Council Roundup: December 6, 2021

Proclamations, Grant Funding Updates, Budget, Kinect@Burien, Tree Memorial Program, Tree Regulations, DESC, Councilmember Salaries
Posted on 12/10/2021
Large tree with rooftops of houses visible below extending into the distance.

The Burien City Council adopted the mid-biennium budget update. They also issued a proclamation in honor of people with disabilities as well proclamations to honor outgoing councilmembers Krystal Marx, Pedro Olguin, and Nancy Tosta. The City Council heard updates on major grants, discussed Kinect@Burien’s apprenticeship program donation, reviewed the tree memorial program, discussed updated tree regulations, clarified process for the approval of the DESC supportive housing project, and discussed councilmember salaries.

Proclamation Celebrates People with Disabilities

The Burien City Council issued a proclamation in support for people with disabilities, International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Proclamations Honor Outgoing Councilmembers

Councilmembers issued proclamations in honor of Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx, Councilmember Pedro Olguin, and Councilmember Nancy Tosta. The proclamations followed a virtual reception where each outgoing councilmember was presented with an honorary key to the city.

Highline United Methodist Church Preparing to Open Extreme Weather Shelter

Highline United Methodist Church has requested permits to operate a cold weather shelter in Burien. They have operated a shelter for the past several years, and their shelter is the only cold weather shelter currently set to open this winter. The Burien Community Center may also open as an extreme weather shelter if needed.

City Leaders to Engage in Conversation with Other South King County Leaders on Recent Violence

The city manager told the City Council that he and the police chief are engaging in conversations with other south King County leaders to address recent uptick in violent crimes across south King County.

Grants Will Fund Critical Infrastructure Projects

The city manager provided updates on major grants the City is set to receive. The King County Council will vote in 2022 on a $500,000 grant to fund critical HVAC work at the Burien Community Center [link to prior council roundup].

The City received $3.8 million from the Transportation Improvement Board to fund improvements sidewalks and new installation of new bike lanes on S 136th St between 1st Ave S and Des Moines Memorial Drive. The sidewalk improvements will improve sidewalks. The project will require the removal of several trees and elimination of parking on one side of the road. Trees will be planted where space allows.

The City has received approximately $38 million total grant funding in 2021 supporting projects like the Peter Western Bridge, implementation of the Housing Action Plan, public safety, residential drainage improvement and stormwater action planning, environmental improvements to Miller Creek, parks and recreation programming, improvements along Ambaum Blvd SW, and transit-oriented development.

City Manager Hiring Process Discussion Continues

The City Council continued discussions on the process for hiring a new city manager. The city manager told the City Council that he has identified three directors who have capability to serve as acting city manager and has been in touch with a search firm for hiring an interim.

The City Council directed City staff to bring a draft RFP for the selection of an executive search firm to the December 20 meeting.

2021-22 Mid-biennium Budget Update Adopted

The City Council adopted the 2021-22 mid-biennium budget update. The budget update was discussed during five meetings and two public hearings this fall and reflects priorities that were identified by the City Council during their during their February retreat sessions (watch first session video and second session video).

It also reflects the City’s stronger-than-anticipated financial position, adds more money for services to help the community recover from the pandemic, delivers cost-of-living increases for staff, and makes critical investments into equipment, vehicles, and capital projects.

The City Council also adopted three updates to the City’s financial policies: increasing the per capita amount for Human Services Program from $6.56 to $6.92, increasing the per capita amount annually rather than every two years, and increasing the Capital Partnership Reserve from $7 million to $9 million to support the building of a joint maintenance facility.

The City Council also directed the Human Services Commission to evaluate an update to the financial policies that would potentially clarify municipal funding for human services. This update would be presented to the Human Services Commission in 2022, in time for 2023–2024 budget planning.

Kinect@Burien Developer Donates $250,000 to Highline Public Schools Pre-apprenticeship Program

The City Council heard a presentation on the Highline Public Schools’ new Career and Technical Education Construction Trades Program. This program will be receiving a $250,000 donation from American Property Development, Inc. the developer constructing the new Kinect@Burien multifamily housing development in downtown Burien. The program will provide pre-apprenticeship credentials in the construction field and funding will support students this year who want to enter the program. City staff worked with the developer and Highline Public Schools to facilitate the relationship and coordinate the donation.  

Kinect@Burien is sited on a formerly underutilized parking lot owned by the City of Burien as well as the site of a former commercial building.

In October 2020, the City executed a disposition and development agreement with American Property Development, Inc. One of the terms of this agreement was that the developer was to donate $250,000 to a local trade or apprenticeship program.


DESC Housing Demonstration Project Conditions for Approval are Clarified

The City Council approved a housekeeping item to amend Resolution 457, which accepted the DESC supportive housing project into the Burien Affordable Housing Demonstration Program. On December 6, Resolution 457 was amended to be consistent with direction Council provided during their July 19, 2021 meeting. The amendment formalizes Council’s direction to allow stakeholders the necessary time to develop a comprehensive interlocal agreement (ILA) with King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) prior to the opening of the facility. The ILA will ensure that 30% of the units would be prioritized for people who are identified as living in Burien at the time the building is completed. The City Council also agreed that the DESC project may proceed, following the administrative review process, with letters that have already been obtained from the executive director of KCRHA and the executive director of DESC, communicating their intent to ensure that 30% of the units would be prioritized for people identified as living in Burien.

Tree Memorial Program Expands

The City Council discussed expansions to the City’s existing tree memorial program. The updated program will allow community members to purchase a memorial tree to be placed in a park and maintained by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department or purchase a memorial plaque that would be placed near an existing tree. The cost for a new memorial tree would be $850 and the cost to place a plaque on an existing tree would be $500. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will address Council’s comments and finalize the program over the next couple of months.

New Tree Regulations Placed on December 20 Consent Agenda

The City Council placed on the consent agenda for the December 20 meeting tree regulations that will strengthen protections for trees on private property. They also discussed a fee-in-lieu of tree replacement policy, and the hiring of an urban forest planner to support permit review, code enforcement, public education, trees in parks and rights-of-way, and future policy development.

Future Councilmembers Will Receive Increase to Salaries

The City Council adopted an increase to the City Council salaries, that would go into effect for new councilmembers. They also discussed but ultimately did not approve the creation of an independent salary commission.