The meeting began at 7:02 pm with all elected officials present. The agenda was approved after adding a staff report on the sewers. No minutes were presented.
Sewer: Town engineer Jerry Morrisette felt the project overall was going well and was within budget. He outlined the upcoming paving schedule and noted the project is about 80% complete. They have to wait until August to complete the sewer main along Baltimore Street near the railroad because their permit with BNSF has a specific time period. Morisette said there are about 40 homes outside of Ruston that drain into the town’s main line, but that was offset by some areas where Ruston drains into the Tacoma main. The mayor reminded everyone that Tacoma water will be installing new lines along the other side of 49th Street, so that entire street will get new pavement.
Councilmember Hunt remembered that Point Ruston was required to make improvements on Baltimore Street all the way to N. 46th, but the mayor thought those were triggered by traffic increases and would not happen immediately. The short plat of Stack Hill requires improvements to the east side of Baltimore along the development. Councilmember Hedrick wanted to find the funds to repave the last stretch of Baltimore between the new Point Ruston road and the new pavement from the sewer project. The mayor thanked Morrisette for working with him over the weekend right after surgery.
Kevin Moser felt the sewer contractor showed a lack of respect for residents when they parked their equipment on the street, using the on-street parking usually available for the community. He also thanked the town maintenance staff for clearing out the overgrown sidewalks along Baltimore Street.
Resolution 514 – Authorize Mayor to Execute an Amendment to Temporary Lease with New Cingular Wireless: The mayor thanked the town planner for negotiating more money for this lease. Hedrick would have preferred this had been figured out before the first agreement was signed. He appreciated the local residents putting up with the generator noise while the cell tower was up. Councilmember Hardin confirmed Cingular was on the roof of the school building. He agreed this change should have been anticipated. He felt the town was always getting the butt end of these things and it showed a lack of planning and preparedness. The resolution passed 5-0.
Resolution 515 – Adoption of Town Investment Policy: Hedrick noted that this policy called for a committee of councilmembers on different election cycles, which would be difficult right now since he was the only one on his cycle (due to resignations). Hedrick thanked Councilmember Judd for working with the town attorney on this policy. Hunt was happy to see it finally in place. It passed 5-0.
Resolution 516 - Authorize Mayor to Execute Indigent Defense Services Contract: Hunt asked how indigent was defined. Chief Kunkel said the judge has a screening form, but there is no verification of income. After more discussion, the measure passed 5-0.
Claims and Payroll
Hedrick confirmed the $2,100 for the new striping on 51st was done at a discounted price along with other striping in the area. Hunt noted the $93,000 payment to Tacoma Sewer. Tacoma had not billed since August 2011. The town clerk noticed the error recently and notified the utility. Claims and payroll was approved 5-0.
Mayor Hopkins announced that he had appointed Sue Waters to the Civil Service Commission, joining Patty Turner and Dick Shore.
Hedrick encouraged everyone to read Peter Callahan’s article on the 4th of July and he thanked the police department for sponsoring the kid’s parade on the 4th again this year. He thought the Taste of Tacoma went well. Hedrick noted the turmoil the last week with the opening of Ruston Way. He wanted everyone to know that he was the one who called the mayor when he saw traffic on Baltimore Street after Point Ruston opened the road. It had always been the town’s intent to keep that road shut down. He was chagrined by the abuse the mayor had taken the last week by certain members of the public and he thought it needed to stop. The mayor has the council support on these decisions. He is really not happy reading blog posts that say ‘off with the mayor’s head’. It’s not funny when there are unstable people out there. They are just volunteer politicians trying to do a job and they don’t need their lives threatened if though it might be in jest.
The mayor announced that the town has not accepted the new roadways (Ruston Way or Baltimore) because all the conditions had not been met.
Hunt agreed with Hedrick’s concerns about the threats to the mayor.
Hardin felt that Baltimore needed to be closed for safety concerns. He felt the mayor had huge shoulders and he commended him for all his work over the weekend and the grief he took.
Kristovich noted that the next installment of painted Adirondack chairs would be displayed in front of town hall July 22nd- 27th and auctioned off on July 28th.
Judd had no comment.
The meeting adjourned at 7:57 pm.