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City seeks volunteers to serve on regional library district board - 11/19/21

Vancouver, Washington – The City of Vancouver is seeking volunteers with a passion for libraries to fill two vacancies on the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District Board of Trustees. The city must receive completed applications by 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19.

The seven-member board of trustees oversees the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District system whose service area includes Clark (excluding Camas), Klickitat and Skamania counties, plus the city of Woodland in Cowlitz County. 

Board members are responsible for setting library policies for the district’s 15 libraries, bookmobiles, online services and centralized headquarters. The board also adopts the budget, encourages effective service programs, and ensures the public has equal access to information.

This recruitment is for mid-term appointments with the option to seek reappointment to a full, seven-year term afterwards. Library board meetings are generally held the third Monday of each month. Meetings are currently being held remotely. When in-person meetings resume, the locations will rotate amongst the different library branches throughout the three-county area. 

Applicants for this vacancy must live within the Vancouver city limits and must be available for an interview with Vancouver city councilmembers (date to be determined). The city’s recommended appointments must also be approved by the councils or legislative bodies for Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties.

To apply online, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/boards. To request the application in other languages or formats, or if you have any questions, please contact the City’s Boards and Commissions Coordinator by mail at Vancouver City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by phone at 360-487-8600 (WA Relay 711), or by email at c_coordinator@cityofvancouver.us">bc_coordinator@cityofvancouver.us.

For more information about the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District Board of Trustees, including links to meeting schedules, minutes and bylaws, visit www.fvrl.org/about-us/trustees.  

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City of Vancouver announces location of first supportive Safe Stay Community for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness - 11/17/21

· Public comment period now open

Vancouver, Washington—The City of Vancouver’s first supportive Safe Stay Community for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness will be located at 11400 N.E. 51st Circle on city-owned right of way along an undeveloped cul-de-sac in the North Image neighborhood. View map (PDF).

This is the first of several supportive sites the city plans to establish as part of its Homelessness Response Plan. Previously referred to as supportive campsites, the city’s Safe Stay Communities will use modular pallet shelters instead of tents, which will offer residents safer and more stabilizing shelter as they work to resolve their homelessness. 

The Safe Stay Community at 11400 N.E. 51st Circle will provide 20 modular shelters housing up to 40 people. The site will be fenced and staffed 24/7 by the onsite nonprofit operator, Outsiders Inn. It will include trash receptacles and sanitation services, portable toilets and handwashing stations, meeting and office space, and access to supportive services provided by local agencies.

Part of the area near the city’s first supportive site is currently occupied by multiple homeless encampments. These encampments will be removed when the new Safe Stay Community is set up in adherence with the city’s camping ordinance, which prohibits camping within 1,000 feet of the supportive sites. The city anticipates work to clear and set up the first Safe Stay Community will begin in early December.

Public comment period now open

The city will mail letters to property owners, residents and businesses within 1,200 feet of the first Safe Stay Community site informing them of the decision and inviting them to provide feedback during a public comment period that ends Dec. 1. Comments are being accepted online, via email and by telephone. Learn more at www.cityofvancouver.us/safestaycomment

The city will also host two virtual community information sessions during the comment period to share information about the first Safe Stay Community site and how it will be operated with nearby residents and businesses and respond to their questions. 

Details about the information sessions will be included in the letters mailed to residents and property owners. Video recordings of each session will also be posted publicly on the Homelessness Response Plan webpage on Be Heard Vancouver (www.beheardvancouver.org/homelessness-response) and the City’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/CityofVancouverUS).

Additional updates on the city’s Homelessness Response Plan 

The city plans to open additional Safe Parking Zones for people living in their vehicles as part of its Homelessness Response Plan. The city’s first Safe Parking Zone, located at C-TRAN’s Evergreen Transit Center, 1504 N.E. 138th Ave., was opened during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Vancouver Mall parking lot before moving to the transit center, has been operating successfully for more than a year. 

With over 50 parking spaces for RVs/trailers and other passenger vehicles, the Safe Parking Zone currently serves more than 60 people. Similar services to what will be offered at the Safe Stay Communities are also provided at the Safe Parking Zone. Recently, the city hired one of the current residents to help manage the site and hopes that the opportunity will help him and his family transition to permanent housing soon. 

