Emergency center in new police-court facility

The City Council agreed to put a standalone Emergency Operations Center in the new Bainbridge Island police-court building at its meeting July 26.

The police locker-storage area on the second floor would be cut in half for the center. Cost for the retrofit would be about $170,000.

Asked by Councilmember Brenda Fantroy-Johnson where the money would come from, city manager Blair King answered from the project’s contingency fund.

King said the EOC now is temporarily in a small room at City Hall, basically not much bigger than a closet.

Public Works director Chris Wierzbicki said it takes an hour or two to get the computers and communications set up at the temporary site, which is “critical time in an emergency.”

King was the one who brought up the idea of a spot in the Madison Avenue facility for 14 permanent desks.

Obviously, we “can’t manage an emergency out of a closet,” Fantroy-Johnson said. But she wondered what other costs haven’t been planned for.

Also, the council decided to redirect almost $62,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to prepare a transition plan for the Americans with Disabilities Act. The money was to be an add-on for social services.

Doing research on BI, King found that the city did not have such a plan, and it was supposed to be done in 1992, a year after incorporation. The plan describes how facilities are accessible or how the city plans to make them so. “We have an obligation to act,” King said.

The council also rejected a bid for $930,000 for renovation of the Senior Community Center. The city was expecting a bid of about half that. It was mentioned in a discussion that the scope of the project could be reduced in the short term, but that BI’s population is aging so the need is there.

The consent agenda was approved, as usual, without much discussion. But one of the items was for Human Resources Funding. Receiving money are: Bainbridge Youth Services, $51,250; Senior Community Center, $45,000; Housing Resources Bainbridge Independent Living, $40,000; Boys and Girls Club, $35,000; Helpline House, $25,500; Island Volunteer Caregivers, $25,000; Kitsap Community Resources, $22,500; YWCA Kitsap County $20,000; Special Needs Foundation, $15,000; Housing Resources Bainbridge Home Finding, $13,000; Peacock Family Services, $12,500; Child Care Centers and Island Time Activities, $10,000 each.

King also talked about Bainbridge being part of the National Urban Fellow. A graduate of Georgetown University, Ellyze Francisco, will join the city’s management team in September for a one-year internship. The program says about itself that it “develops accomplished and courageous professionals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, particularly people of color and women, to be leaders and change agents in the public and nonprofit sectors, with a strong commitment to social justice and equity.”

The council also accepted the state audit, which found one deficiency in the use of COVID money that’s already been corrected.

The council also decided to put on a future agenda discussion of Olivia Hall, who was denied a spot on the Racial Equity Advisory Committee recently. To do that, Mayor Joe Deets asked what information is available now that wasn’t then. Fantroy-Johnson said that’s not a requirement. Councilmember Clarence Moriwaki said that feels like “special treatment,” and he’s all about equity. Councilmember Kirsten Hytopoulos said the process was a “little bit messy.”

Public comments included a request for an “accessibility advisory committee” and a concern that the new police station is “not green.”