By Jack Mayne

In a relatively short session, the Kent City Council on Tuesday night (Jan. 16) approved construction bids of $2.8 million, lauded the work of a city police officer for her work in a major human trafficking case, and also noted the retirement of the city attorney.

The Council unanimously approved construction bids totaling over $2.8 million.

The first bid okayed was for a Kent Memorial Park play area renovation and Wiffle ball field instillation project contract to Harkness Construction for a total of $412,989.

Harkness will renovate the playground and build a Wiffle ball field at Kent Memorial Park. The city says the playground is “at the end of its useful life.” The new Wiffle ball field is being partially financed by a $75,000 grant from the King County Youth Sports Facilities Grant program and a $25,000 donation from the Kent Lions.

Council also awarded a Lake Meridian Park Bathhouse Remodel project to Optimus Construction and Development, Inc., for $407,550. The work will remodel the existing restroom building at Lake Meridian Park, which is in need of updating to improve function and aesthetics. Improvements include installing new doors and restroom fixtures, adding new bathroom stalls and new outdoor showers, and converting the old concession stand to a new family restroom.

A bid award was to Apply-A-Line company for the 2018 Traffic Sign Replacement Project. The approved cost is $334,100.

Finally, the Council approved a bid to Northwest Cascade Inc. for the Award 640 Pressure Zone project in the amount of $1,649,774. The regulators keep water pressure at a constant because of changes in the east and west hill topography of Kent.

Attorney retires
Mayor Dana Ralph promoted Pat Fitzpatrick, the deputy city attorney, to replace Tom Brubaker (pictured above), who is retiring Feb. 2 after 27 years with the city. Brubaker thanked his staff for “making me look good,” and never thought he would stay 27 years with the city. He received compliments on his service from Council President Bill Boyce and Mayor Ralph.

Kent Police detective Lovisa Dvorak (pictured above, right) was recognized by the Council for her award from the FBI on her work on human trafficking – “a big deal,” said Police Chief Ken Thomas.

In addition, two new officers were welcomed to Kent P.D.: