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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Call To Order:

Chairman Ron Kaufman called to order the regular meeting of the Utility Board on March 31st, at 7:05 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 9611 S.E. 36th St., Mercer Island, WA.


In Attendance:

Ron Kaufman, Chairman, John Ewald, Vice Chairman, Robert Sexton, Benjamin Levie, Bob Burd, David Landes


Council Liaison:

El Jahncke


Staff Present:

Joanne Sylvis, Glenn Boettcher, Ron Elsoe, Dee Totten, Anne Tonella-Howe, Rona Lin, Doug Sternback, Terry Winkel



Jane Preuss and Lisa Bona, GeoEngineers;

Ken Goettel, Goettel and Associates; and John Eidinger, G & E Engineering Systems       



The Minutes of the February 10, 2004, meeting were approved with the following correction:  Council Liaison, El Jahncke, absent.


Regular Business:


·         Emergency Management in the City of Mercer Island
An overview of the City’s emergency management history was presented by Public Safety Director Ron Elsoe (Exhibit A).  The Emergency Management Action Committee was formed in 1991.  Emergency Management is now “housed” in the Fire Division of Public Safety.


·         Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan Update
Dee Totten, Emergency Manager, distributed a copy of the City’s Hazards Identification & Vulnerability Assessment (HIVA), completed in the fall of 2003, to Board members for their review.  Dee advised that the draft of the City’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is currently being reviewed by City staff, King County and the State.  A slide presentation (Exhibit B) was made which included information about mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, training and department roles.  Discussion followed regarding the importance of community involvement and Dee invited the Board members to attend a Preparedness Program meeting in their neighborhood.


·         Hazard Mitigation Plan
The City received a grant and retained GeoEngineers to prepare the Hazard Mitigation Plan.  The City’s Technical Advisory Committee met and defined the goals for incorporating mitigation into the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Plan, and Capital Improvement Plan  with implementation policies and proposed projects.


The components of the Plan were presented to the Board (Exhibit C) by Jane Preuss and Lisa Bona.  A memo from the Advisory Committee’s meeting (Exhibit D) was distributed and the Board was asked to assist staff in establishing priorities for funding. The Board’s direction was to:


§         Policy 1: Clarify that “transportation system” means the roads/streets on Mercer Island

§         Policy 2: Include coordination with other utility providers, ie. PSE and Comcast

§         Policy 4: Add language for increasing community awareness of potential fire hazards

§         Policy 5: Further review is needed per consulting engineers, with benefit/cost analyses

§         Policy 6: Specify what will be done with information gained

§         Policy 7: Include coordination with King County

§         Utility Vulnerability Assessment


Ken Goettel gave a brief slide presentation and spoke about potential threats from both human and natural hazards and how measures to protect for the one also protect against the other.  He advised the Board that risks can be quantified and assessed for use in developing priorities.


John Eidinger has completed his assessment of Mercer Island’s seismic vulnerability.  Discussion followed regarding the Island’s water supply line, distribution lines, soil conditions, and the City’s reservoirs.  John suggested he may ultimately recommend that the City install two wells, in different locations, to provide water for residents in the event of an emergency, stating that wells are more reliable than storage tanks in the event of an earthquake.  He was asked to provide benefits/cost ratio information for installation of the wells versus an additional water storage tank


Upcoming Meetings:

May 25, Stormwater Utility Budget

June 15, Water Utility Budget

July 13, Sewer Utility Budget

July 20, Sewer Utility Budget (2nd meeting, if needed)


Off Agenda Items:

A GIS presentation by Mike Onzay will be scheduled for a later date.


The Board adjourned at 10 p.m.


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