Gateway: News

Quick City Council meeting yields efficient decisions

It lasted all of 30 minutes to a half-full Civic Center, but the Gig Harbor City Council got a lot done Monday night.

The council leased the Skansie Netshed to a new foundation, shared good news about a Cushman Trail award and approved a contract to fell four trees near the Civic Center.

After the meeting ended, the planning and building departments shared an hour-long presentation about growth over the next five years.

Skansie Netshed finds a new foundation

The council approved a lease for the Skansie Netshed with the newly formed Skansie Netshed Foundation. Previously, the city had a contract with the Coastal Heritage Alliance to operate the iconic netshed. According to the council packet, the alliance “sought to be released” from the contract “for a variety of reasons.” The alliance’s request was approved in a consultation with the Washington State Historical Society.

While operating the netshed, the Coastal Heritage Alliance secured a grant through the state historical society’s Heritage Capital Projects fund. The grant makes improvements to the netshed and provides programming. The grant will be transferred to the new foundation.

There is $29,540 remaining in grant funds. The city will lease the building for $1 a year.

The Skansie Netshed Foundation was the only applicant in the city’s request for proposal for a new organization to run the netshed.

Two council members are involved with the new foundation. Rahna Lovrovich sits on the foundation’s board and Steve Ekberg’s insurance brokerage firm handles the insurance coverage for the netshed.

Lovrovich abstained from voting while Ekberg voted while clarifying that his involvement with the netshed would not impact his decision. The vote to approve the new lease was unanimous.

Cushman, a happy — and award-winning — trail

City Administrator Ron Williams shared with the council the Cushman Trail recently won the 2015 Pierce County Trails Outstanding Project Award form ForeverGreen Trails.

The ForeverGreen Trails Council advocates for a county wide trail system in Pierce County, Williams said. The Cushman Trail, which was recently expanded, spans nearly 6.2 miles of Gig Harbor.

The award was part of the staff reports section of the meeting, there was no council action or public comment on the award.

Pierce County Council District 7 Council member Derek Young was excited about the award, joking on Twitter that he would “gloat” to the rest of the council about the trail’s success. Young attended the council meeting Monday night to observe.

Dangerous trees set to be removed

The council awarded a contract to Woodland Industries GC, Inc. in the amount of $5,414 for removal of trees near the Civic Center.

The contract pays for the removal of four trees, two in Grandview Forest Park and two near the city skate park. The trees are diseased and require removal.

The council approved the contract.

Planning and building departments talk growth

The latest in a series of talks on the growth of the city featured the planning and building departments. Planning Director Jennifer Kester and building official and fire marshal Paul Rice shared time at the presentation.

As the city approaches the end of 2015, Mayor Jill Guernsey and Williams proposed a series of presentations of the city’s departments concerning the city’s rapid growth.

Guernsey called the series “an excellent way to educate us all.”

“It’s just taking all of us up to a different level, and I think that’s particularly important to a small town,” she said.

The presentations immediately follow council meetings, beginning roughly around 6:30 p.m., unless the meeting finishes early as it did Monday night.

Rice shared high praise for the four-person Building and Fire Safety Department. All members of the department attended the presentation.

Kester shared information about the planning department’s work in the city.

The city council meets at 5:30 p.m. every other Monday at the Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St., Gig Harbor.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155