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A summary of the February 26th Mill Creek City Council meeting

The City Council discussed jaywalking on 132nd Street SE, joining the North Sound Metro SWAT Team, an East Gateway Urban Village development agreement, and storm water drainage systems at their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.
The Mill Creek City Council holds regular meetings on the first, second, and fourth Tuesday of each month.

The City Council discussed jaywalking on 132nd Street SE, joining the North Sound Metro SWAT Team, an East Gateway Urban Village development agreement, and storm water drainage systems at their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

Local wants City to discourage jaywalking across 132nd Street SE
During the public comment part of the meeting Lauren Waltzing of Snohomish spoke out about rampant jaywalking across 132nd Street SE between the Mill Point Apartments and Thomas Lake Center. The nearest crosswalk is about one quarter mile away.

Waltzing believes that signs should be posted to warn pedestrians about the danger and to prohibit them from crossing at this location.

The City Council agrees this is a public safety issue and City Manager Ken Armstrong will direct staff to begin the effort to place these signs. Jurisdiction of this street is shared between Mill Creek, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

Dave Shaw honored for his service on the Arts and Beautification Board
Dave Shaw’s contribution to the City of Mill Creek was acknowledged during the City Council’s study session. He served on the Arts and Beatification Board from 2006 to January 2013.

Shaw was a member of the Arts and Beautification Board during the implementation of the Great Garden awards, the Mill Creek Veterans Memorial, the Rotating Art program, and the Mill Creek Second Thursday Art Walk.

As a photographer, Shaw’s work has been displayed in Mill Creek’s Rotating Art gallery.

North Sound Metro SWAT Team Interlocal Agreement approved
The City Council voted unanimously to allow City Manager Ken Armstrong to sign an Interlocal Agreement which expands the North Sound Metro SWAT Team currently comprising the Cities of Bothell, Edmonds, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Monroe, and Mountlake Terrace; to include the City of Mill Creek.

This means that one of Mill Creek’s police officers will be selected to become part of the North Sound Metro SWAT team and will receive extensive training in SWAT strategy and tactics. Police Chief Bob Crannell is confident that the loss of the officer during training can be managed with little or no impact to the City’s ability to maintain the minimum three-officer shift.

The benefits of participating in the North Sound Metro SWAT Team include:

  1. The expansion of the Mill Creek Police Department's overall readiness capacity by utilizing the skills, training and experience of the SWAT Officer.
  2. The improvement of an environment of career growth, opportunity and potential, which in turn will increase the Mill Creek Police Department’s ability to attract high quality entry level and lateral officers.
  3. Assistance in the retention of current and future quality officers.
  4. The provision of an on-staff resource and consultant regarding high-risk or complex tactical incidents.

East Gateway Urban Village development agreement moves forward
The City Council voted unanimously to set a public hearing for March 12, 2013 on the Mill Creek EGUV, LLC development agreement negotiated between the City and Polygon Northwest.

The development agreement establishes responsibilities for the implementation of the project and addresses other issues such as phasing of development. The City Council will decide whether or not to approve the development agreement after the March 12th public hearing.

Homeowner associations want Mill Creek to take responsibility for storm water systems
Detrick Voss from the Mill Creek Community Association and Don Hall from the Mill Creek Village Homeowners Association each spoke about their privately owned storm water systems during the public comment part of the meeting. They both urged the City Council to take over maintenance and upkeep of all privately owned storm water systems within Mill Creek city limits.

Both Voss and Hass believe that water that is handled by the privately owned storm water systems is mostly public water that comes from outside their jurisdictions. They both said that they would be willing to pay fair, but higher taxes to cover the City’s increased expenses.

Comprehensive surface water maintenance study begun
After hearing an informational report, the City Council directed Tom Gathmann, Public Works Director, to prepare a comprehensive study of the City’s public and private surface water drainage facilities.

This study would include:

  • Estimated annual operations and maintenance costs associated with assuming all surface water management responsibilities.
  • Estimated capital costs associated with assuming all surface water management responsibilities.
  • Estimated impact on Mill Creek Surface Water Utility rates.
  • How other regional cities manage surface water and what their costs are.

Gathmann said this issue has arisen because a number of Mill Creek’s homeowners associations would like the City to take over maintenance responsibility for their privately owned storm water drainage facilities.

Gathmann reported that Mill Creek’s Surface Water Utility was formed in 1999 in order for the City to comply with the United State Environmental Protection Agency’s mandates, “reduce man-made pollution and adverse environmental impacts to streams, lakes and other water bodies.”

According to Gathmann, the Surface Water Utility maintains public storm water drainage infrastructure by sweeping streets; cleaning out and repairing storm drains, catch basins, vaults, and retention ponds; and by upgrading equipment as necessary. He said that at the present time, privately owned storm water drainage systems are maintained by their owners to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) mandates.

Gathmann provided the following information gathered informally:

“The approach used by other cities and counties for maintenance of surface water facilities within their jurisdiction varies. Some, like Mill Creek, only maintain facilities on public property. Other cities maintain facilities on both public and private property. Most cities contacted do maintain at least some drainage facilities serving private property, but typically only if the facilities meet current design standards and are on land dedicated to the city. None of the cities contacted maintain facilities on commercial property.”

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