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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Council Roundup: Sticking with current garbage hauler

Also, neighborhood housing concerns, city manager search, arts commission

The City Council on Monday selected Republic Services to continue to pick up garbage, recyclable material and organic waste, once a contract is hammered out next month.

Two companies -- Republic and CleanScapes -- were competing for a seven-year contract, with an option to extend another seven years, worth up to $20 million annually. The current contract expires next June.

While the council and city staff acknowledged that both companies were capable of providing the services to Bellevue residents and businesses, it came down to Republic's past performance and reputation for providing Bellevue customers with reliable and dependable service for more than 30 years. The vote was 5-0; Councilmembers John Chelminiak and Kevin Wallace recused themselves. City staff will now work with Republic to finalize the contract, then bring it back to the council in October for approval. 

In addition to selecting the vendor of choice, the council decided to maintain the same rate structure in the new contract in order to minimize rate changes for customers.

Also approved were a number of key service enhancements and new service options, including a limited amount of commercial and multifamily organics collection. The council hopes that including this level of organics service into the base rate will promote participation in the organics recycling program and ultimately reduce this type of material from ending up in the landfill. Customers can expect key improvements including on-call curbside collection of small electronics and appliances from multifamily customers, and online account management and electronic billing upon request. (council agenda materials)  

Neighborhood concerns on new housing model addressed
As part of a review of Planning Commission and city staff work program priorities, the council discussed the growing practice of multi-room rentals in single-family homes. The issue was first brought to the attention of council and city staff this past summer when residents in the Spiritwood neighborhood raised concerns that investors planned to rent out individual rooms in single-family homes. Existing city code does not provide the tools to address this emerging business model.

Over the past few months, several Councilmembers toured the neighborhood to learn more about the issue and city staff met with both the neighbors and representatives of the investors. Recognizing the urgency of the issue, the council unanimously supported a motion to bring back an emergency interim ordinance in two weeks for council review and approval. The council also reinforced the need for a long-term approach to look at the policy issues surrounding occupancy of single-family homes and the growing need for student housing in neighborhoods close to Bellevue College.

More background and analysis on this issue is in the council packet.

Search for the next city manager continues
Councilmembers on Monday finalized the materials that will be used to recruit candidates for the position of city manager. The position will be formally posted this week and will close in early October, after which the council will review a list of final candidates.

On-site interviews with the final candidates are planned for November. At that time, the public will be invited to a reception to meet the candidates. The council could appoint a new city manager by the end of the year.

The City Manager Search page offers more details about the process.

Arts Commission appointees
Hugo Ludena was appointed to fill a vacated position on the Arts Commission and will be eligible for reappointment in May 2015; Philip Malkin was appointed to fill an expired term and will be eligible for reappointment in May 2017.

Video rebroadcast available
Video of the study session is available at Bellevue TV, along with a video archive of past meetings.

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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Lenka Wright, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 425-452-4090
E-mail: lwright@bellevuewa.gov

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