Fresh off its annual retreat last weekend, the Olympia City Council meets again tonight to talk about everything from plastic bags to homeless services.
According to tonight’s agenda, the council will:
• Hold a study session with officials from Joint Base Lewis-McChord “to promote relationship building with the 7th Infantry Division and the 593rd Sustainment Brigade.” That begins at 5:30.
• Consider a recommendation from the Thurston Solid Waste Advisory Committee to ban plastic bags in Thurston County. City Manager Steve Hall also recommends the change, along with a “small fee” on paper bags, according to a staff report. A county survey found that 49 percent of respondents favored a bag ban. If the council votes, it will be advisory, and it will be up to the county to approve a bag ban. The discussion will take place during the regular meeting that starts at 7.
• Consider spending $35,000 in council discretionary funds to provide more services for the homeless. The money could go toward a new “low barrier” homeless shelter. Such shelters typically have fewer rules than a Salvation Army-style shelter, which has curfews and other rules that some homeless find unacceptable.
Other options include expanding an existing shelter, a day-and-evening center with public restrooms, stand-alone public restrooms, “wet housing” that allows chronic inebriates to drink at home and a “housing first” model that focuses on providing housing first and services second.
• Formally ask the state to declare part of downtown a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area, in which sales of certain cheap, high-alcohol products would be banned. The council has already stated its intent to do this; tonight’s expected action is only a formal step.
• Consider a new procedure for disposing of city assets. Councilwoman Karen Rogers has been pushing for the city to re-evaluate its property needs and whether it should sell some in light of its budget situation.
• Hold a public hearing on changes to the city’s engineering design and development standards, which govern public and private construction in the city. This includes transportation, storm drainage, drinking water, reclaimed water, wastewater and solid waste facilities,” according to a staff report.
If you go
The Olympia City Council begins meeting tonight at 5:30 with officials from Joint Base-Lewis McChord. The council’s regular business meeting gets under way at 7. The meetings will be held at City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E.firstname.lastname@example.org