Learn more about the current Safe Parking Zone at www.cityofvancouver.us/safeparking

The city also recently hired a full-time encampment response coordinator as part of its Homeless Assistance and Resources Team (HARTeam). The primary responsibilities of the encampment response coordinator will be to assess camps for cleanup and sanitation needs, and locate, assess and clear abandoned camps. The city’s HARTeam provides compassionate outreach and assistance to people experiencing homelessness and serves as a point of contact for community members with concerns or questions about homelessness.

Community members can report active or abandoned camps and other concerns related to homelessness within the city limits to the HARTeam using the free MyVancouver mobile and desktop app. Visit www.cityofvancouver.us/MyVancouver to learn more.

Learn more about the city’s Homelessness Response Plan and sign up to receive email updates at www.beheardvancouver.org/homelessness-response

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City of Vancouver to light up Esther Short Park with holiday festivities - 11/17/21

Vancouver, Washington – Spread joy this season while celebrating some of the winter holidays and traditions represented in the Vancouver community with two special events at Esther Short Park (605 Esther St.). 

Community Tree Lighting

The annual Rotary Community Tree Lighting Ceremony is canceled this year due to COVID-19 safety mandates and staffing impacts. However, Esther Short Park will still be aglow 24 hours a day with thousands of lights hung on the tree for all to enjoy Nov. 26 through Jan. 1. A short video featuring Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle lighting the tree with a special appearance from Santa will be available to view at www.cityofvancouver.us/WinterEvents starting Nov. 26. 

Lights will be professionally strung on the tree at Sixth and Columbia streets by J & J Roofing and Construction the week of Thanksgiving. The tree lighting is brought to the community by Rotary Club of Vancouver with support from Waste Connections, Inc., City of Vancouver, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Fuller Group, iQ Credit Union, and The Columbian.

Community Chanukah Celebration

The Chabad Jewish Center of Clark County invites everyone to its “Fire on Ice” community Chanukah celebration at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. 

The first candle will be lit on the grand menorah located on the south side of Esther Short Park that evening. The remaining candles will be lit, one each day, through Dec. 6. The free celebration will also feature a giant ice menorah carving, a multimedia presentation, donuts and hot cocoa. 

Learn more about these and other winter holiday events at www.cityofvancouver.us/WinterEvents.

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Donations to the drive held in 2019
Donations to the drive held in 2019
City of Vancouver launches seventh annual Korey's Joy Drive (Photo) - 11/15/21

Vancouver, Washington – The City of Vancouver invites the community to support the seventh annual Korey's Joy Drive with donations of toys and warm clothing for neighbors in need starting Nov. 15.

Korey’s Joy Drive honors the memory of Korey Cochran, a city employee who passed away from brain cancer in 2017.

From Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, city employees will collect new, unwrapped toys and new youth and adult winter coats, gloves, socks and hats. All donations will be delivered to Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Share of Vancouver, Children's Justice Center, Children's Center and Open House Ministries.

Vancouver drop-off locations:

New this year, donors may contribute to Korey’s Joy Drive online via Amazon Wish List. Choose from a variety of pre-selected items or choose your own to be shipped directly to the Joy Drive. Visit www.cityofvancouver.us/KoreysJoyDrive for the Amazon link or to learn more.

About the Charities:

Randall Children's Hospital

Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel offers an innovative approach to children’s health care. It’s a place where complex medical and surgical care is blended with a peaceful environment to create a new world of healing and health. The Randall Children's Hospital provides services for infants, youth and teens. Children at the hospital are treated for cancer, heart disease and much more. Donations of toys and games to keep kids distracted while undergoing treatment are very much appreciated.

Open  House Ministries

Open House Ministries is committed to equipping homeless families with the tools necessary to resolve the issues that lead to poverty and homelessness. They provide a holistic, long-term approach to working with homeless families to meet their physical, mental and spiritual needs to break the cycle of homelessness. Your donation will go help brighten the holidays for youths and teens of all ages.

