City of Yakima

Yakima City Council Meeting Review

The Yakima City Council held its most recent regular agenda business meeting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015.

Action taken by the Council on September 1st included:

–    Setting an October 6th meeting date to consider an appeal of a Hearing Examiner’s decision to approve expansion of the Union Gospel Mission

–    Approving $100,000 for dangerous building removal

–    Adopting findings of fact to support reversal of a Hearing Examiner’s “Use Interpretation Classification” decision for small convenience center zoning districts

–   Setting September 15th for a public hearing on the municipal purpose soccer park annexation

Follow this link to watch Y-PAC coverage of the September 1st Yakima City Council meeting- http://bit.ly/1LUGnna

Yakima City Council regular agenda business meetings air live on Charter Cable channel 194 and are replayed at 7:00 pm the following night. The meetings are shown again at 9:00 am on the following Saturday and Sunday and are also available on the City of Yakima website – http://www.yakimawa.gov/.

2015 Yakima Citizen Survey Now Available Online

Phase 2 of the 2015 Yakima Citizen Survey is now underway and community members are invited to fill out an online version of the annual questionnaire by clicking on a link in the Points of Interest section on the City of Yakima website at http://bit.ly/1ieS8YM. Phase 1 of this year’s survey, which involved the survey being mailed to 3000 randomly-selected Yakima households, concluded about two weeks ago.

The online version of the 2015 Yakima Citizen Survey, which is available in both English and Spanish, will close on Monday, September 28th.

The City conducted the first Yakima Citizen Survey in 2012. Since then, surveys have been conducted annually. The City utilizes the survey to ask community members to help identify important challenges and opportunities facing Yakima. Results of each year’s survey are compared to the findings of previous surveys to determine if progress is being made in meeting the needs of the community and if issues identified by community members as requiring improvement are being addressed by the City. Results are also compared to those of other cities to see how Yakima measures up to national benchmarks.

National Research Center, Inc., which has conducted Yakima Citizen Surveys since 2012, is also overseeing this year’s survey. Results of the mail-in, scientifically-valid version of the 2015 Yakima Citizen Survey are expected to be available in mid to late September. Results of the online version of the survey are expected to be available later this fall.

This year’s Yakima Citizen Survey contains virtually the same questions that have been included in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 questionnaires. Survey takers are asked to rate various aspects of Yakima including quality of life, safety, events and activities, City services, local government performance, and specific programs or projects the City should focus on. Survey takers are also asked to provide certain demographic information including age, employment status, income, and ethnicity.

A few custom questions are also asked as part of each year’s survey. In previous years the City has included custom questions concerning recycling, car tabs, potential property tax and sales tax increases, funding a potential aquatic facility, and what kinds of events people would like to see at the Capitol Theatre. This year’s custom questions ask survey takers how important it is for the City to focus on certain areas, like improving the sense of safety in Yakima and the quality of the natural environment, and which programs or projects the City should invest in including parks and recreation facilities, roads, economic development, and code enforcement.

Online Yakima Citizen Survey – News Release

Road Improvement Project Will Close Section of Pacific Avenue

Beginning on Monday, August 31st, the section of Pacific Avenue between 6th Street and 1st Street will be closed to traffic for about one week while a road improvement project is underway.

The project is expected to be completed by Friday, September 4th.  Throughout the project, Pacific Avenue between 6th Street and 1st Street will be closed from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.  That section of Pacific Avenue will be open to local traffic overnight during the project.

The project includes grinding and overlaying the road surface along the section of Pacific Avenue, from 3rd Street to 1st Street. The intersections of 3rd Street and Pacific Avenue and 2nd Street and Pacific Avenue will be closed. Detour routes will be on Arlington Street and Race Street east and west and 1st Street and 6th Street north and south.

While detours around the project area will be available, because of heavy traffic volumes in the area, drivers can expect delays in and around the project area until the work is completed.  Drivers should use alternate routes if possible until the project is completed.

Access to homes and businesses in the project area will be maintained as best as possible.  Emergency vehicles will be allowed through the project area if necessary.

As always, the schedule for this type of a project is subject to change daily dependent on weather, equipment failure, and emergencies.

