Ballard Partnership For Smart Growth
Portland loo is designed for individual use and low maintenance.

Don't forget to send comments for the potential public loo in Ballard

The Ballard Partnership For Smart Growth (BPSG) and the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Public Space Program asked for public feedback last February in order to identify a preferred location and design for a permanent public restroom in Central Ballard.

Comments are still being accepted, and as the community responds, the Ballard News-Tribune checked in with Mike Stewart, Executive Director of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.

Stewart said that the BPSM and the City are depending on the public to voice where the public restroom will reside and what it will be. At this time there is no preference for the restroom location. Also, Stewart said the bigger picture for the toilet is really a matter of maintenance.

“First we need to ensure there is good consensus in the community and then there’s work to be done with the City of Seattle in acquiring finances. Then a maintenance plan needs to be made. That’s a really crucial point to the project,” said Stewart.

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SPU presents update on Ballard Natural Drainage Project

Seattle Public Utilities hosted a meeting with Ballardites Feb. 23 to discuss the progress of the Ballard Natural Drainage Systems Project that will one day prevent one million gallons of storm water from entering Salmon Bay.

The meeting was held at the Loyal l Heights Community Center and Ballardites showed up with questions about the project.

SPU representatives Emily Reardon, Grace Manzano, and Rachel Garret presented the progress and project changes to neighborhood members.

Since a project update last November, SPU has decided on a new garden design that has more capacity and changes the number of beds (cells) needed for the project. The new design is a modular subsurface cell system that extends underneath sidewalks, providing more space for water containment. Because of the added capacity, now SPU has determined that 17 city blocks are needed instead of the 22 originally planned. 40 cells will be constructed on those blocks. The 17 blocks were determined a ‘best fit” by the soil composition in the areas and already placed utilities. In projects like this, SPU aims to cause the least amount of infrastructure disruption as possible.

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Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles with Page, Erik Nielsen , Feb. 26.

Erik Nielsen serves as page in state Senate

During the week of Feb. 23, Erik Nielsen of Seattle served as a page in the Washington State Senate. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, sponsored Nielsen’s weeklong experience in the Legislature.

“It was great having Erik here this week,” Kohl-Welles said. “He is a sharp student and eager to learn more about state government.”

During the week pages assist senators and staff, attend lectures with guest speakers and go to page school where they create their own bills in a mock committee setting. Nielsen and a fellow page drafted a bill that would change Washington’s state flag to any state major league team’s flag, for two weeks, if they went on to the championships. The bill passed through committee. “It was a fun bill,” Nielsen said. “And a unique idea.”

Nielsen had toured the Capitol and learned about the page program through one of the tour guides. “I like government. I’ve been to D.C., and I thought it would be a fun and educational experience,” Nielsen said. “Plus, it looks good on college applications.”

The most interesting parts of the program for Nielsen were paging on the Senate floor and sitting in on committees.

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