Public appears content with police contract

NORTH BEND - Residents waiting for the next move in the ongoing police services contract issue will have to wait until next month when the City Council decides, if at all, it will instruct staff to explore another public safety option.

The decision to delay any further discussion until Councilman Bill Wittress returns from a business trip came at an Aug. 19 council meeting following a public hearing held to gather input on police services offered by the city of Snoqualmie and the King County Sheriff's Office. The meeting publicly outlined preliminary costs and possible services offered by both agencies. for the first time.

"This is a huge issue," said Councilman Mark Sollitto. "I believe we need to study this and do our due diligence to this."

The council was not expected to decide the fate of the issue at last week's meeting, but could've instructed staff to pursue additional talks with either side. Instead, the council will wait until Wittress returns, sometime in September, to discuss the issue. A final decision regarding the fate of the police services contract is not expected at that time.

The meeting was the latest in an ongoing saga that began in April when the city of North Bend sent a letter to King County stating it planned to revoke its nearly $1-million police services contract in protest to the state's possible placement of a Department of Social and Health Services sex-offender halfway house just outside city limits near Grouse Ridge. If the city decides to cancel the contract, which it can do at any time via a second written notice, it would open an 18-month transition period.

The two options city officials currently are considering is maintaining its services with the county or contracting with the city of Snoqualmie.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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