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Aug 31

Mayor's Update - August 30, 2019

Posted on August 31, 2019 at 8:58 PM by Joshua Stecker

Summer is wrapping up, kids are going back to school and fall is on its way. I hope everyone was able to enjoy Summer Sounds, Movies at the Park and all of the other beauty the harbor has to offer this time of year.

At the August 12th meeting Council authorized staff to go after two grants for projects on Stinson Avenue. The first will be a roundabout at the intersection of Stinson and Rosedale and the second will be a free-standing traffic light at the 3-way intersection at Stinson and Harborview. Both projects should make Stinson Avenue much safer for cars and pedestrians and should greatly improve traffic flow through downtown. Both projects were considered safe by our consulting traffic engineers.

Council also revised the terms for most of the City’s advisory boards, adding term limits and making it a requirement that Planning Commissioners and Parks Commissioners be City residents. For most of the boards, members are now appointed for 3-year terms and cannot be appointed more than 3 terms in a row.

The Gig Harbor Arts Commission awarded $13,830 to six recipients as part of their Creative Endeavors Support Program. Congratulations to the recipients which were Peninsula Hands on Art, Gayle Beard Design, Kate Everling, NW Choir Resources/Spectrum Choral Academy, Gig Harbor Film Festival, and Bike Gig Harbor!

Congratulations to Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team’s Nevin Harrison who became the first American to win a world championship in sprint canoe, taking home the gold at the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary! We are proud of her accomplishments and we wish her the best in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo representing the United States and Gig Harbor!

Several key business developments are coming soon to Gig Harbor:

  • Key Bank:  The City has received applications for a change of use and remodel of the old Key Bank Building Downtown along Pioneer.  The applicant proposes to make the building more align with the City’s Design Manual and will provide the much needed pedestrian frontage improvements while also providing more open space than is required.  Currently, the uses proposed are a pharmacy and tap room.  
  • Old Fred Meyer: The City has received applications for remodel of the old Fred Meyer on the east side of Highway 16.  The front façade will be modified and the building will be split into 2 or 3 tenants.  Currently, we are aware of Ross and Ulta Beauty stores occupying the spaces. 
  • Main and Vine: The City has also received applications for a new grocery store tenant in the old Main and Vine (QFC) building along Olympic Drive. 

On August 12, CHI Franciscan launched its Mission Control Center in Gig Harbor to enhance services, optimize patient care, and increase its capacity to serve more patients throughout eight of its acute care hospitals. Built in collaboration with GE Healthcare, the NASA-style Mission Control Center harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics to coordinate patient care and resources across the entire health system. By streaming real-time data on key aspects of patient care staff can direct resources to areas of high need and give health care providers the critical information they need to best care for patients, which ultimately increases patient access to care and improves health outcomes.

Mary Bridge will be expanding their services in the Point Fosdick area by providing a pediatric clinic and more.

Our Police Department will once again be hosting the popular Citizens Police Academy this fall.  This six-week course will provide citizens insight into law enforcement and how our police department operates.  Instruction is provided by our own police officers which includes topics such as patrol procedures, evidence collection, criminal law and procedures, use of force, and what it is truly like to be a police officer.  There will also be field trips to our 911 dispatch center and the jail.   There is no cost to attend, but we ask that citizens signed up for the academy commit to attending all of the class sessions.   The course will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from September 17 through October 17 with one Saturday morning session along the way.   For more information or to sign up, please click on https://www.cityofgigharbor.net/359/Police, contact our Citizens Police Academy coordinator Allen Beck at becka@cityofgigharbor.net or stop by our police department.   Space is limited, so be sure to sign up soon.

Please help us welcome our newest City employees both Michelle Thomas who comes to us from the City of Port Orchard as our new Planning Technician and Josh Gilchrist who joins from a private consulting firm in Oregon as our new Associate Engineer.

On June 26th Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (“S&P”) upgraded the City’s water and sewer utility revenue bonds to AA with a Stable Outlook.  With this upgrade, the City is the highest rated utility provider in Pierce County.  This upgrade was in conjunction with the City’s sale of $8.6 million of refunding bonds.  The City received nearly $700,000 in net present value savings over the term of the bonds.  This upgrade also positively affects any potential future bond sales, and the ability of the city to lock-in low tax-exempt rates.

On Tuesday, September 3rd at 5:00 p.m., the Gig Harbor Evening Rotary will be hosting the two candidates for City Council position #5 at Heron’s Key. Robyn Denson and Michelle Matheson will be attending. This event will be open for the public to get a chance to hear what the candidates have to say. The League of Women Voters will also be holding a forum for the Council candidates on October 7th at 6:00 p.m.

Have an excellent Labor Day weekend!

Cheers,

Kit