Supporters outline future for human services campus

April 5, 2011

The push to select a location and raise dollars to build a long-planned human services campus in Issaquah — envisioned as a clearinghouse for employment assistance, food aid, health care and more — should start in earnest this spring and summer after years spent on discussions and studies.

Organizers plan to launch a fundraising campaign for the campus, identify anchor tenants and, most critically, select property or a building to house the facility.

John Rittenhouse

The result could resemble the nonprofit Together Center, a similar campus in Redmond. In 2007, Issaquah leaders and the Together Center — then called the Family Resource Center — partnered to spearhead a feasibility study for a campus in Issaquah.

Together Center Executive Director Pam Mauk and John Rittenhouse, a former Issaquah councilman and a Together Center board member, presented the study to City Council members March 29.

“So, what does the study conclude?” Rittenhouse asked. “It concludes that a human services campus being sited in Issaquah is feasible. Under all scenarios that were studied by the consultants, a campus is doable in Issaquah.”

Plans for the campus hinge on the location, and whether organizers opt to build a campus or lease space in existing structures.

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City Council re-elects John Traeger, Fred Butler for leadership posts

December 28, 2010

City Council members decided Dec. 20 not to change the top spots on the board for 2011.

The council re-elected John Traeger as council president and Fred Butler as deputy council president in unanimous decisions during the final meeting of the year. Read more

Road upgrades near Costco could smooth traffic, but at a high price

December 14, 2010

The city, Costco and other landowners could take initial steps in the months ahead to upgrade roads in North Issaquah.

City and Costco planners funded a transportation study in March to determine ways to better link the Pickering Place area into the street grid. The just-released preliminary report suggests tens of millions in transportation spending for road extensions and additional lanes to improve access to the dense business cluster just north of Interstate 90 and state Route 900. If the proposal progresses, any construction is years in the future.

“There is a lack of access to a significant portion of that that really limits the economic activity in there and the potential within that area for economic development,” transportation consultant Steve Nolen said in a Nov. 30 presentation to City Council members.

The city and Costco, the largest employer in Issaquah, split the $63,736 cost to study potential transportation enhancements in the area near the bustling Costco warehouse and corporate headquarters. Costco employs about 2,700 people in Issaquah. Read more

Redevelopment ideas to be unveiled at open house

November 23, 2010

The city and longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties partnered in April to brainstorm redevelopment of about 90 acres in the commercial core.

Now, the city and Rowley plan to roll out the recommendations from a community group appointed to guide the redevelopment effort. Residents can offer feedback at a Dec. 15 open house for the project. The open house is scheduled from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd.

Participants can review materials from the Community Advisory Group, the citizen panel appointed to shape the process. Organizers also plan to present information about possible environmental impact studies for redevelopment on the site.

Beyond the open house, residents can also provide input as the project progresses through policy work and environmental studies.

Before the December open house, residents can catch a sneak peek of the redevelopment proposal at the next Committee-of-the-Whole Council meeting. Members meet at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Changes coming for some trash customers

July 6, 2010

Trash pickup for about 900 customers in South Cove and Greenwood Point could improve soon.

On July 10, the trash collector for the area, Allied Waste, plans to deliver garbage and yard waste carts to customers without the carts. Customers should start using the new carts next week.

The updated service agreement OK’d by the City Council in April calls for Allied Waste to provide free wheeled garbage carts for all residents in the neighborhoods, as well as free curbside electronics pick-up.

Customers can also recycle more items, including plastic cups, trays and bags; clean aluminum foil and trays; clean paper latte cups; textiles; lids three inches and larger in diameter; and small metal appliances, such as toasters.

Polystyrene — known by the brand name Styrofoam — cannot be put out for recycling.

Old cans, carts and containers can be recycled starting this week. Residents should put out old containers on collection day and place a large note indicating “recycle” on the container. Unmarked containers will not be picked up.

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Grants, volunteers help city maintain trails, open space

April 6, 2010

Invasive blackberry, holly, Japanese knotweed and Scotch broom proved to be no match for the hundreds of people who volunteered to maintain city-owned open space and trails last year.

Volunteers focused last year on maintenance in the open spaces and parks cleared in 2008. Teams cleared 12 to 15 acres of the invasive plants from the Park Hill Open Space in the Overdale Park neighborhood, Timberlake Park along Lake Sammamish and other sites in 2008, and kept the unwanted plants off the site in 2009.

Volunteers returned to the sites last year to plant native shrubs and trees where invasive plants used to grow, city Open Space Steward Matt Mechler said in a presentation to City Council members late last month. The work will continue in the months ahead, he added.

Mechler detailed efforts to preserve open space and maintain city trails in a March 23 report to the Committee-of-the-Whole Council. The city owns about 1,300 acres of open space.

“We worked on getting those invasives under control and then just maintaining them last year, with the hopes that once the invasives are under control then we’ll be doing some native planting at these sites,” Mechler said.

Besides invasive plant removal, the city worked with conservation groups last year to maintain the network of trails crisscrossing Issaquah.

Issaquah Alps Trails Club volunteers helped complete a quarter-mile section of the Talus Bridge Trail to connect the urban village with the Bear Ridge Trail on Cougar Mountain. Read more

Grants, volunteers help city maintain trails, open space

April 5, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 5, 2010

Invasive blackberry, holly, Japanese knotweed and Scotch broom proved to be no match for the hundreds of people who volunteered to maintain city-owned open space and trails last year.

Volunteers focused last year on maintenance in the open spaces and parks cleared in 2008. Teams cleared 12 to 15 acres of the invasive plants from the Park Hill Open Space in the Overdale Park neighborhood, Timberlake Park along Lake Sammamish and other sites in 2008, and kept the unwanted plants off the site in 2009.

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City panel works to finish development plan by September

March 2, 2010

A task force should unveil a package by September with elements — like revised development and design standards, and a streamlined review process — for developers who want to build in the commercial heart of the city, 915 acres along Interstate 90. Read more

New City Council takes shape

January 12, 2010

As family members watched and cameras flashed, Tola Marts and Mark Mullet joined the City Council last week. Read more

New members join City Council; John Traeger elected council president

January 6, 2010

NEW — 11:35 a.m. Jan. 6, 2010

As family members watched and cameras flashed, Tola Marts and Mark Mullet joined the City Council on Monday.

The new councilmen took the oath of office before a packed council chamber, where the audience included families, political supporters, former Councilman David Kappler and County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, whose district includes Issaquah.

Deputy City Clerk Randy Reed administered oaths to the new councilmen, as well as incumbents Mayor Ava Frisinger and councilwomen Eileen Barber and Maureen McCarry. The terms end Dec. 31, 2013.

“This is a wonderful start to 2010,” Frisinger said.

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