The city of Kenmore is on the hunt for a permanent site to house its Public Works Department.
The search began after the city’s contract with Lake Forest Park Public Works Department to maintain Kenmore's streets, flood control facilities, water quality systems, and parks ended in December of 2018.
The Public Works Department was then brought in-house on Jan. 1, 2019.
However, the small temporary space public works crews operate out of has been deemed inadequate to serve the public effectively and efficiently.
According to a statement on the city of Kenmore website, city representatives have contacted several property owners. After an exhausting search, and a property selection process using criteria and scoring, the city proposed acquiring property located at 7023 NE 175th Street for its public works maintenance building and yard space.
The property was appraised per Washington state law requiring the city to do so before making an offer. The appraisal came in at $5.1 million, which was based on comparable property sales, income generated by the property and the cost to replace the property.
The city offered full price on the property. But plans to demolish the old house on the north end of the property to make room for additional vehicle and equipment storage, and scheduling of workers especially during emergency callouts was met with opposition. Because some suggested that the Public Works Department would be a noisy neighbor, City Manager Rob Karlinsey withdrew the offer to purchase the commercial property.
“We won’t give up on finding the right property for public works,” Karlinsey said. “The public works department provides vital environmental services as well as critical services to ensure Kenmore’s roads, parks, and city facilities are safe and well-maintained for the community. We often don’t recognize how important public works is until we have a problem with an icy street, flooding, or broken park equipment."
A statement posted on the website said the city will suspend formal efforts to find a property for the public works facility for the next several months and will continue its search next year for an appropriate site for a public works facility. Visit the city’s website for more information.