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Public invited to discuss Tent City

On Oct. 22, the city will host a communitywide open house to discuss “lessons learned from” the 2008 Tent City 4 experience on Mercer Island. The public is invited to attend the forum, discuss and share opinions and view the city’s draft Temporary Encampment ordinance, which is available for viewing on the city’s Web site.

The ordinance, which covers state and municipal regulations for temporary encampments on Mercer Island, was prepared by city staff. The document stems from a temporary-use agreement that the city granted Tent City 4, a roaming homeless camp managed by SHARE/WHEEL, allowing it to stay on Mercer Island from August to November 2008. The United Methodist Church hosted the camp on its First Hill Property.

The City Council has asked staff to have an ordinance ready by Jan. 31, 2010. In late August, the city held a public meeting with First Hill residents to hear their perspectives on the 2008 Tent City visit. The next step, as agreed by city staff and Councilmembers, is to hold a community open house where the draft ordinance will be up for discussion. The Oct. 22 open house begins at 7 p.m. at the Community Center at Mercer View.

For background information about Tent City’s stay on Mercer Island, please visit www.mercergov.org/tentcity.

Comments and questions can be directed to George Steirer, principal planner, at 275-7719 or george.steirer@mercergov.org.

Fall Recycling Day, Oct. 24

The city is hosting its annual fall recycling event on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Mercer Island boat launch. The event, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., allows Islanders to safely dispose of old electronic equipment and various household items. There are, however, restrictions on acceptable items. The following products will be taken:

• Tires: Bias ply, steel- belted and studded tires accepted. Limit: six passenger tires per household (18 inches and below), free of charge. $1.50 charge for each tire on a rim. $5 for each large truck tire and $15 for each truck tire on rim. No oversized tires accepted.

• Motor oil, filters and antifreeze: Motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, 2-cycle oil, steering fluid, crankcase oil, kerosene and home heating fuel. Empty oil or antifreeze containers will not be accepted.

• Household alkaline batteries.

• Cardboard: No wax-coated cardboard.

• Household goods and clothing in good repair: Mattresses and furniture will not be accepted.

• Confidential material shredding: Limit of five file-size boxes.

• Porcelain toilets and sinks with hardware removed. $5 charge (cash only).

• Propane tanks: Residential five-gallon tanks only. $5 charge.

• Refrigerators/freezers/household conditioners: $25 will be charged for each item.

• Appliances and scrap metal: Stoves, microwaves, washers, dryers, other appliances, metal push and gas lawn mowers (drained of oil and gasoline), auto parts, lawn chairs, barbecues, iron, steel, aluminum, brass, copper and other ferrous and non-ferrous metals free of charge. Light fixture ballasts and sealed drums will not be accepted.

• Electronic/computer equipment: DVD players, VCRs, stereo equipment, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners and cellular phones. Computers, computer monitors (no charge), mouse and keyboards.

• Television sets: TV sets encased in plastic, wood console, sets encased in wood and big screen TVs accepted (no charge).

For more information, go to www.mercergov.org.

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