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Happy March, North Bend. Welcome to the latest edition of the North Bend Weekly Recap. Simply click the linked headlines – where applicable – to read full news releases. From all of us here at the City of North Bend, we hope you enjoy your weekend.
Si View Metropolitan Parks District announced some good news – Torguson Skatepark is officially open to the public. The brand-new facility is in Torguson Park located at 750 E North Bend Way - on the southwest side near the main parking plaza. Construction work is complete, and all park features are accessible, but landscaping work surrounding the park is still in progress. Visitors will notice orange construction fencing creating a designated pathway to access the skatepark and are asked to follow onsite signage and use this access point.
As the region continues to transition through the pandemic’s recovery phases, King County Metro is making plans to gradually restore suspended service where needed most. As local travel demand increases, Metro plans to systematically restore suspended transit service within available resources. To make the most informed service decisions for residents and riders, King County Metro is seeking community feedback through a short survey on Metro’s route to recovery. Input received will help transit planners identify and recommend priority service changes in September 2021 and beyond. Click linked headline to take survey.
This week the Snoqualmie Valley Record released the results of its 2021 Best of the Valley contest, with North Bend’s own Mary Miller named Best City Councilor. Fellow North Bend Councilmember Chris Garcia was also a finalist in the category. A longtime community volunteer, Councilmember Miller began serving on the North Bend City Council in January 2020 and served on the City’s Planning Commission before being elected to council.
Did you miss the March 2nd virtual City Council meeting? If so, you can view the recording on our website. Agenda items included an annual report from the City’s volunteer Economic Development Commission and new sewer rates to help fund high priority improvements at the City’s aging Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The City Council unanimously approved a new 4-year Sewer Rate and General Facilities Charge (GFC) amendment. Councilmembers received public testimony during a February 16th Public Hearing. The Ordinance for the 4-year schedule includes a sewer rate annual increase of 2.5% for the years 2022-2025, as well as an increase to the GFC for new sewer connections in ULID areas. GFCs will slightly decrease in non-ULID areas, though. The new rates will fund Phase 2 of the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) High Priority Improvements project, estimated to cost approximately $24 million and financed through a 30-year, low interest bond. Construction of WWTP Phase 1 – which began in 2019 - is 90% complete. Construction of Phase 2 is anticipated to be complete in 2023. Councilmembers said they did not take raising rates lightly but were supportive of the need to make critical repairs and upgrades at the antiquated facility to meet today’s high safety and environmental requirements. [Clicked linked headline to read background info on the multi-phase WWTP HPI Project.]
We recently launched three new City website pages. The Water FAQ page contains answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the City’s water supply and water infrastructure planning. The Transportation page offers info on available shuttle bus, ride share, vanpool options to help get residents where they need to go. The Report a Street Light Problem page will direct you to reporting options for streetlight issues in the City. See a strobing or dark streetlight? This page will get you to the right place to help remedy the problem.
The King County Library System (KCLS) has used a federal CARES Act grant from the Washington State Library (WSL) to install external Wi-Fi Access Points (AP) at 44 county library locations, including the North Bend Library. The new external Access Point provides residents with access to the internet outside the North Bend Library, 115 E. 4th Street, while the building remains closed to the public. You do not need a library card or Wi-Fi password to access the free “kcls.org wireless” network.
Good news! Covid-19 activity decreased again this past week in North Bend. Over the past 14 days there was only 1 new case reported and the test positivity rate dropped to 0.9%. The City’s 7-day daily case average is now zero. As vaccine rollout continues, it is still vital to follow public health guidelines – spread out, mask up and keep social circles small – to #KeepNorthBendHealthy until the vaccine reaches most of our population in the coming months.
On March 22, the state will move to Vaccination Phase 1B-2. This phase includes all high-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings, and there will be no age distinction among them. This essentially means that 1B-2 will include critical workers who were previously in phases 1B-2 and 1B-4. DOH will also open 1B-2 eligibility to people 16 and over who are pregnant or have certain disabilities that greatly increase risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Additional high-risk groups will be included as follows:
**Read the complete guidance regarding who will become eligible here**
HopeLink has developed a new online resource to help residents find transportation to and from Covid-19 vaccinations and/or testing sites. Find it at: https://www.findaride.org/covid.
Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust (MTSGT) is launching a new volunteer program - Trailhead Ambassadors – this summer in the North Bend area where recreational trails see some of the largest numbers of visitors in Washington. The Trailhead Ambassadors program is currently recruiting volunteers to educate and empower visitors on trails and public lands within the I-90 corridor. Mountains to Sound Greenway said this program is a direct reflection of the need to provide more resources to trail users about how to recreate responsibly.
Important FYI for unincorporated (outside city limits) North Bend residents. King County Local Services is working to develop a community-identified list of service, program, facility, and capital improvement projects in support of the community’s vision. The community is the driver of this, so if you live in unincorporated areas of North Bend - King County Local Services wants to hear from you. Have a say. Help develop this 20-year vision by taking part in the survey HERE.
Are you on social media? We are too. You can follow the City of North Bend to keep up with news, events, and other information. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The City has changed its mailing address. No more PO Box. Instead we are using our physical address: 920 SE Cedar Falls Way, North Bend, WA 98045. Please note the change for utility bills and other correspondence.