City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

This weekend starts a stretch of wonderful community events organized around the island to celebrate the Fourth of July. The largest of these will be the Winslow Street Dance (July 3), the Grand Old Fourth of July Parade and festival (July 4), and the world-famous Rotary Auction (July 6). Bring your summer island vibes, a little extra patience for off-island visitors, and a genuine appreciation for how these annual celebrations (made possible by a ton of volunteer effort) help to make Bainbridge Island a special and tightly-knit community.

While none of these signature events are put on by the City, COBI staff contribute in important ways every year to help boost the work of event volunteers. This year, with the help of our new Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage, the City worked to "professionalize" the way in which we coordinate these requests, to make sure we understand what is needed when and where, and to create some contingency plans to assist if something needs attention. This work began several months ago and helped us to ensure that we were doing our best to support our community partners. It also allowed us a bit more insight into the extent of the City's role. Altogether, across Police, Public Works, and other staff, we expect to spend more than 500 hours of staff effort in support of these events. It's a partnership that is meaningful and important. But it also means that many employees will be giving up their time on evenings and weekends to help make these important community events successful. For that, I'd like to share my appreciation and thanks for this extra effort.

It is also important for everyone to commit to safety during next week's celebrations. At this time, fireworks on Bainbridge Island are only allowed on July 4 during 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Discharge of fireworks during other times is illegal. Please be mindful of this, and of the high risk of fire due to our unusually dry weather. We anticipate the Bainbridge Island Fire Department will announce an update later today on the use of consumer fireworks. 

At the business meeting this week, the City Council approved use of the City's housing trust funds, approved an extension of the Landmark Tree ordinance (in the Winslow area only), and discussed the Council's position on I-976 (which would eliminate the City's car-tab fees).

At the study session next week, the Council will devote the entire meeting to a review of the findings and determinations that have been issued by the Ethics Board. 

Finally, I'd like to share the news that the City received a clean audit report from the State Auditor's Office this week for the 2018 Financial Statements. A clean audit means that the auditors issued no findings and also did not identify topics for correction or follow up. This is excellent news and speaks to the hard work and recordkeeping of all City staff, in particular the financial reporting done earlier this year by the Finance Department staff.

Please see below for more details on these items and other topics. Due to the holiday next week, our next weekly report will be sent to you Friday, July 12.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Overnight lane closures next week on Olympic Drive

Traffic on Olympic Drive will be reduced to two lanes for overnight construction work beginning around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 through 5 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3. 

Traffic will be maintained in both directions. 

Please plan ahead and stay alert in the construction zone.
Council approves $100,000 Helpline House request for rental assistance

During the June 25 business meeting, the City Council approved a request from  Helpline House for $100,000 in funding to support Islanders who need rental assistance.

Helpline House requested the one-time $100,000 allocation from the Housing Trust Fund to expand an existing Helpline House rental assistance program. The program provides one-time grants to Bainbridge Island residents to pay a portion of rent or mortgage costs for those residents who are experiencing  financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances.

For more information about the request, please see the June 25 discussion and agenda packet.
Council approves extension of landmark tree regulations

The City Council approved a six-month extension of the Landmark Tree Ordinance during the June 25 business meeting, but the ordinance will apply only to the Winslow Master Plan Study Area, which includes the downtown core and nearby residential areas.

The six-month extension will allow staff and the Council more time to consider and potentially adopt tree regulations.

The Council adopted an ordinance last year to protect landmark trees after numerous concerned public comments regarding the loss of landmark trees on Bainbridge Island due to land clearing and development activities. The ordinance designates landmark trees based on size and species, requires a permit to remove any landmark tree, and imposes fines if a landmark tree is removed without a permit.

The Landmark Tree Ordinance only allows the removal of a landmark tree in limited circumstances ---  if the tree is dead or hazardous, if removal is necessary to maintain utilities, or to allow construction when there's no feasible alternative.

Applicants whose landmark tree permits are approved for removal because of construction will be required to replant trees and possibly pay a fee to the City's tree fund.

The LTO extension is effective immediately and will expire December 26, 2019. 

Learn more here
Council discusses opposition to State Initiative 976

The City Council directed staff to draft a resolution against State Initiative 976 because of the effect it would have on Bainbridge Island if approved by the voters in November.

Initiative 976, which is frequently called the $30 car-tab initiative, would repeal the Transportation Benefit District's (TBD) authority to impose additional vehicle-registration fees and significantly change how the State and local transportation systems generate revenue. Bainbridge Island vehicle owners would no longer pay the vehicle license fee added by the Bainbridge TBD and the City would receive less revenue.  The TBD funds are used for transportation improvements, traffic calming and climate change mitigation. 

Bainbridge Islanders who own a vehicle currently pay a $20 TBD fee. The amount is set to increase to $30 on August 1 because City Council approved a $10 increase in January to support traffic calming and climate change mitigation projects.

