Enumclaw Council agrees to earlier starting time

Instead of 7:30 p.m. on Moondays, the council will now meet at 7 p.m. sharp.

By a unanimous vote, members of the Enumclaw City Council have agreed to change the starting time for their regularly-scheduled, twice-a-month sessions.

The Council will still gather at City Hall to conduct city business the second and fourth Monday of every month, but the starting time has been moved to 7 p.m., rather than the traditional 7:30. The change was approved Feb. 12 and begins with the March 12 meeting.

The change was initiated in January by Councilman Hoke Overland. He surveyed a handful of local cities – Bonney Lake, Buckley, Maple Valley, Sumner and Auburn – and found all those jurisdictions began their meetings at 7 or earlier. He felt a change was in order for Enumclaw and his council peers agreed.

While altering the starting time for meetings, the council also agreed to three other changes. An ordinance in the Enumclaw Municipal Code called for a council study session on the first Monday of every month, a clause that was eliminated. The existing ordinance also stated public comments should be limited to five minutes; that was changed to three minutes, reflecting a long-standing practice. Also, the text of the EMC ordinance, written in a “masculine” format, was edited to make it gender neutral.

In other action during their Feb. 12 meeting, members of the City Council:

• revised the city’s purchasing policy, eliminating a provision aimed at helping out local businesses. A memo from Finance Director Stephanie McKenzie noted that it was not the city’s idea to make it tougher for locals to do business with government.

The city last revised its purchasing policy in 2009, McKenzie wrote in a memo to the council, when it was decided to add a “buy local” provision. The State Auditor’s Office has since pointed out that state law “does not recognize, and implicitly prohibits, granting of preferences to local vendors in purchases of goods, supplies and services.”

• approved lease agreements with three entities that occupy, or will occupy, city-owned property. The Chamber of Commerce and Arts Alive! share a building on Cole Street; the Chamber’s space has a market value of $750 monthly and the city provides the space for free, charging only an excise tax. The space used by Arts Alive! has a market value of $1,000 per month, which the city discounts to $375, plus the applicable excise tax.

A lease with a local business, Mocha Motion, is for concessions at the Boise Creek Sixplex. The deal calls for payments to the city of $500 per month, April through October, and the lease can be renewed annually for a maximum of five years.

• agreed to provide funding to the Enumclaw Expo and Events Association when the money is needed most. As part of the city’s 2018 budget, $20,000 was allocated to the nonprofit EEEA, which operates the Enumclaw Expo Center. Funding generally is handled on a quarterly basis, but it was pointed out the nonprofit entity would be better served if money could be received earlier in the year.

The money comes from the city’s Lodging Tax Fund and must be used for tourism-related efforts. The EEEA spends its city money to promote events on the Expo Center grounds. A study of 2017 expenditures showed 89 percent of the association’s advertising costs came during the first seven months of the year, with much of that leading up to the King County Fair.

The City Council agreed to give half of the $20,000 allocation during the first quarter of the year and the remaining half during the second quarter.

• gave final approval for the Semanski Estates housing subdivision. The proposal calls for turning 4.88 acres of vacant land into 16 lots for single-family housing. The homes will built on a cul de sac that extends east off Semanski Street, south of Roosevelt Avenue. The project, proposed by JK Monarch Homes, includes road improvements, connection to the city sewer system and stormwater disposal.

• granted final plat approval for a small subdivision on the city’s north side. The Hansen Place project – formerly known as Plateau Estates – seeks to create five residential lots on 1.87 acres of land. The project site is on the east side of 266th Avenue Southeast, north of McHugh Avenue.

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