Also police strengthen drug disposal program and critical areas ordinance update hearing set
On Monday Bellevue Fire Chief Mark Risen and Civic Services Director Nora Johnson briefed the City Council on the city's outreach efforts for the siting of a new fire station. The new facility, dubbed "Fire Station 10," will improve response times for emergency events in Northwest Bellevue, downtown and BelRed. The proposed site is on the west side of 112th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 12th Street, just north of McCormick Park.
In 2014 the Fire Department completed an extensive study -- the Fire Facilities Master Plan -- to examine how to meet the city's needs amidst a period of significant growth. As part of a systemwide support strategy, the plan strongly recommended the construction of a new fire station. The department strives for a citywide four-minute travel time, which is recognized by the National Fire Protection Association as a key objective.
Taking into consideration coverage gaps, staff used the following criteria to evaluate locations before settling on the proposed site:
- Response time/coverage;
- Site access and traffic impacts;
- Medic 1 freeway access;
- Cost to acquire, develop and operate;
- Site configuration; and
- Land use impacts.
The current plans would not impact McCormick Park. Proposed construction will not take place until 2019, at the earliest.
During the meeting, councilmembers praised the recent progress in siting a new station but voiced concern for affected property owners. Staff reiterated the city's dedication to working with the owners and keeping them informed as the process moves forward. Initial outreach to owners, area residents, businesses and other stakeholders by staff began last week.
More information is available at Fire Station 10.
Prescription drugs disposal program
Later in the meeting Police Chief Steve Mylett updated councilmembers on the installation of a new kiosk at City Hall for the collection of unwanted medicines. The kiosk is part of King County's Medication Education and Disposal (MED) program, which was launched in 2015. Bellevue joined the program this year.
Chief Mylett was quick to point out the environmental, health and safety benefits of the initiative. He also noted that previous one-day drug disposal events have received positive feedback from the community. Bellevue police collected 670 pounds of unwanted medications at the last drug take-back weekend in May.
Installation and delivery of the kiosk, which will be in the Police Department lobby, is expected as early as next month. Contents are confidentially disposed of by a third-party contractor.
Public hearing set for critical areas ordinance update
As its last item of business, the council set a public hearing date for Oct. 10 to further analyze updates to the critical areas ordinance. The proposed amendments are meant to ensure compliance with state law. The council could adopt the amendments as early as Oct. 17. Additional information can be found on the Critical Areas page.
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