City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

Across the island, our residents, schools and businesses are emerging from a challenging weather week. A series of storms brought periods of rain, snow, wind and ice - sometimes all in the same day - along with extensive power outages. As the community worked its way through the impacts of this weather, I observed a great deal of patience, cooperation and flexibility. All of these are important ingredients in our work to build a resilient and resourceful Bainbridge Island community.

At the City, the storm response was focused on clearing the priority routes within our 140-mile road network, ensuring public safety, and collaborating with partner agencies to coordinate response activities and communication. The City's Public Works O&M crews began 24-hour coverage on Sunday night, and continued to do so using 12-hour shifts for the next four days. I'd like to share my thanks and appreciation to the City staff who do this hard work to help keep residents and visitors safe. It takes a great deal of effort to safely clear roads, and respond to downed trees and other hazards, and these tasks rely on a relatively small workgroup of roughly two dozen staff.

Our protocol during storm events is to focus City efforts on roads within our Priority 1 and 2 routes. You can learn more about those roads and other aspects of Winter Weather Preparedness here .

This week we also opened the City's severe weather shelter for five nights, and had overnight visitors use the shelter throughout the week. The shelter is located at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center, and is staffed by some of the City's credentialed emergency management volunteers. Information about the shelter, road closures and other storm updates were provided via Nixle alerts throughout the week to nearly 10,000 subscribers. If you'd like to receive these alerts, please sign up here .

At the business meeting this week, the Council confirmed that the City will use existing fund balance to support the 2020 workplan for maintaining and repairing the City's roads. This decision was necessary following the passage of I-976 on the November 2019 ballot, and the subsequent reduction in annual car tab revenue. The Council also approved an increase in the budget for the Wyatt Way intersection improvement and approved a proclamation to recognize the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Following the completion of the business meeting, the Council held a separate special meeting to discuss topics related to Council procedures, roles of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and planning for the Council's annual retreat and periodic ward meetings.

For more information on next week's topics and other items, please see below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Director recommends approval of Winslow Hotel project

The Director's Report and Recommendation to the Hearing Examiner for the Winslow Hotel project, located at 251 Winslow Way W, was issued on Thursday, Jan. 16. The Director is recommending approval of the Site Plan Review and Conditional Use Permit. The recommendation includes a list of 83 conditions that may be imposed if the project receives approval by the Hearing Examiner. Click here to read the Director's report.
On Friday, Jan. 17, appellants withdrew an appeal of the City's State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination.  A SEPA appeal hearing was scheduled to occur prior to the project hearing at 10 a.m. on Jan.  23 but has been canceled.
The public hearing on the proposed Winslow Hotel project will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23 in the City Council Chambers. The Hearing Examiner will conduct the public hearing, then issue a written decision within 10 working days of the public hearing, unless a longer period is agreed upon by the Hearing Examiner and the applicant.
Public hearing on self-service storage facilities moratorium rescheduled for Jan. 28

A public hearing on the self-service storage facilities moratorium has been rescheduled for the Jan. 28 business meeting. The public hearing was previously scheduled for the Jan. 14 business meeting but was canceled due to the winter weather.  

The City Council approved a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of applications for self-service storage facilities during the Nov. 26 business meeting

The moratorium applies to areas zoned as Business/Industrial and Neighborhood Centers (Lynwood Center, Island Center, and Rolling Bay). Self-service storage facilities are already prohibited in other zones. When discussing the moratorium, Council cited concerns about preserving these zoning areas for activities with the greatest potential for job creation and business enterprise.
Council approves spending for road repairs, maintenance

The City Council approved the City's use of existing Transportation Benefit Fund (TBF) fund balance to support 2020 budgeted annual road repairs and maintenance. 

Currenty, there is roughly $935,000 in the TBF fund balance. Typically, the City receives $400,000 each year in car tab revenues for the TBF. These funds are used to provide approximately 60% of the funding for the City's annual roads program. 

