Sequim Police Officer Stephanie Benes readies her 2016 Ford Interceptor for duty on April 11, at the Sequim Civic Center. City staff plans to buy three newer models this year bringing the Sequim Police Department’s total to 10 Interceptors. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

City rolls out more new police vehicles, changes street paint

The Sequim Police Department continues to change out its fleet.

As its Ford Crown Victorias begin to see an increase in maintenance due to age and usage, Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain said city staff plan to purchase three brand new, fully equipped 2017 Ford Interceptors through the state.

Sequim Police already own and operate seven of the Ford sport utility vehicles after beginning to replace the city’s Crown Victorias in 2014 after the model was discontinued.

Crain said they stand with the Interceptor as their best option.

Sequim city councilors unanimously approved the purchases for up to $180,000 from the Vehicle Replacement Fund at their regular meeting on April 10 in the Sequim Civic Center. At least three older police vehicles will be sent to surplus sale and are available for viewing from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, at the Sequim City Shop, 169 W. Hemlock St. Sealed bids are due by 3 p.m. Friday, April 21, to the Sequim city clerk at 152 W. Cedar St.

Crain said vehicles are on a 10-year rotation and they are assessing the need for replacement each year.

City staff purchased four vehicles in 2006 and five in 2007 that need to be replaced in the coming years, she said.

Crain said they’ve raised their asking price to city councilors for the Interceptors due to installation and inflation increases. She estimates the cost will be about $34,000 per vehicle and about $20,000 for equipment installation such as extra lights and a secure prisoner area.

Sequim Officer Stephanie Benes said there’s more room in the prisoner area, making it easier to get them in and out and the vehicles’ headlights are brighter. making it easier to see during night shifts.

Upon arrival in the coming months, two new Interceptors will go to patrol officers and one to a detective.

Roadway paint problem

City street crews hope switching paint means they’ll have to stripe roadways less often.

Sequim Public Works Director David Garlington told Sequim city councilors on April 10 that in the past city crews went with a cheaper bid for paints through Sherwin Williams, at about $5,575 a year, but it caused staff to clean sprayers more frequently and waste paint. They’ve also had to restripe high traffic areas twice a year compared to just once a year, he said.

“The stripes just don’t seem to last,” Garlington said.

City councilors unanimously agreed 7-0 with Garlington’s suggestion to go with Rodda Paint as the city’s sole zone marking paint provider after city crews tested the company’s paint last summer and found it to work best. Going with Rodda will cost about $9,100 this year.

Garlington estimates the city used about 150 gallons of white and 200 gallons of yellow paint last year.

City councilors also unanimously approved using Systems for Public Safety as the sole supplier for vehicle services for the city. However, Deputy Mayor Ted Miller and councilor Candace Pratt said they were uncomfortable not going to bid for items like paint and equipment but they were satisfied that city staff tested products prior to proposing contracts.

Propane tank security

City councilors postponed their public hearing on propane tank safety to 6 p.m. Monday, April 24, to flesh out more details on the ordinance. One item in the proposal would mandate requiring shut-off valves for propane tanks at or over 120 gallons in new construction homes/businesses.

The push for increasing propane tank safety stems from Cascadia Rising exercises performed by local agencies in October 2016 planning for large-scale earthquakes. City staff plan to send out brochures on the ordinance in upcoming utility bills and through Clallam County Fire District 3.

Facility rentals

Driven by the current remodel of Guy Cole Convention Center in Carrie Blake Park, city councilors unanimously approved updates to the city’s 2015 rental policy.

Some of the changes include:

• Allowing commercial, fraternal, partisan political and religious organizations to rent city facilities along with the picnic shelter.

• Banning animals, except service animals, from rentals

• Recurring events are no longer subject to contract with the city and can be scheduled through the application process.

Guy Cole remodel

Following a 2016 city budget recap on April 10 by city staff revealing the city’s general fund revenues were up about 2 percent at about $139,000, Pratt suggested some of the general funds go toward a remodel of the kitchen in the Guy Cole Convention Center in Carrie Blake Park.

City Manager Charlie Bush said he’d look into the idea and have a proposal for a later date. City staff tentatively set a ribbon cutting for the convention center, following its remodel, for sometime in May.

The current remodel is budgeted for up to $436,500 through a grant with the Department of Commerce Direct Grant Program

Notable city business

• City councilors proclaimed April as 2017 Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Becca Korby, executive director of Healthy Families of Clallam County, said her agency helped 162 people from the Sequim area in 2016.

• The City of Sequim became part of Tree City USA this year as part of the Arbor Day Foundation, which provides framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.

Sequim joins more than 3,400 communities across the nation as a Tree City USA.

• City staff is starting from the beginning of the Sequim Municipal Code to revise it chapter by chapter. City councilors looked at possible changes to Chapter 1.12 about General Penalties but they wanted more clarification about prosecuting minors and whether or not they should be included in the code. City councilors plan to review possible changes on April 24.

For more information on happenings within the City, visit www.sequimwa.gov or call 683-4139.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

 

Sequim city councilors approved the purchase of three new Ford Interceptors on April 10 for up to $180,000 to replace aging vehicles. One of the perks, officers say is that the larger backseat makes it easier to move prisoners.

Sequim City street crews plan to use Rodda Paint to stripe roadways in hopes they’ll have to paint roadways like North Seventh Avenue less often. Sequim city councilors unanimously approved a $9,100 agreement to partner with Rodda to buy road paint. Sequim Gazette photos by Matthew Nash