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West Seattle Bridge Repair Update, November 5; This Week in the Budget; City of Seattle Announces Awards to Seven Duwamish River Neighborhood Projects; Register for Film Career Day, This Saturday 11/6; Grants for Small Businesses to Implement Vaccine Verification

West Seattle Bridge Repair Update, November 5

West Seattle Bridge Update

The latest is that SDOT is in the final stage of completing the negotiation for the Maximum Allowable Construction Contract (MACC) for repair of the bridge. A complete MACC will mean SDOT can finally issue the Notice to Proceed (NTP) for construction of the repair.

SDOT is using the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GCCM), which varies from standard contacting methods. Normally, a project is designed, and then put out to bid. The GCCM approach saves time by involving the construction contractor in design at 60% and 90% design, to identify potential challenges, and avoid change orders that can delay projects.

There are 15 separate contract packages that, together, make up the bridge repair project.  SDOT has advertised 12 of the 15 contract packages and had bid openings on 7. The first two “early works” contract packages are moving through the award and NTP process. Activities on these contracts will start shortly, with some of the work on the bridge and some in off-site locations, preparing for on-site activities.

The repair of the West Seattle Bridge remains on schedule for mid-2022 completion.

Additional updates on the bridge repair will be available at the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting next Wednesday, November 10.

Spokane Street (lower) Bridge

On Wednesday one of the three pumps on the Spokane Street (lower) Bridge started malfunctioning, so SDOT closed the bridge for inspection. SDOT is replacing the pump now and should be done later tonight.  The bridge is currently open to land-based traffic but is closed to larger marine vessels that require both sides of the bridge to open.  SDOT had planned to replace a different pump on the bridge on Tuesday, November 9th, but this work is being done right now to avoid further closure.

Reconnect West Seattle Update

The third quarter report for the Reconnect West Seattle program is available here. 50 of 70 projects have been completed so far, including signal timing, lane striping, and bike lanes, and intersection improvements at West Marginal and Highland Park Way that facilitate the throughput of traffic, with more planned for completion later this year and in 2022.

This Week in the Budget

Budget public hearing graphic showing date of second of three public hearings is November 10 at 5:30 p.m. Sign up opens at 3:30 p.m

This week the Budget Committee has no meetings, as Chair Mosqueda develops a balancing package for the 2022 budget that incorporates some of the amendments proposed by Councilmembers.

Next week the Budget Committee is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. on November 10th, where the Chair will announce her balancing package.

A budget public hearing will take place at 5:30 p.m. on November 10; you can sign up to testify beginning at 3:30 p.m. at bit.ly/council-comment.

The Budget Committee will then meet to discuss the balancing package on November 12th at 9:30 a.m.

Last week the Budget Committee considered over 200 Councilmember amendments to the Mayor’s proposed budget. Below are some of the items that I sponsored, or where noted, co-sponsored:

Expanding pre-filing diversion to 25+: Since 2017 the City Attorney has operated a pre-filing diversion program for young adults aged 18-24; this would expand the program to those 25 and older, and continue the participation of community-based organizations on implementation; work on these issues began with the establishment in 2015 by the City Council of a Prisoner and Community Corrections Re-Entry Workgroup, which issued its final report in October 2018.

Bridges: I joined prime sponsor Councilmember Pedersen to co-sponsor a proposal for a $100 million bond sale to fund seismic and maintenance projects for bridges, with a focus on projects from the Move Seattle Levy.  It’s critical for the Council to commit to completing these projects and address the maintenance backlog.

I have an additional amendment to require monthly reporting on the progress of the West Seattle Bridge repair, working toward mid-2022 completion.

