July 3 | Waste Collection Contract, Unique ZIP Code and More
Posted on 07/09/2018

The Newcastle City Council roundups offer a digest of notable items for those who can't make it to the regular meetings. Listen to the audio from the July 3 meeting here and view the meeting agenda packet hereView past City Council roundups at newcastlewa.gov/councilrecaps.

Council Reviews Details of Proposed Waste Collection Contract

The Newcastle City Council got its first look at the details for a proposed solid waste collection contract with Waste Management. In a presentation to the City Council, Public Works Director Jeff Brauns shared the proposed rates and service changes outlined in the contract.

Under the new proposal, the majority of customers would see a decrease in their rates, while all Newcastle residents and businesses would see an improved level of service. View contract details as outlined in a previous story here.

The City Council took no action on the proposal, other than to direct staff to bring back information on how rates would change if the city moved to every-other-week garbage collection like Renton. Staff will bring back those numbers at a subsequent meeting and the council will continue discussion on the contract.

The direction came after Director Brauns gave councilmembers a rundown of other agencies’ waste collection rates. Many of the listed cities have situations that are not comparable to Newcastle’s — Renton customers, for example, have lower rates, but their garbage is collected only every other week.

The Newcastle City Council also discussed a street administrative fee but took no action at this time. If incorporated, the fee would be added to base collection rates and serve as an additional city revenue source to offset costs associated with the weekly wear and tear the collection trucks put on Newcastle streets. The majority of residential customers would still see a rate decrease if the council chooses to implement the fee.

Resources: New solid waste collection contract (Director Brauns’ presentation) | Additional information about the proposal (Meeting agenda bill)

A Unique ZIP Code for Newcastle

A few Newcastle City Councilmembers will pen a letter to U.S. Congressman Adam Smith’s office in a renewed effort to request a unique ZIP code for Newcastle. Starting in 1995 and continuing off and on until 2010, the city attempted to petition the U.S. Postal Service for its own ZIP code several times but was unsuccessful.

The absence of a unique city ZIP code has long been an issue affecting community identity, mail and service delivery, and proper collection of sales tax revenue. Sharing ZIP codes with neighboring communities causes confusion and leads to a loss of revenue when vendors incorrectly remit sales tax to Renton.

Resources: Past city requests for a unique ZIP code (Exhibit 1)

Council Defers Action on Transportation Improvement Program Update

The Newcastle City Council will wait until September to take action on the 2019-2024 Transportation Improvement Program as it considers financial planning for the future. The TIP, a six-year planning document that outlines the city’s future transportation projects, is a state-mandated guide that ensures municipalities plan ahead to carry out and coordinate transportation projects that benefit their communities.

As a planning document, the TIP doesn’t commit the city to fund any particular project. Projects must be authorized through the city’s normal budget adoption process. State law requires communities to annually update their TIPs

Resources: 2019-2024 six-year TIP (Director Brauns July 3 presentation) | Council previews six-year TIP (June 5 City Council roundup)

Other Notes

DeLeo Wall Update: The owners of the Dalpay property and the logging company that received an application to clear-cut the scenic area known as the DeLeo Wall have agreed to delay any logging activity until early September. This gives the city, affected property owners and agencies more time to explore options to protect the area.

— The City Council rejected a bid for the pavement management program after the quoted price far exceeded the engineer’s estimate. The program will be re-bid next year as the city looks to make changes to its bidding process. Crack sealing work on city streets will be bid out separately later this year.

— The Aug. 7 City Council meeting is canceled so staff and councilmembers can attend National Night Out Against Crime festivities.

— The City Council honored retired Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine with a proclamation. Before she retired, the city and the King County Sheriff’s Office honored her at a celebration at City Hall.

— The City Council welcomed special guest Nidhi Achanta, the Newcastle resident who recently competed in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Mayor Allen Dauterman presented her with a certificate of recognition and a City of Newcastle pin. (Photo below)

City Council honors Nidhi Achanta

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