City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

When I joined the City nearly nine years ago, the condition of the island's road network was a major topic of concern. The City is unusual in that we have responsibility for a very significant transportation network, including nearly 140 miles of paved roads. Proper maintenance of this important asset requires regular pavement management, annual road striping, care for the shoulders and nearby vegetation, and many traffic control signs.

To properly maintain the road pavement condition, we annually work on patching small problem areas, and overlaying with chip seal in larger segments. This work extends the useful life of the road surface and ensures safe driving conditions. The failure to invest in this annual maintenance results in deterioration of the road surface. If neglected for too long, the pavement will deteriorate to the point where maintenance is not feasible and "reconstruction" is required. Reconstruction is a much more extensive - and more costly - effort. To avoid these additional costs, the City strives to have a proactive annual maintenance program that addresses our road network needs each year and keeps our pavement conditions as healthy as possible.

This approach is a "best practice" that not every municipality has the resources or capacity to adopt. To gauge the impacts of our annual work, we periodically measure the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). We recently received the latest results and they show that we continue to make progress in this area, and that the City's investment is producing important results. Some key take-aways:
  • Our latest PCI for the network overall continues to rise and is now 69 out of 100. This score is considered to be quite good and is above the average of other US cities that measure PCI (average score range is 60-65). Since lower performing cities are often not monitoring PCI at all, the average across all US cities could reasonably be expected to be even lower.
  • The percent of our road segments scored as "excellent" - PCI higher than 85 - is 14%. Our goal for this measure is 15% or higher, so we are very close to an important benchmark.
  • Our backlog of road segments that will require reconstruction is only 9%. Having a backlog of 10% or less is considered to indicate a "very healthy agency." This means that our annual pavement management is successfully keeping big ticket repairs to a minimum.
These are great results and reflect a commitment to keep this area of the City's asset management in focus. National benchmarks suggest that proper maintenance for a network of our size should require annual budget between $1.5 and 2.5 million, not including costs for reconstruction. The City of Bainbridge Island currently provides less than $1 million for this work, and that level of investment seems to be working well. Importantly, nearly half of that funding ($400,000 per year) is supported by funds from the City's Transportation Benefit Fund (TBF) via local car tab fees. In November, Washington voters will be asked to weigh-in on Initiative I-976. As a factual matter, if this initiative passes, the City's car tab fees will be eliminated entirely, and we will need to either seek new revenue sources, divert funds from other City activities, or reduce the scale of our annual pavement program.

I-976 is an important initiative with significant potential impacts for our community. The City will be working to provide more information on this issue in the time between now and November. For now, I wanted to share the good news about our progress on road maintenance and thank the City's Public Works staff who lead that effort. In the next few weeks, we will start to provide  updates on this summer's upcoming pavement work... stay tuned!

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
City Council considers Helpline House request for rental assistance

During the June 4 study session, the City Council discussed a request from Helpline House for $100,000 in funding to support Islanders who need rental assistance.

The City has a Housing Trust Fund (HTF), which is intended to support a range of housing services. Use of the HTF is approved by a majority vote of the City Council. The most recent use of these funds was to support a request from Housing Resources Bainbridge to use the HTF to support Phase II of the Ferncliff Village affordable housing project.

At the start of 2019, the HTF included $200,000 in unspent funds from prior years.  The City's 2019-2020 Approved Budget provided an additional $100,000 in each year for the HTF, for total available funds of $400,000.

In May, the City Council approved use of $100,000 from the HTF to support consulting services related to implementation of two affordable housing initiatives: an inclusionary zoning ordinance and a multi-family tax exemption.  In May, the City Council also approved use of roughly $50,000 to support the in-progress feasibility study for the City's Suzuki property affordable housing project. At this time, there is approximately $250,000 of unprogrammed funding remaining in the HTF which can be used in 2019-2020.

Helpline House is requesting a 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 recipients to pay a portion of rent or mortgage costs for residents who are experiencing housing instability.

The City Council is expected to vote on the request during the June 25 business meeting.

For more information, please see the June 4 study session discussion and agenda packet.
Staff provides informational briefing on Winslow Hotel project

City staff provided an informational briefing to the City Council during the June 4 study session on the Winslow Hotel project.

