The City expects to save about $24,275 with DEM as opposed to what was previously paid to the Emergency Services Coordinating Agency (ESCA). The Executive Board of ESCA voted to dissolve the agency effective Dec. 31, 2015.
DEM will be providing grant management, training, emergency management policy review and coordination during actual emergencies for Mountlake Terrace.
Assistant Police Chief Pete Caw will be assuming an advisory role for the new agency. The remaining assets of ESCA were distributed to participating cities through a lottery system.
— In other news, Public Works Director Chad Schulhauser updated the Council on the Lakeview Trail Project, which is scheduled to be completed this month.
The project connects the Interurban Trail at 228th Street SW with the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center via Lakeview Drive. Work started on the project in April and includes a new traffic signal at 236th St. SW and 65th Ave. W., a safer way to exit the Nile Golf Course and new sidewalks and bicycle lanes. The City received $2.5 million in grant money for design and construction. The total cost of the project is $3.7 million.
The Trail runs along the side of Ballinger Park, basically heading south and west. It will cross to the north side of Lakeview Drive at 65th and 236th. The crossing was necessary because there is a sidewalk only on the north side of the bridge at Interstate 5. The trail will be a shared use by both pedestrians and bicyclists.
Some residents voiced complaints to the City and to Councilmembers about the street lights, which were out of level. Schulhauser indicated that the volume of complaints has dropped as the City has leveled out the lights and pointed them in the correct manner. As the project wraps up, all of the lights will be dimmed.
— In an update on the Main Street Project, Schulhauser indicated to the Council that the plan is to approach the project in two phases. Phase one will focus on 236th St. SW. and Phase 2 will deal with 56th Ave. W.
“We can get the money to get this portion (236th) built,” Schulhauser said.
The total cost of the Main Street Project is $18 million ($15 million in construction costs). Phase 1 is estimated to be between $5-6 million (not including right of way) with Phase 2 projected to be $10 million. The goal is to have Phase 1 funded through grants.
Project design is about 90 percent complete. The City has $1.4 million for right-of-way acquisition and expects to start using those funds. No construction money has been yet so far. About $1.3 million has been spent on design.
“I’m confident we can get the first phase in the ground,” Schulhauser said
Once 236th is completed that should encourage development for the rest of the project, he added.
“If we can get 236th primed and looking good I think that will help get those businesses into the downtown as well,” Mountlake Terrace Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore said.
Schulhauser is hoping the project will break ground in the third quarter of 2016 and be completed in December 2017.
“I think it was a good idea to break this into phases so we can get started,” Councilmember Bryan Wahl said.
— Edmonds School District Superintendent Nick Brossoit and Board Member Ann McMurray provided the Council with an update on the 2015-16 school year. The two encouraged residents with an interest in education to join one of the district’s five Strategic Direction Work Groups, which are composed of Board Members, parents, staff and community members. The groups meet once a month at the Educational Service Center in Lynnwood.
The School Board approved a resolution for a ballot measure next February. The measure is a Technology/Capital Levy that replaces the district’s expiring 2012 Technology/Capital Levy. A simple majority is needed to pass.
Brossoit told the Council about the results of the district’s SAT scores as contrasted with the state and national numbers. Edmonds School District students scored better than their counterparts overall and in math, reading and writing. The number of students in the district taking the SAT is the highest it’s ever been, Brossoit said.
In reply to a question about state funding, Brossoit noted that 87 percent of education costs go to salary and benefits for employees.
Brossoit continues to see the positive impact of Chromebooks in the district. The upcoming Technology/Capital Levy will support the use of 1:1 Chromebook by students in grades 3-12.
“Teachers think differently how they teach and modify lessons because they have Chromebooks,” Brossoit said.
McMurray added that one of the goals of the district is to make sure teachers have ample professional development, including resources and training, so they can use the Chromebooks at a high level.
— The Council unanimously approved a contract with Brier that enables Mountlake Terrace’s neighbor to use City’s Decant Facility. The City’s Decant Facility provides an environmentally sound system for disposing of waste generated from the cleaning of stormwater drainage systems and other forms of street and stormwater waste.
The Council also approved a use agreement that would allow other interested parties to utilize the City’s Decant Facility. This agreement would only be open to Washington state agencies and municipalities operating within a limited geographical area in close proximity to Mountlake Terrace.
— By David Pan