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Television coming to Sequim?
Through a recently approved contract extension with Wave Cable, the city is considering its own cable access channel.
City attorney Craig Ritchie said on Monday, Dec. 12, that in the contract, the city could run its own digital public, educational and government access channel if it has a minimum of 48 hours of programming per week.
Ritchie said possible options for the channel could include airing city council meetings, police informational videos and other city meetings, and opening it up for tourism and educational opportunities and to other agencies such as the Sequim School District and Clallam County. He said if developed the channel probably would have limited access for the public to prevent a “soapbox” environment.
The contract, through May 5, 2022, allows cable services to continue within the Sequim city limits with the channel potentially going out to those as far out as the Sequim School District.
City staff plans to explore the option further in 2012.
Crews place different de-icer on roads
Magnesium chloride is the new de-icer of choice for the City of Sequim. Crews will use it on overpasses, hills, intersections and roundabouts that prove troublesome for drivers in icy conditions. It leaves damp streaks in a striping pattern on roads and is effective down to minus 15 degrees.
Magnesium chloride is about 85 percent less corrosive than salt with half the toxicity of baking soda. The City of Port Angeles and the Washington State Department of Transportation use it as their de-icing agent. It has been used nationwide with no negative effect to the streets, surrounding plants or the environment.
Magnesium chloride costs the city about $500 to $1,500 per year. Road salt costs $5,000 to $8,000 per year and sand about $6,000 to $10,000 per year plus the cost of street sweeping the sand after each storm. City staff plans to apply magnesium chloride to sidewalks, too.
Construction begins on North Third Ave.
Sidewalk construction on the east side of North Third Avenue is expected to finish on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Construction starts at the alley between West Spruce Street and West Alder Street to West Fir Street. Drivers can expect traffic control from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with no parking allowed in the construction area.
Sewer and water plans contract awarded
Two contracts were unanimously approved for Gray & Osborne to update the 2003 Sewer System Master Plan and 2008 Water System Master Plan on Nov. 28.
Gray & Osborne will earn $81,197 for the water plan and $83,342 for the sewer plan.
Paul Haines, public works director, said the plans provide comprehensive system and funding plans, support growth projections, land use changes, regional service opportunities and achieve regulatory compliance.
Updates to the plans are required and will forecast a 20-year plan with a tentative completion by the end of 2012. Haines said the plans support the comprehensive plan, which also is being updated.
“What we know is past utility plans were based on aggressive growth rates,” he said. “The plans give us a better picture of when we need to have things in place that affect the cost to development and the public.”
Strategies will be included for the city as a water and sewer service provider and to review the city’s service rates and general facility charges.
The contracts come in under staff estimates of $100,000 for water and $120,000 for sewer plans. City Manager Steve Burkett can amend the contract for up to 15 percent if needed.
New park board name
City councilors unanimously voted Nov. 28 to change the name of the Citizens Advisory Park Board to the City of Sequim Park and Recreation Board.
Board members requested the change to better reflect their purpose and direction.
Councilors amended membership of the board to consist of up to eight members with at least five residing within the city limits. No board functions change with the decision.