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City receives $300K donation for new homeless day center - 04/17/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver announced Monday it has received a $300,000 donation from the CE John Company, Inc. for operations of a new homeless day center.

The donation comes as the City starts space planning work for the day center, which will be located at 2018 Grand Blvd. Construction is expected to be completed this summer, with the partner agencies and service providers moving in as soon as September.

“The CE John Family has given to this community for decades, both publicly and anonymously,” said Mark Osborne, CE John Company, Inc. board member and managing partner. “This project grabbed our chairman Jim John’s attention and we, as a Board of Directors, prompted by Jim’s urging, felt it was time for a local business to step up to the plate and begin to combat the ever-increasing homelessness epidemic affecting our community.”  

The Grand Boulevard day center will replace the existing temporary day center at Friends of the Carpenter on West 20th Street in downtown. The new center will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is expected to serve an average of 74 people per day. It will offer people who are homeless a variety of services, including restrooms, showers and laundry, storage for personal belongings, mail, phone charging stations and clothing, plus mental health counseling, case management, job search assistance, transportation assistance, limited food service, and more.

“Though tackling this issue is a complex process with numerous stakeholders, we feel strongly that sitting back and doing nothing was not an option,” said Osborne. “From Clint and Gloria John on down to the third, and now fourth generation, we believe in giving back to the community you live and work in. We feel strongly that the City of Vancouver has a clear and precise plan in place and it is our hope that our gift of $300,000 will begin a movement in Vancouver that spurs other developers, businesses, and philanthropists to give to this cause. Vancouver is a gem, and we at CE John believe it is a calling for us to not only protect but enhance the quality of life for all community members.”

“It is heartwarming to see this level of commitment to a project that will benefit our City’s most vulnerable citizens,” said City of Vancouver Community Development Manager Peggy Sheehan. “Support from engaged community members like Jim John, and the entire CE John organization, help to make vitally important projects like the day center a reality.”

The donation to the day center was facilitated through the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, a grantmaking public charity dedicated to connecting people who care with causes that help strengthen the lives of people in our community. For more information on the Community Foundation, please visit. www.cfsww.org.

For more information about the new day center, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/daycenter.

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Weather Permitting, NE 18th Street Paving Ahead - 04/16/18

Weather permitting, contractors for the City of Vancouver’s Northeast 18th Street Improvement Project plan to begin the task of paving later this week, Wednesday, April 18 or Thursday, April 19. Dry weather and warmer temperatures are critical for top layer paving, and it will take at least several days of good weather to pave a project of this size, from Four Seasons Lane to about Northeast 136th Avenue. 

The city is upgrading this section of the Northeast 18th Street corridor with added travel lanes, an improved traffic signal system, street lights, and bike and pedestrian facilities. Construction began in early 2017, and is now nearing completion.

Tapani Underground Inc. of Battle Ground is the city’s contractor for the project. General work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, though hours may be extended to as late as 8 p.m. and include weekends if needed. Schedules can change as the weather changes. Drivers should watch for message boards and be prepared for delays and lane closures. Allow additional time to get through active construction zone areas. If possible, use an alternative route to avoid the paving activity.

Construction of this segment of the Northeast 18th Street is estimated at about $12.5 million, funded with $6.5 million in federal grants approved through the local Regional Transportation Council (RTC), $4 million in Washington state grants, and $2 million in local resources.

Northeast 18th Street was originally built as a narrow two-lane rural road. Improvement of the corridor to urban standards has been a regional priority since the late 1970s, when it was part of unincorporated Clark County and identified as a major east-west arterial.

More information about the project can be found at www.cityofvancouver.us/18thStreet. Watch for paving changes and other alerts on the Public Works Facebook page and on Twitter (@VanPubWorksUS).

 

City seeks volunteers for Building-Fire Code Commission - 04/16/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking three volunteers interested in serving on its Building-Fire Code Commission (BFCC).  Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, May 14.

