• Council Roundup: Human Services needs update

    Plus, city departments earn re-accreditation, emergency response recognition and Downtown Park to get new art

    On Monday the City Council was briefed on research findings from the 2019-2020 Human Services needs update. The data gathered through surveys and community outreach helps the Human Services Commission target priority areas of funding for the 2021-2022 Human Services Fund. 

    Local agencies will apply in March and April for funding through the city’s Human Services Fund. The Human Services Commission will consider all applications and use the data from the needs update to help guide funding recommendations. The resulting recommendations will come before the council for approval in the fall.

    Familiar themes came up in the data including affordable housing, which was listed as the number one community issue by 75% of survey respondents. Living wage job access, homelessness, racial and ethnic discrimination, behavioral health, substance abuse and access to transportation were other topics of  concern.   

    The presentation and discussion, including the Bellevue’s ongoing human services work, are available on video replay through Bellevue Television.

    Utilities, transportation departments earn re-accreditation

    A representative of the American Public Works Association (APWA) was on hand Monday to recognize the city’s transportation and utilities departments, which were recently re-accredited by the organization. 

    APWA accreditation is a voluntary program designed to verify and recognize public works agencies for compliance with internationally recognized standards. Bellevue’s utilities department was the first public agency department to be accredited in the state in 2004 and has maintained its accreditation ever since. The city’s transportation department first sought and achieved accreditation in 2007. 

    In addition to being 100 percent compliant with the best practices for public works agencies, four city practices were identified as “model practices” that will be used as examples for other agencies seeking accreditation.

    City recognized for creating new emergency response tool 

    Bellevue was also recognized Monday with an award for developing a dashboard tool that integrates real-time 911 dispatch data with traffic operations, video monitoring and incident archiving. 

    The tool allows traffic engineering staff to more quickly identify and respond to roadway emergencies and congestion-causing events, which can help cut the time it takes to clear crash scenes, reducing traffic delays. The award is from the National Operations Center for Excellence. 

    Downtown Park art installation

    Image of Downtown Park art design concept

    Finally, councilmembers got their first look at the approved design for a signature piece of large-scale public art to be installed in Downtown Park next year. 

    The piece will be a landmark element of Bellevue’s Grand Connection pedestrian corridor that runs through downtown. It will be placed at the northeast entrance to Downtown Park along Northeast 4th Street and Bellevue Way. Visitors will pass through the art to get into and out of the park. 

    Several partners from public and private arts organizations and businesses formed a committee in 2017 to begin planning for the iconic piece. The committee reviewed 98 submissions in late 2017 and the Arts Commission approved a final design concept in 2019. 

    Councilmembers will review the final artist contract this month and installation is expected to be completed in mid-2021. More images and details are available in the agenda item materials.

    Published on 02/06/2020