Children's Center

Children's Center is dedicated to serving the community by providing quality mental health services to children and families of Clark County. They are committed to serving all children in need within their resources.

Children's Justice Center

The Arthur D. Curtis Children’s Justice Center is a nationally accredited Children’s Advocacy Center that provides a safe, child-focused place for alleged child victims of criminal-level abuse and their non-offending family members.

The center’s multidisciplinary team of trained responders comes together from across agencies and jurisdictions to address crimes against children, including holding perpetrators accountable through the judicial system and sensitively considering children’s health and healing needs.

Share of Vancouver, Washington

Share envisions a community without hunger, where all people have safe and adequate housing, and the skills to enhance their quality of life. Share provides a spectrum of services locally, including homelessness resources, emergency shelters, free nutritious meals, subsidized housing for low-income residents, and much more.

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City seeks a volunteer with a mobility challenge due to a disability to serve on Transportation and Mobility Commission - 11/15/21

Vancouver, Washington – The City of Vancouver is seeking a person experiencing mobility challenges due to a disability to serve on its Transportation and Mobility Commission. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30.

The volunteer Transportation and Mobility Commission is an 11-member commission that provides advice to Vancouver City Council, the city manager and city staff on a variety of transportation and mobility-related projects, programs and policies. It also provides ongoing feedback and guidance on development of citywide transportation policy through the update of the city’s Transportation System Plan.

Many people may face mobility difficulties at one time or another during their lives. For those with certain types of disabilities, mobility hardships can be more frequent and have a greater impact, making it much harder or even impossible for them to access the places, services and activities many of us take for granted. The city’s Transportation and Mobility Commission is seeking a member who can represent this perspective through their lived experiences.

The open position is a mid-term appointment that expires in October 2023, with the option to seek reappointment to a full, three-year term afterwards. Position eligibility is limited to Vancouver residents or those living within the Vancouver Urban Growth Area (VUGA) just outside the city limits. Applicants must be available for an online interview with Vancouver City Councilmembers (date TBA). 

The Transportation and Mobility Commission meets at 4 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month. Meetings are currently being held remotely, but a transition to hybrid in-person/remote meetings is expected sometime in 2022, in accordance with public health guidance.  

To apply online, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/tmc. The online application is available in English, Spanish and Russian. To request the application in other languages or formats or if you have any questions, please contact Shannon Ripp in the City Manager’s Office by mail at P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by email at c_coordinator@cityofvancouver.us">bc_coordinator@cityofvancouver.us, or by calling 360-487-8600 (WA Relay 711).

More information about the city’s Transportation and Mobility Commission, including links to meeting agendas and minutes, is available online at www.cityofvancuver.us/tmc

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En español (read in Spanish)На русском (read in Russian)

City of Vancouver effort clears more than 1,380 pounds of litter along highway ramps - 11/08/21

More than 1,380 pounds of unsightly litter and trash – almost three-fourths of a ton -- have been removed from along two major Interstate 5 ramps within the City of Vancouver this fall as part of a new coordinated cleanup effort led by Vancouver Public Works.

Backed by a $40,000 state Department of Ecology Community Litter Cleanup grant, the city’s litter cleanups have been assisted by Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Clark County District Court Community Restitution crews. The grant, created through the Welcome to Washington – Litter Cleanup Act (SB5040), is limited to areas along highway ramps within the city.

To date, the special litter cleanups have taken place over three Saturdays along I-5 on-ramps and off-ramps at Fourth Plain Boulevard and East 39th Street. City Public Works staff have provided the work zone setup, traffic control, data collection, disposal/recycling of collected materials and project oversight, while the county's Community Restitution crews have picked up the litter.

Much of what crews have cleaned up falls into the category of fast food and to-go packaging – disposable cups, bottles, plastics, paper, and bags – small items that should have been safely placed in a trash bag within a vehicle and properly disposed of later in a trash container. In addition to the litter and trash, crews also collected 14 bags of clean recyclable materials.

With recent increased state COVID-19 vaccination requirements, the city will transition from the use of Community Restitution crews to utilizing approved pre-registered, trained volunteers to help with future cleanups. Information will be provided on the city's ramp litter cleanup project webpage as details become available. 

