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30 apply to be Bainbridge public works director

Friday, September 20th, 2013

blog.rockaway

The city has chosen eight semifinalists for its public works director position. The semifinalists were selected from a pool of 30 applicants from 17 states, according to the Friday city manager’s newsletter.

Six of the eight semifinalists are from Washington. One semifinalist is from Texas, and one is from Indiana. The semifinalists will complete a brief online interview. Finalists will be selected Oct. 1. The finalists will visit the island in mid-October for more extensive interviews.

The city is searching for a permanent replacement for Lance Newkirk, who resigned this spring. John Cunningham is serving as interim public works director.


No Fort Ward Hill project this year

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

FWHR

Scheduling conflicts have forced the city to postpone work on Fort Ward Hill Road until next year.

The City Council awarded a $700,000 contract for road reconstruction and shoulder widening in July and a public outreach meeting was held Aug. 19. The project was supposed to begin late this summer but the contractor ran into scheduling conflicts with private utility companies working in the area said Interim Public Works Director John Cunningham. With rainy weather descending, the work was postponed until the spring of 2014.

“The last thing we want to do is open it up and not get it paved before the wet winter weather hits here,” Cunningham said during a recent briefing to the City Council.

This is the second phase of work on Fort Ward Hill Road. Contractors will rebuild the street between Bolero Drive and Sunny Hill Circle, and widen shoulders to 5 feet on both sides. An additional 700 feet of guardrail, rockeries and drainage will be installed.

The first phase of the project rebuilt the roadway between Country Club Road and Bolero Drive in 2008.

Check the project page for updates.

 

 

 


Rockaway Beach Road repair requires three-month closure

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

blog.rockawayLong awaited repairs on crumbling Rockaway Beach Road will begin next week, accompanied by a road closure.

A traffic detour will be in effect for the duration of the stabilization project, according to a Wednesday bulletin from the city. The city expects the road to be closed near Creosote Lane from about Aug. 21 through the end of November.

A map of the detour route is below. More updates are available on the Rockaway Beach project page.

Rockaway Detour by tsooter


Bainbridge advertises for public works director

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Bainbridge Island’s public works director vacancy is now being advertised nationally.

The listing is posted on the website of search firm Strategic Government Resources. SGR is giving the public works position the same treatment it gave the city’s manager and police chief openings. Consultants hosted a forum to gather community input and developed this glossy profile:

Bainbridge Island Public Works Director by tsooter

Requirements for the public works position include at least eight years of experience in public works, a bachelor’s degree in engineering (master’s preferred), and a professional engineer’s license. The salary will vary depending on the applicant’s qualifications. Former Public Works Director Lance Newkirk earned $131,000 a year.

Newkirk announced his resignation in April, but only recently left the city’s payroll. The city hired John Cunningham as an interim public works director at a rate of $100 an hour.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 3.


Sportsman Club Road work begins next week

Friday, June 14th, 2013

blog.sportsman

A portion of Sportsman Club Road will be northbound-only next week, as the city begins work on bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The city expects major construction to be wrapped up before the Rotary Auction opens for donations June 21.

Here are details and a detour map from the city:

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, June 13, 2013 – Work will begin on Sportsman Club Road next Monday, June 17. The City has contracted with Lakeside Industries Inc. to install non-motorized shoulder improvements on the west side of Sportsman Club Road from Wardwell Road to approximately 400 feet south.

During construction hours, between 6 am and 5 pm Monday-Friday, Sportsman Club Road will be restricted to one-way northbound traffic. A detour route will be established for southbound traffic and residents/local traffic accessing Wardwell Road. Shoulder work is expected to last for approximately one week, with paving to follow as weather permits.

Citizens are encouraged to access Sportsman Club Road from the south when delivering donations to Woodward Middle School for the Rotary Auction, beginning Friday, June 21.

This improvement project is part of the City’s Core 40 Program which targets 40 roads for upgrades around the island for non-motorized improvements.

Sportsman Club Detour by tsooter


Breaking down the Monday highway closure

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

blog.agatecrash

A head-on collision just south of the Agate Pass Bridge closed Highway 305 for nearly four hours Monday afternoon. Two drivers were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center and remained in serious condition Tuesday afternoon.

Response to the collision closed the highway in both directions from about 2-5:30 p.m. Monday. Backups stretched for miles.