Bring LEAD to Scale Citywide:  I proposed $14.6 million to bring LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion/Let Everyone Advance with Dignity) to scale citywide in 2022.  In November 2019, Seattle City Council passed RES 31916, to acknowledge the City’s responsibility to reduce unnecessary criminal justice system involvement, and declared our commitment to fund LEAD sufficiently to accept all priority referrals citywide by 2023.  Last month LEAD presented to my Public Safety & Human Services committee the LEAD Scale Study report, including estimates of the number of people who would be served by LEAD instead of by law enforcement.  This budget action proposes to increase the base funding in the Mayor’s proposed budget sufficient to bring LEAD funding to $21 million next year.

Mental Health: The unprecedented anxiety, pain, and isolation of the past year and half are leading to negative mental health impacts for all of us – and occasionally erupting into abuse, self-harm, gunfire, assault, and other forms of violence.  That’s why I worked with the County to propose significant increases in mental health investments, including:

  • $1 million to increase funding for school-based mental and behavioral health services, and to increase the City’s investment in County-contracted mental health services including community mental health clinics, Designated Crisis Responders, and Healthcare for the Homeless.
  • $3 million to significantly expand mobile advocacy services and financial assistance for survivors of gender-based violence, a research-backed approach that promotes long-term stability, safety and well-being for survivors and their children.
  • A down payment on capital funding to rapidly set up a new voluntary behavioral health crisis center, a place for people in crisis to receive immediate, skilled support, without requiring law enforcement involvement.

Food and Nutrition:  The Mayor’s proposed budget included a significant cut in emergency food programs next year.  These resources are desperately needed to provide farm-fresh and culturally-appropriate, healthy food to the most marginalized communities.  With rising costs and supply chain challenges, now is not the time to cut back.  My actions:

  • $3.4 million to sustain food programs at their current levels through June 2022, when new state resources are expected
  • I cosponsored $200,000 for a hybrid meal delivery program for older adults and adults with disabilities, to provide both in-person congregate meals and home delivery or to-go meals in West Seattle, Ballard, and Lake City.

Services for Workforce Affordable Housing:  Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and other affordable housing providers brought to my attention an emerging need for funds for services for their residents, specifically those living in housing affordable to those making between 30% and 80% of Area Median Income.  In response, I proposed $1.5 million to distribute through the Office of Housing for this purpose.

Secure ongoing funding for the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps: Since its inception, the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps has received funding from the City through contracts at the Human Services Department. The contract was not included in the Mayor’s proposed 2022 budget. I’ve submitted a budget proposal to ensure $200,000 in funding through the Office of Sustainability.

New funding for 911 dispatchers: Increase funding by $1.8 million dollars and add 26 new positions to meet the operational demands at the dispatch center.

Expanding Health One: The Health One program has proven to be a success; however, demand for this type of response is still needed. I’ve proposed adding funding to expand the team by one more unit next year. The Seattle Fire Department is on the verge of deploying their third unit, and with the addition of a fourth team we will be able to expand the hours of operation.

Funding for additional firefighter recruits: as I’ve written about previously, the Seattle Fire Department has seen an increase in firefighter separations, a pattern we’ve seen increase this year as well. In addition to the higher-than-expected separations there are over 400 firefighters eligible for retirement. We must address the loss of firefighters immediately which is why I’ve submitted another proposal to increase recruits by 20 additional firefighters, this is in addition to the two classes of 60 currently planned for in 2022.

SPD items: A request for continuing reports on police staffing, overtime, finances, and performance metrics; reserving $250,000 for the relational policing program, an initiative of Chief Diaz that was not included in the Mayor’s proposed budget that focuses on training in the community within Seattle prior to training in the state academy; reduce the proposed overtime budget by 11% (though it would be $2 million higher than the revised 2021 budget) through efficiencies, and track overtime for events and demonstrations separately; the SPD hiring plan is fully funded.

The budget meeting schedule is available at the Select Budget Committee webpage. You can download the budget calendar here.

Budget Committee meetings have public comment for 30 minutes at the beginning of the morning session.   You can sign up to speak at the link.

City of Seattle Announces Awards to Seven Duwamish River Neighborhood Projects

The City of Seattle announced grants for seven community projects serving neighborhoods and communities along the Duwamish River. As part of the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund, these projects will help to increase the sustainability of the neighborhoods impacted by the Superfund clean-up. The projects will begin this year and will continue into 2022.

