By Jack Mayne The first day of paid parking at the Des Moines Marina went well, with about 1,200 tickets sold Thursday (July 6), but that number does not include marina tenants or those who have a resident or frequent user passes. Bill Linscott of the Marina tenants groups said congratulations were in order for the first day of paid parking. “We saw everybody out there, the Marina staff was out there helping people through the gate today,” and added that validation from Anthony’s Restaurant went smoothly. “Everybody is cooperating. So far, so good,” City Manager Michael Matthias said. About 450 combined user passes have been sold so far, and roughly 10% of those are frequent users (people who live outside the City), with the rest being resident passes. ‘Beta’ parking test Chief Operations Officer Dan Brewer reminded the Council that city staff has imposed a 45-day “beta test” of the Marina paid parking program. “If there are issues before (the end of the test), we will address them and come back to County,” Brewer said. “At 45 days we will report back how things are operating. We have noticed that there are things that can be tweaked and made some adjustments already.” Brewer reminded that paid parking at the Marina is about three things: “Its about preserving our infrastructure and here are some pictures of our north bulkhead … there is a beam completely missing here,” he told the Council. Vandal videos “The revenue generated from this is intended to help pay for capital reinvestments in the waterfront zone and our bulkheads in particular,” said Brewer. “Secondly, it is to enhance law enforcement by regulating access, particularly at night both on the Marina floor at the beach park. Thirdly, to assure the north lot is available for emergency management operations” if they are ever needed in case of unforeseen events. Brewer also told Council that making the changes also permitted them to add fiber optic cable which will “capture some really big benefits” that include added beach park security and “enhanced payment options” at the parking pay station, allowing for controlled access to the gate to the beach “so we know precisely who is coming and going out of that gate which we’ve never been able to know (before).” There are still vandalism problems in the beach park area and the city is considering cameras down there that could be viewed at the police station so that officers could be dispatched, Brewer said, and recordings of such events could help convict miscreants. Brewer said the marina and beach parking pay project original budget was $400,000 but the estimated cost to complete it is $610,000 with the additional amount offset by available real estate excise tax money and savings from other funds available to the city. The Council unanimously approved the changed budget. 4th is ‘trying time’ Police Chief George Delgado said the 4th of July is “a very trying time for the public” and he had some concerns expressed by citizens. He said the department is “fortunate” it survived another year and is seeking to “increase our efficiency in the future.” He said there were 39 calls to the emergency 911 number, the same number of calls as last year. “What I have to say is that the average spike for 911 calls in south King County went up 112 percent. Every city, fireworks ban or not, had a significant spike,” Delgado said. “We remained the same and I have to credit the staff for all the public education, all the efforts of warning our citizens and our community about the dangers and the fact that it is illegal to do fireworks.” But, he said there were “some very loud explosions that are very frustrating for us.” Manpower stretched Traffic creates bottlenecks and visitors to the city sometimes include problem people from other places, the chief said, adding to the problems of citizen calls for service during such a holiday. At the same time that there is an increase of officers working the holiday in the busy marina, plus service calls from the eastern part of the city, city police manpower is stretched thin. The use of alcohol increases in the evening of such holidays, increasing service calls and further stretching the limited manpower of Des Moines police. “We can’t get to the concerns of our residents when we are dealing with these things, so we do our best and we are very fortunate that we survived another year,” Delgado said. Problems were in the Pacific Highway area, and from areas of the city where there normally are crime problems. “It was pretty much spread around the city,” Delgado said. City Manager Matthias said the problems of legal fireworks at the Marina and the illegal issue in the rest of the city and the new banning of fireworks in neighboring Kent is something he wants to take up with the Council at a later study session. Other Council business The Council voted to change the title of mayor pro-tem to deputy mayor to match earlier changes in city ordinances. The Council voted to approve a supplemental agreement with Exeltech Consulting of Lacey for the Redondo Boardwalk Repair in the amount of $17,760.14 to complete construction administration and inspection services associated with project delay, bringing the total contract to $946,234.63. Patrice Thorell, city Parks, Recreation and Senior Services director, said the vast number of community summer activities are all listed on the city’s website.]]>