Council Roundup: March 15, 2021

Food Truck Pilot Program, Police Services, Ambaum Development, Maintenance Facility, Eagle Landing Stairs, Advisory Boards and Commissions
Posted on 03/22/2021
Police patch.

Burien City Council passed a food truck pilot program, discussed police services contract with King County Sheriff’s Office, heard an update on mobile vaccine program, selected applicants to interview for advisory boards and commissions, heard an update on Eagle Landing Stairs removal and new maintenance and operations facility, approved extension of Ambuam development moratorium, and discussed flooding in Boulevard Park.

Port of Seattle to Provide Funding for South King County Economic Recovery and Environmental Projects

The Port of Seattle presented an update on funding priorities of South King County Fund, created in 2018 as a way to invest in the south King County communities. In response to the pandemic, they expanded funding to include economic recovery projects. Using an equity index, they focus on projects that address vulnerabilities that are compounded by generations.

The next round of economic recovery focused funding will provide $1 million for 10 projects, including Connect for Success to help BIPOC people connect to Port industries, Partners in Employment to help immigrant job seekers impacted by COVID-19 to break into the aviation field, and support for green jobs.

Their environmental grants program supports expands the Airport Community Ecology (ACE) program and supports projects in Burien including the New Start Community Garden, EarthCorps project at Hilltop Park, and projects to be implemented by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Environmental Science Center, and Tilth Alliance.

Police vehicle.

King County Sheriff's Office Interlocal Agreement with Burien

Burien Police Chief Ted Boe kicked off the first of eight planned presentations on different aspects of police services and community safety. Monday’s presentation discussed details of the Burien’s interlocal agreement (contract) with King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO).

Captain BJ Myers provided information on the City of SeaTac’s decision to issue a a notice of intent to terminate contract with KCSO. The “45-day letter” doesn’t bind them to action and KCSO and City of SeaTac officials have met in order to understand everyone’s position. There is a process, determined by the ILA, that dictates when certain communications are required.

New Finance Staff Introduced to Council

Council was introduced to two new Finance Department staff members. Anna Cruz was promoted from Financial Analyst to Finance Manager. Rebecca Hodge was recently hired as the City’s new Financial Analyst.

Firefighters Vaccinate Seniors in Mobile Vaccine Program

Chief Mike Marrs, King County Fire District 2, presented details on their participation in Public Health – Seattle & King County’s mobile vaccination program. Designed to help vulnerable older adults get access to the COVID-19 vaccine, teams of firefighters have been visiting adult family homes, King County senior housing facilities, and other subsidized housing facilities to deliver doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. They are set to begin visiting homebound seniors participating in Meals on Wheels program this week. King County Fire District 2 is the second fire department in the south King County to set up a mobile vaccination program.

Marrs also emphasized that one of the biggest challenges is the lack of supply of vaccine. There is hope that with more supply, they can increase their vaccination efforts.

As of Monday night, 590 doses had been administered to at-risk seniors in Burien through this program and the fire department was beginning to return to deliver second doses. 90 percent of deaths from COVID-19 occur in people over the age of 60. Half occur in people over the age of 80, which is why public health officials have focused on vaccinating older adults first.

More information about vaccine clinics and other health care services.

Recent Supreme Court Decision (State v. Blake) Decriminalizes Drug Possession

Burien Police Chief Boe presented a summary of a recent Washington State Supreme Court ruling, State v. Blake, which determined the state’s felony drug possession law was unconstitutional. Justices determined that having a drug in one’s possession does not mean the person knowingly or intentionally meant to possess the controlled substance.

Prosecutor’s offices across the state are issuing guidance for law enforcement agencies. People who had been arrested for drug possession have been released from jail, and their cases have been dismissed.

Boe assured councilmembers that this new development does not impact the ability of LEAD or Co-LEAD to enroll new members because the programs seek to help people before they get arrested. The State legislature is currently exploring expanding funding for LEAD programs in other areas of the state.

Person hands food to another person.

Food Trucks Pilot Program Approved, More Discussion on April 5

After significant discussion, Council approved a one-year pilot program to allow food trucks in most areas of Burien. They also directed staff to communicate with the the signers of a petition that asked to change the terms of the food truck resolution. Staff will bring back a report of those discussions on April 5. Council may decide to modify guidelines of the pilot food truck program on April 5 after receiving more feedback.

Extension of Ambaum Development Moratorium Approved

Council extended the development moratorium on Ambaum Blvd to September 15, 2021 This will give staff time to implement a land use planning study. 

Discussion of New Maintenance and Operations Facility

Plans proceed in the development of a new maintenance and operations facility to replace the temporary and inadequate facilities currently in use by public works and parks maintenance staff. The City is establishing a partnership with Highline School District and is working with an architect to document site needs. Funding from state and federal sources is being sought to supplement the City budget set aside for the project.


Plan to Remove Eagle Landing Stairs Discussed

Council discussed plans to remove the stairs at Eagle Landing Park. Council approved the removal of the stairs in 2018. Removal of the stairs is to begin 2021 or 2022. Public Works recently completed a project to manage stormwater flow on the slope.

City Makes Plans to Address Boulevard Park Neighborhood Flooding

Public Works Director Maiya Andrews provided an update on the City’s efforts to research causes and solutions to localized flooding in an area of the Boulevard Park neighborhood. City engineers will be mapping the hydrologic flows in the areas and will then organize neighborhood meetings to discuss the findings of their research and recommended solutions.

The community were encouraged to contact Public Works with reports any clogged storm drains.

Interlocal Agreement to Provide District Court Services Discussed

Council placed on the next regular meeting’s consent agenda approval of a new contract to provide court services. The contract pays for district court services for misdemeanor offenses by adults. Burien is one of 11 cities that participate in the contract and benefits from being part of a larger, unified district court because costs can be shared on services such as a call center, probation, and interpreter costs.

Illustrations of plane, artist easel, blueprint.

Process Determined for Selection of New Board and Commission Members

Council will be interviewing 31 applicants, representing diverse backgrounds and interests, for boards and commissions on March 22 (Airport Committee and BEDP), April 5 (Human Services Commission and Planning Commission), and April 19 (Arts Commission and Parks Advisory Board). Because only five people applied to serve on the Burien Airport Committee and there are six openings, the application process has been re-opened for this committee.

Mayor Matta to Attend North American Mayors Summit

Mayor Matta will represent Burien at the North American Mayors Summit. The second North American Mayors Summit is planned to occur in Austin, Texas, but is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.