City vacates portion of Freeman Avenue
At its June 19 meeting, the Mercer Island City Council unanimously voted to vacate a portion of Freeman Avenue, generating about $329,000 in revenue for the city.
On Feb. 24, 2016, the city discovered a landslide on Freeman Avenue, which damaged a portion of the roadway. The roadway includes city right-of-way that services five abutting properties and a private road, which serves two properties. Freeman Avenue is also home to a city sewer pump station, storm water infrastructure and Freeman Landing, an undeveloped street end park.
The vacation, which was unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission, allows for the repairs needed to be completed privately, meaning that they can be done much faster, and at a lower cost.
As a condition of the vacation, the property owners abutting the proposed vacation area are required to pay fair market value as determined by a property appraisal. The value was determined to be $450,000, but the city subtracted costs of $106,609 for the road repair and $13,500 for the removal of a city dock. All easements for city utility infrastructure will be retained.
The council held a public hearing, during which two citizens voiced concerns about the vacation, though council members called it a “win-win solution.” For more, see www.mercergov.org/CouncilMeetings.
MIYFS food pantry posts summer needs
The Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) Food Pantry is currently in need of the following items: chili, broth, canned fruit, Chef Boyardee, pasta sauces, Top Ramen, boxed cake and frosting mixes, jellies, jams and breakfast items, canned tuna and meat products, granola bars, canned soups and toiletries.
Summer is a season when community donations are at their lowest, yet pantry use is still high.
The pantry will be visited 1,500 times this year, and is stocked with Mercer Island community donations from individuals, families, churches, service clubs, school groups and local businesses.
Donations can be dropped off at the MIYFS office in Luther Burbank Park or at the Mercer Island Thrift Shop.
LED lamps to be installed at Island Crest ballfield
At its June 5 meeting, the Mercer Island City Council approved a new synthetic turf outfield for the north field at Island Crest Park and new LED lights. Fundraising efforts are still underway, but with the cost differential for LEDs becoming smaller every month, the choice to use energy-efficient lighting was compelling.
The city has increasingly turned to LED lighting for most large installations, such as a streetlight retrofit in Town Center (2014) or the Community Center parking lot (2015). These LED lighting projects save the city money not only in much smaller utility costs, but also in reduced labor costs due to much longer bulb-life, and help shrink the city’s carbon footprint due to lower energy needs.
City to host meetings on leash laws, voice control
Dog owners are invited to a free workshop to learn what voice control actually means, and why having off-leash and on-leash dogs together is an especially tricky environment for dogs and people. Attendees will learn how to set up their dog and themselves for success in public settings, and discover voice control skills to practice with dogs even in the presence of distractions. The city of Mercer Island allows dogs to be under “voice control” in most public places.
No registration is required for the workshops, which will be held from 7-8 p.m. July 11 at Luther Burbank Park and 7-8 p.m. at the Island Crest Park ballfield. No dogs at this event please. Instructor Shawn Crincoli is a certified professional dog trainer.
Call 206-275-7609 for more information.
Letterboxing underway in Pioneer Park
The city’s letterboxing program is underway again this summer at Pioneer Park, from June 3 to Oct. 31.
Letterboxes are hidden in all three sections of the park. Participants can pick up a letterbox clue book, make their own rubber stamp, and start hunting. Now in its eighth year, the letterboxing program attracted over 400 participants last summer, and is a fun way to encourage kids of all ages to explore the park’s extensive trail system. Pioneer Park has 6.6 miles of trails for hiking, running and walking.