Monday night’s Gig Harbor City Council meeting moved quickly through two presentations and seven items of new business, with the meeting adjourned in a little more than an hour.
The city announced plans for an open house at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Civic Center about the Asian Gypsy Moth and the eradication plan from the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Jerisich Dock enforcement
Police Chief Kelly Busey spoke to the council about the recent work underway to bring utilities to Jerisich Dock and proposed amendments to help with dock enforcement.
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The amendments are designed to assist with the enforcement of moorage fees, would incorporate the buoys into the public dock ordinance, would slightly adjust time limits and would allow the police department to issue infractions for violations, including overtime moorage.
Free day use of the dock would remain, Busey said.
Changes to moorage rates are set to be introduced on a separate resolution at the next city council meeting.
The council agreed to bring the amendment back on the consent agenda at the next meeting.
Waterfront Farmer’s Market
Pat Schmidt and Heidi Gerling gave a presentation about the Waterfront Farmer’s Market held at Skansie Brothers Park.
Schmidt, president of the Downtown Waterfront Alliance, spoke about the 2015 market, which was regarded as a success by organizers.
According to Schmidt, there were 17 markets last year with an average attendance of 1,000 customers per market and an average vendor sale of $105,000.
Gerling, the market manager, spoke about plans and goals for the upcoming year, with the market set to run from June 2 to Aug. 25.
The market’s goal for 2016 is to increase the number of visitors to Gig Harbor.
“What we see the market as is a vibrant destination spot,” Gerling said. “A place to enjoy the entertainment and the atmosphere of being downtown.”
Along with new sponsorship from Main & Vine, the market is also looking to partner with other local businesses and organizations. Some of the anticipated partnerships include the Peninsula School District, local senior citizen resident facilities and activity centers, the Gig Harbor Pierce County Library, the Harbor History Museum and Harbor WildWatch.
Gerling also announced that this year the market will also be able to accept EBT cards and will feature a new demo kitchen with presentations from local chefs.
Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm presented amendments to an existing city ordinance designed to establish a standard for testing backflow prevention assemblies within the city’s water service area.
Backflow prevention assemblies are safeguards in the water system used to stop contaminated water from entering the city’s water supply in the event of a severe pressure change. They are required only in specific situations and are used to prevent contamination.
The ordinance further establishes a standard for these assemblies and outlines violations, testing standards and inspection standards. The current testing is performed annually by contractors hired independently by the home or business owner.
The council agreed to bring the ordinance back at the next meeting as old business.
City Administrator Ron Williams spoke about the contracts up for renewal with the Downtown Waterfront Alliance and the Economic Development Board.
Williams highlighted the many partnerships between the city and the alliance over the past year and noted that the $10,000 2016 contract is half the 2015 contract, due to the success of the Waterfront Farmer’s Market which is moving toward being self-sustainable.
Williams also spoke about the Economic Development Board pledge, which is up for a five-year renewal in the amount of $20,000 a year.
The mission of the board is a combination of retaining existing businesses and attracting new businesses, Williams said.
The council voted unanimously to renew both the alliance contract and the pledge. Lovrovich abstained from voting on the alliance contract because she is on the alliance board.
During the public comments, residents spoke highly of the partnership between the city and the alliance and expressed their thanks for the council’s decision to renew the contract.
Planning Director Jennifer Kester presented to the council a request from city staff to rescind resolution 1024, which approved the final plat of The Village at Holly Circle, a proposed housing development located at the intersection of Hollycroft Street and Reid Drive NW.
According to Kester, a complaint was made to the city by a neighbor who said that there had been unauthorized tree removal at the site.
An investigation on Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 found tree removal and substantial grading to the area. A violation and a stop work notice were issued.
The final plat can no longer be signed by city officials, Kester said, because the plat is no longer in line with the city’s municipal code.
The council unanimously voted to rescind the final plat for the location.
Public records requests
City clerk Molly Towslee presented proposed changes to the current public records request policy for the city.
These alterations, according to Towlsee, would not change current procedures but would outline those procedures for further clarity.
“We are as open as we possibly can (be), and receptive (to requests)” she said. “This is continuing on the way we always have been.”
Council member Casey Arbenz spoke highly of the public records request policy of the city.
“We have a great policy here,” he said. “Gig Harbor is committee to public disclosure on all fronts.”
The council unanimously approved the changes to the existing public records request policy.
Pierce County Library
Tracey Thompson and Terri May from the Pierce County library system presented author Sherman Alexie as the 2016 choice for the Pierce County Reads program.
Thompson, branch manager for the Gig Harbor Pierce County library, announced a new blog for the program and the schedule for the upcoming activities with the program.
“It’s a bit of a break of tradition to feature a writer instead of a book,” Thompson said of this year’s choice, adding that in previous years the program has focused on a single book, while this year there will be five featured books.
More information about Pierce County Reads can be found online at www.piercecountyreads.org.
Zoo and Trek
Towslee also spoke about the open nomination period to the Zoo and Trek Authority Board.
Council member Michael Perrow put his name forward for nomination to the board and council member Ken Malich seconded his nomination.
The nomination will return for council vote on nominees soon.