As the city of Mercer Island continues its pandemic recovery, there’s music, reopenings and expansion of services on the docket.
In August and September, the city’s Arts Council will unleash a trio of Thursday Mostly Music in the Park concerts under the Mercerdale Park pergola. The series was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
Country boys The Olson Bros Band will kick off the series at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19, followed by rock and rollers Dynamite Supreme at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 and LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends with some soul, pop and R&B sounds at 6 p.m. on Sept. 2. Bell’s expansive bio notes that Elton John has recorded some of his tunes. For more information on the concerts, visit www.mercerisland.gov/mostlymusic.
Following the Planning Commission’s virtual meeting at 6 p.m. on July 28, the city will take a recess from council, board and commission meetings until the city council reconvenes at 5 p.m. on Aug. 31. If the council requires a meeting before then, the public will be notified, said City Manager Jessi Bon at the July 20 council meeting.
“This August recess is really important for the city staff team because we are preparing to reopen City Hall (on Sept 7). We are going to take advantage of this down time to get everybody back to City Hall,” said Bon, adding that board and commission meetings will resume in September.
Council’s Aug. 31 virtual meeting — which replaces the previously scheduled Sept. 7 Zoom gathering — will possibly be its last fully remote meeting since the pandemic began. On Aug. 31, staff will sit at the dais and test the city’s hybrid meeting technology.
Also on the city front, the recreation division and the community center will be expanding their services in August, Bon said.
Over at the Thrift Shop — which is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays — the staff will soon announce an expansion of hours at its site at 7710 SE 34th St., according to Bon.
The shop grossed $6,500 in sales on July 11 during its first day with no-capacity restrictions since March 2020.
“Build Back Better” is the theme of the positive recharge for the resale boutique, which was shuttered in March 2020 due to the pandemic and returned to Sunday-only five-hour operations in August 2020. The shop helps fund the city’s Youth and Family Services.
“I think we’re in a great position to come back even stronger,” said Sharon Perez, interim administrator, in a previous Reporter story. “I think the community is really enthusiastic to start donating and shopping and volunteering.”
During her report at the July 20 council meeting, Bon said that the city experienced a low-pressure event on the early morning of July 18 when the Island’s pump station sustained a minor failure. The incident shut down the Island’s water system to protect its infrastructure.
Public Works crews responded quickly and “we got the pumps up and running again and water pressure returned,” said Bon, noting that some residents received a code-red alert from NORCOM and a host of Islanders did the correct thing by calling the city’s non-emergency number to report the incident. Water pressure was returned to normal by mid-morning and water quality was not impacted.
The city will discuss the scenario with NORCOM, said Bon, who added that residents can sign up to receive alerts at www.mercerisland.gov/emergencyalert.