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Monday, July 16, 2007

Call To Order:            Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:                    City Councilmembers Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman and Mayor Bryan Cairns were present.  Councilmember Sven Goldmanis was absent.





John Ewald, 4103 Boulevard Place, testified that the Summer Celebration pirate theme worked and thanked the numerous people who worked on the event to make it a success.  He stated that the City booths were excellent and all City disciplines were represented.  He also extended a special compliment to Arts & Special Events Coordinator Amber Britton for her role in Summer Celebration.





(1)        It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of July 9, 2007 as written.

Motion passed 6-0.



Consent Calendar:


(2)        Payables: $1,203.733.47


It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 6-0.



Regular Business:


The Mayor asked Parks and Recreation Director/Assistant City Manager Pete Mayer to provide the City Council with a brief update on Summer Celebration!  Mr. Mayer noted that the event was a two-day event this year, that Saturday attendance was higher than average and Sunday was lower than average.  Mr. Mayer also stated the pirate theme was a great addition to Summer Celebration and many venders participated in the theme. 



(3)        AB 4206            Sewer Lake Line Replacement Project Bid Award


Maintenance Director Boettcher introduced a panel of City consultants to assist in the Council presentation and also stated tonight is not about making decisions about the Sewer Lake Line Project but describing to Council all the factors that impacted the bid results and proposed next steps. 


Project Manager Anne Tonella-Howe briefed Council on the scope of work for the Sewer Lake Line Project and the actual bid results.  Ms. Tonella-Howe explained a table contained in the packet setting forth the engineer’s estimate of $14,870,641, the low bid of $27,468,391 and high bid of $29,853,628.


Rob Sexton, Utility Board Chair discussed an email that was sent to the City Council following the July Utility Board meeting at which time the Board discussed the bid results for the Sewer Lake Line Project.  The Utility Board was alarmed that the City only received two bids and that they were almost two times greater than the engineer’s estimate.  The Utility Board unanimously recommended Council reject both bids and direct staff to evaluate alternative designs and scope of work for the Sewer Lake Line Project.


Jeff Lykken from Tetra Tech, Troy Pyle from Vanner, Bryan Caditz, attorney and Project Manager Anne Tonella-Howe then discussed six specific actions City staff and the consultants wish to perform over the next couple of months to investigate why the bids came in so much higher than the engineer’s estimate and investigate ways to reduce the total project cost.  These six actions were:  (1) Bid Analysis; (2) Review Design Approach; (3) Bid Strategy; (4) Review Contract and General Conditions; (5) Re-assess In-Lake Design Approach; and (6) Financing Analysis and Strategy.  Once the foregoing analysis has been completed, City staff and consultants will report back to the City Council at its September 17, 2007 regular City Council meeting.


Council asked various questions of City staff and City consultants including questions regarding why certain contractors did not bid on the project; the “risks” of the project; requirements for the depth of the pump station and the sewer lake line; cost reduction for upland alternative; permitting agencies’ requirements if pipeline is not buried; why the engineer’s estimate was so far off;  the reason the project requires three summers as opposed to the two summers originally contemplated; why bidders who helped Tretra Tech with the engineer’s estimate submitted a bid two times higher than the estimate (shoreline connections); why the Council should continue to have confidence in Tetra Tech after spending 2 years for an in-lake alternative and design costs in excess of $1 million dollars; why the pump station is so different from the other 17 pump stations on the Island; how could work start during the 2007 fish window starting in July 2007; chances of additional bidders on pump station; option of laying the pipe on the lake bottom and any requirement for a supplemental EIS; upland sewer design; sewer LID to pay for side sewer connection; repairing the line as an alternative to total replacement of line; no action alternative; and time period to get permits for upland design.  


Council debate and discussion followed.  Council did not direct staff to complete all of the foregoing described six action steps but directed staff to return to the City Council on September 17, 2007 and report on whether laying and anchoring the pipe on the lake bottom is a viable option for the Sewer Lake Line Project and report on pump station bid scope and bid structure that will significantly reduce the pump station project costs.     





Councilmember Absences: 

Councilmember Goldmanis absence was excused.

Mayor Cairns, City Manager Conrad, Deputy City Manager Lindell will be absent from the August 6th meeting.


Planning Schedule: 

Council requested the regular session for the Pedestrian and Bike Plan be changed to a study session on August 6, 2007.

Parks and Recreation Director/Assistant City Manager Mayer indicated that the Ballfield Study will be moved from August 6, 2007 Council meeting to a future Council meeting because the Ballfield Users Group (BUG) subcommittee has not completed its work.    


Board Appointments:

It was moved by Councilmember Jahncke; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Appoint Lauren Reel (position expiring May 2009) to the Youth and Family Services Advisory Board.

Motion passed 6-0.


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Litzow reported on the ETP meeting and the Roads and Transit Measure and requested staff closely monitor future tolling of 520 and I-90.  Mr. Litzow noted that although Sound Transit claimed R8A is fully funded, when pushed they admitted the mitigation of $20 to $30 million for the bridge is not funded.


Councilmember Grady reported on the 520 meeting; the 520 mediation process and his request that Mercer Island be part of the 520 steering committee.  Councilmember Grady also reported that King County Council plans to sponsor legislation to prohibit loud cigarette boats.

Councilmember Grausz reported on the Parks Subcommittee meeting during which the subcommittee reviewed the Ballfield User Groups study.  The Subcommittee asked the consultant to revise the study to address Councils’ interests regarding capacity and a possible incremental approach to turf and lighting.    


Deputy Mayor Pearman briefed Council on a Suburban Cities Association meeting where city representatives were requested to take a position on the King County flood district.  SCA is split on this issue and will likely not take an issue on this position. 



Executive Session:


The Council adjourned to Executive Session at 9:07 pm to discuss potential litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i) for approximately 60 minutes.


The Council reconvened the Regular Meeting at 9:44 pm.


It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:

Authorize the City Manager to execute a Settlement Agreement between the City and SECO covering a Town Center project commonly known as 7700 Central, amending Section 1 of the Agreement, as follows: 

Section 1.  SECO shall construct or ensure construction of 78th Avenue SE and Sunset Highway in accordance with the plans approved by the City at the 100% design stage for the same. . . .(remainder of Section 1 remained unchanged)

Motion passed 6-0.



Adjournment:           9:46 pm


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