Bond includes dollars for relocating, rebuilding schools

March 13, 2012

The above map shows the current and future locations of Issaquah Middle, Clark Elementary and Tiger Mountain Community High schools. By Dona Mokin

Of the total $219 million bond package proposed by the Issaquah School District, four projects account for roughly half of those dollars.

If district voters approve the issue in a special election April 17, plans call for rebuilding the district’s three oldest schools, Clark and Sunny Hills elementary schools, along with Issaquah Middle School. Total cost: $109.1 million.

Intertwined with the plans to rebuild Clark and IMS is the plan to rebuild Tiger Mountain Community High School on part of what is now the IMS campus. Cost of that project is estimated at $3.9 million.

The overall plan

The buildings involved are old and largely past their useful life spans.

A bond feasibility and development committee developed the original capital improvement program during planning sessions held roughly a year ago. One long debate was whether to propose rebuilding the oldest schools or to push for dollars to repair and maintain those buildings.

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Snow prompts Issaquah School District to delay classes

March 13, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. March 13, 2012

Snow blanketed the Issaquah area overnight and led the Issaquah School District to operate on a two-hour delay Tuesday morning.

Because of the delay, district officials canceled all before-school activities, including morning school-age care, Headstart, morning and afternoon preschool, morning and afternoon kindergarten, and out-of-district transportation.

In addition, full-day kindergarten starts two hours late due to the snow.

Spots in the Issaquah area and other areas in the Cascade foothills received several inches of snow overnight. Motorists should exercise caution on state Route 18 across the Tiger Mountain summit.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle said snow is not expected to accumulate throughout the morning. The temperature is expected to climb into the mid-40s and the snow level is expected to rise to about 1,000 feet.

Meteorologists issue wind advisory for Issaquah, Puget Sound lowlands

March 11, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. March 11, 2012

National Weather Service meteorologists issued a wind advisory due to the potential for winds of more than 30 mph and gusts of more than 50 mph.

The advisory — for Issaquah and the East Puget Sound lowlands — is in effect until 1 p.m. Monday.

Forecasters issue a wind advisory if the possibility exists for sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph and gusts of 45 to 57 mph.

The advisory comes as a strong front makes landfall Sunday night and early Monday.

Strong winds can topple trees and cause power outages.

Hazardous conditions impacted response to January storms

March 6, 2012

The battle against the elements created dangerous conditions for city crews during a snowstorm and a rare ice storm in January, officials said in a recent update on response to the storms.

City crews scrambled to keep pace as the storms battered Issaquah and the region. Sometimes, limbs crashed onto city streets mere moments after a snowplow scraped snow and ice from the surface.

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Snowstorm-related repairs continue on state Route 18

March 6, 2012

Crews closed state Route 18 lanes across Tiger Mountain for several hours March 3 to continue repairs from the January storms.

The state Department of Transportation closed westbound state Route 18 between Interstate 90 and the Tiger Mountain summit to rip out and replace damaged guardrail. Eastbound state Route 18 remained opened to motorists.

Crews needed to replace the guardrail and install support posts. State planners said a tractor-trailer damaged the guardrail during the January snowstorm.

The agency closed the westbound highway, because workers could not safely alternate traffic at the location due to the narrow roadway and the difficulty of tractor-trailers stopping on the steep grade.

President declares King County a disaster area for January storms

March 5, 2012

NEW — 3:40 p.m. March 5, 2012

Federal aid is available to Issaquah and other cities impacted during the January storms, because President Barack Obama declared King County a disaster area Monday.

The cost of storm response and cleanup reached $530,000 for city government. City officials said about $383,000 in costs related to the storms could be eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked Obama late last month to declare a federal disaster area in King County and 10 other Washington counties for damages and response costs from January storms.

Local governments could defray 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs — such as debris removal — by using FEMA public assistance grants.

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Hazardous conditions impacted response to January storms

March 5, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. March 5, 2012

The battle against the elements created dangerous conditions for city crews during a snowstorm and a rare ice storm in January, officials said in a recent update on response to the storms.

City crews scrambled to keep pace as the storms battered Issaquah and the region. Sometimes, limbs crashed onto city streets mere moments after a snowplow scraped snow and ice from the surface.

“You’d clear a road, you’d come back down and you’d have to clear your way back out the same road,” Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said in a Feb. 28 briefing to the City Council. “Or you’d clear a road and you’d get a call from somebody else in the snowplow that said, ‘I thought you cleared this road.’ The answer is, well, we did. We were just there, but those trees were coming down so fast and frequent that it was impossible for awhile to stay on top of that.”

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State Route 18 on Tiger Mountain to close for guardrail repair

March 1, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. March 1, 2012

Motorists should prepare for closures on state Route 18 across Tiger Mountain on Saturday, as crews continue the repair effort from the January storms.

Crews plan to close westbound state Route 18 between Interstate 90 and the Tiger Mountain summit at 6 a.m. to rip out and replace damaged guardrail. The roadway should reopen at 2:30 p.m.

Eastbound state Route 18 is scheduled to remain open for motorists headed east from the Issaquah area to Interstate 90 or the trailhead and parking area at the Tiger Mountain State Forest summit.

The state Department of Transportation recommended for westbound motorists to use interstates 5 and 405, plus other local routes, to reached Auburn, Maple Valley and Renton.

The guardrail needs to be replaced and support posts need to be installed after a tractor-trailer damaged the guardrail during the January snowstorm.

Crews must completely close the westbound highway, because workers cannot safely alternate traffic at the location due to the narrow roadway and the difficulty of tractor-trailers stopping on the steep grade.

Governor asks president to declare King County as disaster area

February 28, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked President Barack Obama on Feb. 24 to declare a federal disaster area in King County and 10 other Washington counties for damages and response costs from January storms.

If the declaration is approved, Issaquah and other governments could defray 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs — such as debris removal — by using Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance grants.

The cost of storm response and cleanup reached $530,000 for Issaquah municipal government. Officials used the dollars to put snowplows on Issaquah streets in 24-hour stretches, clear fallen trees and haul off debris.

If a disaster declaration occurs, city officials said about $383,000 in costs related to the storms could be eligible for reimbursement through FEMA.

Preliminary state and federal damage assessments estimated $32.3 million in potential eligible damage across the state caused by snow, freezing rain, power outages, rain, fallen trees and limbs, avalanches, falling ice, landslides and storm debris.

Gregoire proclaimed a winter storm emergency in the state Jan. 18.

Gov. Chris Gregoire asks president to declare King County as disaster area

February 24, 2012

NEW — 3:15 p.m. Feb. 24, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked President Barack Obama on Friday to declare a federal disaster area in King County and 10 other Washington counties for damages and response costs from January storms.

If the declaration is approved, Issaquah and other governments could defray 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs — such as debris removal — by using Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance grants.

The cost of storm response and cleanup reached $530,000 for Issaquah municipal government. Officials used the dollars to put snowplows on Issaquah streets in 24-hour stretches, clear fallen trees and haul off debris.

If a disaster declaration occurs, city officials said about $383,000 in costs related to the storms could be eligible for reimbursement through FEMA.

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