Newcastle City Council roundup — May 20

May 21, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 1 p.m. May 21, 2014

The Newcastle City Council held its second meeting of the month May 20. Here is the Cliffs Notes version of what happened at City Hall. View the full meeting agenda online here and listen to the meeting audio here.

Neighbors call for speed bumps

A sizable group of neighbors from in and around Southeast 75th Street used the first public comment period to express their concerns about speeding on that roadway.

“Our street has become a dragway,” one resident said.

It’s not a new problem, they said, but they fear it could worsen when the new Renton School District middle school is developed.

The residents showed a video highlighting some of the excessive speeding on their street. Of particular concern was the 125th Place Southeast and Southeast 75th Street intersection.

Neighbors said they have trepidations about letting their children play in the yard, and are concerned about the effect the speeds have on a nearby bus stop as students wait for and exit the vehicle.

Residents, who noted they’ve come to the council with concerns in the past, asked the city to take a look at the street and consider speed bumps on the road.

Council wants feedback on disc-golf course

The Newcastle City Council said they’d need more public feedback about the potential installation of a disc-golf course in the city before they give staff the go-ahead to pursue a grant for the project.

Staff suggested applying for a King County Youth Sports Facilities grant to fund the project on the vast Southeast 95th Way property. The total cost is estimated at $60,000, and if the grant is pursued and approved, it would pay for half of that.

The Southeast 95th Way property has long been envisioned as a future sports park, and more recently (about three years ago) considered for an off-leash dog park.

Council members said they wanted to hear from citizens to see if this is something they would want in the city. Councilwoman Carol Simpson said she in particular would like to hear from the local baseball groups, who might feel they have some ownership in the property.

The construction of the disc-golf course would probably be such that long-term plans for a future sports park need not be scrapped, said City Manager Rob Wyman.

The subject will likely be brought up at the council’s June 3 town hall to solicit feedback. The King County grant application is an annual offering, so there didn’t seem to be much urgency if this year’s deadline is missed.

Odds and ends

The meeting was popular Public Works Director Mark Rigos’ last. He has accepted a position with the city of North Bend.

The council heard from A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) representative and then proceeded to unanimously approve a work program and trust-fund award to the organization that works to preserve and increase the supply of housing for low– and moderate-income households in the region.

The council approved the work scope for its annual pavement rehabilitation program and awarded a contract to a company. They approved a plan that includes the base bid, and bid additive C. You can see if your street is in line for some overlay improvements on page 190 of the council agenda packet.

The City Council continued to discuss its impact fee programs as it looks toward an update. Impact fees are a comprehensive grouping of charges based on new development within a local municipality. These fees are assessed to pay for capital facility improvement projects necessitated by new development.

Lastly, the council tabled the marijuana moratorium discussion for a later date.

Mayor Steve Buri and Councilman Rich Crispo were absent from the meeting.

What’s next

The next regular Newcastle City Council meeting is June 17.

Before that, though, the council invites residents to provide their feedback on all things Newcastle at the city’s annual town-hall meeting June 3.

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