For additional information about this project, contact Streets and Traffic Operations Manager Joe Rosenlund at 576-6430.

Pacific Avenue Road Improvement Project – News Release

Downtown Streets Transform Into Hoops Courts

More than 1,900 players and as many as 12,000 spectators will fill Downtown Yakima streets this weekend for the 13th Annual Hot Shots 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament. The tournament will feature a total of 481, the second most entries in the event’s history.

To accommodate the nearly 40 courts and a large vendor area, several sections of streets in Downtown Yakima will be closed from the evening of Friday, August 28th until the evening of Sunday, August 30th. For those days, no traffic will be allowed on Yakima Avenue between

1st Street and Naches Avenue, 2nd Street between Chestnut Avenue and the alley half a block north of Yakima Avenue, and 3rd Street between Chestnut Avenue and the alley half a block north of Yakima Avenue. Only local traffic will be allowed on 4th Street between Chestnut Avenue and Yakima Avenue from Friday evening until Sunday evening.

“The Hot Shots tournament has become one of the biggest 3 on 3 events in the Northwest,” said City of Yakima Economic Development Manager Sean Hawkins. “The hard work of the Yakima Sports Commission and the many volunteers who make the event run have paid off,” said Hawkins.

The Hot Shots 3 or 3 tournament includes multiple age divisions for boys and girls teams and features women’s, men’s, and coed divisions for adults. Each team can have no more than four players and no fewer than three players. Each game lasts 20 minutes. If teams are tied after the regulation 20 game time, the winner is decided by a free throw shootout.

Since 3rd Street between Chestnut Avenue and Yakima Avenue will be being utilized by the Hot Shots tournament, the Yakima Farmer’s Market will be held on 3rd Street between Chestnut Avenue and Walnut Street (one block south of its normal location) this Sunday.

Free parking for Hot Shots players and spectators will be available in the public lot near the Millennium Plaza (between 2nd Street and 3rd Street), which can be accessed from Chestnut Avenue, the public lot at the corner of 2nd Street and S Sgt Pendleton Way, the Yakima County Courthouse lot, which can be accessed from S Sgt Pendleton Way, the public lot off of 1st Street near the Barrel House restaurant, and any available on-street spaces including multiple new, angled spaces recently created by the City.

The first games of the 2015 Hot Shots 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday. Sunday’s play will tip off at 8:00 am. The finals in each division will take place Sunday afternoon and evening.

For more information about this year’s tournament, visit the official Hot Shots 3 on 3 website at http://hotshots3on3.com/.

Hot Shots 3 on 3 Tournament – News Release

Yakima City Council Meeting Preview

The Yakima City Council holds its next regular agenda business meeting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015. The meeting begins at 6:00 pm at Yakima City Hall.

Items on the September 1st agenda include:

–      Setting an October 6th meeting date to consider an appeal of a Hearing Examiner’s decision to approve expansion of the Union Gospel Mission

–      Consideration of a strategy for dealing with high priority dangerous buildings

–      Setting September 15th for a public hearing on the municipal purpose soccer park annexation

To see the complete agenda for the September 1st Council meeting, click on the following link http://bit.ly/1Vis3GI

Yakima City Council regular agenda business meetings air live on Charter Cable channel 194 and are replayed at 7:00 pm the following day. The meetings are shown again at 9:00 am on the following Saturday and Sunday and are also available on the City of Yakima website – http://www.yakimawa.gov/

News Conference to Celebrate Yakima Community’s Generosity

A news conference will be held on Friday, August 28th at 2:00 pm at the Yakima Convention Center to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of donations from the local community during a City of Yakima-led supply drive this week for crews fighting the Okanogan Complex fires in North Central Washington.

The news conference will be attended by Yakima City Council members, City employees, supply drive volunteers, and others. Community members are also invited to attend. The event will mark the conclusion of the donation effort that began on Monday.

Assistant Mayor Kathy Coffey and Councilmember Maureen Adkison spearheaded the supply drive after seeing a request on social media for specific items to assist the Okanogan Complex firefighters. Since the effort began on Monday, people from Yakima and beyond have generously donated items ranging from t-shirts and socks to granola bars and water.

