City readies snow plan before flakes fall

November 24, 2009

City officials readied plans last week to keep key roads open when cold and precipitation turn Issaquah into a winter wonderland — and cover streets in ice and snow.

With less than a month until winter begins, and with snow blanketing higher elevations, officials prepared plans to alert Issaquah residents and deploy plows when weather turns foul. For drivers who need to venture out in snow, officials recommended checking the city radio station, 1700-AM, emergency information phone line — 837-3028 — and a section of the city Web site devoted to winter weather for updates about road and weather conditions.

Read more

City reviews last flood, prepares for future crises

November 3, 2009

David Bramwell (left) shovels sand into a bag held by Bruce Wendt in a sandbagging practice run for CERT volunteers last week. Courtesy of Brenda Bramwell

David Bramwell (left) shovels sand into a bag held by Bruce Wendt in a sandbagging practice run for CERT volunteers last week. Courtesy of Brenda Bramwell

Floodwaters caused about $1 million worth of damage and left behind piles of debris and muck when Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks overflowed in January, but the disaster also readied emergency planners for the next flood.

The next time flood waters rise, volunteers will fan out across flood-prone neighborhoods and city officials will unleash a deluge of information about water levels, road closures and recovery efforts. Many of the procedures were tested during what officials characterized as a successful response to the major flood in mid-January.

But the next flood could occur as early as the next several weeks, and officials said work remains to be done to prepare Issaquah for another natural disaster. On Oct. 27, City Council members received a briefing about the response to the January flood and preparation efforts for the upcoming flood season.

City Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Campbell said readings from a pair of flood gauges did not correlate with the damage caused by floodwaters. A U.S. Geological Survey gauge downstream on Issaquah Creek appeared inaccurate, Campbell said. The gauge indicated about 2,500 cubic feet per second, Campbell said, but flood damage was similar to the 3,500 cubic feet per second estimate from the last major flood to hit Issaquah, in 1996. Read more

State auditors: no problems with city finances

October 20, 2009

State auditors found no problems with the way city staffers handle Issaquah finances, a recently released 2008 audit shows. The city performed well on the annual assessment of city finances, and staffers took steps to correct a trouble spot auditors discovered in 2007. Read more

Library meeting room closes for remodel

October 13, 2009

Remodeling of the large and popular meeting room in the Issaquah Library began this week, causing the entire library to close from Monday through Thursday. Read more

Salmon Days marks 40th year

September 29, 2009

Salmon, lined up like rush-hour commuters, return en masse Sept. 25 to the fish ladder at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, just in time for the 40th annual Salmon Days Festival. By Greg Farrar

Salmon, lined up like rush-hour commuters, return en masse Sept. 25 to the fish ladder at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, just in time for the 40th annual Salmon Days Festival. By Greg Farrar

As the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival marks a ruby anniversary — a color chinook take on as the fish swim upstream — festival organizers and volunteers looked back at how the festival changed and grew over 40 years.Since 1970, Salmon Days has turned from a small-town fair to a regional festival — and a crucial draw for out-of-towners and tourism dollars.

Salmon Days also provides a chance for local nonprofit organizations to reach out to the community, and for the festival and city to showcase sustainability efforts. Despite the advances during the past four decades, organizers and officials said the purpose of the festival remains the same.

“Salmon Days is all about the heart and soul of the community,” Pauline Middlehurst, spawnsor and public relations manager for the festival’s office, said with a week remaining until opening day.

A 2004 study showed the festival pumped $7.5 million into the Issaquah economy. Middlehurst said the figure represented the dollars spent outside festival grounds. In other words, money spent for gas, meals and lodging at local businesses.

Read more

Siemens property is up for sale

September 15, 2009

The sprawling Siemens complex, nestled between East Lake Sammamish Parkway and Lake Sammamish State Park, is for sale. Read more

City services will be impacted by employee layoffs

September 8, 2009

Residents may notice more weeds at city parks, longer waits for passports and fewer road projects next year as municipal officials trim expenses by about $7 million. Read more

City, schools gird for possible swine flu outbreak

September 8, 2009

City and school officials are keeping close watch on information about the H1N1 flu from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local public health agency. Read more

City will lay off 10 employees

September 3, 2009

NEW — 1:45 p.m. Sept. 3, 2009

City officials gave layoff notices to 10 employees today as the city takes dramatic steps to trim expenses by about $7 million.

Employees in the municipal Building, Human Resources, Parks & Recreation, Planning and Public Works Engineering departments received notice their positions would be eliminated soon. Some of the departments have been hit by a slowdown in building construction.

The layoffs followed a hiring freeze and a voluntary severance program enacted by the city. Municipal officials will save about $595,000 next year after seven employees opted for a severance package. All told, the hiring freeze, severance program and layoffs will save the city $2.025 million.

Read more

Register your alarm by Oct. 2

August 25, 2009

UPDATED — 11:47 a.m. Aug. 25, 2009

As part of a recently approved false alarm ordinance, citizens and businesses within the city limits will soon be contacted by their alarm companies to register their alarms.

All alarms in the city must be registered by Oct. 2.

If police respond to a false alarm, and the alarm system hasn’t been registered by Oct. 2, the alarm owner will be fined accordingly, according to Autumn Monahan, city spokeswoman.

A $200 fine is charged if the alarm site does not have a valid permit for each police response. The location will also still have to register their alarm with the $24 permit fee. The alarm company will also be charged a fine, as it’s responsible for facilitating the registration, Monahan said.

In addition, if five false alarms occur at a single address within the two-year permit period, police may not respond to future alarms, she said.

To assist local alarm users through the process, the city has a new false alarm Web site, including a question-and-answer section.

Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »