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Monday, March 03, 2008

Call To Order:


Mayor Jim Pearman called the meeting to order at 6:01 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:


Councilmembers Mike Cero, Mike Grady (arrived 6:03 pm), Dan Grausz (arrived 6:03 pm), Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor El Jahncke and Mayor Jim Pearman were present. Councilmember Bruce Bassett was absent.





(1)        AB 4281            Water System Plan Overview


Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher and Utilities Engineer Rona Lin presented a draft of Mercer Island’s 2008 Water System Plan which analyzes the City’s existing water system and its operation, provides guidance to evaluate the impacts of future growth and recommends capital improvements as required by the Washington State Department of Health. 


Consultants from Roth Hill Engineering explained key policy changes from the previous plan of the reduction of residential minimum fire flow requirements and a water main upsizing program will be established for upsizing undersized mains and prioritizing the order for the upsizing.  Also discussed was the re-evaluation of the Island’s water storage capacity and storage requirements.


The Council indicated that is was satisfied with the recommendations regarding storage and look forward to adoption of the Plan in May.





Jim Horn, 9507 SE 61st Place, attended a legislative hearing in Olympia regarded tolling and was surprised not to see Mercer Island represented.  He urged the Council to get more involved in the tolling discussion.





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

(2)        Approve the REVISED 2008 Annual Planning Session Minutes of January 25-27, 2008 as written.

(3)        Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of February 19, 2008 as written.

Motion passed 6-0.




Consent Calendar:


(4)        Payables: $943,375.35         Payroll: $583,845.81


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

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 6-0.






Regular Business:


(5)        AB 4274            2009-2010 Budget - Citizen Survey Results


Deputy City Manager Londi Lindell introduced Ian Stewart from EMC Research who provided an overview of the results from the citizen survey in preparation of the 2009-2010 biennial budget.  Some of the key findings he spoke about from the survey were:

·         Island voters continue to be in a positive mood (65% Right Direction), and their relationship with City government remains strong.

·         Continuing a trend seen in 2006, transportation, traffic, overcrowding, and overdevelopment top the list of the most important problems. The negative rating for promoting traffic safety increased 12 percentage points in 2008.

·         Favorable ratings for the City Council remain solid (58%), and a majority give the City positive ratings for their responsible use of tax dollars (56%).  The City continues to significantly outperform King County on both of these measures.

·         The vast majority of voters (86%) are satisfied with the service provided by Allied Waste because of their reliability and on-time service. 

·         Voter priorities have remained constant over the past four years, with ensuring prompt fire/medical aid response times and preventing crime at the top of the list.  Protecting the environment, a new item this year, ranks third, just above maintaining streets and promoting traffic safety.

·         The City receives strong positive ratings for almost all services tested (at least 62% positive). Only preparing for a natural disaster falls short of a majority positive rating.

·         A majority (58%) of voters say they are prepared to go without power or water for a week.  Renters feel less prepared than homeowners, voters under 50 feel less prepared than those over 50, and homes with children feel less prepared than those without children.

·         An overwhelming percentage of voters (86%) feel safe walking alone in their neighborhood or the town center.

·         While a strong majority of voters are satisfied with the appearance and condition of the town center (71%) a smaller majority are satisfied with the shopping and dining options there (58%).



(6)        AB 4282            2009-2014 Capital Improvement Program Kick-Off


Finance Director Chip Corder provided information to the Council regarding key policy issues surrounding the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process.  Council directed staff to include the following in the process improvement discussed at the Council’s Planning Session in January:

·         Hold a CIP kick-off meeting with the Council in early March 2008 encompassing reviewing CIP revenue forecast (including REET, fuel tax, and utility rate increases, 2007 year-end “available” fund balances for the General Fund, the Water Fund, the Sewer Fund, the Storm & Surface Water Fund, and the “general government” related CIP funds, CIP-related results of the 2008 biennial citizen survey, a summary of current CIP-related budget policies and identification of significant CIP issues.

·         Organize the Preliminary CIP first by project category not by priority of government and by funded or unfunded project status.

·         Present a “big picture” review of the Preliminary CIP, broken down by project category, for the coming biennium relative to the current and prior biennia.


Following discussion Council provided the direction to staff on the following questions:

1.       Should the CIP overhead costs associated with the City Manager’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, and Finance Department be charged to the capital projects funds?

Yes, overhead costs should be allocated to the Street, CIP, Water, Sewer and Stormwater Funds in proportion to the project expenditures for the 2009-2010 biennium.


2.       Should the cost of right-of-way tree maintenance be included with Vegetation Management and funded with REET revenue in 2009-2010?

Yes, these costs should be moved the CIP budget as a new CIP project.  Council will review this project cost in light of other project costs.


3.       The Finance Director wishes to develop a 2009 and 2010 estimated facilities sinking fund charge based primarily on his experience with facilities life cycle models.  Does the Council agree?

Yes, show the true cost of building maintenance for each of the City facilities for the 2009-2012 CIP plan.


4.       Should the REET distribution between the Street and CIP Funds be adjusted? 

Yes, REET funds should be distributed first in the Street Fund and the remainder will be distributed to the CIP fund for Parks and City Building projects.


5.       Should additional tax revenue (i.e. 2007 year-end available fund balances) be used to fund the sewer lake line project?

Yes (no amount specified).


6.       Should 2007 year-end available fund balances be used to complete the final segments of roadside shoulder on East Mercer Way in the 2009-2010 biennium?

Yes (no amount specified).





Councilmember Absences: 

Councilmember Bassett’s absence was excused.


Planning Schedule: 

Councilmember Litzow asked why there is an item to surplus the First Hill Property on the April 7th agenda. He though that the Council decided to discuss the property then surplus if needed.  City Manager Conrad responded that that the process can be changed to first undergo a transparent public outreach process for the uses of the property and then decide on whether or not to surplus the property.

Councilmember Grausz asked if the agenda item on the Parks Levy could be moved up to May 19th.

City Manager Conrad indicated that the Council’s 2008 Mini-Planning Session would occur between June 18th and June 25th, 2008.

Councilmember Grady would like have Urban Corridors come before the Council for a 520 tolling update during the I-90 Update on May 5th.


Board Appointments:

Mayor Pearman would like to develop a more formal process for thanking Board and Commission volunteers.


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Litzow spoke about the need for a discussion on 520 tolling.

Deputy Mayor Jahncke spoke about the upcoming Planning Commission regarding the PEAK Project.

Councilmember Litzow spoke about the Public Safety Council Sub-Committee meeting and the proposal for an emergency manager police officer.  City Manager Conrad stated the Police Department will be requesting that it will be a full time position.

Councilmember Cero asked for a copy of the after-action report for the bomb scare at the high school.



Adjournment:           9:32 pm


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