As we previously reported, at Monday night’s (Jan. 6) Burien City Council meeting, the Council voted 4-3 to direct City Manager Brian Wilson to authorize “immediate testing” for pollutants in the Annex.
The City of Burien announced on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, that arrangements have “already been made to initiate this testing process.”
The city had previously said it was going to close the Annex on Jan. 31, 2020, and evict the seven non-profits located there – an issue that caused a major uproar in B-Town as seen at Monday night’s council meeting.
That eviction date is apparently in limbo now, pending results of this new testing, which will focus on water, mold, and asbestos in the Annex buildings.
If tests come back as “safe,” then Wilson is directed to enter into lease renewals for for all current Annex tenants for terms of up to six months.
If results are not within safe limits, an emergency council meeting will be called as soon as possible thereafter to discuss options and actions..
The City says it is anticipating a 7-10 day turnaround time for the sample collections, analysis, and report to be completed.
The specific Council direction to Wilson was as follows:
“City Manager is to authorize testing for pollutants in the Annex immediately. If testing results are within safe limits, the City Manager is directed to immediately enter into lease renewals for all current Annex tenants for terms up to six months. If the test results find that levels of lead, mold, or asbestos are not within safe limits, the City Manager is directed not to take action but to convene an Emergency meeting of the City Council as soon as possible thereafter to discuss options and actions.”
Wilson’s previously proposed financial offer included a “hold harmless” waiver to tenants that would keep them from taking any kind of legal action against the city. His original proposal of more than $234,000 total was reduced at Monday night’s meeting to $160,000 split amongst the seven, but without requiring a waiver.
It’s very likely that some tenants have already found new locations, but a board member for one of them (Burien Actors Theatre) who is also an attorney, said during public comment Monday night (to huge cheers from the audience):
“…as of Jan. 31st we won’t be moving out, and if need be, we’ll be seeing you in court. If someone has to leave, maybe it should be the City Manager.”
BAT has also told us they are rehearsing and preparing their next production “The Rocky Horror Show” as if they will be performing it at the Annex from Feb. 21 – March 22, 2020.
The Annex Tenant Support Team will continue to provide support and services, including but not limited to:
- Site location assistance
- Application for business financing/grants
- Lease review
- Business plan review
- Budget planning
- Moving logistics and planning
- Referrals to other partners to assist in relocation efforts when needed including but not limited to:
- Real estate professionals
- Moving companies
- Technology installation companies
- Volunteer coordination