Minutes for February 25, 2014 Meeting

Meeting Summary
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 7:00-9:00 PM
The Hearthstone, 6720 East Green Lake Way N
Board Room

Recorder: Davis Patterson

Karen SchuurGayle GarmanEllen HewittBrian deLucaMartin MullerRichard FlemingMarcia NormanClarke GrayCharles NgRita HollomonKelly MisamoreGaret Munger

Meeting comes to order with welcome and introductions

Overview of Request for Proposal process for a renewal of a lease for operating the rental and food concession at Green Lake. Rita Hollomon (206.684.8008, rita.hollomon@seattle.gov), Charles Ng, Seattle Park Department

  • Clarke Gray, who operates the boat rentals, took over the concession in 2009, with the contract extended through 2014. He has invested over $200,000 in the business. He has increased the types of boats offered and is managing the concession well—very few complaints have been received. The ordinance requires a competitive request-for-proposals (RFP) process after the contract expires.
  • The Park Department would like feedback from this group and Green Lake Community Council about what we would like to see in the new contract and would like a representative of this group to be on the evaluation team.
  • The goal is to have the public input for the RFP completed by the end of March. A decision for awarding the new contract to be completed by the end of summer. The public input process is occurring now before writing the RFP.
  • Boats are washed down on the dock. We would like to see language in the RFP about what flows into Green Lake from the business.
  • Parks Department agreed to allow food concession to move into the building when Clarke Gray took it over. He has stayed open in the wintertime to build business, but currently loses money in the winter and hasn’t recuperated his investment. Revenues are starting to build.
  • Parks Dept. wants a 5-year contract with 5-year renewal. The 5-year renewal doesn’t usually involve a competitive bid process, but it does allow either party to terminate.
  • Does the contract specify maximum number of boats? There is nothing in the contract currently. Clarke has found the “sweet spot” on all his products. There is no need to add any boats. Wait times may get up to 20 minutes on paddle boats. Paddle boards are also very popular.
  • Clarke has been there since 1975, except 2000-2005 when Olympic Sports ran it and revenues dropped. Clarke has run it since and had continuous increase in business since then.
  • If there were support for the idea of not having an RFP process—for example, an elected official tells the Parks Dept. not to issue an RFP (and that would take community advocacy), then the contract could be extended with the current vendor. This decision is above the level of the Park Department, because the council enacted the ordinance. In general, however, it is important to have a process that is fair and competitive.
  • One of the RFP selection criteria could be coordination with FOGL. Example: allow FOGL to use paddle boats to collect milfoil in the lake. Clarke has allowed people to use boats for Hiroshima commemoration and would allow FOGL to do so (FOGL was turned down once on short notice).
  • FOGL would need to prepare input on the RFP by end of March and nomination of person to sit on evaluation panel.
  • In addition to FOGL, the Park Dept. will contact Green Lake Community Council and the Dept. of Neighborhood Coordinator.
  • Clarke noted that an RFP process could slow down improvements he has planned.
  • The West Beach concession has 5-year contract, entering into 3rd
  • Both concessions have appropriate water and sewage infrastructure.
  • We need to identify someone to lead the input process and draft a letter. Davis declined to lead this effort, but is happy to support someone else and provide input. There are many ways to shape the evaluation criteria and contracting requirements to favor the incumbent if desired. For example, it is possible to influence the selection process strategically to favor someone with experience by weighting that more heavily in evaluation.

President’s Report Garet Munger

  • Tabled in the interest of time.

Treasurer’s Report Gayle Garman

  • See financial reports for December 2013 and January 2014.
  • We need to reimburse Ellen for purchasing domain names for 5 years ($125.00). With $130.00 in donations, next month Gayle foresees having an additional $5 in our account.
  • A summary of 2013 finances will be presented at the next meeting.

Proposal to purchase baseball caps for resale?

  • If FOGL is going to sell baseball caps, someone will need to take charge of ordering and managing inventory.
  • Brian Toth researched cost with prior vendor who already has a design template (using the existing template would provide significant savings).
  • Is there an opportunity to sell caps at the concession? This would be worth following up if we can identify someone to take charge.

Report on Weekend Work Parties Richard Fleming and Garet Munger

  • Richard and three others had a work party to remove blackberries near the redwing blackbirds that are displaying territorial behavior, in front of turtle logs. They also removed weeds and a willow tree (with permission from head gardener) from the restoration site a few yards away–these are detrimental to the cattails.
  • Garet did raking and cleaning with youth from Green Lake Litter Patrol on Sunday.

Report on water level changes in Green Lake Richard Fleming

  • Lake water levels have varied significantly recently. Richard described water inflows and outflows. There is a staff gauge on the paddleboat dock. Richard photographs the gauge, keeping records for the past several months. He also has a rain gauge.
  • 2014 started low in rain, but now we are catching up. Last year was abundant, so the water table was not in deficit. There have been other years with little rain but little change in lake level. Therefore, rainfall is not always correlated with lake level.
  • The small craft center strives to keep water below the dock level.
  • Richard’s measurements did show a correlation between rainfall and lake level.
  • SPU has run a gauge at the Meridian outlet. Rainfall events don’t nicely correlate with lake levels there.
  • Billings Middle School observations are sometimes inaccurate, but even after cleaning the data, rainfall and water levels don’t line up well.
  • The Hearthstone outlet goes into the combined sewer and is the only drain that has an appropriate level such that it can be used to lower the lake during rain events.
  • Reservoir releases for water quality are no longer done since late 1990s, so that is no longer a water source for the lake.
  • It is possible that pumping during construction (into the combined sewer system) may be enough over a protracted period of time to draw the lake down.
  • Richard’s objective is to present information to agencies to stimulate them to look into these issues and work out a water budget. The data are complicated to sort out because they do not readily tell a clear story, but Richard has been working hard to understand what they are telling us. Various possible explanations for recent historic low lake levels were considered. Water flow-through affects water quality, which is why this is important to understand.
  • We may want to check Small Lakes Program for data on Bitter Lake and Haller Lake to see if their levels have been low and correlate with Green Lake levels.
  • Would it help for FOGL to convince agencies to let us spend money on a permanent monitoring system? We should try to get them to do it first.

8:50 Closing Comments

  • There is a work party scheduled for March 29 to clean up habitat restoration area. Could someone take charge of ordering tools, etc.? Garet will send out a message for volunteers.

9:00 Adjourn