“We have been absolutely astounded by the willingness of people to answer the call for help,” said Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler. “The response has been bigger than we could have imagined and items continue to pour in today. We’ll keep taking items through tomorrow (Friday) at noon and then start sending truck loads of donations to Tonasket on Saturday,” said Beehler.

Donations of specific, non-perishable items for Okanogan Complex firefighters will be accepted at Yakima Fire Department Station 91 at 401 N. Front Street and Station 93 at 40th Avenue and Englewood Avenue through noon on Friday, August 28th. Donations of money can also be accepted at the two fire stations (checks should be made out to the Yakima Firefighters Association) and will be used to purchase additional supplies.

Even though the Yakima supply drive will end at noon on Friday, donations will continue to be accepted at the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket. Donations can be mailed to the Tonasket Visitor and Business Information Center, Firefighter Relief Center, 215 South Whitcomb Avenue, Tonasket, Washington, 98855.

As of today, the Okanogan Complex fires, which earlier this week earned the distinction of becoming the largest combined wildfire in Washington state history, are approximately 17% contained, the same level of containment that was announced yesterday. More than 1,800 firefighters and other personnel are currently assigned to the Okanogan Complex. According to emergency management officials, the fires are likely to continue burning for several more months.

Any questions about the Yakima supply drive can be directed to Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler by phone at 901-1142 or by e-mail at randy.beehler@yakimawa.gov.

Okanogan Complex Firefighters Supply Drive News Conference – News Release

Donations for Okanogan Complex Firefighters Coming From Far and Wide

Since the City of Yakima launched a donation campaign on Monday to gather items to assist crews battling the Okanogan Complex wildfires, the generosity of the Yakima community has been on full display. Donations from local residents and businesses have been pouring in to the two Yakima fire stations where they are being accepted. Members of Yakima-area Mormon churches have volunteered to sort the donated items and get them ready to be shipped. Haney Truck Line, a Yakima-based hauler, has offered to haul the donations, which may fill multiple semi trailers, to the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket for free.

The campaign has also caught the attention of people from outside of Yakima who have learned about the supply drive through social media and have joined the effort.

“I’ve talked to people from as far away as Chicago and North Dakota who are sending donations our way,” said Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler. “Federal detention workers from Sea-Tac, a business owner from Sunnyside, a group from Clark County (in southwest Washington state), a group from Burlington (in northwest Washington state) are all pitching in. It’s truly an extraordinary response and speaks volumes about the willingness of people to go above and beyond in times of crisis,” said Beehler.

Donations of specific, non-perishable items for Okanogan Complex firefighters will be accepted at Yakima Fire Department Station 91 at 401 N. Front Street and Station 93 at 40th Avenue and Englewood Avenue through noon on Friday, August 28th. Donations of money can also be accepted at the two fire stations (checks should be made out to the Yakima Firefighters Association) and will be used to purchase additional supplies.

Even though the Yakima supply drive will end at noon on Friday, donations will continue to be accepted at the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket. Donations can be mailed to the Tonasket Visitor and Business Information Center, Firefighter Relief Center, 215 South Whitcomb Avenue, Tonasket, Washington, 98855.

The specific items requested by the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket are:

– Jerky             – Granola bars             – Bottled water             – Gum              – Visine            – ChapStick

– Ibuprofen/Tylenol                              – Bandanas                  – Tampons/pads          – Baby wipes

– White socks (100% cotton)      – White T-shirts (100% cotton)     – White underwear (100% cotton)

– Gatorade packet drink mix (with electrolytes)        – Gallon-size Ziploc bags

The items collected in Yakima will be delivered to the Firefighter Relief Center in Tonasket this weekend.

As of today, the Okanogan Complex fires are approximately 17% contained, up from 15% containment on Tuesday. Almost 1,350 firefighters and other personnel are currently assigned to the Okanogan Complex. According to emergency management officials, the fires could continue burning for several more months.

Any questions about the Yakima supply drive can be directed to Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler by phone at 901-1142 or by e-mail at randy.beehler@yakimawa.gov.

