Status

As of July 2019 
Phase: Finalizing Distributed Facilities Study and Starting Phase 1 of the Project

City Council discussion was held on April 22, 2019. Council supported the staff recommendation to select Scenario A and start Phase 1 improvements.

Staff returned to City Council on June 3, 2019, to discuss a proposed budget amendment to fund Phase 1 activities. On June 17, Council adopted Ordinance No. 861 to provide Phase 1 funding. Phase 1 design will begin in the second half of 2019.

The selected approach includes:

Scenario A (proposes a 0.1 acre expansion of Hamlin Yard) selected over Scenario D (stays within the existing Hamlin Yard fence). Benefits of Scenario A compared to Scenario D include the optimal facility layout for Hamlin Yard, fewer trees (and fewer large trees) impacted, and more new park space created at the North Maintenance Facility site.

Phase 1 will include:

  • Purchase and placement of a new modular building and other improvements at the NMF site to house the Public Works Grounds Maintenance crew. This work is expected to be done in 2019.
  • Brightwater Portal site improvements for new fueling, decant, and snow/ice operations facilities. Construction of these improvements is expected in 2021. These improvements will relocate existing diesel and gasoline tanks and street sweeper solid waste and wastewater decanting away from the North Maintenance Facility site – which is adjacent to Brugger’s Bog Park and environmentally sensitive Ballinger Creek and wetlands.
  • Preliminary design for Hamlin Yard and North Maintenance Facility improvements. Final design and construction of Hamlin Yard and North Maintenance Facility improvements would be completed by future phases of a long-term plan. 

See below for more information on project need and the current study’s approach, results, and recommendations.

Purpose of and need for the City Maintenance Facility Project

Since 1996, the City’s maintenance crews have shared space at Hamlin Park. This facility is called Hamlin Yard. Its main users are Parks and Public Works crews. Maintenance needs have grown over time, and Hamlin Yard can no longer serve these needs safely and efficiently. In 2015 we began to study building a new Public Works maintenance facility. The location first chosen for building was the North Maintenance Facility property, which the City purchased in 2013. The study found that building a maintenance base at this property had higher cost and risk than the City was comfortable with. After further Council discussion, we looked at ideas to use other properties for a maintenance base. Overall we found that:

  • There isn’t a single City-owned site that would enable us to build a one large maintenance facility; and
  • It isn’t feasible to purchase new property to construct one, large facility.
More detailed project history and links are available below (in the Project Information section).

To Address This Issue

Following the earlier studies, in 2017 the City Council asked staff to look at making the most of the three existing maintenance properties the City currently owns, plus the Ronald Wastewater District (RWD) property. The RWD property is not owned by the City at this time but will be upon the completion of the City’s assumption of the RWD. Property ownership is expected to transfer within the long-term time frame of this project. These four properties will serve all facility needs for the City’s Public Works and Parks crews, including the new Grounds Maintenance crew. This study is called the Distributed Maintenance Facilities Study.

Sites included in the Distributed Maintenance Facilities Study:

  • Hamlin Yard (16006 15th Avenue NE)
  • North Maintenance Facility (NMF) (19547 25th Avenue NE)
  • Brightwater Portal property (20031 Ballinger Way NE)
  • Ronald Wastewater District (RWD) property (17505 Linden Avenue N)

Citywide Sites Map

Distributed Maintenance Facilities Study Results:

  1. Ronald Wastewater District site is best suited for the City's Wastewater and Surface Water Maintenance crews.
  2. Brightwater Portal site is best for snow/ice operations, fueling, vehicle wash,  and sweeper decant/spoils. (These improvements would relocate existing diesel and gasoline tanks and street sweeper solid waste and wastewater decanting away from the North Maintenance Facility site, which is adjacent to Brugger’s Bog Park and environmentally sensitive wetlands and Ballinger Creek. Snow and ice operations – including road salt and de-icer storage – would be relocated from Hamlin Yard.)  Brightwater Conceptual Plan
  3. NMF site is best shared between multiple priority uses. These uses include expanding Brugger’s Bog Park and restoring Ballinger Creek (under the 25th Avenue NE Flood Reduction Project ). The back half of the NMF site is needed for City maintenance storage and parking needs.
  4. Hamlin Yard is the best location for a new building. This building would include Parks, Streets, and Grounds crew spaces and shops. This site would also have covered areas for priority vehicles, equipment, and storage.

