SeaTac Council hears cost and plans for new residential parking permit plan


By Jack Mayne

The SeaTac City Council study session Tuesday night (Feb. 27) got a first look at a potential plan to buy $570,000 in electronic parking equipment needed because of increased new businesses and residents coming to SeaTac.

The Council, for some time, has been working on a plan to electronically monitor neighborhood parking where residents have complained they are not able to park in front of their own home.

The Council was also told it would cost the city about $400,000 a year to operate the system with some, but not all, of the ongoing expense coming from up to two parking passes for each private household in the McMicken Heights and Sue-Linda neighborhoods.

Pilot project
The four members attending the study session agreed to accept the report and it will be on the Council agenda at the March 13 meeting. Mayor Michael Siefkes, and Councilmembers Pam Fernald and Rick Forschler were not at the study session.

Final Council action is expected to be at the March 13 regular SeaTac City Council session.

City Engineer Florendo Cabudol asked the Council to implement a permit parking zone pilot project in the McMicken Heights and Sue-Linda neighborhood following a study to develop a plan to manage the increased demand for on-street parking in the city because of increased business and residential demands.

Cabudol said the city will continue to with residents of the area on why and how the program will be designed.

The city says demand for on-street parking, particularly in these two neighborhoods “led to several documented concerns involving safety, commercial/for hire vehicle parking in neighborhoods, and littering. Interim measures, such as no-parking signage at intersection corners, were implemented with varying levels of effectiveness.”

The Council included $500,000 in the current budget to implement a permit parking plan for the area.

Two permits per house
The city said current plans are for an online registration for the permits, Only two will be available to each household. The first permit will cost $30 a year and a second $65 a year.

“A limit of up to two permits can be purchased per household to utilize public on-street parking for more than three hours,” the city says now. “Any additional vehicles will need to park on the street for less than three hours or park off-street in driveways or garages at a private residence.

The city says no paper stickers are planned. The proposed program will be “utilizing a digital system that would include registering your vehicle by the license plate. This would eliminate the need manually issue stickers and city police will enforce the program using license plate recognition cameras that would be able to identify if the vehicle is registered and track duration of stay.”

How much will the digital equipment to read license plates and other ancillary costs actually be, asked Councilmember Joel Wachtel.

The costs will be determined by a bidding process of a number of potential providers, said Capudol.

Dan McKinney, Transpo Group representative, told Wachtel “there is definitely cost with the software and the hardware, license plate readers.”

Over a half million dollars
The software packages tend to be around $70,000, he said with a potential annual service or maintenance fee “of around $20,000.” It would cost around $100,000 each to buy the license plate readers that would be installed on police cars so that parking permits can be checked. McKenny said package of three readers to equip three police cars would cost “around $450,000.”

McKinney said there are a lot of vendors for these readers and camera and competition should keep prices down. Wachtel told the city engineer he wanted more information on the package as “this is a pretty significant cost” and without more information he said, “I am not comfortable at this moment.”

Councilmember Peter Kwon said the total package is estimated to cost $570,000 with an “potential annual on-going cost” of an operating fee of “about $443,000.”

He also asked if operating the plan, like many elsewhere, could end up losing money and Cabudol agreed that “for our recommended program, the city does not recoup 100 percent of the cost.” The fee is there to eliminate any abuse of the program, he said.

City Manager Joe Scorcio said the agreement with Port of Seattle provides a $1.4 million annually is “essentially cover our patrol officers who do traffic work in normal police cars that are used for parking enforcement along with other police business.

One-stop for business license
The Washington Legislature has passed legislation requiring all cities to partner free of additional charge with the state business license system by 2020. Finance Director Gwen Pilo and budget analyst Alexis Briggs told the Council study session on Tuesday night (Feb. 27) that the new State Business Licensing system (BLS) is a one-stop customer service center where businesses can get their state registration and city licenses in the same spot. The Council will make final decision at on the new system at he March 13 meeting.

The Washington Legislature has passed legislation requiring all cities to partner free of additional charge with the state business license system by 2020. Budget analyst Alexis Briggs told the Council study session on Tuesday night (Feb. 27) that the new State Business Licensing system (BLS) is a one-stop customer service center where businesses can get their state registration and city licenses in the same spot.

“This is a one-stop customer service center where businesses can get their state registration and city licenses in the same spot,” said Briggs.

Under the new state system, SeaTac will retain local control to set license fees, and approve or deny any business applying for its city license. The customer will receive one license document with endorsements for each SeaTac license issued but the state system will handle applications, renewals, and printing and mailing of all licenses. The customer will receive one license document with endorsements for each city license issued.

SeaTac will retain local control to set license fees, and approve or deny any business applying for its city license but tin March.

“This is a one-stop customer service center where businesses can get their state registration and city licenses in the same spot,” said Briggs, but there is an estimated two-year wait to join the system.

Under the new state system, SeaTac will retain local control to set license fees, and approve or deny any business applying for its city license. The customer will receive one license document with endorsements for each SeaTac license issued but the state system will handle applications, renewals, and printing and mailing of all licenses. The customer will receive one license document with endorsements for each city license issued.

SeaTac will retain local control to set license fees, and approve or deny any business applying for its city license but the state will handle intake of applications, renewals, and printing and mailing of all licenses.

On a question by Councilmember Peter Kwon wondered if city costs would remain the same and Pilo said the city might save some because of the processing time done by the state and costs of such things as envelopes and paper but no real estimate has been made yet.

Also at the meeting, City Manager Scorcio introduced a new city employee, Accounting Analyst Christina McCall, formerly an accounting intern at the City of Burien.


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