To apply online, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/boards. To request an application or for more information, contact Michelle Bartley in the City Manager’s Office by mail at City Hall, P.O. Box 1955, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by email at artley@cityofvancouver.us">michelle.bartley@cityofvancouver.us or by phone at 360-487-8607.

The BFCC is a volunteer commission of at least five members that makes recommendations to the Vancouver City Council about changes to, or adoption of, building and fire codes. Commission duties include:

  • Conduct public meetings as needed to complete commission business
  • Investigate building code, fire code and construction-related issues  
  • Recommend construction and fire prevention regulations related to Title 16 and 17
  • Review all proposed new codes or changes to existing building and fire code and make recommendations to the council prior to its action
  • Hear and resolve disputes related to building and fire code

The BFCC is “on call” and meets as needed, with one mandatory meeting per year. City residency is not a requirement. The vacancies are for a six-year, full-term position expiring in 2024. Preference will be given to people with background and/or experience in engineering, architecture or fire prevention fields.

One of the primary objectives of the recruitment effort is to recruit individuals whose qualifications relate well to the construction industry and the duties of BFCC. Vancouver City Council recognizes that a diverse and well-qualified commission representing different aspects of construction industry will be beneficial to the city and the community. Individuals with background in construction and/or codes, particularly in the area of fire code/fire prevention, are encouraged to apply. Having a BFCC member with expertise in the area of fire code/fire prevention will benefit the commission by expanding its knowledge base.

For more information about the City’s boards and commissions, please visit www.cityofvancouver.us/boardsandcommissions.

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City of Vancouver project to temporarily close SR 14 Westbound Evergreen Exit starting April 16 - 04/13/18

A City of Vancouver water utility project will require a temporary closure of the Evergreen Boulevard exit on westbound State Route 14, around the clock for up to two weeks, starting Monday, April 16. The work is the final step in the project to renew and extend the life of nearly 1,000 feet of aging water main that crosses beneath SR 14, from East Evergreen Boulevard on the north to Southeast Evergreen Highway on the south.

Earlier this year, the city’s contractor, SCI Infrastructure of Seattle, completed improvements to the existing 12-inch-diameter water pipe crossing the westbound SR 14 off-ramp to Southeast Evergreen Highway, east of Southeast Chelsea Avenue. However, during construction it was determined that the portion of water line north of the highway, along Evergreen Boulevard, Sleret Avenue and Middle Way, could not be rehabilitated due to its condition. As a result, a new water main will be installed there starting the week of April 16. Pavement restoration is anticipated to follow during the week of April 23, weather permitting.

The SR 14 Evergreen Exit will be closed continuously during the water line installation for the safety of workers and the public. Meanwhile, regular construction hours for water main installation and paving on Evergreen Boulevard, Sleret Avenue and Middle Way will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but may be as late as 8 p.m. and include weekends if necessary. Residences will receive advance notice at their doors in the case of any anticipated planned water interruptions.

Drivers are encouraged to proceed slowly through the construction zone in the residential area where the water line installation is occurring. Drivers along SR 14 should watch for message boards and prepare to take an alternative exit.

Paving crew works in Vancouver neighborhood
Paving crew works in Vancouver neighborhood
Busy summer ahead: Vancouver's pavement program bigger than ever in 2018 (Photo) - 04/10/18

Vancouver, Wash. - The City of Vancouver is ramping up for its biggest Pavement Management Program year to date, putting $10.5 million to work improving street conditions throughout the city this summer. About 30 of the city’s 67 recognized neighborhoods will see some type of pavement management work between July and September. It all adds up to 215 new curb ramps and 121 lane miles of pavement resurfacing and preservation.

This year’s pavement preservation – which includes microsurfacing, slurry seal, and chip seal treatments – is focused east of Interstate 205. This year’s resurfacing (asphalt paving) includes rehabilitation of 14.5 lane miles of residential streets that are currently in poor or failed condition, located in several neighborhoods throughout Vancouver.

