City news in Mercer Island.
Island Library to reopen July 23
The King County Library System announced that the Mercer Island Library will reopen on July 23, with a brief ceremony starting at 9:30 a.m., followed by a formal ribbon-cutting. Library staff and volunteers will arrange refreshments and entertainment. All Island residents are welcome and have been invited by mail.
The library closed in early May for interior upgrades and has since operated out of a temporary location at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. For more information on the Mercer Island Library and the renovation, visit the King County Library System webpage at www.kcls.org.
City adds clean vehicles to fleet
About eight months ago, the city added its first full-featured, commercial-grade electric vehicle, a Kia Soul EV, to the fleet to replace a retired vehicle. The city’s building inspectors have used the Kia daily since then, and additional research and testing has led to the several other clean vehicle purchases to replace aging fleet assets.
The Maintenance/Public Works Department acquired a new tractor that can also serve as a front loader. The John Deere Model H260 has a diesel engine meeting stringent tier IV emissions standards, which requires significant reductions in particulate matter (soot) and nitrogen oxide, and it runs 90 percent cleaner than previous off-road heavy equipment.
The city engineering department replaced an old site-visit vehicle with a 2016 Nissan Leaf that is 100 percent electric and can travel up to 84 miles on a single charge. Low rates for clean, pollution-free hydropower in Washington make EV fuel costs about three times cheaper than gasoline at today’s prices.
No injuries Southeast 29th Street fire
At 12:05 p.m. on July 14, the Mercer Island Fire Department, with assistance from Bellevue Fire, responded to a fully involved structure fire of a detached garage in the 7200 block of SE 29th St.
Deputy Chief Les Kenworthy stated that the fire was started by the resident’s 13 year-old son, who was attempting to burn weeds adjacent to a rockery. From there, the fire spread to the garage. The fire was contained and there were no reported injuries.
Council discusses chlorine, I-90 at Tuesday’s meeting
The chlorine booster project was developed from a consultant’s recommendation after Mercer Island’s E. coli event in 2014. The station was described as a tool that city utility engineers and operators could use to “help eliminate the risk of future contamination and addresses the challenges with chlorine decay.”
The city has been negotiating with Sound Transit and other agencies on mobility issues of concern to the Island community, with construction of East Link light rail beginning next year. Staff plans to add resources to communicate the progress of these negotiations to the public.