City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
Our community and many others across Washington State are in Phase 1 of Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start,” four-phase plan to re-open businesses and other community activities. City staff is working hard to support island residents and businesses as we all problem-solve together about new processes and requirements.

Phase 1 requires that we keep critical public health goals front and center. By taking every action possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we are all working to ensure health care resources are available to those who need them most. One step each of us can take is to remain committed to social distancing, frequent handwashing, and the use of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

The next few weeks will be challenging, as we all try to balance awareness of the ongoing emergency conditions against the work required to re-start “regular” activities. Please continue to support one another during this time. Over the past few months, Bainbridge Islanders have demonstrated an extraordinary capacity for resiliency and resourcefulness, and also sincere care and concern for neighbors and friends. I know we can continue to do so for as long as is needed.

This week, the City Council held a virtual meeting at which members formalized their appointment of Christy Carr to fill the south ward vacant position.

Also during the May 12 meeting, the Council received a briefing on the forecast impacts to City budgets and workplans from COVID-19. This was an important first look at how City revenues and expenditures will adjust as a result of recent closures and economic changes. The Council also approved an extension to the moratorium on self-storage facilities.

At its meeting next week, the Council will complete the review of the impacts and adjustments to 2020 City workplans and budgets. The Council will also discuss a revised plan for the intersection improvements planned at Sportsman Club and New Brooklyn Roads.

For more information on these topics and other items, please see below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Staff presents update on City's fiscal forecast amid COVID-19 pandemic
During the May 12 City Council meeting, City Manager Morgan Smith and Deputy City Manager Ellen Schroer provided the first forecast of how City revenues and expenditures are impacted by COVID-19 closures and restrictions. The briefing focused on current expectations for 2020 revenue decreases, and recommended changes in expenditure plans. Watch the presentation and review the agenda materials here.

At the May 19 Council meeting, the City Council will complete its review of the proposed path forward for 2020
Governor announces plan for statewide contact tracing
On May 12, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the launch of a statewide contact tracing plan that will allow more businesses to open and more people to be active in public while helping to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is another tool in the toolbox for tackling COVID-19 in Washington. Local health departments will lead these efforts while the state Department of Health and its partners will support this work.

The information collected is only used by public health professionals and is confidential. It will not be shared. Contacts will not be told the name of the person who may have exposed them to COVID-19. Read the rest of the story on the Governor’s Medium page.
'Safe Streets' organizers share feedback on Grow Avenue project
Squeaky Wheels and Bainbridge Greenways have provided the results of a survey on the recent "Safe and Healthy Streets" project on Grow Avenue. As part of the pilot project, Grow Avenue temporarily closed to through traffic May 8-May 12 to protect people walking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar measures have been enacted in other cities, including Seattle.

Read the results of the survey here.
City Council Updates
City Council approves Christy Carr appointment to south ward seat
The City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Christy Carr, a nearly 20-year resident and former City of Bainbridge Island Senior Planner, to fill the south ward vacancy.

Carr, a current Senior Environmental Analyst for the City of Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, was sworn in this week and will join the City Council meeting next week.

“Thank you to the City Council for selecting me to fill the south ward vacancy. I am grateful for the support I received from members of our community, and look forward to the opportunity to serve on City Council.”

Carr has a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from the University of California, Davis and a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Washington. She is the current president of Sustainable Bainbridge and a former president of Friends of the Farms.

Carr is the first former City of Bainbridge Island staff person to become a Bainbridge Island Councilmember.

Council approves six-month extension on self-service storage facilities moratorium
The City Council this week approved a six-month extension of the self-service storage facilities moratorium, and adopted a workplan for staff to provide background information on self-service storage facilities and amend the land use code.

The moratorium is now in effect until Nov. 26, 2020 unless terminated or renewed by the City Council for one or more six-month periods.

Review the May 12 agenda materials and discussion here.

Staff will return to Council to discuss the self-service storage moratorium workplan on June 16.
Staff revises design, removes roundabout plan for Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection improvement project
City staff has revised plans for the Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection improvement project to include new safety improvements for people walking and bicycling and removes previous plans for a roundabout. Staff will present the new project scope during the May 19 City Council meeting.

The City is considering improvements that address the traffic congestion at the intersection and enhance facilities for those who walk and bike in the vicinity.

Previously, staff proposed a project design with a roundabout that would also include sidewalks, bicycle lanes and extensions of separated paths. During the March 3 study session, Council members expressed that they were not in favor of pursuing a roundabout project at the intersection, in part, due to the timing for project design that was occurring ahead of the City’s Sustainable Transportation Plan effort. The Council asked staff to investigate the potential for extending the federal grant deadline, in order to consider whether to pursue smaller scale non-motorized improvements at the intersection.