The number of new curb ramps to be installed in 2018 is nearly 20 percent more than in 2017, with the city also getting a jump on ramps for streets slated for pavement work in 2019. The new ramps will increase safety and make sidewalks more accessible for everyone. This work also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires ramp upgrades when major street alterations are made.

There are 1,875 lanes miles of paved streets in Vancouver. Each year, paved streets are evaluated to determine the most cost-effective methods to extend pavement life and provide better driving conditions. When streets begin to fail, they fail quickly and the cost to repair them increases dramatically. Keeping good streets in good condition provides the most cost-effective and efficient use of available resources.

The expanded Pavement Management Program is the result of a sustainable Street Funding Strategy adopted by the City Council in 2015 to improve the overall street system for all users over time. As the funding has ramped up, the city has increased its efforts to preserve and extend the life of good streets and steadily address the backlog of residential streets that failed years ago. In addition to the Street Funding Strategy revenues, which include the Transportation Benefit District license tab fees, pavement management is supported through previously collected local property, sales and real estate excise taxes.

Advance preparations are already underway for the work this summer.  Certified arborist contractors are trimming trees and vegetation where needed. Pavement patching and ADA ramp improvements will follow. Restriping of lanes and replacement of other pavement markings will be done where needed, after surface work is completed.

For details about the 2018 Pavement Management Program, including descriptions of the coming work, a list and map of affected streets, please visit the Pavement Management webpage: www.cityofvancouver.us/pavement.  

Please note: Tentative schedules will be posted on the webpage in advance of street work. Pavement work is highly weather dependent, and schedules are subject to change. Watch also for Vancouver Public Works construction alerts posted on Twitter @VanPubWorksUS and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VancouverPublicWorks.

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City seeks volunteer to serve on City Center Redevelopment Authority - 04/09/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on the City Center Redevelopment Authority (CCRA) board. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, May 7.

To apply online, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/boards. To request an application or for more information, contact Michelle Bartley in the City Manager’s Office at City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, artley@cityofvancouver.us">Michelle.Bartley@cityofvancouver.us or by calling 360-487-8607.

The CCRA board is responsible for overseeing downtown redevelopment consistent with the Vancouver City Center Vision (VCCV) plan, and advises City Council on the business aspects of redevelopment projects and agreements within the VCCV plan area.

Consistent with the CCRA’s charter, members must be civic or business leaders with experience relevant to the CRRA’s purpose in fields such as finance, real estate development, and law or construction management.

To complement the professional backgrounds of the existing board members, the City is specifically seeking a seasoned commercial or multi-family residential real estate professional with high-level experience in construction management, lease and contract negotiations, project design coordination with architects and engineers, project costing estimation, and obtaining permitting approvals.

The vacancy is for a four-year term. Applicants are not required to live within the city limits.

Regular CCRA board meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month starting at noon in the Vancouver City Hall Council Chambers, 415 W. 6th St. Additional special meetings are held as needed, historically four to six times per year. Board members prepare for meetings by reviewing financial projections, legal documents and other technical information related to the projects being presented at workshops and public meetings.

For more information about the CCRA, including links to current and past board meeting agendas and minutes, please visit www.cityofvancouver.us/ccra.

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City Salary Review Commission final meeting, public hearing April 11 - 04/06/18

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver’s Citizen’s Commission on Mayor/City Council Salaries (a.k.a. Salary Review Commission) will hold their sixth and final meeting and public hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 11.

The meeting will take place at Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. 6th St. Free parking is available for visitors in the building’s south visitor parking lot. If this lot is full, on-street parking is also available. Visitors should check in with the information desk upon arrival.

The Salary Review Commission was established by a City charter section approved by voters in 1994. Salary reviews are performed every other year to coincide with the City’s budget cycle. The commission is comprised of five members of the community who are appointed by the mayor, subject to approval by the city council.

