by Gina Bourdage

Here are notes from Monday night’s (March 2nd) Burien City Council meeting:

Dottie Harper passed away recently, and the Burien City Council opened with condolences for the passing of a long time council member, community activist and Burien’s’ first Deputy Mayor.

Mrs. Harper played a pivotal role in the incorporation of Burien, had a passion for the local arts and was honored by the city with a park named after her located on SW 146th street (where the blue Burien Arts Gallery is located, next to the library).

The council recognized Mrs. Harper for leading the way in making Burien a sustainable community, years before it became a popular idea.

Currently located in Sunny Terrace Elementary under the third runway, Navos will be moving to Burien Heights property to assist the mental health community in providing housing in the Burien Height Residences.

On site there will be a new mental health center, with the hope to move residents in by the summer of 2009.

The facility will also include a state of the art conference and training center which can be reserved by groups seeking a meeting or event location and will be able to benefit from the catering program that will be run by residents.

Phase III construction for the project is set for winter/spring 2010 with the aim of being completely done in 2012, pending funding. With the rising costs of construction, obstacles have come up in the funding process. To date, 29% of the necessary money has been raised with a total project cost of $21.2 million. This will be the third largest facility in the state of its type.

Mr. David Johnson, CEO of Navos, said: “At Navos, we take on the challenge of serious mental and emotional illness everyday, providing services in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. We staunchly advocate for optimal public policy while leveraging new and progressive practices to surmount the barriers confronting our clients.”

“It’s amazing to me the amount of progress that has been made in a short amount of time,” said Council Member Gordon Shaw.

Council Member Sally Nelson added: “As a former mental heath educator I want to thank you (Navos) for your contribution to the community.”

More info at the Navos website.

Mr. Jack Lattemann, King County Transportation Planner, presented info about how funding cuts may cause route changes for buses in Burien. Metro plans to reduce duplication of bus system and link service. Plans for improvements to current services include adding neighborhood connections, & looking for new east west service. A 12-member citizen sounding board has reflected the residents concerns on how King County should communicate to residents on the progress.

Route 140 will have additional access due to community demand increased usage while route 180, which is relatively new, will no longer follow the air cargo road and redirected to the new Sea Tac airport station. Community is expected to see first phase of implementation of changes in Sept 2009 with the second phase happening in February 2010.

The new Burien Transit Center will open May 30th, and there will be a community celebration to follow.

The Washington State Boundary Review Board for King County will hold a public hearing at 7pm on Monday, March 30th (and if required, on Wednesday, April 1st).

The hearing will take place at the Riverside Residences Inn, 11244 Tukwila International Blvd, Seattle, WA. The Hearing Room/Building is located behind the main building of the Inn.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider proposed annexation to the City of Burien of the area known as “North Highline”.

Burien City Manager, Mike Martin said “We encourage all public comment, for and against the proposed annexation, to be presented at this event.”

More information at the City’s website.

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.