City council approves bid for Luther Burbank shoreline project

Council accepts, discusses draft Climate Action Plan.

Mercer Island City Council members have given Specialty Equipment LLC/Neptune General Contractors the nod to soon begin construction on the Luther Burbank South Shoreline Restoration Project.

At its Jan. 17 meeting, council approved the Anacortes company’s $376,639.99 bid (plus 10.1% sales tax) along with myriad items on its consent agenda. Four other bids rolled into the city’s domain in early December of 2022 and the chosen bid was the lowest of the group (the highest was Talakai Construction LLC with $669,438.88).

According to a city document, the project will focus on improving aquatic habitat and addressing ongoing erosion along 785 feet of south shoreline between the docks and the swim beach.

“Improvements include placing fish habitat gravel and intermittent large woody debris along the shoreline, relocating an existing trail, invasive plant removal, and shoreline buffer riparian planting,” the document reads.

The total project cost is set at $574,267, which is $733 less than the approved budget for 2023-24, and receives funding from a trio of grants and King County parks levy funds. The budget includes construction support services, habitat restoration work by conservation corps crews and volunteers, plants and materials and more.

Construction is slated to commence this April and continue in increments until approximately the third quarter of 2024.


Island residents have been digging into the recently published draft of the city’s inaugural Climate Action Plan (CAP).

In a report during the draft handoff to city council on Jan. 17, CAP project manager Ross Freeman said that 187 people had visited the post on Let’s Talk and 118 people had tapped into the online interactive public comment tool platform. Staff will reveal results from the monthlong public comment period at council’s March 7 meeting; a public hearing will also occur during council’s Feb. 7 meeting.

“The draft CAP sets Mercer Island on a realistic and defined path to transition to clean energy sources, electrify transportation, enhance stormwater and tree planting programs, reduce waste, and strengthen our climate change preparations,” reads a city press release, which adds that the Island aims to reduce community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a rolling schedule of 50% by 2030, 75% by 2040 and 95% by 2050, compared to a 2007 baseline.

In the introduction to the draft plan — which was published the second week of this month — Jason Kintner, Public Works chief of operations, said that community engagement and widespread participation will be critical for the plan to reap success.

The CAP pinpoints six focus areas — cross-cutting and municipal; buildings and energy; transporation; consumption and disposal; natural systems; and community resilience — and features a plethora of actions, which include low-carbon schools, climate advocacy and partnerships, climate outreach/education and more.

City Manager Jessi Bon said that a solid effort of more than 20 staffers and the consultant team have brought the draft CAP to fruition.

“I think the document is extremely professionally done, very thorough analysis, very thoughtful in everything it does,” said councilmember Craig Reynolds, who was one of several members to voice positive feedback of the CAP.

Potential adoption dates of the final CAP will be either March 21 or April 4.

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