Mukilteo reappoints two commissioners, discusses infrastructure improvements

MUKILTEO, Wash., May 6, 2022 – The Mukilteo City Council discussed the WSDOT 525 Bridge update, waterfront development, assigned Councilman Richard Emery to the Historic Preservation Committee, and reappointed Tim Ellis and Frank Foster to the Parks and Art Commission at their Regular Meeting on Monday, May 2.

Before addressing the agenda, Councilman Jason Moon read a proclamation recognizing May as Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

As the proclamation states, Asian Americans make up around 20% of Mukilteo residents. However, until recently there has been very little representation in city government, as pointed out by DEI Commissioner Simon Bay who took to the podium after Moon’s reading.

“In time the DEI Commission hopes to make the various heritage recognitions more meaningful through community events,” Bay said. “The hopes of the DEI commission are to further their progress of fair representation and sound policy making with diversity and equity in mind, not just for Asian Americans, but for all minorities.”

WSDOT 525 Bridge Update

Matt Niehaus, Public Works Director, presented to council an update on the BNSF railroad at the SR 525 crossing location which aims to provide safe pedestrian access to the waterfront.

The city received $2,271,000 from the state budget, from 2015 to 2021, to fund the project. The city has currently spent $955,000 of that on design and most recently came out to bid the needed $1,500,000 for construction but the amount remaining amount is only about $1,316,000.

Some ideas Public Works has for cost reduction is to remove the overlooks, remove the stairs to new parking, remove full bridge deck overlay, remove illumination under bridge, and remove landscaping but keep ADA accessibility since that is one of the driving focuses of the project.

As far as the new bridge there is $46 million allocated in the State’s transportation budget; however, the 16-year budget does not prioritize projects passed year two until the next legislative session. The project could take three to six years to complete, Niehaus said.

The questions Niehaus presented to council with are: does the city stay within the budget, move along with safety concerns, and what should be removed or what should be prioritized since, even if the project were to get funding in year three, it may take up to six years to complete?

Both council member Tom Jordal and Council Vice President Elisabeth Crawford voiced their stance to move ahead with this project with Crawford adding that ARPA funds could be allocated to address the financial constraints.

Councilman Louis Harris, who sits on the Infrastructure Committee, and Mayor Joe Marine, who sat on the same committee, both agreed to move forward with the project with safety improvements as a priority.

Council Vice President Crawford suggested the topic be brought up at a future Work Session so council could “deep dive” into the issue further.

Port of Everett presentation on waterfront redevelopment

Following Public Works’ appearance request, Lisa Lefeber, Acting CEO for the Port of Everett, presented to council some drafts on the waterfront vision that were assembled recently through the stakeholder group.

The port hired NBBJ, a Seattle architecture firm, to help with this process and the vision planning process through 2022, forming a stakeholder workgroup that is meant to represent the varied interests and attractions at the waterfront.

The Port has recently held three workgroup sessions to discuss current waterfront opportunities and constraints and held interviews with City Council members and others to gather feedback.

On Thursday, May 5, an Open House was also held at Rosehill Community Center Christiansen Room to provide the opportunity for residents to offer feedback with a larger community. An online survey is also being offered to offer feedback through May 26.

The draft vision statement states: The Mukilteo waterfront is filled with adventure, culture, and economic opportunities for the community and region. It is an equitable and convenient gathering place, which offers a sustainable mix of uses for year-round enjoyment and promotes access to the beach and wonders of the Salish Sea.

It should be authentically Mukilteo, have thoughtful parking, pedestrian friendly, environmentally conscious and sustainable, celebrates culture, education focused, transportation and regional hub, boating and shoreline access, and a year-round destination.

The Port has also been working on the Parklet connected to Ivar’s who are planning on opening outdoor dining by Memorial Day weekend.

The next steps are to hold a fourth workgroup session to review community input, modify and refine vision statement as needed, and present vision statement and guiding principles to City Council and Port Commission in June.

Consent agenda

Councilman Richard Emery opted to remove item five from the consent agenda, amendments to council rules for meetings times and standing committees, to include Environment and Infrastructure Committees.

On February 7, 2022, City Council adopted ordinance No. 1460 which changed the start time for City Council regular meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. An amendment to the City Council Rules of Procedure is also required as it includes information about meeting starting (and ending) times.

Item six, regarding electric vehicles for the Mukilteo police department, was also removed from the consent agenda because the Mustang Mach E model that was being considered is not currently being offered through the year due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The remaining three items approved included approving minutes for the City Council Work Session March 14, 60th Avenue Drainage Construction Acceptance, and the item regarding meeting start/end times and standing committees as amended by Councilman Emery.

Historic Preservation Commission Council Appointments

Councilman Emery self-appointed himself as Council Liaison for the Historic Preservation Commission. Following this, Council Vice President Crawford made the motion to appoint Councilman Emery, seconded by Councilman Riaz Khan. Councilman Moon added that he could be a “backup” or alternative to Councilman Emery, if need be.

The Council committee assignments for 2022 were determined at the February 14, 2022, work session, based upon a list of committees needing liaisons or City representatives. The Historic Preservation Commission was inadvertently omitted from the list and an assignment was not made at that time.

The motion to assign Councilman Emery to this commission, with Councilman Moon as alternative, to this position passed unanimously.

Parks and Art Commission Appointments

Council unanimously approved Mayor Joe Marine’s picks for the Parks and Art Commission for a three-year term beginning May 3, 2022, through May 3, 2025, reappointing Tim Ellis and Frank Foster. The motion was made by Council Vice President Crawford and seconded by Councilman Emery.

“Thank you so much for continually serving your community and to give back your time,” Council Vice President Crawford said.

Frank Foster is the current Chair for the Parks and Arts Commission. Mr. Foster is a university supervisor for Central Washington University. He was a teacher, coach, and administrator for the Mukilteo School District for 30 years. Foster has also served on several other boards such as the Boys and Girls club, Mukilteo Little League, Olympic View Boys athletics teams, and Mariner High School football and basketball. He has lived in Mukilteo for 43 years.

Tim Ellis is the current Vice Chair for the Parks and Arts Commission. He served on the Climate Action Committee as the Cahir from 2019 to 2020 and is a retired Boeing manager. He also serves on WSU Beach Watchers and the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee. Ellis wants to help assure Mukilteo parks capture as much atmospheric carbon as possible, as well as work to eliminate invasive plants without harming native species. Ellis has lived in Mukilteo for 36 years.

Kienan Briscoe

Michael Kienan Briscoe (referred to by his middle name 'Kienan') has a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University and has worked as a freelancer for a variety of publications and organizations throughout New York City and Seattle. Journalism, to him, is one of the most important public tools to ensure an educated and aware society of events surrounding them. When he is not reporting he enjoys writing fiction and poetry, playing guitar, reading classic literature, and getting outdoors. He lives in Seattle with his two dogs.

Kienan Briscoe has 317 posts and counting. See all posts by Kienan Briscoe

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