City Council votes on downtown revitalization design contract

By Grace McCarthy

Blaine City Council voted unanimously at its Sept. 12 meeting to defer voting on a design contract for its downtown revitalization project until the next council meeting. Council members requested more time to review the applicant’s proposed project, which includes improvements to the streetscape of Peace Portal Drive, Martin Street Park and the G Street Pavilion.

“To me, that’s a lot of money to move forward without further discussion,” council member Eric Davidson said during the meeting. “I’m more than happy to discuss it for as long as needed. I would love to file that two weeks from now.

City staff asked council to consider allowing the city manager to enter into a $620,000 contract with Seattle-based KPG Psomas for engineering design services as well as overseeing tenders and construction for the $2.83 million downtown revitalization project. Funding for the project has already been approved in the amount of $2.1 million in the 2022-23 Transportation Improvement Plan, a state appropriation of $500,000, and $243,000 in the capital improvement 2022.

KPG Psomas carried out design work in Downtown Redmond, Duvall Main Street, Downtown Snoqualmie and Burien Town Square.

The city’s Community Development Departments and Public Works Departments solicited applications for qualifications in January and interviewed the top three candidates in May. The downtown revitalization project is expected to be planned and designed in 2022 and 2023 and then built in 2024, according to city documents.

Streetscape improvements would run along Peace Portal Drive from Marine Drive to Clark Street. Improvements could include benches, planters, landscaping bike racks, pedestrian signage, two walkway arches and decorative pavement, according to KPG Psomas’ scope of work document. The project will replace uneven and aging sidewalks and remove trees that cause sidewalks to buckle. Water and sewer could also be updated where the sidewalk is replaced.

The Martin Street parklet is expected to cost $125,000 to plan and design, according to city documents.

KPG Psomas would assist the city in its plans to install a covered pavilion at G Street Plaza. The city council approved $118,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the indoor pavilion last November. Electrical service would be included to power the pavilion.

Stormwater and transport analyzes will not be required for the project.

“Three million dollars for fun stuff, that’s a big thing. We have to spend money on sewers,” Davidson said. “I really wish I had more time to go through it and more time to so that everyone can browse it. It’s not that I’m against it, it’s just a lot.

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