Okanogan Complex Firefighters Supply Drive – News Release

Community Supply Drive for Okanogan Firefighters Ends Friday at Noon

Donations of specific items that firefighters battling the massive Okanogan Complex of fires need have been pouring in to two Yakima fire stations since a supply drive was launched yesterday by the City of Yakima. Spearheaded by the Yakima City Council, the supply drive will continue until this Friday, August 28th at noon.

Donations of specific, non-perishable items will be accepted at Yakima Fire Department Station 91 at 401 N. Front Street and Station 93 at 40th Avenue and Englewood Avenue through noon on Friday. Donations of money can also be accepted at the two fire stations (checks should be made out to the Yakima Firefighters Association) and will be used to purchase additional supplies.

The specific items requested by the Firefighter Relief Center at the Tonasket Visitor Center are:

– Jerky             – Granola bars             – Bottled water             – Gum              – Visine            – ChapStick

– Ibuprofen/Tylenol                              – Bandanas                  – Tampons/pads          – Baby wipes

– White socks (100% cotton)      – White T-shirts (100% cotton)    – White underwear (100% cotton)

– Gatorade packet drink mix (with electrolytes)        – Gallon-size Ziploc bags

The items collected in Yakima will be sorted by volunteers and delivered to the Firefighter Relief Center at the Tonasket Visitor Center this weekend.

As of today, the Okanogan Complex fires are approximately 15% contained, up from 10% containment yesterday. The fires grew by more than 13,700 acres yesterday and now covers more than 258,000 acres. More than 1,300 firefighters and other personnel are currently assigned to the Okanogan Complex. According to emergency management officials, the fires could continue burning for several more months.

Any questions about the Yakima supply drive can be directed to Communications & Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler by phone at 901-1142 or by e-mail at randy.beehler@yakimawa.gov.

Okanogan Complex Firefighter Supply Drive – News Release

Yakima Council Asking for Donations for Okanogan Complex Firefighters

Earlier today it was announced that the Okanogan Complex of wildfires has earned the inauspicious distinction as the largest in Washington state history. Nearly 1,300 people are battling the five fires that make up the complex, the 9 Mile, Beaver Lake, Twisp River, Lime Belt, and Tunk Block fires, which have consumed more than 400 square miles of land in North Central Washington.

The ability to provide basic supplies for the crews fighting the Okanogan Complex fires is being strained. In response, the Yakima City Council is leading a local effort to gather everything from water to ChapStick, jerky to granola bars.

“The Yakima community is always willing to help others in times of crisis,” said Assistant Mayor Kathy Coffey, who spearheaded the idea to gather donations for the Okanogan Complex firefighters. “By donating basic supplies that the firefighters need every day, we can play a small part in helping the crews do their jobs.”

From today through this Friday, August 28th, donations of specific, non-perishable items will be accepted at two City of Yakima fire stations – Station 91 at 401 N. Front Street and Station 93 at 40th Avenue and Englewood Avenue. Donations can be taken to the two stations at any time of day. If firefighters from the two stations are on a call, donation bins outside the facilities will be available.

Here is the list of specific items requested by the Firefighter Relief Center at the Tonasket Visitor Center:

– Jerky             – Granola bars             – Bottled water             – Gum              – White socks

– Gatorade packet drink mix (with electrolytes)                       – White T-shirts

– White underwear                               – ChapStick                 – Visine            – Baby wipes

– Ibuprofen/Tylenol                              – Bandanas                  – Tampons/pads

– Gallon-size Ziploc bags

The items collected in Yakima will be sorted by volunteers and delivered to the Firefighter Relief Center at the Tonasket Visitor Center. Any questions about the Yakima donation drive can be directed to the City’s Communications & Public Affairs Director, Randy Beehler, by phone at 509-901-1142 or by e-mail at randy.beehler@yakimawa.gov.

No cash donations will be accepted at the two Yakima fire stations. Anyone interested in making cash donations can do so on several websites including the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/, the Community Foundation of North Central Washington at

https://cfncw.smalldognet.com/erp/donate/list, and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at https://wffoundation.org/giving/.

As of today, the Okanogan Complex fires are only 10% contained. According to emergency management officials, the fires could continue burning for several more months.

Okanogan Complex Firefighters Donations – News Release