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I usually go to the one on Ballinger but will be glad to switch to one within the City limits.

8 months ago on O’Reilly Auto Parts store planned for old Blockbuster Video space

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Even though it's unfortunate that the process is not going as expected, I'm glad the Council isn't settling.

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Some officials not happy with city manager search process

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@Jim Misiano There are a number of reasons your water bill may be increasing. The most obvious would be if the amount of water your household used has increased. While the City overall has decreased use by 10%, that may not be true for each property. The base bi-monthly charge went up by about 3.5% between 2012 and 2013, which amounts to only about 29 cents for residential use. The other thing that changed between 2012 and 2013 was that the City switched to a stepped system for charging for water use to encourage conservation. If you use less than 2,000 cubic feet of water in a billing period (2 months) than the rate for 2013 is $2.60/CF. If you use more than the $/CF increases. For reference I just checked and the most I used in 2013 was 1,500 CF, but I don't water my lawn so others likely have more.

8 months, 4 weeks ago on City water use about 10 percent less this year, thanks to new water meters, golf course closure

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@ShannonKlemm This is a great idea in theory and some new buildings have rain collection systems for this use but to implement city wide it would require a completely seperate water system not to mention any building that wanted to use it would have to be replumbed to accomodate the irrigation/flushing system.

8 months, 4 weeks ago on City water use about 10 percent less this year, thanks to new water meters, golf course closure

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@Robert Kramer @James Mize 

I know that some people may have some knowledge as to how these things work but  (especially Robert as it sounds like you were involved in the development of your own property on 56th), but I’ll give a quick overview to explain for others that may want to know. Many different agencies have utilities underground in our City’s streets. The City itself has storm, sewer, and water systems which include pipes, manholes, catch basins, valves, vaults, etc. Then there are a handful of other agencies/companies like Comcast, Centurylink, Frontier, AT&T, etc. that also own conduits and vaults underground for fiber optics, telephone, cable. Additional you have some Snohomish County PUD which has underground power lines and PSE which has gas mains, services, valves, etc. All this to say that there is a lot of infrastructure underground owned by many different agencies.

When a new construction project is planned, whether it is a private development like Arbor Village, a project by a utility company like PSE or a public City project like the Main St. Project, all the above utilities are contacted to come out and have their utilities marked.This is generally done by spray paint on the ground. Walk down 56th right now and you’ll see a ton of paint on the ground for both the PSE project and the Main St. project. After all this is marked, whoever is doing the project will hire a surveyor or provide their own to survey all the markings as well as other surface features. What they provide is a map of everything and that is what the project design is based of off.

As you can see there are a lot of different sources of information here and, as you can imagine, once in a while someone might mark their utility slightly off from where it actually is. Additionally, there are some loose guidelines about how deep conduits are but the vertical elevation is generally unknown or not recorded. Many times they can be moved, especially if its just power or telephone, but fiber optics are much more sensitive and difficult to move.

So there is some background just to show that this happens. As a civil engineer I run in to things like this all the time. You can always plan for something but once you start digging there are always some surprises. you put your heads together and try to come up with the best solution.

Now I’ll try to address some of the other comments and questions. Even with the planter boxes, there is still 10’ of sidewalk between the box and the building. That 5’ width of sidewalk next to the curb is meant to contain street/pedestrian lights, benches, trees, bike racks, etc. The planter boxes are within that 5’ strip so they aren’t narrowing the 10’ portion of the sidewalk meant to be kept open for pedestrian use. Before commenting here I thought I should walk through it. I did and it doesn’t feel confined or claustrophobic. If a restaurant goes into that space I can see the planter boxes as being a benefit. It provide something additional for people to lean or sit on while waiting for a table or waiting for friends. They frame in a nice pedestrian space just outside the where a restaurant will hopefully be.

The City’s traffic engineers did look at the issue of blocking traffic sight for people exiting the parking garage and it wasn’t an issue. You’ll notice that the planter boxes don’t go right up against the curb. All the street furnishings are set back slightly to provide some horizontal clearance from the vehicle/bike travel lanes and furnishings. The distance is the same for a bench or a planter box or any other furnishings. If someone decides to walk or ride their bike or skateboard in to light pole or planter box I really don’t think blaming the City is going to hold up.

I have more information from the City if there are still more questions/concerns that anyone has. I am happy to investigate further.

So to recap, projects like this are designed using the best available information. Sometimes that information is incomplete, not precise, or just incorrect. If a situation comes up where something needs to change you try to find the best solution. In this case I think the planter boxes work well. I’m looking forward to seeing them planted and the project completed.

8 months, 4 weeks ago on Fiber conduit delaying completion of Arbor Village sidewalk features

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@pross The buddypress plugin isn't listed http://screencast.com/t/m9N2xpVD8C

2 years, 6 months ago on BuddyPress for PageLines

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When I click "Login to Download" (I'm actually already logged in) it just redirects me back to this page. Where can I download the plugin?

2 years, 6 months ago on BuddyPress for PageLines

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