In late April, the granting authorities agreed to a grant timeline extension for construction in 2021, and the requested scope revision.

Some of the features in the new proposed design will include:
  • All corners of the intersection feature an 8-foot wide, paved multi-use path/sidewalk that can be used by pedestrians and bicyclists. The existing asphalt shoulder is removed and replaced with sidewalk, curb and gutter. This provides a physical edge to the roadway that positively contributes to traffic calming effects of the revised intersection;
  • The multi-use path/sidewalk is extended on the east leg of New Brooklyn Road to the intersection with Northtown Drive (including a vegetated buffer), and on the north leg of Sportsman Club Drive to the intersection with the Woodward School driveway;
  • Crosswalks are narrowed on each leg of the intersection, and a raised crossing is provided on the channelized right turn lane. This provides improved visibility and priority of the pedestrian and bicycle movement across the lane;
  • Pavement is narrowed from 12 to 10 feet wide on all legs to calm traffic as vehicles approach the intersection. The plan is to provide 5-foot-wide shoulders within 500 feet of the intersection in every direction on both sides of the road;
  • Wide curb ramps are provided at the channelized right turn lane crossing, the connection to the Woodward Middle School trail, and the existing sidewalk/trail junction in the southeast corner of the intersection;
  • Previously proposed lighting improvements, landscaping and an opportunity for public art will add to the safety and aesthetics of the intersection.

The revised project is anticipated to cost $650,000. The federal grant authorities have confirmed that the project is eligible for $400,000 in grant funds for construction, with the City providing matching funds of $250,000. If the project moves forward, the City Council would need to increase the current budget for the project -- which includes $123,000 of unspent City funds – by an additional $127,000 to meet the required matching funds. 

If the project does not move forward, the City will need to repay $155,000 in grant funds that were used for design.
City Advisory Group Updates
Design Review Board resumes next week
The Design Review Board (DRB) will hold a virtual meeting next Monday, May 18.

The DRB serves as an advisory body to the Planning and Community Development director, Hearing Examiner and Planning Commission (as applicable) regarding site plan and design reviews and conditional use permits.

During the May 18 meeting, the DRB will review two land use applications involving short plats, and confirm its recommendation of the Police-Court facility. The DRB completed its review of the Police-Court facility last year, but the Planning Commission is seeking additional information to support its own review and recommendation of the project.

The work of the DRB –and Planning Commission—is necessary due to the specific role that the DRB and Planning Commission have based on City code requirements regarding the land use process and state statutory review timelines.

The DRB meeting will be conducted remotely on the Zoom platform with the same options for public participation and comment as City Council meetings.

View the DRB May 18 agenda here.
Other Updates
City to remove hazardous trees next week on Wyatt Way
During the week of May 18, the City’s Operations and Maintenance crew will be pruning and removing hazard trees on Wyatt Way just east of Madison Avenue.

The work, previously scheduled for March, will be performed in accordance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” orders. Crews will consist of six people or less and will follow proper social distancing guidelines and use of personal protective equipment.

The trees, located in a city-owned easement along Wyatt Way, were assessed by a consulting arborist in 2019, and the pruning and removal recommendations were verified by City arborist Nick Snyder this year.

Four black locusts, further to the west, were identified by the arborists as moderately high risk for falling on parked cars or pedestrians and will be removed.

One willow tree, the easternmost of the cluster, will be significantly pruned, and dead wood removed.

People should expect a partial road closure with local access.
WSDOT revises Agate Pass Bridge painting schedule
Anyone traveling across the Agate Pass Bridge is advised to plan ahead. Construction crews are closing one lane across the bridge Monday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 a.m. each following day. People should expect 15-minute delays.

Learn more about the project here.
Road construction work near Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site to continue next week
On May 18, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ contractor, on behalf of EPA, will continue work to realign Creosote Place NE. This road connects Eagle Harbor Drive and the former wood treating facility at the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site on Bainbridge Island.

Road improvements are needed to allow large construction equipment to safely travel back and forth to the site during future cleanup activities. EPA expects the road work will be completed by October 2020. For more information, please see the fact sheet here.

EPA added the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Site to the Superfund list in 1987, when environmental investigations revealed extensive contamination in soil, groundwater, and sediment on the bottom of Eagle Harbor. Since then, extensive cleanup actions have been completed. EPA issued its most recent cleanup decisions in 2018 and 2019 which included improvements to the site access road.

For more information please contact Project Manager Jacob Moersen at or 206-553-0542.
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Contact Information

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