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Monday, July 08, 2002

Call To Order

Mayor Merkle called the meeting to order at 7:33 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.

Roll Call

City Councilmembers Susan Blake (arrived 7:33), Bryan Cairns, Sven Goldmanis, Dan Grausz, Jim Pearman and Mayor Merkle were present. Councilmember El Jahncke was absent.


Myra Lupton, 3443 72nd Place SE, expressed her appreciation to the City Council in keeping Mercerview in the Cityís public domain.

Sue Stewart, 3205 84th Ave SE, Citizens to Preserve Upper Luther Burbank Park, asked the City Council to separate parkland and affordable housing. She submitted more petition signatures to make the total 2,063.

Rev. Carla Valentine Pryne of Mercer Islandís Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Outgoing President of the Clergy Association, asked the City Council to consider a fee waiver for a Comprehensive Pan Amendment. She stated that the proposed amendment has to do with a unique role the clergy association has played on the Island and it should not require the costly code review.

Robert Thorpe, 5800 West Mercer Way, representing the Clergy Associationís Comprehensive Plan Amendment Proposal, stated the importance of the churches and synagogues on Mercer Island. He also offered to donate his services as a certified planner to help keep the costs down.


It was moved by Councilmember Blake; seconded by Councilmember Cairns to:

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of June 18, 2002 as written.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Consent Calendar
Payables: $ 1,149,755.13  
Payrolls: $ 442,147.44

Councilmember Goldmanis asked a question about why Pioneer Park is now being surveyed, when the City has owned the property for so many years.

Parks & Recreation Director Pete Mayer responded that the need for specific lines has been demonstrated in the past couple of years by many lot line disputes.

AB 3682 Police Association Bargaining Agreement: Authorize the City Manager to sign the collective bargaining agreement with the Police Association for the period of January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2004.

It was moved by Councilmember Blake seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Regular Business

AB 3686 Homestead Field Ė Athletic Field Improvements (No Presentation)
Parks Manager Greg Brown answered questions from the City Council regarding high design costs, fencing on the west side of the field, drain lines, and who the point of contact will be for the project.

Parks Manager Brown responded that the fence is being built to prevent cars from driving onto the field. Regarding the drain lines he responded that the field will be stripped of sod and the soil base and filled with sand. Four-inch lines will be used. They should last about 10 to 15 years. He stated that the design costs are not out of the usual range for a park design. Mr. Brown stated that he would be the point of contact for Homestead Field, but that there is a newly hired project manager who will be on site to oversee the day to day operations.

It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Award the base bid to Terra Dynamics Inc. in the amount of $311,000 and authorize the City Manager to execute the construction contract. Set the project budget at $476,620.

The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

AB 3673 Appropriation for High School Ballfield Project
Deputy City Manager Deb Symmonds presented the proposed appropriation of $500,000 to advance the purposes of the Mercer Island High School stadium, ballfield, and track renovation project. A master Interlocal Agreement will be created between the City of Mercer Island and the Mercer Island School District that will detail joint facilities use and scheduling.

Public Comment:
Phil Flash, 3005 69th Ave SE, told the City Council about the senior track meet that was held at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle last week. He was very impressed with their new track and ballfield. He hopes Mercer Islandís will be just as nice.

After extensive Council discussion regarding excess funds, fee schedules, level of maintenance and duration of an interlocal agreement, the following motion was made.

It was moved by Councilmember Cairns; seconded by Councilmember Blake to:

  1. Find that community value will be derived from an appropriation of $500,000 from the Cityís Capital Reserve Fund to help the Mercer Island School District renovate the High School stadium facility. There will be enhanced community value by allowing the City to schedule the field for the additional community use enabled by applying a new form of turf.
  2. Agree that field rental proceeds will go to the District to offset its operating and maintenance costs. Any rental fees in excess of these costs will remain in the Districtís Capital Facilities Fund for future field maintenance purposes.
  3. Endorse principles stated above for the ultimate interlocal agreement.
  4. Direct the City Manager to transmit $500,000 to the Mercer Island School District for the purposes described above.
The Chair put the question on the motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

AB 3681 Veteranís Memorial Project Ė Call for Artists and Artist Selection
Parks & Recreation Director Pete Mayer, Recreation Supervisor Jennifer Berner (Staff Liaison to the Arts Council), and Arts Council Chair Amanda Clark answered questions from the City Council regarding the budget for the Veteranís Memorial, the wording of items that will not be included in the memorial, and the landscaping consultantís role in the artist selection of the project.

It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Pearman to:

Accept the Call for Artist program and artist selection panel as described and direct staff and Arts Council to move forward in securing the artwork.

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

AB 3683 Increase Franchise Fee to 5% in Response to AT&Tís Refusal to Pay Utility Taxes and Cable Fees on Certain Revenues.
City Attorney Londi Lindell explained that as of April 1, 2002, AT&T Broadband unilaterally elected to cease paying franchise fees and utility tax on cable modem services. There will be a loss of up to $90,000 in the budget biennium to the City of Mercer Island. Resolution No. 1298 will increase the franchise fee from 1% to 5%. This increase, however, will only recover $33,000 of the $90,000 that will be lost.

The Mayor opened the Public Hearing.

There was no public comment.

The Mayor closed the Public Hearing.

It is the consensus of the City Council to have 5% increase as interim until AT&T Broadband begins paying franchise fees and utility taxes on broadband services again, then the franchise fee will go back to 1%.

It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:

Adopt Resolution No. 1298 increasing the cable franchise fee from one percent (1%) to five percent (5%).

The Chair put the question on the main motion; Motion Passed 6-0.

Open Council Discussion
Councilmember Cairns asked about the results of the Housing survey from School District and City Employees. City Manager Rich Conrad replied that the results should be arriving any day.

Councilmember Blake asked City Manager Conrad to explain fee waivers for Comp Plan Amendments. City Councilmembers discussed fee waivers and there was consensus that in order to provide consistency and fairness among all applicants they will not grant a fee waiver.

Other Business

Councilmember Absences:
Councilmember Jahncke was excused from the meeting.

Planning Schedule:
The RPZ Criteria was moved to the September 3rd Council meeting.
The Regular Council Meeting of August 19, 2002 will be cancelled.

Councilmember Reports:
Mayor Merkle discussed his meeting with King County Executive Sims regarding King County parks and pools. Mayor Merkle stated that he was confident that there will be closure on Luther Burbank Park very soon.
Mayor Merkle stated that by November of next year the Council must have proposals for citizens on community center, pools, and new facilities. He stated that the Council has already decided the location and what will be constructed and that now is the time to push for hard proposals. He would like to have a discussion at the July 22, 2002 meeting or August 5, 2002 meeting regarding these issues.
Councilmember Goldmanis commented on the transportation issue, Referendum 51. A letter from Bellevue City Council was sent to the Eastside Transportation Program regarding 1-90.

Adjournment: 10:20 pm

[Important Note: The proceedings of the City Council meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the City Clerk's Office. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the City Clerk's office.]


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