Six-year capital transportation improvement plan
City of Blaine staff held a study session before the June 13 city council meeting for councilmembers on the city’s 2023-2028 six-year transportation improvement plan. Of the 19 projects, six projects are funded, four are partially funded and nine are unfunded, according to the draft plan.
The first public hearing on the transportation plan was held during the regular council meeting and the second hearing is scheduled for the Monday, June 27 meeting. Council is expected to vote on the plan during the June 27 meeting because the deadline for adopting the resolution is Thursday, June 30. For more information on the projects, visit bit.ly/3Opm6c1.
Council meetings to stay hybrid
City council unanimously voted 7-0 to approve Resolution 1892-22, which rescinds past Covid-19 meeting restrictions and creates new meeting procedures for city council, board, commission and committee meetings. This was decided as Washington state’s Covid-19 emergency public meeting regulations were lifted June 1, requiring all public meetings to be held in-person with the option to meet remotely in addition. The city’s council, boards, commissions and committees will determine the format in which they prefer to run their meetings in accordance with state law. Currently, city council is holding meetings at city hall and by Zoom.
Deputy city manager/city clerk receives a raise
City council unanimously approved a salary raise for Sam Crawford, deputy city manager and city clerk, who will have an increased workload when city manager Michael Jones leaves his position Thursday, June 30. Crawford will earn $1,263 more monthly, which raises his pay to $9,000 per month or $108,000 annually. Crawford’s salary remains lower than assistant city manager positions in similar-sized cities in Washington. The city can review Crawford’s salary starting three months after the new city manager is hired, according to the employment agreement.
Blaine Senior Center
gets $15,000 for dishwasher
City council unanimously approved $15,000 of Covid-19 stimulus funds to go toward Blaine Senior Center staff paying for a new commercial dishwasher at the community center. The city-owned community center houses the senior center, where the commercial kitchen is located, as well as Blaine’s Boys and Girls Clubhouse. The money will come from the city’s $400,000 of unallocated American Rescue Plan Act funds that are set to expire at the end of 2024.
City accepts demolition
bid for old city hall
City council unanimously approved authorizing the city manager to create a $293,640 contract with Skycorp, LTD to demolish the old city hall building on H Street. Arlington-based Skycorp’s bid was the lowest of three bids that public works staff opened May 26. The project’s engineer initially estimated the demolition would cost the city nearly $462,000. Public works director Bernie Ziemianek previously said he believes construction could start after the Fourth of July.
committee ideas on hold
Councilmembers were slated to discuss a proposed development advisory committee but councilmember Kerena Higgins, who has been a proponent of the committee, tabled discussion due to the city manager’s resignation. In April, Higgins, and fellow councilmembers Rhyan Lopez and Mike Hill had proposed a development committee that would provide councilmembers with more information on the large-scale developments coming to Blaine. Council then held an hour-long study session on the topic before the April 25 council meeting.
“We have to think about the bandwidth our interim manager is going to have but we also have to think about how we’re going to stay informed,” Higgins said.
Mayor Mary Lou Steward proposed discussing the committee during a future study session, which will give council time to think about the committee. Higgins suggested sending a request to the interim city manager regarding how to keep council informed on development and then creating a permanent solution when the new city manager is hired.
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