The TBD will generate roughly $480,000 in annual revenue in 2019 and $600,000 in 2020.  This revenue supports about 60 percent of the City's annual road maintenance program, which includes about five miles of chip seal surface treatment in 2019 as well as supporting asphalt repair island-wide.

See the June 25 agenda packet that includes an Initiative 976 Frequently Asked Questions document prepared by the City's Finance team.
Prepare for street closures during Celebrate Bainbridge events

Below are street closures to be aware of during next week's Celebrate Bainbridge festivities. We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

July 3
  • Bjune Dr will be closed between Madison Ave and Winslow Way July 3 at 3 p.m. to July 4 at 5 p.m. Local traffic and event set-up and operations only. 
  • Winslow Way will be closed between Town & Country and Madison Ave N 1 p.m. to midnight for the Street Dance.

July 4
  • Numerous road closures in downtown 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Fun Run and Grand Old 4th pa rade. See the map  of street closures during the parade.
July 6
  • New Brooklyn Rd closed between Madison Ave N and Sportsman Club Rd 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Rotary Auction. Heavy traffic expected on nearby streets.
Kitsap County Fire Marshal: No outdoor burning

Beginning at 8 a.m. today (Friday, June 28), a phase one ban on outdoor burning will begin in the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County. See the message below from Kitsap County. 

During a phase one burn ban all outdoor burning is prohibited, except for recreational fires in approved devices and locations. For more information on approved devices and locations, see Outdoor Burning Frequently Asked Questions

As part of the ban, all burning permits are suspended until further notice and no additional permits will be issued in the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County. 

This ban is needed due to dryer than normal conditions and the potential for fires to spread once ignited. According to Fire Marshal David Lynam, "June is always a dry month, but this year it is particularly dry, with the larger debris in the rural areas reaching moisture content the same as Kiln dried lumber." 

The National Weather Service predicts Kitsap County residents can expect 1.5 inches of rainfall in June with the exact amount depending on location. Records indicate that the official rain gauge for June shows less than 10% of the typical June amount with temperatures slightly higher.

The burn ban is imposed due to fire conditions and is not the same as a stage one burn ban implemented by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency due to air quality issues. 

For additional information, please contact the Fire Marshal's Office at (360) 337-5777 or your local Fire Department. 
Kitsap County bans consumer fireworks

Due to the abnormally dry, high fire danger conditions, the Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners approved a ban on the sale and use of fireworks that can have unpredictable and hard to control travel paths (e.g. Roman Candles, Multi-tube (cake) Devices, Aerial Spinners, Multi-shot Shell Devices, Ground Spinners). Click here for a full list of the devices that are prohibited to use in Kitsap County.

We anticipate the Bainbridge Island Fire Department will announce an update later today on the use of consumer fireworks. Please check BIFD's website for the update.

Click here for information about local fireworks shows in Kitsap County for the 2019 Fourth of July holiday.
Coming soon: Major changes to Colman Dock

Washington State Ferries' Colman Dock Project in Seattle has a number of changes coming soon, including modifications to how pedestrians enter and exit the terminal. 

Due to construction at Colman Dock, all Bremerton and Bainbridge Island sailings will share a single slip from the first sailing Saturday, July 13 through the last sailing Monday, July 15 and sailings on all routes will be on a temporary schedule.  See the changes  here .

The sailing schedule changes are necessary as WSDOT prepares to move into a new terminal building and opens a new passenger-only ferry facility. In August, all walk-on operations and ticketing will begin in the new terminal building. There will not be any changes for people driving onto a ferry. 

To help keep ferry riders informed of the changes, WSDOT project staff will  have information tables in the terminal and on the boats throughout July.

Seattle Terminal (indoors, at the Information Booth)
  • Tuesday, July 9 1:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 17 1:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25 1:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry Route (aboard the vessel, near the galley)
  • Wednesday, July 10
    • To Bainbridge Island 3:50 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. sailings
    • To Seattle 4:45 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. sailings
  • Wednesday, July 17
    • To Bainbridge Island 4:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. sailings
    • To Seattle 5:35 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. sailings
The entire Colman Dock Project is expected to be complete in early 2023.
Looking ahead: City Council agenda

The July 2 study session will focus entirely on advisory opinions and determinations issued by the Ethics Board. 

Below are some of the topics expected to be discussed during the July 9 City Council business meeting:

  • Finalizing the funding plan for the Police and Municipal Court facility
  • An update on water and sewer utility fees
  • Discussion of potential changes to the Ethics program

You can receive the Council agenda every week when it's published -- sign up for Notify Me on the City's website-- select "City Council Meeting Notifications" from the list. You can get the updates by text or email.

The meetings are livestreamed 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).
We're hiring!

Know any arborists, administrative specialists or planners? Let them know - we're hiring! 

The arborist and administrative specialist openings are new positions that were added in 2019.

Learn more here
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, July 13: Central Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ City Hall 
  • Saturday, July 20: North Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Seabold Hall 
  • Saturday, July 27: South Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Island Center Hall 

See the full calendar list here.

City of Bainbridge Island