By Jack Mayne
The idea of a fire department rescue boat training twice a month at higher than usual speeds on Angle Lake was rejected by the SeaTac City Council during a long meeting on Tuesday meeting.
Training firefighters to operate the rescue boat now kept at the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority station at located at 3011 S. 200th St. has been at Angle Lake, but the department wanted twice-monthly training periods that would mean boats accelerating at higher than the five miles an hour normally allowed.
Boat kept far away
This was objected to by Angle Lake residents for some time, more at this meeting Tuesday (Feb. 14) when Angle Lake resident Judith Williams suggested the City Council consider selling the boat because it was kept at the fire station and it takes upwards of a half hour to get it to the lake, making it useless for saving people in distress.
“We get a lot of rescues and we are always there first by a long shot,” she said, noting that many people swim the “entire circuit of the lake day in and day out all year round.”
The expense of the boat is a concern, she said, and the boat is “of no purpose since we are always there first and it isn’t even launched or moored there.”
“I would suggest they either get rid of the boat or move it to the lake where they can moor it….”
But the city no longer owns the boat– it was transferred to the former Kent Regional Fire District when the city joined that department.
Dan Winston said during Council comment period that he also opposed the potential of fireboat training on the lake because of possible damage from boat wakes to the beach and to property owner’s docks. He noted that people seem to copy the behavior of others and if some see the fireboat speeding for a training session they might do the same with their personal boats.
Having boats go faster than eight miles an hour “really presents a danger” to the many swimmers in the water year around, he said.
Winston said he cannot remember when the fireboat rescued anyone on the lake, that most people in trouble are rescued by other Angle Lake residents and he opposed letting the fire department do rescue training on the lake twice each month.
Councilmember Tony Anderson, a resident of the Angle Lake area, said discussions with residents reflected what Williams and Winston told the Council but that there were no concerns if the training were kept at slow speeds.
International Marketplace grant
Council discussed and approved a motion authorizing the city manager to sign a contract with the Washington State Department of Commerce for a $1.2 million grant million for the development of the International Marketplace as part of the city’s implementation of the South 154th Street Station Area Plan.
The purpose of the project is to support “development activities related to the construction of a public plaza and associated commercial space as part of the International Marketplace” which would help “achieve the vision for the South 154th Street Station Area as a thriving mixed-use, transit oriented neighborhood,” the city said in an agenda outline.
The city says it hopes for “showcasing and celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of the area through food, products, and art, it will be a focal point for residents, employees and visitors in SeaTac and provide an additional public gathering spot for community events.” The idea is a mix of shops, restaurants and open space will provide the types of amenities that residential and commercial developers believe to be essential elements of a successful community, said Economic Development Director Jeff Robinson.
Mayor Michael Siefkes presented a certificate of appreciation to Joe Adamack as a member of the Planning Commission, and appointed Pamela Pollock to the Planning Commission and Judith Williams to the Human Services Advisory Committee. City Manager Joseph Scorcio and Siefkes gave a 20-year service award to Information Systems Manager Bart Perman.