The Gig Harbor City Council on Monday approved an emergency resolution to hasten repair of a section of Borgen Boulevard near Olympus Way that has been closed due to a pavement failure.
Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm noted that crews have been attempting to repair the pavement since January. Recent rains worsened the condition of the roadway so much that patching is no longer a viable option.
Under a previous emergency order, which allowed the city to waive competitive bidding requirements, the city hired Pape & Sons Construction to do the work on a time-and-materials basis.
Pape discovered a significant amount of water draining as far as six feet below the pavement base rock, Langhelm said. Now the city must hire a geotechnical engineer to investigate soil conditions and propose a solution.
The council voted unanimously to declare an emergency and hire HWA Geosciences to conduct the engineering investigation. The emergency order allows the city to avoid competitive bidding.
The contract with HWA will not exceed $28,000.
The contractor began work this week and Langhelm expects that the analysis will be complete in a couple weeks. Once the engineering analysis is done, another emergency declaration will be needed to hire a contractor to complete the repairs, Langhelm said.
Mayor Tracie Markley announced that the city has finalized the purchase of an undeveloped 11.5-acre parcel adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant at 4216 Harborview Dr.
The Puyallup Tribe of Indians and a Pierce County Conservation Futures grant contributed to the purchase. The land is the first phase of the North Creek Salmon Heritage Conservation Area.
Councilmember Brenda Lykins asked the council to recognize Pride Month in June. A member of the local LGBTQ community told Lykins that Gig Harbor has never recognized Pride Month.
“When I was running for city council, a core of my platform was inclusion, and that Gig Harbor should be a city that welcomes everyone,” Lykins said. “I ran on the idea of strength in our diversity. I’m a pediatric nurse and I’m very aware of the concerns of our LGBTQ youth.”
Councilmembers Robyn Denson, Jeni Woock, Mary Barber and Roger Henderson all spoke in support of Lykins’ suggestion.
“These are incredibly divisive times,” Denson said. “And support for our LGBTQ should not be divisive.”
Lykins said her goal is to present a resolution proclaiming Pride Month at the May 23 council meeting.
May is Wildfire Awareness Month in Pierce County, thanks to a resolution passed by the County Council in April. Dr. Elly Claus-McGahan, who holds a math Ph.D. and was representing Climate Pierce County, gave a presentation to the city council on incorporating climate change policy into the city’s comprehensive plan.
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Climate Pierce County describes itself as “an umbrella coalition committed to a carbon-free future for Pierce County.”
Claus-McGahan’s presentation included information on sea-level rise, urban heat, wildfire hazards and wildfire prevention.
She described prevention strategies including using fire-resistant building materials; managing community green spaces and roadsides; managing where development takes place; choosing landscaping materials with fire-safety in mind; and preventative measures.
Gig Harbor Fire Chief Dennis Doan discussed the potential for local wildfires and department strategies for preventing and fighting them.
Pierce County will host a free “Firewise” training webinar on May 25.
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