The city will consider directing $125,000 in federal money toward a $500,000 fund that would help re-establish a second daily flight between Yakima and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
A resolution authorizing American Rescue Plan Act money to be used for the Air Service Development Fund is among the action items on Tuesday’s Yakima City Council agenda.
Last week, Yakima Air Terminal Director Rob Hodgman said a $500,000 minimum rate guarantee is needed for Alaska Airlines subsidiary Horizon Air to restore the early-morning departure and late-night arrival between Yakima and Sea-Tac.
During a meeting discussing the air service fund, officials outlined a plan to have the cities of Yakima and Union Gap, along with Yakima County, provide $230,000 of the guarantee money, with local businesses and community members being asked to provide the rest.
Horizon Air reduced its schedule to a single, early afternoon flight to and from Yakima in September 2022, down from four flights a day before the pandemic. Horizon reduced flights to several Northwest communities last year due to a lack of pilots and a switch to new aircraft.
Hodgman believes the additional flights could be restored in September of this year if the minimum rate guarantee goal is met and noted that several other communities in the Northwest and elsewhere have provided similar funding to airlines to re-establish flights or establish new service.
In a memo to City Council members, Yakima Assistant City Manager Rosylen Oglesby notes that the city is partnering with the Yakima County Development Association to raise the $500,000, and ARPA funds may be used to help industries such as travel, tourism and hospitality that were affected by the COVID pandemic.
The City Council also will receive an update on the relocation of garbage collection service from alleys to the street curbs in front of residences in some portions of Yakima.
Trace Bradburn, the city’s refuse division manager, wrote in a memo to council members that the city has been moving garbage collection out of the alleys to improve safety to the public and reduce insurance claims over damaged vehicles.
The tight quarters of alleyways and their entrances and exits are difficult for the automated side load refuse trucks, Bradburn wrote. Parked vehicles, trees, overhead wires, fences and other obstacles also present problems not present at curbsides.
There were about 4,500 Yakima residents with alley collection before the relocation process began, and about 1,000 remain to be moved out of the alleys, Bradburn wrote. Customers with disabilities are offered free carry-out service for their garbage cans.
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 5:30 at City Hall, 129 N. Second St.
To comment at the meeting, visit bit.ly/YHRcomment and fill out the comment request form. People also can email email@example.com or call 509-575-6060.
Remote watch options will be available at the city website.
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