The project proposal, located at 251 Winslow Way W, includes an 87-room hotel with banquet and meeting rooms, restaurant and bar, and spa. There is a landscaped courtyard, reflecting pond and bandshell, and both under-building and surface parking totaling 136 spaces.

The project requires a major conditional use review and a major site plan review. A conditional use permit is allowed if a project can be conditioned to ensure the use is compatible with other uses in the same zone and in the vicinity of the subject property. The site plan review ensures the overall design is guided and done in a logical, safe and attractive manner.


Staff began the review process with public notice and comment period. The Design Review Board (DRB) reviewed the Winslow Hotel project proposal during five meetings, with its last review on June 3. The project proposal will be reviewed next by the Planning Commission during the Thursday, June 13 public meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The Director of Planning and Community Development will then make a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner. The final project decision-maker is the Hearing Examiner. It is anticipated that the Hearing Examiner will review the proposal in July. A date for the hearing has not been set. 

The City Council does not have a role in the review process.

Comments submitted to date are included in the project file. Both the Planning Commission public meeting and the Hearing Examiner's public hearing will provide opportunities for the public to provide additional comments. 

Tomorrow: Join us at Boaters Fair

We hope to see you at Boaters Fair tomorrow (Saturday, June 8) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a day of fun on the water! 

There are lots of activities on deck at this FREE event for you and your family. Learn how to tie knots, watch a helicopter water rescue demonstration and kayak in Eagle Harbor!

New this year -- a nautical swap meet; a 2.5-mile fun race by paddle board, kayak, or canoe; and a giant canoe pull.

Visitors will be able to tour all kinds of boats and learn about cruising, marine careers, and the local boating community.

Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike, or paddle to this event as parking is limited. Learn more here.
Winners selected in youth orca poster contest

If you visit City Hall this month, you'll likely notice two large posters on display in the lobby - these are the winners of a recent youth orca poster contest.

Sustainable Bainbridge sponsored the poster contest as part of Orca Action Month to raise awareness of orca whales. The contest involved creating a poster that conveys how individuals and/or our community can take actions to protect orcas. The winners of the contest include: Henry Leigh, 9, and Baeven Hoit, 18.

The posters were judged by a local artist, a marine naturalist, and Sen. Christine Rolfes.

Earlier this year, the City Council passed Resolution No. 2019-12 to recognize the importance of the orca whales to Bainbridge Island and our region.

To learn more about Orca Action Month and local activities, click here.
Park District seeking community feedback

The Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District (Park District) is updating its Comprehensive Plan and would like your comments and suggestions on current and future parks, facilities and programming, and future funding priorities.

The plan outlines agency goals and is used to make program decisions and determine future capital projects.The plan is updated every six years based, in part, on insights from park and recreation users.

The Park District's online forum is live through June 30 and includes a survey. Learn more here.
Looking ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the June 11 City Council business meeting:

  • Public hearing on design standards for small wireless facilities
  • Public hearing to consider six-month extension of Landmark Trees Ordinance
  • Update on the City's Animal Control Code
  • Next steps for the Race Equity Task Force
  • Continue discussion from Council retreat on potential changes to some advisory committees

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).
Something New People's Choice Award to be presented today

The Public Art Committee (PAC) will present the Something New People's Choice Award this evening to Lin McJunkin and Milo White who created the outdoor sculpture Iris Flare.

The brief ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. at the sculpture site on Winslow Way and Ericksen Ave (outside of Town & Country).  White will accept the $1,000 honorarium and a framed letter from the City on behalf of the artists.

Iris Flare is one of three pieces that was part of the inaugural round of the Something New outdoor sculpture exhibit. Something New aims to provide a dynamic public art experience and an ongoing opportunity for sculptors from around the Pacific Northwest to exhibit their work. Each year, the project brings a collection of sculptures on loan to three outdoor sites around Winslow. The infrastructure at each site is permanent. However, the artwork on display is not. After each yearlong exhibition, new art is selected and rotated into place, bringing "something new" to Bainbridge Island year after year.

After the ceremony, stick around Winslow for the First Friday Art Walk that begins at 6 p.m.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, June 8: Boaters Fair; Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
See the full calendar list here.
City of Bainbridge Island