January 2013 City of Yakima News Brief

Wide Hollow Creek Disc Golf Course Hosting Tournament

After having opened only a couple of months ago, the new Wide Hollow Creek Disc Golf Course at Randall Park is ready to play host to the “Attack of the Three-Headed Monster” tournament on Saturday, January 19th. The tournament will feature three divisions of disc golfers – pro, advanced/amateur, and novice/rec – competing in a team “triples” format.

“This tournament is something of a debut for the Wide Hollow Creek Disc Golf Course,” said Yakima Parks and Recreation Manager Ken Wilkinson.

The 9-hole course was officially opened in mid November of last year.

The popularity of disc golf is really growing and we’re proud to have one of the newest courses in the Northwest right here in Yakima,” said Wilkinson. “We hope that this tournament draws disc golfers from throughout the region so we can show off the course.”

The “Attack of the Three-Headed Monster” tournament will consist of three rounds of 12 holes. Two rounds will be played in the morning and the third will be played in the afternoon. Teams will be made up of one player from each of the three divisions and will be determined by random draw. Prizes will be awarded to the top three scoring teams.

Registration for the tournament is only $10.00 per person. An optional $3.00 “Ace Pot” is also available. Golfers need to register in person the day of the tournament starting at 8:00 am. Tee off for the first round of the tournament will be at 9:15 am.

The Wide Hollow Disc Golf Course was built by volunteers and City staff and paid for with a $4000 grant from Legends Casino and about $2000 in donations from local business. Some of the equipment and supplies for the course were also donated.

“The course is a real gem for Yakima to have,” said Wilkinson. “It’s another piece of the puzzle in providing opportunities for people to stay active and healthy.”

Traffic Patterns to Change During MLK, Jr. Blvd. Underpass Project

Ever since the Lincoln Avenue underpass was finished last summer, planning work has been moving ahead on the City of Yakima’s next big capital construction project. The MLK, Jr. Blvd. underpass project will be getting underway this year and when it does, traffic patterns will change for drivers who use the heavily traveled 3-lane, one-way arterial street.

In order to build the underpass, MLK, Jr. Blvd. will be closed between 1st Avenue and 1st Street. North Front Street will also be closed between “A” Street and the Lincoln Avenue underpass bridge while construction is ongoing. While MLK, Jr. Blvd. west of 1st Avenue will remain open to local traffic during the project, eastbound drivers on MLK, Jr. Blvd. will be encouraged to turn right on 5th Avenue and use Yakima Avenue to reach downtown Yakima. Before construction on the underpass begins, signs will be put up to let drivers know about the pending traffic revisions.

Work on the MLK, Jr. Blvd. underpass is expected to take about 18 months to complete. Mowat Construction Company, which is based in Woodinville, is the primary contractor for the project. Mowat has been building public works projects throughout the western United States since its founding in the mid 1960s.

Mowat’s bid of just over $10.6 million dollars was almost $2 million below engineering estimates for the underpass. Funding for the project is coming primarily from state and federal sources.

Both the MLK, Jr. Blvd. underpass and the Lincoln Avenue underpass, which was opened in May 2012, have been designed to improve driver and pedestrian safety, reduce exhaust emissions from cars waiting for trains to pass, and speed response times for police, fire, and other emergency services providers.

Numerous underpasses and overpasses have been built across Washington State since BNSF Railroad reopened the Stampede Pass line in 1997.

Online Business License Renewals Are Booming

The number of businesses owners renewing their annual licenses online has more than more than tripled compared to the same time period a year ago. Over 230 businesses have used the online service to renew their business licenses so far in 2013, up from about 70 businesses that used that service during the same time frame last year.

“People are definitely using the online renewal feature on the City website this year,” said City of Yakima Code Inspection Office Supervisor Royale Schneider. “This service just makes it so much easier to continue doing business with the  City.”

The City’s Code Administration office attributes much of that increase to the addition of VISA this year as a payment option for online business license renewals. Last year only MasterCard, Discover, or banking account information could be used.

Business license renewals are also still being accepted in person at the Code Administration Customer Service Counter located on the second floor of Yakima City Hall. Business license renewals can also be mailed to the Code Administration office at 129 N. 2nd Street Yakima, Washington 98901.

Currently, only business license renewals are available online. However, new business application forms are available on the City’s website. New applications will still need to be either mailed or hand delivered to Yakima City Hall.

“We are looking to expand our online services in the future,” Schneider said. “We are encouraged because the returns for online renewals we are getting continue to increase.”

Business licenses can be renewed by following this link – www.buildingyakima.com – to the City of Yakima Community Development Online Center. For more information about online business renewals, call the City of Yakima Code Administration office at 575-6126.

Janaury 2013 Issues Brief (pdf)