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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
Vol. CXXIII, No. 179
OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE CITY OF TACOMA Devoted to the Courts, Real Estate, Finance, Industrial Activities, and Publication of Legal Notices
Published Since 1890
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Foss Waterway Park
Money needed to complete site cleanup could be approved Tuesday By Todd Matthews, Editor Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a resolution that would direct $350,000 in bond funds toward a soil remediation project at the future site of Foss Waterway Park, which is part of a larger plan to turn the former industrial site at the head of Thea Foss Waterway into a public park and boat launch. The resolution would also direct $250,000 in bond funds toward another cleanup project located at South 21st Street and South Jefferson Street. Last month, City of Tacoma and Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA) staff reported the remediation project that began in May at the former American Plating site, located at 2110 East D Street near Berg Scaffolding and the D Street Overpass, was originally estimated to remove and treat approximately 350 tons of soil. Instead, contractors removed 1,100 tons of contaminated soil from the site. Additionally, the cap and fill for the project increased by 3,500 tons due to soil testing results that exceeded Model Toxics Control Act standards. And issues related to storm and sewer lines have also made the project more expensive. In one instance, a deteriorated sewer line broke during the project. These factors have raised the cost of the remediation project from $680,000 to $1.2 million. The Foss Waterway Park project has received funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and FWDA. The remediation work that began in May involved "removing heavily contaminated soils, covering other contamination with three feet of clean soil, and monitoring groundwater," according to the Department of Ecology's Web site. According to a report completed by the Department of Ecology in 2003, between 1955 and 1986, three different companies operated industrial metal electroplating activities on the site. The FWDA purchased the site seven years ago and envisioned creating a public park for visitors to launch kayaks or canoes and enjoy views of downtown Tacoma across the waterway. In August, FWDA interim executive director Su Dowie told city council's community and economic development committee that her organization has talked to Metro Parks Tacoma staff about management of the 1.7-acre Foss Waterway Park. "The intent of the development authority is to redevelop the park and then, in our discussion with
Pierce County to accept national award for Foothills Trail
Posted online Thurs., Sept. 13 Photo Courtesy Pierce County Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy will officially accept national recognition for the Foothills Trail at the Pierce County Trail Conference on Tues., Sept. 18. Randy King, superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, will present a plaque to Executive McCarthy commemorating the May 2012 announcement by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis that designated the Foothills Trail as a National Recreation Trail. The popular Foothills Trail, which winds through East Pierce County from Puyallup to Buckley, is among 54 trails around the country that are joining the National Recreational Trail system. The Foothills Trail has been constructed in sections as finances, environmental permits and county ownership have allowed. When complete, the trail will be more than 28 miles
in length. The national recreation trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service in conjunction with federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails Web site, available online at americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails. Organized by the ForeverGreen Council, the Pierce County Trails Conference brings trail users, providers and supporters together to network and hear the latest information on existing and planned trails in Pierce County. The conference will be held at the Pierce County Environmental Services Building in University Place on Sept. 18 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. The featured speaker is Laura Cohen, western regional director for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. More information is available online at forevergreencouncil.org/conference.html.
Metro Parks, they are willing to accept the park if it's fully redeveloped and there's a revenue stream associated with it," said Dowie. One way to generate revenue would be to renovate a boat house on the site and lease it to a boat rental company and concessionaire. "So there would be those private elements in the boat house that would be revenue-generating, and that would be part of where the revenue would come from to help sustain the park. That's kind of the long-term vision of how the project would come together." Dowie also told the council committee that while a portion of the property fronting Foss Waterway is now open to the public, full development of the park, which also includes land currently leased by Berg Scaffolding, will depend on how successful the organization is at fund-raising.
"Right now, some of the grants that we would typically apply for, the state has clawed back," said Dowie. "So it's really grant dependent on how quickly we can move forward. We would like to see this done in the next two to three years. But it may take that long to source the funds because we're going to be looking for at least $2 million for the park and then another three-quarters-of-a-million for the adaption of the existing building for a boat house until all funds can be raised for the structure." Tacoma City Council was originally scheduled to vote on the resolution last week. The issue was moved to the council meeting on Tues., Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, located 747 Market Street. Meetings are streamed live online at tvtacoma.com and broadcast live on TV Tacoma.