By Jack Mayne

The SeaTac City Council at their Tuesday night (Feb. 11) meeting approved money to fix Miller Creek, upgrade soccer fields and heard two youths ask the Council to consider a $200,000 to $400,000 dirt bike track in the city.

Miller Creek ILA
Council also unanimously approved authorizing an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) with Burien for the construction of the Miller Creek Realignment and Daylighting Project. Public Works Director Will Appleton said the project will improve the failing Des Moines Memorial Drive at the boundaries of the two cities. The work will restore and enhance the creek to become “an important fish bearing stream.”

Appleton said the “project improves the water quality, improves the riparian environment, creates flood plain, flattens the creek through … high flows, a sustainable design. It also solves risks associated with the two failing culverts, leverages funding from the Port which is also participating in the cost of the project.”

The $3.5 million cost is split amongst partners, he said. Grants cover $700,000, the Port of Seattle is paying $700,000, SeaTac $985,000 and Burien $1,115,000.

North SeaTac Park
The Council approved upgrading the soccer fields at North SeaTac Park, a project that should be completed by the low bidder, Premier Field Construction, by the end of the year.

Lawrence Ellis, city parks director. told the Council the fields were constructed in 1997 with sand-based surfacing, but he said that was considered obsolete within a few years due to the increase of synthetic turf being installed by communities throughout the Puget Sound. He said that resulted in fewer rentals, therefore less revenue to the city.

Because of the poor condition, Ellis said there have been no requests to rent the fields for soccer since 2012. With the installation of synthetic turf, Ellis estimated the fields will generate $1.6 million over a 10-year period.

Several Councilmembers noted the pare improvements will increase its use along with the increased revenue. Deputy Mayor Peter Kwon said the investment will continue SeaTac’s motion to “provide high quality, long lasting public parks, better than we have today.”

Ellis said websites by cities often show pictures of the parks they have and SeaTac’s improvements draw interest throughout the area.

City Engineer Florendo Cabudol asked Council to approve a contract amendment with Blueline Contractors to include design of the 2019 Spot Drainage Repairs Project. The added work will increase the the contract by $60,400 to a total of $100,400 so the project can be bid and constructed this year. The Council unanimously approved.

Seek Dirt bike location
Resident Wendy Grantham introduced her son, Reyde Grantham and friend Kadem Smith who are avid dirt bikers, who are seeking an area in either SeaTac or Des Moines for their course. Smith said cost for a course would run from $200,000 to $400,000.

Dirt bikes are lightweight motorcycles that are intended for riding off road. Most designs include rugged tires and suspensions. Dirt bikes are made to handle riding cross-country over rough terrain like dirt, mud and rocks.

Reyde said the sport keeps them “intrigued out of trouble,” and having a course closer to home would lessen costs. Smith said finding a nearby place to dirt bike would save having to travel to distant places and having a place closer to home would allow them to do the sport more often.

SeaTac City Manager Carl Cole asked the Council to refer the issue to the Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee for study.