Council Roundup: May 23, 2022

Insurance Services, ARPA Recovery Roadmap, Boulevard Park Flooding
Recovery Roadmap. Investing in Burien's Pandemic Recovery.

The Burien City Council heard an overview of the services that Washington Cities Insurance Authority delivers, weighed in on a first draft of an investment plan to help Burien recover the pandemic, and discussed the results of a study that looked at the causes and possible solutions to flooding in the Boulevard Park neighborhood.

WCIA Delivers Overview of Services they Provide to the City

Rob Roscoe, deputy director of Insurance Programs at the Washington Cities Insurance Authority (WCIA), presented information to the City Council about insurance services they provide the City of Burien. WCIA is a municipal organization of Washington public entities who joined together through interlocal agreement in 1981 to form a liability risk pool.

City Council Begins More Detailed Discussion of Burien’s Recovery Roadmap

The City of Burien has received $10.8 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funds available to invest in the community to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the City Council approved using ARPA funding for a six-year investment in public safety, cybersecurity and network infrastructure improvements, and financial consulting services, leaving more than $7 million unallocated.

After a process of reviewing City planning documents and gathering input from the community and City staff investment options were prepared for the City Council to consider.

The investment options are in four areas: direct financial assistance, building community or addressing community needs, economic development initiatives, and infrastructure and service delivery improvements. See for more detail.

City Council added their own feedback to the priorities that were presented. The City Council will be weighing in via a survey delivered by the consulting firm Management Partners to prioritize the options that were presented, as well as add their own ideas.

City staff will then bring back updated investment options for the City Council to consider during their June 6 meeting.

Solutions to Flooding in Boulevard Park Discussed

City staff presented results of a study of flooding and septic failures impacting an area of the Boulevard Park neighborhood. The study includes possible solutions including a strong recommendation for properties that are currently on septic to connect to sewer. City staff have been discussing sewer options with Valley View Sewer District, which received state funding to connect approximately 40 properties to the public sewer system.

A historic natural non-fish bearing stream runs through mostly private property in the area. Flooding in the north end of the basin was caused by installation of an undersized pipe and unpermitted fill. Private property owners for decades have altered the flow of the natural stream, causing more flooding.

Discussion focused on benefits and risks of different solutions as well as funding opportunities. City staff will bring back the topic for the City Council to discuss and potentially take action on, including potential use of American Rescue Plan federal funding to help property owners pay for connections to a new sewer system.