City Briefs for week of April 24
Rosehill rental fees to increase
Rental fees at Rosehill Community Center will increase in 2014.
The City Council voted 4-3 on Monday to update fees for the Point Elliot Room at Rosehill to $10 more an hour on Saturdays. The changes will be effective May 1 for any new rentals booked for 2014.
The council also voted 4-3 to increase staffing at the community center by adding two part-time employees.
As Rosehill has grown in popularity, current staffing levels are not meeting demand for recreational programs and room rentals. As a result, employees are working a lot of overtime.
Here’s the growth that occurred from 2011 to 2012:
• Recreation programs are up from 295 to 370, a 25 percent increase.
• Sign-ups for those programs are up from 3,308 to 4,394, a 32 percent increase.
• Room rentals on the weekend are increased from 138 to 213, or by 54 percent.
• Weekday room rentals are up from 104 to 245, a 135 percent increase.
The council approved the addition of a part-time front office technician and a part-time recreation program assistant for a total cost of about $29,000. Staff said the increase should pay for itself.
Staff had warned the council that if Rosehill didn’t bump up its staffing levels, it would have to cut some programs.
Even with a $10 increase in fees on Saturday rentals, staff said the prices are still competitive when compared to other community centers.
Saturday rentals in the Point Elliot Room will be $130 per hour for residents and $170 per hour for non-residents in 2014. All other rental fees will stay the same.
Temp speed humps to be installed
The residents have spoken: They don’t want traffic circles in their neighborhoods.
About 40 residents met with city staff on March 28 to talk about issues and concerns with cut-through traffic in Old Town.
All but one of the residents preferred installing stop signs to installing traffic circles to slow drivers and stop unwanted traffic from cutting through residential streets, according to staff.
Several councilmembers and other residents, however, said that stop signs aren’t the answer. They asked: Why would drivers stop at the new stop signs, if they already roll through the others?
Instead, the City Council voted unanimously to try temporary speed humps at two intersections on Prospect Avenue: one at 3rd Street and one at 2nd. They agreed to review their decision after six months.
They also voted 4-3 to install a “No through traffic” sign at the intersection of 3rd and the Mukilteo Speedway to discourage drivers from cutting through.
The temporary speed humps won’t go in right away. The council decided to first allow 2-4 weeks of data collection on the traffic issues at the two intersections so they know what the city is dealing with.
At least one resident has volunteered to monitor Prospect Avenue, staff said.
Staff said the goal is to get the temporary speed humps installed by the end of May.
City continues to back up data
The city is in the process of implementing a backup and disaster recovery plan after it lost a lot of important data in a computer system crash last April.
The plan includes sending data backups to the “cloud” and another location – Yakima County’s Secure Data Center – for offsite storage.
The city is already sending backup tapes to Iron Mountain for storage in the “cloud,” a powerful offsite server.
The City Council on April 15 authorized Mayor Joe Marine to sign a contract with Yakima County Technology Services to secure offsite backup for $14,000.
The contract with the Secure Data Center includes disaster recovery services that will allow it to continue computer and network operations in the event of a computer or equipment disaster.
Which means if the data center becomes inoperable, it can move all of its data processing to another site that has all the equipment needed to continue operations.
Seitel Systems, LCC is helping the city implement its data recovery plan, as well as upgrade its server and reprogram system routers. The city contracted out its information technology (IT) services with Seitel Systems last year.
Five contracted employees now support the city’s IT needs. The city no longer has an IT manager or a network engineer on staff.
A desktop support technician is the only city employee in the IT department.
Numerous hard drives and backups failed last April, resulting in the loss of about 1.5 terabytes of data.
Eventually, most of the data was recovered, including its financial system, criminal evidence photos, audio recordings and grant information.
City to expand detention pond
The city is working on a project to fix stormwater issues at the top of Prospect Avenue.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday to authorize Mayor Joe Marine to sign a contract with Taylor’s Excavating for $23,000 to expand a detention pond in the new development of Pine Crest North.
The Pine Crest North Detention Pond Expansion is designed to address drainage problems below the Hidden Point and Pine Crest subdivisions by enlarging the existing detention pond in Pine Crest.
The developer of Pine Crest had approached city staff about putting in a new detention pond. Instead, staff worked with the developer on expanding the existing pond enough to meet his and the city’s needs. The detention pond is owned by the city.
The stormwater system at Prospect above 5th Street includes city and private pipes – which staff said is a bad combination for proper drainage.
Issues with drainage there caused flooding at 6th and 5th streets two years ago, including the flooding of one home, according to staff. The system also dumps a lot of erosion materials into city pipes.
Staff said expanding the pond is the city’s best chance at decreasing water flows to at least reducing erosion and preventing future flooding.
The staff plans to evaluate the results of the project after a few years.