The commission's purpose is to study the relationship of salaries to the duties of the mayor and city council members and to set their salaries. The commission must file the schedule of salaries for the mayor and council members with the City Clerk by May 1, for inclusion in the 2019-20 City budget.

The City of Vancouver’s downtown area is served by C-TRAN routes 2, 3, 4, 25, 30, 32, 37, 41, 44, 47 and 105 Express. Bus schedules are available at City Hall, the Citizens Service Center, and other public buildings. You may reach C-TRAN at 360-695-0123 for information on times, fares, and routes.

For more information about the Salary Review Commission, including links to meeting agendas, minutes and other documents, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/src.                                                                                  

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Young explorer shows off critter discovery
Young explorer shows off critter discovery
Critter Time! Go outside for Critter Count; come inside for reptile fun April 14 (Photo) - 03/30/18

Vancouver, Wash. – Make Saturday, April 14, the day to discover and explore hopping and crawling critters! Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center celebrates its 18th annual Critter Count with an outside search for cold-blooded creatures in the morning and special Second Saturday reptile shows in the afternoon. Spend part or the whole day exploring the world of critters!  

CRITTER COUNT (9 a.m. - noon) – Come help with field surveys of amphibians and reptiles at local natural areas. Critter Count begins at 9 a.m. at the Water Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, with a brief training session conducted by a wildlife biologist from the Northwest Ecological Research Institute. Participants will first get a quick overview of the identification of local frogs, snakes, salamanders, lizards, and other amphibians and reptiles. Next, venture out to one of four sites to find and record critters in their habitats. A wildlife expert and a site coordinator will be on hand at each location to help.

Frogs and other amphibians are extremely sensitive to water quality and changing environmental conditions. Keeping track of the numbers provides a better understanding of the challenges they are facing, and data gathered during Critter Count are available to management agencies.

Participants must provide their own transportation to field sites. For a great experience, please come equipped with boots, warm clothes, a lunch and, if possible, binoculars. Training, field guidebooks, equipment, snacks and water will be provided. All ages are welcome to participate, but children must be accompanied throughout the survey by adults. At least one adult chaperone is required for every three students in grades 3-8. For younger ages, please have one adult chaperone per child.

SECOND SATURDAY (1-3 p.m.) – Critter fun forges ahead that afternoon when visitors have an opportunity to get a close-up view of snakes, lizards and other reptiles. The Water Center welcomes Creature Feature with two live critter shows, starting at 1 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. Learn fascinating facts about reptiles and the challenges in bringing them into your home as pets. Find out how you can be a “herp hero” with simple actions that protect water and critters. Families are especially encouraged to join in this special Second Saturday Earth-month celebration. Note: Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Admission to the Water Center and the reptile shows is free!

Critter Count is a partnership of the City of Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center; US Fish and Wildlife, Ridgefield; Columbia Springs; CASEE Center, a program of the Battle Ground School District; and the Northwest Ecological Research Institute. 

For additional information about Critter Count and the Critter Shows on Saturday, April 14, please call 360-487-7111 or click here to visit the Critter Count page on the Water Center's website. You can also learn about other events on the website at www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter.

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Vancouver Fire Marshal warns citizens of recalled Kidde smoke alarms - 03/26/18

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The Vancouver Fire Department has received a notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that Kidde dual-sensor smoke alarms installed in Vancouver homes have been recalled.

This recall affects Kidde models PI2010 and PI9010. Yellow caps covering one of two smoke sensors in these models may have been left on during the manufacturing process, which will compromise the alarm's ability to detect smoke.

Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli urges residents who received a smoke alarm from the Vancouver Fire Department (VFD) between September 2016 and March 2018 to remove the alarm from the wall/ceiling and visually inspect it through the opening on the side of the alarm for the presence of a yellow cap. If you find a yellow cap, or are unable to check your smoke alarm, call the VFD at 360-487-7219, and staff will come to your home, check the alarms and replace them if necessary.

