City Briefs for week of March 13

Mar 13, 2013

City welcomes new officer, says goodbye to another

Mukilteo welcomed a new police officer on March 4.

Michael Joseph Rexach, 28, was presented his officer badge during a special ceremony at City Hall. He was hired March 1 and will attend the Police Academy starting March 26.

Rexach was in the Marine Corps from 2005-2009, during which he served in Iraq as a rifleman and mortarman. He left the service as a corporal with an honorable discharge.

During his service, he earned – among other recognitions – the following awards: a Global War on Terrorism medal, a Iraq Campaign medal, a Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, a Meritorius Mast ribbon and a National Defense medal.

He was hired by the Federal Reserve Police Department and was scheduled to attend their academy when the Mukilteo Police Department hired him away.

Rexach is a student at Everett Community College, where he is completing his associate’s degree on the GI Bill.

He is scheduled to graduate from the state Police Academy in Burien after three months of training.

Also on March 4, Mukilteo said goodbye to a police officer. Sgt. Paul Pew retired last week after 35 years in law enforcement. Police Chief Roger Stam hired Pew in 1985 to the Mukilteo Police Department.

In his 27 years with Mukilteo, Pew accomplished a lot:

He was a DARE officer from 1989 to 1991.

He operated a motorcycle as an officer and sergeant between 1992 and 2005.

He was promoted to sergeant in 1999 – a rank he held until his retirement.

He was a certified instructor in several areas, including defensive tactics, radar/lidar, firearms and emergency vehicle operations.

Of note: Every officer under his supervision within the past two years has received a commendation award or lifesaving award.

Pew attended Police Academy class 104. Rexach will attend class 691.

City staff to continue footbridge study

The City Council selected the SR-525 alternative on March 4 as the preferred option for a footbridge from Old Town to the waterfront. With this, the council also directed staff to continue to study the feasibility of the SR-525 option.

Staff will be looking for additional grant opportunities and will also work with the state Department of Transportation to understand the existing SR 525 bridge better.

According to staff, this will allow them to determine whether a “blended opportunity” could be made available. Their study will also include an environmental review process.

The pedestrian overpass likely won’t return to the council until fall 2013.

The footbridge is estimated to cost less than $2.5 million. It could be built as soon as 2014 if the city gets several grants to help pay for it.

The bridge would 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.

The overpass would cross the BSNF tracks just east of the existing bridge and continue over or adjacent to a future turn-around that is part of ferry terminal relocation plans.

The total length of the bridge would be about 280 feet.


Residents invited to talk traffic circles

City staff wants to know: Do residents want traffic circles in their neighborhoods?

A community meeting is scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Rosehill Community Center.

The City Council is interested in installing traffic circles to slow drivers and stop unwanted traffic from cutting through the residential streets of Old Town, or east of SR-525.

Staff has identified two locations that might benefit from traffic circles: Old Town and the intersection of 53rd Avenue and 88th Street. Staff will go over their findings at the meeting.

Recently, staff proposed a five-step process for selecting a location and installing traffic circles. The process includes the installation of a temporary circle and trying it out for a year. A temporary traffic circle is estimated to cost $3,000.

The locations identified in Old Town are at 2nd or 3rd streets and Loveland, Cornelia or Prospect avenues. Staff hopes to meet with residents to talk about issues and concerns.

According to staff, traffic circles are effective at reducing traffic speeds at intersections, the number and severity of collisions, and inappropriate cut-through traffic.

If installed in a series, staff said the traffic circles would also cause an overall traffic calming effect.

The meeting will be in the Vancouver Room at Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo.

Citizens committee for drainage projects

A citizens committee has been established to prioritize and select projects in Smuggler’s Gulch intended to fix drainage issues in the basin.

After hearing from residents, the City Council recently voted to postpone a list of drainage-improvement projects that include modifying detention ponds and adding rain gardens to public right-of-ways.

The council also moved to have staff continue outreach to homeowners in the basin and allow them to form a “citizens committee” to work with staff on the projects.

Staff has set up the following meeting schedule:

March 14, 6-8 p.m. Kick-off Meeting. Share information about projects and project goals; provide basin maps and project materials; listen to the concerns of the committee and develop a drainage issues list.

April 11, 6-8 p.m. Design Charette: Divide into groups based on subareas and discuss potential projects and other solutions; share concepts/recommendations with entire group.

April 25, 6-8 p.m. Basin Wide Open House: Hold an open house to present findings and proposed project options/alternatives/strategies.

May 9, 6-8 p.m. Final Meeting: Refine draft project recommendations based on meetings and open house results.

These meetings are open to the public and will be held at City Hall, 11930 Cyrus Way, Mukilteo.

Four projects were approved by the council: A rain garden project on 44th Avenue and three detention pond projects will move forward. Staff will hold off on the design and construction of the other projects.

The city has a $1 million grant from the state Department of Ecology to complete a list of low impact development (LID) projects within the next two years. If it doesn’t do them within that timeframe, it will lose the grant.

Many residents have spoken up at recent meetings to ask the city to hold off on the projects so that staff can do more research on water flows, effective locations and environmental impacts.

LID projects are designed to mimic natural systems that help manage the flow of stormwater and improve water quality.

-Sara Bruestle

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