Jan. 16, 2018 | Waste Contract, Baima House and More
Posted on 01/19/2018

The Newcastle City Council roundups offer a digest of notable items for those who can't make it to the regular meetings. Listen to the audio from the Jan. 16 meeting here and view the meeting agenda packet here.

As Newcastle's contract with Waste Management is set to expire in mid-2019, the city is considering all options to deliver the best possible waste-hauling services to residents and businesses.

In a study session prior to the regular meeting Jan. 16, Newcastle Public Works Director Jeff Brauns presented the City Council with an initial overview of the current solid waste management situation and the choices they can make as the current 10-year Waste Management contract expires in June 2019.

Director Brauns offered three potential options to the City Council: Extend the current contract, direct the staff to renegotiate the contract or look for a new contract through a request for bids/proposals. All three have their own pros and cons as outlined in the presentation here.

There are a few methods municipalities can use to provide solid waste services in Washington. Entities can choose to use their own in-house collection service, utilizing their own trucks and employees. Most cities choose to contract the service out to companies such as Waste Management or Republic Services. If a city does not provide collection service or contract for such service, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) sets the service area and rates for private firms interested in serving the city.

Several factors will be considered as the City Council studies the next options. Everything from recycling frequency and yard waste pickup, to rates and customer service, will be analyzed.

This conversation is just beginning. The City Council will continue discussing it at subsequent meetings as they decide on a desired approach. You can offer your input during public comments at City Council meetings (held at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month), or consider emailing your councilmembers (view the full list of councilmember emails here).

Click here to view Director Braun's Powerpoint presentation.

Other Notes

• The council was again unable to come to a majority vote for a new mayor after three voting attempts. As a result, the most recent Deputy Mayor Gordon Bisset became the Acting Mayor and ran the meeting. The City Council will attempt to vote again at the next meeting on Feb. 6. Learn more here.

• During the first public comment, a Puget Sound Energy representative announced that there will be an Energize Eastside public meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 31 at Vera Risdon Middle School. The public outreach is required as part of the company's permit application. Citizens are invited to come and learn more about the project and permitting process. Learn more at newcastlewa.gov/energizeeastside.

• The City Council heard a presentation about the potential for a new park that would preserve the historic Baima House, a King County landmark that stands as one of the few remnants of the city's bustling coal-mining industry. Pacific Coast Coal Co. House No. 75 was built in the 1870s and served as a homestead for miners and their families. The property it currently sits on is slated for development, but the owners are hoping to work with the city to donate the house and a new park it would call home in exchange for certain development density concessions.

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