North Bend mayor issues quarterly report

North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland has welcomed in the New Year by issuing a quarterly update on the city and laying out priorities for 2021.

Improvements at the wastewater treatment plant are still being designed and built. Current upgrades include adding redundancy and improving safety features for employees. The second phase will add treatment and capacity and improve safety expectations.

Progress has also been made on addressing the city’s long-term water delivery needs, McFarland wrote. The King County Utilities Technical Review Committee recently approved the city’s water service plan. The city expects the King County Council will approve it in the coming months, and has received preliminary approval from the state departments of ecology and health. Part of this plan includes working to reduce water system leakage. Another involves converting a well at the old Cascade Golf Course into a backup mitigation water source.

On transportation, last quarter the Traffic Impact Analysis studies began for the Outlet Mall Roundabout and for the 468th Avenue Corridor at Exit 34. Both projects are expected to improve traffic flow in these areas of the city. The city has also begun talks with Simon Properties over redesigning Outlet Mall toward more hospitality and restaurant uses.

Several construction projects are also underway around the city. The Dahlgren property on SE North Bend Way is being developed into a new 210-unit housing complex, along with a 4-acre city park. Construction at the Snoqualmie Valley Athletic Complex also continues. The developer hopes to open the first phase of the facility by summer 2021.

Phoenix Plaza, located next to Cedar Falls Roundabout where a natural gas explosion destroyed multiple downtown buildings in 2014, is now complete. The owner will begin renting the 32 apartments soon. Local company Karakoram Splitboard Bindings is also making progress on its new headquarters located across from City Hall, and the owners hope to begin using the building this spring.

In December, the city approved a development agreement that will allow a retail marijuana store to operate along North Bend Way. The city is also ready to issue building permits for a 25-unit residential condo townhome project on Park Street.

The city council also approved a new 2021-22 biennial budget in December that included a 30% increase in human services funding for local community organizations that support North Bend residents.