We’ve heard from a few frazzled commuters and followers on social media wondering why the highway remained closed for so long after the drivers were evacuated. It’s a fair question, and I thought it would be interesting to break down what goes into a response of this nature, according to first responders:

  • The collision was reported at 2:09 p.m. Monday by Bainbridge Fire Assistant Chief Luke Carpenter, who happened to driving from the island to a meeting in Bremerton at the time. Carpenter was only a few cars behind the sedan involved in the collision when the wreck occurred.
  • About 20 firefighters responded to the scene. The drivers were trapped in their vehicles and had to be cut free. Both drivers were transported away from the scene by 2:35 p.m. The last fire department vehicle cleared at 3:06 p.m. (This aerial image from KOMO nicely illustrates the scope of the scene). (more…)

Meet the city manager, talk ferries in Winslow tonight

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Civic-minded islanders have a busy dance card tonight. They can choose between a potluck and discussion with new City Manager Doug Schulze or a Washington State Ferries community meeting.

Discussion group VillageSpeak will hold a dinner forum with Schulze beginning at 6:30

p.m. at OfficeXpats in the Bainbridge Pavilion. The conversation will include opening remarks by the city manager, a moderated discussion and a Q&A session with the audience.

The event is free but attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share and a $5 donation. A standing reception will follow the discussion at 8:30 p.m. Schulze (pictured) joined the city on Nov. 5. He previously served as manager of Normandy Park.

Another meeting will take place across town at the same time. WSF brings its traveling community outreach tour to Bainbridge at 6 p.m. in the Art Museum.

Ferries chief David Moseley will discuss the upcoming legislative session, staffing issues and other topics. This is a good time for ferry riders to bring forward questions and complaints. WSF already held a meeting in Bremerton, where proposed service cuts are a hot topic.

Tad Sooter photos


No comments, no vote on Bainbridge car tab fee

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

If islanders are perturbed by a proposed new vehicle registration fee, they didn’t show it Wednesday.

A hearing on a resolution creating a charge of up to $20 per vehicle to support road work drew no attendees to City Hall on Wednesday evening. The Transportation Benefit District board — made up of City Council members — did not vote on the proposed fee. Instead, a vote may come at the district’s Dec. 5 meeting.

A few islanders have spoken out for and against car tab fees at past meetings. Some believe the charge is a fair way to raise money for badly needed road repairs. Others, including car collectors, say it would unduly burden households with multiple vehicles.

The city estimates a $20 fee would generate $330,000 each year for road projects.

The full draft resolution can be read here.


Poll: What do you think of the verdict in the Ostling trial?

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

After listening to 11 days of testimony and deliberating the the better part of three days, a federal jury took a middle path with their verdict on Friday.

Of the four main claims made in the lawsuit by the parents of Douglas Ostling, the mentally ill man who was fatally shot by Bainbridge police in 2010, the jury agreed with just one – that the Bainbridge Island Police Department failed to properly train officers in how to deal with the mentally ill. The jury awarded the Ostlings $1 million.

The jury disagreed with claims that officers illegally entered the Ostling family’s home, used unnecessary force and failed to render aid to the wounded Douglas Ostling.

How do you feel about the verdict? Cast your vote over to the right.

Head down below to see the results from the Bainbridge Conversation’s poll on how the city should pay for road fixes.

(more…)


POLL: How should Bainbridge pay for road fixes?

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

This week, a city report indicated the city will need to pay $2.5 million each year just to maintain the current condition of its roads. Read more about it here.

The city hasn’t been coming close to that. Over the last four years, the city has put just $1 million into its road maintenance budget. This year’s $600,000 contribution was the highest in the four-year period.

The city would have to more than quadruple what it pays now just to break even on its roads, according to the report.

So, the big question is: where’s that money going to come from?

The City Council is moving toward a ballot measure in 2013 that – if approved – would boost taxes for a big infusion of road-repairing cash, possibly in the range of $8 million.

Others say the city should better manage the money it already receives from taxpayers, spending less on overhead and more on asphalt.

And of course there’s always the $20 car tab fee that’s been debated on the island for years. The $440,000 it would raise for roads each year isn’t nearly $2.5 million, but it could help.

Or maybe roads aren’t such a big deal. Some residents have urged the city to leave the roads as they are and put more money into arts and cultural programs boosters that they say drew people here in the first place. A few islanders even prefer a few potholes here and there to keep people from speeding.

What do you think? Cast your vote in the poll over to the right.


POLL: Would you support a road improvement bond?

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Drivers know the island’s roads aren’t what they used to be. Bicyclist know the roads aren’t what they could be.

Heeding calls for road repairs and new bike lanes, the Bainbridge City Council may put a multimillion-dollar bond measure on the November 2012 ballot.

The exact dollar amount and the scope of work has yet to be worked out, but one council member has floated the idea of an $8 million bond split between major road repairs and bike lane construction.

Would you vote for higher taxes if it made the roads less ragged and more safe for bike travel? Head over to the right (under the Facebook links) and have your say.


Halls Hill Road repairs set for next week

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Halls Hill Road on the island’s south end will get some long-awaited fixes and a fresh coat of asphalt next week.

For more info, read the city’s press release below…

(more…)


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