Litter is preventable, and cleanups are labor-intensive. It can take a lot of time and money to pick up a lot of little pieces of litter. Safety of the cleanup crews is also a significant concern and of the highest priority. Due to risks posed by traffic speeds and limited safe space for vehicles and crews, some ramp medians cannot be cleaned up under the city’s project.

The Department of Ecology estimates that more than 12 million pounds of litter is tossed or blown onto our highways each year. Help keep Washington litter free. Keep a bag in your vehicle to collect trash and unwanted materials and properly dispose of these at home or in designated trash/recycling containers. Remember that whether moving or going to a disposal site, all loads must be secured when transporting materials. Learn more here about statewide efforts to prevent and address roadside litter.

Vancouver's Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program Awards Funding to Eight Projects - 11/02/21

Vancouver, WA – The City of Vancouver brought back the popular Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program in early 2021, and is now pleased to announce that all eight projects advanced as part of the competitive program were awarded funding for various traffic calming elements along Vancouver streets. The program encourages residents to champion projects through a competitive selection process for funding and implementation. Funding for the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program is available through a combination of Real Estate Excise Tax (REET), Transportation Benefit District (TBD) fees and multiple other revenue sources, providing a 2021 approximate budget of $300,000. Project costs are coordinated through several different strategies and partnerships within city departments to maximize cost efficiencies. 

Eight neighborhood project proposals were advanced as part of the program for 2021, and all eight were awarded funding as part of the City of Vancouver’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program, which joins with partners to help residents manage and address traffic within Vancouver neighborhoods. Most projects are slated for construction during the summer of 2022, while several project elements will be installed with other pavement or infrastructure projects in future years. 

Developed with the help of the community-led Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance, the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program helps residents improve neighborhood livability and calm traffic by suggesting solutions and championing project proposals. Projects awarded funding as part of the 2021 program:

– SE McGillivray Boulevard, area near pedestrian path from SE Laver Street to SE Park Street     
   Location: Riveridge Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Enhanced pedestrian crossing and upgraded street striping for pedestrian pathway across McGillivray Boulevard

– East 18th Street, near Burnt Bridge Creek Trail crossing just west of General Anderson Avenue
   Location: Maplewood Neighborhood Association, Meadow Homes Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Enhanced pedestrian crossing at Burnt Bridge Creek Trail crossing

– NE 155th Avenue/NE Countryside Drive, from SE 1st Street to NE 18th Street
   Location: Countryside Woods Neighborhood Association, East Mill Plain Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Speed cushions

– NE 58th Street, from Andresen Road to NE 82nd Avenue
   Location: Walnut Grove Neighborhood Association, Vancouver Mall Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Speed tables (similar to speed cushions)

– NE 49th Street, from NE 15th Avenue to Saint James Road
   Location: West Minnehaha Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Speed radar feedback signs and new speed cushions

– East Evergreen Boulevard, near East 5th Street/Columbia View Drive
   Location: Evergreen Shores Neighborhood Association, Dubois Park Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Speed radar feedback sign near East 5th Street/Columbia View Drive

– SE 1st Street/NE 4th Street, from NE 136th Avenue to Hearthwood Boulevard
   Location: Airport Green Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Speed radar feedback signs

– Saint Helens Avenue, Lieser Road to SE 98th Avenue
   Location: Vancouver Heights Neighborhood Association
   Project Enhancements: Speed radar feedback signs

This popular, community-based program was delayed in 2020 due to limited staffing and potential revenue shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Voter passage of statewide Initiative 976 (I-976) in November 2019, since overturned by Washington courts, also created funding uncertainties for the program last year. There was a record-number of project proposals for the 2021 program. This is the eighth year for the City’s revitalized Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program.

Neighborhood traffic calming projects for 2022

The City of Vancouver and Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance invite neighborhoods and residents to get involved by proposing and shepherding projects through the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program. City staff continue to explore program requirements, guidelines and funding efficiencies as we look at options to best support this neighborhood program and continue its success into the future. 

More program details can be found on the City’s website: www.cityofvancouver.us/TrafficCalmingProgram. Look for updates on the 2022 program to be posted toward the first of the year. 

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