The passage of Initiative 976 by statewide voters discontinues the City's ability to collect car-tab fees that support the TBF. The initiative was set to take effect Dec. 5, 2019, but the elimination of the TBF is currently on hold due to a legal challenge.  Cities will continue to collect money on car tabs but the revenues collected after Dec. 5 are not allowed to be spent until a legal decision is made. The money collected prior to Dec. 5, 2019 is not affected and is available for spending.
The Council's decision to affirm the use of existing fund balance for 2020 annual road maintenance will allow near-term workplans to remain intact. In the future, the City will consider options to address the long-term revenue impacts from the passage of I-976.
Council approves budget increase for Wyatt Way safety improvement project

City Council approved a roughly $440,000 project budget increase request for the Wyatt Way reconstruction and safety improvement  project. The  additional funds will cover water system improvements and allow for project contingency costs that could be needed during construction. 

A central component of the project is a mini roundabout at the intersection of Wyatt Way and Madison Avenue to improve the level of service. Other improvements at the intersection include sidewalk construction and additional lighting. Bicyclists approaching the intersection will have the choice of entering the roundabout or using ramps to access the multi-use sidewalks and crosswalks. The large existing trees on Wyatt Way, just west of the Madison Avenue intersection, will be preserved.

Other improvements include 5-foot-wide bicycle lanes and new sidewalks reaching west along Wyatt Way, on the north and south sides, to Lovell Avenue.

There will also be improvements to the water and storm drainage systems along the corridor, including water quality improvements.  

The total project budget is estimated to be $4.3 million, of which $2.5 million is provided by state grant funds. The remaining project funding is primarily from the City's General Fund, with a small portion coming from the Water Utility Fund. Council approved an additional $308,251 from the General Fund and $127,500 from the Water Utility Fund. If the additional funds are not used, then the money will return to the funds. 

Staff anticipates advertising the project for construction in early spring of 2020 and beginning construction in early summer of 2020.
Council to continue green building features discussion for Police-Court project

Next week, the City Council will receive information related to sustainability features of the Police-Court Replacement Project. This briefing is follow-up to Council's direction in December 2019 to assess LEED Gold designation for the project.

This week, CHI Franciscan Health  requested an additional three days to vacate the building due to delays created by the winter storm. Once CHI Franciscan Health has vacated the building, the City will finalize the purchase of the property. To accommodate this change in schedule, and support continuity of medical services to the community, on Jan. 21 the Council will be asked to consider approval of an amendment to the purchase and sale agreement to provide an extension of three days for the City's purchase of the property.

Also, the Planning Commission public meeting scheduled for Jan. 23 has been rescheduled for Feb. 13. The Hearing Examiner public hearing has been rescheduled from Feb. 13 to Feb. 27 at 10:00 a.m. in the Council Chamber. 
House move will cause north end detour next week

Click on the map for a full size image. 
A heavy lifting company will be moving a house on N Madison Ave on Thursday, Jan. 23 and the project will cause detours on the north end of the island.

The house, which is 24 feet wide and 40 feet long, is currently located at 14050 N Madison Ave and will move about 1,000 feet north to 14491 N Madison Ave.
N Madison Ave will be closed between Torvanger Rd (near the Port Madison Lutheran Church) and 14491 N Madison Ave. The work is expected from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Jan. 23. 

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Looking Ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics scheduled for the Jan. 21 study session:
  • Discussion on green building features for the Police-Court Replacement Project
  • Formation of Council Ad Hoc Committee for public farmland
  • Presentation on the Sustainable Transportation Plan
If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, click  here   to sign up on the City's Council Agendas webpage.

The meetings are live-streamed on the  City website . Visit the Agendas & Minutes  section, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts. You can also watch the meetings on BKAT (Ch. 12 on Comcast & Ch. 3 on WAVE).
This Weekend: Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at BIMA

Join the City of Bainbridge Island Race Equity Task Force, BISD Multicultural Advisory Council, and other community partners at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art this Sunday, Jan. 19 for an afternoon celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

The program will feature art, poetry, performance, music, conversation, a presentation by the Race Equity Task Force, and words by members of the Suquamish Tribe and special guest  Michael "Quess?" Moore, a poet from New Orleans. 
Schedule of Events
  • 3-5 p.m.:      Art activities for children
  • 4-4:30 p.m.: Reception and live music in the BIMA Bistro
  • 4:30-6 p.m.: Community celebration in the BIMA auditorium
The event is free and open to the public. Click  here  for more information.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Monday, Jan. 20: City Hall closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Click here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island