Alternative layouts for the NMF site and Hamlin Yard (#3 and 4 above) are discussed further below.

Distributed Maintenance Facilities Study Alternatives:

We developed eight alternative layouts for Hamlin Yard and NMF sites. Our goal was to find the best overall configuration. One high priority was reducing tree impacts at Hamlin Yard. The best two alternatives that received consideration were:

Scenario A – maximizes Hamlin Yard use. This requires a small (4,400 square foot) expansion to the north in the park. No park uses would be impacted.

Scenario A Hamlin Yard Conceptual Plan
Scenario A NMF Conceptual Plan

Scenario D – stays within existing Hamlin Yard fence. Even though this layout stays within the current boundary of Hamlin Yard, it would require the removal of more trees, including the largest trees within Hamlin Yard itself. Scenario D also places more demand on the NMF site compared to Scenario A. This would result in more staff trips from Hamlin Yard to the NMF site. There would also be less land available at the NMF for park conversion under Scenario D.


Scenario D Hamlin Yard Conceptual Plan
Scenario D NMF Conceptual Plan

This table compares the main differences between Scenarios A and D.

Distributed Maintenance Facilities Study Recommendation:

Scenario A was selected because:

  1. It allows for the greatest and most efficient use of operating and storage space at Hamlin Yard.
  2. There is less impact to trees at Hamlin Yard than Scenario D and fewer impacts to the largest trees, which help act as a buffer with the Fircrest Residential Habilitation Center property.
  3. The overall costs are like Scenario D.
  4. We will be able to create slightly more new parks space at the NMF site than in Scenario D. The total new park space at the NMF site will offset the minor area of park space taken at Hamlin Yard by an approximate 12 to 1 ratio.

Next Steps

  • City Council consideration of CMF project budget amendment is scheduled for June 3, 2019

  • 2019 – NMF site interim improvements for Grounds Maintenance crew (see below)

  • 2020-2021 – Brightwater Portal site improvements

  • NMF and Hamlin Yard improvements possibly in 4 to 8 years (funding unknown) 

  • Ronald Wastewater District site improvements possibly in 10 to 20 years (funding unknown)

NMF Interim Improvements 2019

These improvements will be made at the NMF site in 2019. The City’s new Grounds Maintenance will use the NMF site as their base. Changes will include:

  • Demolishing old metal shed-style building at front of site.
  • Installing a new automatic gate.
  • Installing a modular building and storage units for Grounds Maintenance crew, near the old building location.
  • The Grounds Maintenance crew will be housed at NMF (Phase 1) until Hamlin Yard improvements are done (5+ years).
  • Several years in the future, NMF will also temporarily host Streets and Parks crews during Hamlin Yard construction. (future Phase 2)
NMF interim Improvement Phase 1 Conceptual Plan

Overview and History

Our current maintenance facility (Hamlin Yard) is in the southwest corner of Hamlin Park. Since 1996, the City has used it for both Public Works and Parks maintenance operations. Over time, the City has outgrown the space and it no longer operates as efficiently as it should. With increasing needs, it is necessary for the City to find an alternative.

In planning for future expansion of services, the City looked for a new site to accommodate Public Works operations. In 2013, the City acquired King County’s old maintenance facility property located by Brugger’s Bog Park. The intent was to develop a new Public Works maintenance facility there.

The City hired TCF Architecture to develop preliminary designs and cost estimates to develop the property (North Maintenance Facility). The cost estimates ranged from $21.8 million to $23.3 million.

After receiving the costs estimates, the City Council asked staff to stop development of the North Maintenance Facility and instead to look at building the maintenance facility on a different property. The goal is to either identify another location that can meet the City’s needs at a lower cost or confirm that the North Maintenance Facility is the best location.

We are currently studying costs for maintenance facility improvements at four publicly owned sites. In 2017 the City and the North City Water District (NCWD) discussed allowing the City to use a portion of the site for the new NCWD maintenance facility at 15555 15th Avenue NE. About 26,000 square feet of the site could potentially be available to the City. Preliminary analysis showed this area is too small to warrant further consideration for a City maintenance function.

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