City Advisory Group. The City is seeking volunteers to serve on a number of City and regional groups, with topics ranging from climate change and historic preservation to utilities.

Most groups meet monthly to address items on their workplans and provide advice to the City Council or to County boards.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. today.

Applicants must be available in August for interviews. Terms begin Sept. 1.

Please visit the City Advisory Groups webpage to learn more and apply.
Other Updates
City seeks small boat rental concessionaire
The City is seeking proposals from qualified concessionaires to provide small boat rental services to the public from the City Dock at Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park, located at 301 NE Shannon Drive.

The City’s goal is to enter into a three-year lease agreement beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Learn more about the Request for Proposals (RFP) process here.
Aug. 4 primary approaching
There are four days left to vote in the 2020 primary!

The ballot drop box on Bainbridge Island is located at the Bainbridge Island School District property at 8489 Madison Avenue NE. No postage is required to mail your ballot.

The voter turnout by district is updated daily on the Kitsap County Auditor's page. See here.
Important Dates
Monday, Aug. 3:
Design Review Board meeting at 2 p.m.; Zoom
Tuesday, Aug. 4:
Green Building Task Force meeting at 3 p.m.; Zoom
Thursday, Aug. 6:
Race Equity Task Force meeting at 6 p.m. Zoom
Thursday, Aug. 6:
Island Center subarea planning process meeting at 6:30 p.m.; Zoom
Thursday, Aug. 13:
Stay Connected
Contact Information

280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: 206-842-7633