City Briefs for week of Oct. 31
Budget available on Halloween
A presentation of the mayor’s preliminary budget for 2013 was scheduled for Monday’s City Council meeting – but it wasn’t ready in time.
City staff said they had yet to finalize the proposal and that they had given themselves a deadline of about noon Wednesday, Oct. 31, to have budget books available to both the council and The Beacon.
Cities are required by law to present budget proposals for the next year by the end of October.
A public hearing on the proposal was still held as scheduled at City Hall, after Mayor Joe Marine read his 2013 budget message. No one from the public spoke.
The public hearing continues in meetings scheduled throughout November. The next one is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at City Hall, 11930 Cyrus Way, Mukilteo.
That meeting covers funding for police, fire and recreation departments.
See the budget later this week on the city’s website at www.ci.mukileo.wa.us.
City films tourism video
For a long time, Mukilteo has been known as the city with the lighthouse or the city with the ferry to Whidbey Island.
To help change that, the city filmed a five-minute video last week that promotes tourism. The hope is that it will help show the city to others and turn it into a destination – not just a pass through.
Mukilteo partnered with the TV show Today in America to film the video on Oct. 16. It was paid for with a city lodging tax grant of $19,000.
The video highlights Rosehill Community Center, Lighthouse Park, City Hall, the Mukilteo School District, Boeing, Electroimpact, Dillon Works, Travis Industries, the Future of Flight Aviation Center, Mukilteo history and more.
The Today in America segment will air several times on a variety of TV networks, including the Discovery Channel, and will be put up on the city’s website once it is finished. The city expects to get it in 4-6 weeks.
With the city Lodging Tax Committee’s recommendation, City Council approved a grant for the video in August because it will help “put heads in beds” – meaning it will promote overnight stays in Mukilteo hotels.
The national television show Today in America tells the stories of unique cities, businesses and individuals from all over the United States. Former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw is the host.
The city of Lake Stevens filmed a segment with the show last year.
Mukilteo starts pedestrian bridge project
The city plans to design and build a bridge from Old Town to the waterfront to improve pedestrian safety and access.
City Council on Monday authorized the mayor to sign a $35,000 contract with ABKJ Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers for a feasibility study.
The study will look at three possible crossing locations for the project: SR-525, Park Avenue and Loveland Avenue.
At the city’s request, each alternative would need to connect the downtown business district with the Sounder Station, ferry terminal and a future parking garage either at grade or via an elevated structure.
It would consist of a 10-foot-wide shared-use path that crosses the BNSF railroad tracks and Mukilteo Lane.
City staff said the project would likely be broken into multiple phases: Phase 1, feasibility study and site selection; Phase 2, design and permitting; Phase 3, construction of the bridge connection from Old Town to the Sounder Station; Phase 4, construction of a connection from the Sounder Station to the ferry terminal and future parking garage.
The first part of construction is scheduled for 2014.
City to contract out IT services
Ever since the city lost a lot of important data in a computer system crash, it has looked into contracting out its information technology (IT) services.
City Council on Monday authorized the mayor to sign a one-year contract with the company Seitel Systems, LLC for IT management and network engineering services for no more than $94,000. Five contracted employees will support the city’s IT needs.
A third of the funds – $30,000 – will go to special projects, such as upgrading the server, reprogramming system routers, and helping the city implement a backup and disaster recovery plan.
Contracting IT services out saves the city more than $155,000 annually, according to city staff. Staff said Seitel Systems replaces the need for an IT manager and a network engineer on staff.
A desktop support technician, recently hired, will be the only city employee in the IT department.
The services provided through the contract include: an annual assessment, unlimited desktop support for 80 users, server and network support, security, strategic planning and monthly reports.
Seattle-based Seitel Systems has been providing network, server, telecommunications and desktop services to clients for more than 22 years. The company serves many public agencies.
Those clients include Community Transit, the city of Milton, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Woodinville Water District, San Juan County and the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Council looks into other legislative priorities
City Council took a second look Monday at the city’s priorities in the upcoming state and federal legislative sessions.
Several issues have come up since the council approved the city’s 2012 legislative state and federal agendas that may warrant legislative attention.
Council directed city staff to look into these changes:
• A state bill that expanded the use of local lodging tax revenues for tourism promotion to include the funding of special events and festivals expires on June 30, 2013.
• Other funding needs – SR-525 bridge replacement, ferry terminal relocation, Japanese Gulch acquisition and a Boys & Girls Club expansion.
In January, it was the consensus that all of the priorities from 2011 would remain, except for grants for air tanks for Mukilteo firefighters that were awarded last year.
The approved 2012 priorities are:
• Federal agenda – Paine Field defense, the Tank Farm transfer, construction of a new NOAA facility, and grants for the preservation of Japanese and Big gulches.
• State agenda – the ferry system, open space, sustainability projects, economic development and aerospace manufacturing.
The council also adopted the cities and towns of Snohomish County state legislative agenda.