Decades of industry near the Duwamish have left significant contamination in the mud and along the river’s banks. In 2001, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed a 5.5 mile stretch of the Duwamish River as a Superfund cleanup site. Since then, the City of Seattle, King County, the Port of Seattle and the Boeing Company have invested over $100 Million in early cleanup actions to reduce contamination by 50 percent, while also working to eliminate ongoing sources of contamination.

Since 2014, the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund has granted more than $1.6 million to community projects focused on quality-of-life enhancements in the neighborhoods of South Park, Georgetown, and SODO. The fund is one component of a broader City effort to improve the quality of life and restore the health of Duwamish River communities.

2021 Duwamish River Opportunity Fund Awards

  • $40,000 to Amigos de Seattle to fund a radio show production training curriculum centered on the LGBTQ+, Indigenous, and Afro-Latino communities.
  • $39,900 to Duwamish Tribal Services to plan and design a new cafe and walk-up window on the south end of the Duwamish Longhouse.
  • $39,163 to Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association to support the development of five animated videos and a three-dimensional model that will use simple language to explain the Duwamish River Superfund Site cleanup to the community.
  • $35,129 to Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) to create and deploy a storm drain stencil and wastewater container decal that will help prevent wastewater dumping to storm drains. The stencil and decal will be targeted at food trucks in Duwamish commercial districts.
  • $39,850 to South Park Arts & Culture Collective to provide free open mic nights, public painting sessions, and ongoing art classes for young people in the South Park neighborhood.
  • $40,000 to Utility Squared Community in support of the Municipal Utility Services & Infrastructure Quick-Curriculum, a project that aimed at building the next-generation infrastructure workforce and accelerating job readiness through sparking youth curiosity and cultivating knowledge of Municipal Utility Services & Infrastructure.
  • $40,000 to Villa Comunitaria to fund the early stages of the organizing and development of a South Park Childcare Cooperative that will primarily serve Latinx women, children and families in South Park.

To learn more about the fund, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/duwamish-river-opportunity-fund. For questions, call (206) 233-0093 or email drof@seattle.gov.

Register for Film Career Day, This Saturday 11/6

film career day 2021, virtual and in person. Sat November 6 from 11am - 3pm

Film Career Day provides educational and networking opportunities to Seattle area youth interested in film and the creative industries, and brings representatives from training programs, employers, and other resources. It is 100% free to attend.

You don’t have to be in a film class or media arts program to attend — anyone who is passionate about making videos can expand their understanding of career paths in the film industry, and network with industry leaders and peers to connect with opportunities.  Learn more and register.

Grants for Small Businesses to Implement Vaccine Verification

This week I joined the Mayor and several of my Council colleagues to announce the City will be adding $2 million to the Small Business Stabilization Fund (SBSF) to support small businesses and organizations impacted by the new vaccination verification requirement in King County. Up to 2,000 eligible small businesses and organizations that are required to enforce this policy will receive additional funding of up to $1,000 to help offset the economic impacts of this requirement.

All small businesses and nonprofits such as performing arts, cultural institutions or business technical assistance nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply to the Small Business Stabilization Fund by November 14, 2021.  The grants up to $1,000 for vaccine verification are expected to begin to be distributed in December 2021.

Long before King County put vaccine verification in place, more than 140 establishments were requiring proof of vaccination already.  Standing with workers and small businesses struggling to stay open means helping to implement and enforce vaccine verification.  An analysis by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) found that the vaccine verification policy at restaurants, bars, and gyms/fitness centers alone could prevent 17,900 to 75,900 infections, 421 to 1,760 hospitalizations, and 63 to 257 deaths locally over six months.  This step will save lives, remove pressure from our healthcare workers and keep small businesses open.

To apply for the Small Business Stabilization Fund or learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process, visit seattle.gov/SmallBusinessStabilizationFund.

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