Bridgeport Council moves Capital Facilities, Comp plans forward

Swimming pool, sidewalk improvement discussed

Engineer, Mike Meskimen of Gray and Osborne Consulting Engineers in Yakima, updated council on the sidewalk improvement project along Foster Creek Avenue from 26th Street to State Route 17.
BRIDGEPORT – The city council held a public hearing and first reading for Bridgeport’s Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) at its regular monthly meeting last Wednesday, June 21, and voted to move the plan forward. Members discussed and approved amendments to the city’s Comprehensive Plan (CP) and council also set a hearing date for the city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for July 19.

BRIDGEPORT – The city council held a public hearing and first reading for Bridgeport’s Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) at its regular monthly meeting last Wednesday, June 21, and voted to move the plan forward.
Members discussed and approved amendments to the city’s Comprehensive Plan (CP) and council also set a hearing date for the city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for July 19.
City Planner, Kurt Danison of Highlands Associates in Okanogan explained the remaining elements of the CP adopted by council last year still to be approved.
Those elements include:
• Amend the comp plan capital facilities element, primarily goals and policies to streamline it and make comp plan and CFP are consistent;
• Amend the environment and critical areas conservation element to meet 2017 mandated update to CP
• Update the critical areas map that identifies where critical areas exist within the city
Following Danison’s review of the CP revisions, council voted to approve the second reading of CP amendments.
Council also adopted amendments to the Bridgeport Municipal Code (BMC) pertaining to regulations for the protection of critical areas to align with changes on the CP.   
Danison also explained Project Relight, a program through the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) that replaces the city’s sodium vapor and mercury vapor lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lights.
“Douglas County PUD must be involved and it is 100 percent grant funding,” Danison said.
Danison explained that in Okanogan County, its PUD created a lower LED rate. When the rate for non-LED lights went up three or four dollars a month last April, conversion from the 200-watt lights to the 40-watt LED, the cost will drop to five dollars less than what is being paid now. Danison said he did not know if the Douglas County PUD was interested in pursuing a similar program but added that for the TIB to be interested there must be a cost savings benefit.
Mayor Conklin noted that Douglas County electrical rates are currently the cheapest for power “but they’re starting to creep up.”
Engineer, Mike Meskimen and Julio Renteria of Gray and Osborne Consulting Engineers in Yakima updated council on the sidewalk improvement project on Foster Creek Avenue from 26th Street to State Route 17. Since construction costs are running 25-30 percent higher this year than is typical, it was recommended that the city bid the work this year but begin construction in 2018 when rates might be cheaper.
In other business, Public works Director, Stuart Dezellem, advised that the pool is open but that multiple leaks continue to be an increasing problem.
Council member Matthew Schuh recommended that the city address repairs soon to avoid increasing costs and the leaks become more pronounced.
Dezellem said he will contact the limited number of pool contractors who specialize in that type of work and expressed hope that the use of dyes in the water after the pool is closed for the summer will help narrow down the source of the leaks.

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