The Sequim City Council’s session on Feb. 25 opened with the emotional plea of a Sequim business owner who said that the recent signage ordinance is hurting her small business' ability to advertise.
“I’ve put a lot of money and time and heart and soul into my business," said Michelle Scott, owner of the Artisans Creative Consignment store. “We need all the help we can get.”
Scott went on to mention that customers told her that they didn’t even know the store was in the mall because there was no signage. Scott closed her public comment asking the council to “please reconsider your decision, because I’m sorry but it’s the wrong one.”
The council took no action.
Also at the session, councilors heard from Administrative Services Director Elray Konkel on the city’s financial plan. Overall, Konkel painted a rosy picture of the city operating within its means despite a drop in tax revenues. The revenues, running $103,000 under budget, were offset by lowered expenditures which ran $378,000 under budget. Mayor Ken Hays also attributes the savings as much to the work of City Manager Steve Burkett as to the increased frugality of city departments.
The council also approved a $5,000 contract with the Clallam Economic Development Council. The measure passed with a vote of 5-2, with councilors Ted Miller and Eric Erichsen dissenting. Miller said he believed it was important to send a message that Sequim deserved more attention from what he felt is a Port Angeles-centric organization.
Finally, the council approved a contract to Optimum Building Consultants to manage the construction of the new city hall building. The Bellevue-based firm beat out five other construction management companies and will take over the planning and execution phases of the construction.
Court Olson, OBC’s manager, coordinated several recent projects, including the Olympia City Hall and Police Headquarters. Olson’s scope of work now includes gathering ideas from police and city officials for design of the building, creating a project budget, obtaining approval from the state and negotiating a contract with a development team. These are all scheduled to be complete by October, so construction can begin early in 2014.
The next phase of the project will require Olson to find an architecture and design firm.
The council unanimously approved an operating budget of $180,000 for OBC, with an $18,000 contingency fund.