City Council Recap | June 16, 2020
Posted on 06/30/2020

The Newcastle City Council roundups offer a digest of notable items for those who can't make it to the regular meetings. View the meeting agenda packet here and watch the meeting video here. View past City Council roundups at newcastlewa.gov/councilrecaps.

COUNCIL PREVIEWS TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Public Works Director Jeff Brauns presented the first draft of the 2021-2026 Transportation Improvement Program, a six-year planning document that outlines the City’s future transportation projects. The TIP is a state-mandated guide that ensures cities plan ahead to carry out and coordinate transportation projects that benefit their communities.

As a planning document, the TIP doesn’t commit the City to fund any particular project. Projects must be authorized through the City’s normal annual budget adoption process. State law requires communities to annually update their TIPs.

This draft of the TIP includes one new project added in 2026: Design for improvements at the intersection of Newcastle Way and 123rd Avenue Southeast. As for 2021, anticipated projects include designs on a project that would address traffic queuing concerns at Newcastle Elementary School and Southeast May Creek Park Drive non-motorized improvements.

During the meeting, the Council voted to allocate a placeholder of $1.25 million for a Coal Creek Parkway signalization project that could address concerns that arose when a privately-owned road adjacent to Coal Creek Marketplace was temporarily closed in February. Earlier this year, citizens expressed frustration when Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage, which owns the road, closed it due to damage on the roadway.

While many people assumed this is a publicly-owned street, the entire stretch between Coal Creek Parkway and 132nd Place Southeast is actually private and the property owner graciously allows public usage. That project does not fall in the six-year timeframe, but is instead listed in “future years” beyond 2026. The Council also voted to move a project to construct Newcastle entry monuments from 2022-23 out to the “future years” category.

The City Council will vote on a final draft of the TIP at a future meeting. You can view the draft TIP here and learn more in the staff report here.

GENERAL UPDATES

- The Council unanimously approved a plan to offer a Small Business Rapid Relief Program that will support Newcastle businesses with emergency grants. Staff will work with the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce to create and administer the program.

- The Council also approved a new 10-year franchise agreement with Olympic Pipe Line Company LLC (Olympic), which regulates Olympic’s use of the public right-of-way.

- The Council also read a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth in the City of Newcastle.

The Newcastle City Council wants to hear from you! Members of the public are invited to share thoughts during public hearings or two open public comment periods at meetings. Regular meetings of the City Council occur on the first and third Tuesdays of each month starting at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. You can also email your thoughts to Councilmembers at citycouncil@newcastlewa.gov.

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