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City roundup: Sequim under construction
by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim’s rocky roads C&J Excavating has been replacing asbestos concrete 6-inch water lines with 10-inch plastic pipes along Sequim Avenue on both sides of Washington Street. Drivers must maneuver over steel plates and gravel.
David Garlington, city engineer, said the $588,900 project, is part of Sequim’s citywide effort to replace the brittle piping and most of the new piping will be in place by the end of next week.
Part of the project includes excavating and redoing sidewalk ramps along Sequim Avenue with construction on those shifting to the daytime.
The intersection of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue will remain closed through the completion of the project from 7 p.m.-5 a.m. Monday-Friday.
Garlington said the project’s completion is tentatively set for the second half of October.
Banner year resolution
A new resolution and policy for the banner display west of Ninth Avenue on Washington Street could prohibit some of its past supporters from promoting their events.
Sequim city councilors unanimously approved changes in late August that make advertising events held within the city limits promoting tourism to the city a priority because the banner poles were built using lodging tax dollars from visitors’ overnight stays.
“We’re going through the list of those signed up this year and last year and letting them know they may or may not qualify,” City Attorney Craig Ritchie said.
The new policy does not affect groups signed up through the end of the year.
Prohibited banners include for-profit activities outside of the city, enrollment at schools/clubs and club organizations’ events held mostly for local membership participation.
The policy states events like school registration, proselytizing and membership recruitment are not community events.
Ritchie said the general trend across Washington’s cities is not to allow banners with religious messages, but churches holding a Christmas pageant would be allowed.
Permissible banners include city events, tourism events in the city, welcome messages for class reunions, conventions and conferences, athletic tournament participation, community events that are not a regular meeting and nonprofit charitable organization.
Signing up for a banner begins Nov. 1, each year at the City of Sequim Public Works building, 615 N. Fifth Ave. Agencies receive a number and apply in order for the banner dates they want if available.
However, the policy allows priority events in the city and promoting tourism to bump those to a lower priority.
Public works director Paul Haines or a staff member he designates is in charge of choosing who can be posted. An appeals process is available. Each entity is allowed up to two banners a year whereas previously some agencies paid for multiple banners.
To rent space for one week costs $100, but the city’s proposed 2013-2014 fees show a staff recommendation to raise the cost to $162 to pay for staff time in putting up and taking down the banners.
Councilors will adopt the fee schedule during the budget process later this year.
A second site for another banner has been identified on East Washington Street, but city councilors and staff felt it’s a low priority due to high costs.
For more information, contact public works at 683-4908.
Rounding out city’s roundabouts
Sequim’s three roundabouts are set for improvements due to safety concerns.
The first project at Sequim Avenue and Old Olympic Highway was finished on Tuesday and the other roundabouts at Washington Street/Ninth Avenue and Washington Street/River Road are slated for completion at the latest by mid-October depending on weather and crew’s workload.
They will repaint the interior of the roundabouts, replace yellow buttons on the perimeter of the circle and install four speed bumps to the interior of the circle.
Streets Manager Mike Brandt said he’s seen too many times drivers cutting straight across the center circle of the roundabout even though it’s illegal.
“The double row of buttons on the exterior of the circle serves the same purpose as a double yellow line on a street. Drivers are not supposed to cross over them,” he said. “If they do, the speed bumps will slow them down and remind them to drive around the circle.”
Larger trucks can use the inside of roundabouts for additional room when turning. The roundabouts will remain open during construction.