United Way of King County’s Free Tax Preparation Campaign saves low-income constituents in King County from spending upwards of $300 in tax preparation fees. Our 850 trained volunteers help participants claim the refundable credits for which they are eligible. With 24 sites across King County (see attached list for locations and hours), workers making under $62,000 per year can drop-in to a Free Tax Prep site in or near your city. See the flyers below for more information.
Enter to win $25 VISA Gift Card
Have you hired a carpet cleaner, painter or pressure washer in the past 2 years? Or do you plan to in the near future? If so, the City of Covington wants to hear from you. Please take this online survey https://aytm.com/rb2a034 and be entered to win 1 of 8 total $25 VISA gift cards!
The survey will take about 5 minutes to complete, and will be available until Friday, March 18. Please help me spread the word to other Covington residents who might be interested in participating.
Your Covington City Council has worked hard to preserve an area that can become the city’s town center. This area will include a park, public plaza, mixed use residential and commercial space, and a city hall. The area designated for this town center is on Wax Road where the current Covington Elementary School is located. Take a look at this aerial picture showing the site currently and a proposed rendering of what this space will look like.
Registration for the 2016 Covington Citizens Police Academy is now open! The King County Sheriff’s Office and the cities of Maple Valley and Covington are working cooperatively to help citizens gain a better understanding of police operations through education and interaction with law enforcement officers. The citizen’s academy classes will be held every Thursday evening from 6-9 p.m. from April 7 through June 9. This is a free opportunity and something graduates have loved participating in.
The Citizens’ Academy provides hands on law enforcement training with sessions including Patrol Procedures, Firearms, 911 Communications, Narcotics, K-9, Major Crimes Investigations, Major Accident Investigations, and Defensive Tactics.
So, do you want to join?
Applications can be found on the Maple Valley Police Facebook page, on their website at www.maplevalleywa.gov/academy or at the Covington Police Department located at 16720 SE 271st Ave., Suite #100, Covington, WA.
For more information, please contact Robin Larsen at 425-413-5158.
The last two days members of the city council and I were in Olympia sharing our Covington message with legislators. In addition to transportation and state shared revenues, we discussed funding for a higher education needs assessment. If funded, the assessment would be conducted by the Washington Student Achievement Council and give us a better idea of the need in our area. We are happy that our request has the support of all three of our legislative delegation. The link below shows an info-graphic of our request.
It is that time of year again. The Washington Legislature has convened for the 2016 session. With the 2015 session being one of the longest ever, legislators are trying to keep this year’s session short. However, even though it is a short session, Covington will be doing our best to make our voices heard!
As we travel to Olympia and share our message what would you like us to say? What issues do our legislators need to be aware of?
Citizen engagement in a community is one of those issues that seems to continually inflict a city council that strives to have more involvement from residents. Being engaged is something we try to make convenient and accessible. Here are a few easy ways to stay engaged:
- Read the local news paper. They consistently cover the news in Covington.
- Follow the city on social media.
- Call, email, tweet, or send a message on Facebook.
- Show up at a public meeting. The second and fourth Tuesdays at 7:00 the council is here to hear you.
Are there others ways you would like your city to communicate with you?
In approving the 2016 municipal budget the city council approved the hiring of a new police officer. Since the City contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office we have notified them of our desire for a new officer. The turn around to hire and train is roughly nine months. Therefore, our new officer should be in Covington around August or September.
Public safety is an absolute priority of the city council and we want residents to feel safe and secure. In an effort to continue to provide quality service we want to know:
Do you feel safe in your neighborhood?
What could help?
Our crews are making steady progress restoring power to customers impacted by high winds and heavy rains. As of 1 p.m., approximately 35,000 homes and businesses are without power. Outages are spread across King, Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap Counties.
Many roads are flooded and closed, making it difficult for our crews and equipment to get into certain areas. The logistical challenges are slowing damage assessment, which is the first step in the restoration process. That process can normally take 24 hours or longer, especially if weather remains an issue. We are using helicopters to patrol damaged areas.
Additional crews from outside our service area are arriving to support our crews already in the field.
Each outage site is assessed for the damage and type of repairs that are needed. This is why “under investigation” appears in the estimated restoration time section of our outage map and app for so long. We’re working to get the best data based on the unique circumstances of that particular outage.
TREES & OUTAGES
Our damage assessors are reporting they’re seeing a higher number than usual of entire trees coming down due to large part to the saturated, swampy soil conditions. Whole trees have also tipped over and landed on power lines in the wind and soggy ground.
Many trees have already lost their leaves. But nearly all conifers, such as Douglas firs, retain their needles and their branches can have a greater sail effect in windy weather. Douglas firs also have shallow root systems and if the soils are saturated, they are prone to entire root plate failure – even if healthy.
A lot of trees became extremely stressed from hot weather and drought conditions this past summer. It compromised their structural integrity, and left them weakened and vulnerable. We’re still seeing the impacts of that as trees collapse or have limbs break off more easily.
FLOODING CONCERNS & NATURAL GAS METERS
If a natural gas customer’s meter becomes submerged in flood waters, they should report it by calling us at 1-888-225-5773.
If there’s the smell of natural gas, a customer should call us or 911 immediately.
After flood waters subside that have covered a gas meter, we’ll need to check the meter and the regulator before any natural gas appliance in the home or business is used.
Stay out of flooded basements. Energized wiring or electrical outlets below the water line may pose a hazard.
Never touch downed power lines because they may be energized. Call PSE at 888-225-5773 or 911 to report problems.
Report power outages:
- PSE.com/outagemap<http://pse.com/outagemap>: online outage map
- MyPSE app<http://www.PSE.com/app>: report outages
- PSE.com/reportoutage<http://pse.com/reportoutage>: sign in to report your outage or find out your outage status
Last Friday, the City of Covington received a grant from the 2015 Arterial Preservation Funding Program in the amount of $764,660. The project will involve asphalt grinding, shoulder grading, ADA ramp replacement, asphalt paving, and striping. The project will pave 180th Avenue SE from the SR 18 Bridge to SE Wax Road. And will then pave SE 256th Street from 180th Avenue SE to 170th Avenue SE. We are very excited about being able to apply these funds to improve our streets.