If no yellow cap is present, consumers should reinstall the smoke alarm. No further action is needed.

About 452,000 models PI2010 and PI9010 were sold in the U.S. and an additional 40,000 in Canada. If the date code printed on the back of the alarm falls between Sept. 10, 2016, and Oct. 13, 2017, the model is affected. "KIDDE" is printed on the front center of the affected dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) alarms, and the model number and date code are printed on the back.

The product was sold at most big box stores and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide. They were also sold online at Amazon.com, ShopKidde.com and other websites from September 2016 through January 2018 for between $20 and $40.

The CPSC said there have been no reports of injuries because of the malfunctioning product.

For more information regarding the recall, you can visit www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2018/Kidde-Recalls-Dual-Sensor-Smoke-Alarms-Due-to-Risk-of-Failure-to-Alert-Consumers-to-a-Fire, www.kidde.com or call Kidde at 833-551-7739.

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City seeks applicants for Parking Advisory Committee - 03/26/18

Vancouver, Wash. -- The City of Vancouver is seeking a volunteer to fill one mid-term vacancy on its Parking Advisory Committee. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, April 23.

The Parking Advisory Committee is a seven-member volunteer body that advises the Vancouver City Council and City staff on parking policy and program implementation. Committee members must be either be city residents, own a business or property within the city limits, or be an officer or partner in a business located in the downtown area. The Parking Advisory Committee meets quarterly, or as needed, on the fourth Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at City Hall. The appointment would begin immediately and end April 2020.

Applications may be submitted online at www.cityofvancouver.us./board. To request an application or for further information, contact Michelle Bartley by mail at Vancouver City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by email at michelle.bartley@cityofvancouver.us, or by calling 360-487-8607.

Visit www.cityofvancouver.us/pac to learn more about the Parking Advisory Committee, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas.

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Vancouver celebrates Arbor Day at Mayor's Grove - 03/26/18

Vancouver, Wash. - The City of Vancouver's monthlong community celebration of trees gets underway with a traditional Arbor Day planting event, noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, at the Mayor's Grove in Marshall Park, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

This year's Arbor Day theme, "Planting Roots in Our Community", highlights the benefits that urban trees provide now and into the future, nourishing our quality of life and strengthening community foundations. Vancouver residents are encouraged to join in the event and receive a free tree seedling to take home to plant, building a legacy of a healthy urban forest for the next generation.

During the Arbor Day event, Vancouver will be recognized with the prestigious Tree City USA Growth Award and as Tree City USA for the 29th consecutive year. The event also features a presentation of awards to the City of Vancouver and Clark Public Utilities urban forest efforts, children's crafts and activities, and the Mac Award ceremony.

Concluding the event, the ceremonial planting of the official Arbor Day tree, a Coast Redwood chosen by Mayor McEnerny-Ogle, will be planted in the Mayor's Grove. The grove was first planted in 1972 by and for the mayors of the City of Vancouver. Each new incoming mayor of Vancouver adds to the collection by choosing a tree species to plant on the first Arbor Day of their term.

"The Mayor's Grove is living history of the contributions each mayor has made during years of service to our city," Vancouver's Urban Forester Charles Ray said. "As these trees grow, they will continue to reflect that commitment to community, as an inspiration to reach greater heights."

Unable to attend Arbor Day events? Celebrate at home by planting a tree on private property or by attending a hands-on tree pruning workshop at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 13. For a complete listing of tree-related activities, including times and locations, visit the Urban Forestry webpage at www.cityofvancouver.us/urbanforestry or call 360-487-8308.

Urban Forestry is a branch of the City of Vancouver's Department of Public Works. Arbor Day is a national observance encouraging tree planting and proper tree care. For more information, visit the National Arbor Day Foundation website at www.arborday.org.

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