Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at August 8, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
145. Appoint one councilmember to the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee? At the 4/18/2017 meeting, vote #73, the council combinded the Behavioral Health Advisory Board and the Chemical Dependency/Mental Health Revenue Fund Oversight Advisory Committee. The re-structured committee will advise the county Health Department on behavioral health programs, including substance abuse and mental health services. Eight of the nine committee members were appointed at the 7/26/2017 meeting, vote #139. (AB2017-124A) Appointed: Barbara Brenner.
146. Vacate a portion of Chets Road? Robert Woods and Petra Tode-Woods requested that parts of Chets Road in Point Roberts adjoining two lots in the Boundary Heights development be vacated. At the 1/24/2017 meeting, vote #14, the council voted to initiate a county engineering report on the proposal. The county engineer determined that the public will not benefit from vacation because the right-of-way may be necessary for future development and the road is a link to Lily Point Marine Park. The county engineer does not recommend approval. (AB2017-215) Failed 0-6, Rud Browne, Barry Buchanan, Todd Donovan, Barbara Benner, Satpal Sidhu and Carl Weimer opposed, Ken Mann absent.
147.Authorize the executive to sign a $49,990 contract with RESPEC Consulting of Mountain View, CA to evaluate the Lake Whatcom hydrologic model? The city of Bellingham has developed a new hydrocomp forecast and analysis model for Lake Whatcom. It is being considered as a replacement for the hydrological simulation program fortran. The review is to ensure the model was developed using sound principles and tools. (2017-237) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
148. Authorize the executive to sign a $121,000 contract with Northwest Educational Services District 189 of Anacortes for marijuana and cannabis products disorder prevention services within Whatcom County school districts? At the 5/2/2017 meeting, vote #83, council authorized a $288,000 contract with the North Sound Behavioral Health Organization to direct marijuana sales tax revenue towards improving behavioral health outcomes for middle- and high-school aged youth by contracting with local service providers. This contract expires on 8/31/2018. (AB2017-239) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
149. Authorize the executive to sign a $113,400 contract (amendment #2) with the Blaine School District? At the 8/4/2015 meeting, vote #147, the council authorized a contract with Blaine School District to provide behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. The amendment extends the contract for one year and adds a .5 FTE mental health counseling position. The total contract amount is $293,400 and it expires on 8/31/2018. (AB2017-240) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
150. Authorize the executive to accept a $335,526 state grant for the Nurse-Family Partnership program? The program provides high-quality home visits and other pregnancy-support services to low-income, high-risk families in the county. The country first received a state grant to implement services for low-income first time mothers at the 8/7/2012 meeting, vote #140. The program matches each family with a nurse to provide support. The grant expires on 6/30/2018. (AB2017-241) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
151. Authorize the executive to sign a three-year $174,175 contract (amendment #1) with Kibble & Prentice of Seattle to provide benefit consulting services? The contract also includes actuarial services, plan analysis, bidding, request-for-proposal development, and technical support for benefit services. Costs are $56,175 in 2018 and $59,000 in 2019 and $59,000 in 2020. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2017-242) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
152. Authorize the executive to sign a three-year $311,991 contract with Geraldine Coleman, Scott Mawson, Margaret Mawson, and Penny Henderson to provide Superior Court representation for children in dependency proceeding? The increased caseload of dependency cases results in the requirement for full time representation. Each year of the contract is $103,997 and it expires on 6/30/2020. (AB2017-243) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
153. Authorize the executive to sign a $40,000 contract with the Cascadia Law Group of Seattle to provide legal consultation and representation for the county? It will also produce a statutory analysis/study of legal mechanisms available to council as it develops regulations addressing public safety and environmental concerns related to the export of petroleum products from the Cherry Point Urban Growth Area; and technical assistance with the process of drafting Comprehensive Plan amendments. (AB2017-234) Approved 5-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed and Ken Mann absent.
154. Authorize the executive to sign a $322,119 contract with KPFF Consulting Engineers of Seattle to establish service levels for the Lummi Island ferry system? At the 2/14/2012 meeting, vote #31, the council established the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee to review ferry operations and make recommendations. At the 2/21/2017 meeting, vote #36, the council voted to establish a new level of service for the ferry system. This contract will provide an alternatives analysis, including preliminary cost and funding recommendations. The contract expires on 12/31/2019. (AB2017-249) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
155. Grant a non-exclusive telecommunications services franchise to Mobilitie LLC of Newport Beach, CA for 25 years? (Public hearing held) The Whatcom County Charter gives council the right to grant franchises that include the use of county rights of way. AB2017-216 (Ordinance 2017-041) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
156. Amend the 2017 budget (request #9) in the amount of $148,625? Appropriate: $46,125 from the road fund and $102,500 from the ferry fund to provide level-of-service studies for the Lummi Island Ferry System. AB2017-229 (Ordinance 2017-042) Approved 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
Action Taken at September 12, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
157. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with Yakima County to house inmates transferred from Whatcom County? Yakima County will provide offender housing, care, and custody when space in the downtown jail is restricted. The sheriff’s department periodically requires additional inmate capacity due to infrastructure renovation, maintenance, or repairs at the downtown jail. The daily inmate rate runs from $57.20 for less than 26 inmates to $51.20 for over 150 inmates. The agreement expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017-254) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
158. Authorize the executive to sign a $50,000 contract (amendment #1) with North Sound Behavioral Health Organization? The amendment will continue to provide funding for case management and shelter services for homeless individuals living with serious mental illness. Individuals discharged from Weestern State Hospital will be given the highest priority. Services will be provided by Sun Community Recovery Housing. This amendment brings the total amended contract to $208,854, it expires on 6/30/2017 (AB2017-256) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
159. Authorize the executive to sign a $111,727 contract with the North Sound Behavioral Health Organization? The contract will provide funding for assessment, detox, and recovery support services for individuals dependent on intravenous opioid drugs. The contract expires on 6/30/2019. (AB2017-257) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
160. Authorize the executive to sign a $225,238 contract with Cramer Fish Sciences of Issaquah for the lower mainstem Nooksack River salmon habitat assessment? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The contract will provide support for the Nooksack River comprehensive flood hazard management plan update from Deming to the delta. The contract expires on 6/30/2019. (AB2017-258) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
161. Authorize the executive to accept a $294,300 state grant (amendment #1) for the East Smith Road pavement rehabilitation project? The amendment will provide additional rural arterial program grant funding. The project area includes the section of East Smith Rd. between Everson-Goshen Rd. and State Route 542. The anticipated project costs (design and construction) will be approximately $1,500,000. The total amendment amount is $843,730 and it expires upon project completion. (AB2017-259) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
162. Confirm two executive appointments to the Whatcom County Marine Resource Committee? The 19 member committee addresses the needs of the Northwest Strait Marine Ecosystem, local marine issues, and recommends remedial action to local authorities. Appointed: Ryan McLaughlin (conservation/environmental interest) and Kristin Murray (citizen-at-large interest). Mr. McLaughlin is a bioinformatician and scientific diver with a masters in science in microbial ecology and bioinformatics from Western Washington University. Ms. Murray is a wetland scientist and fisheries biologist, with a masters of science in biology. (AB2017-265) Confirmed 6-0, Carl Weiner absent.
163. Authorize the preparation of a reassessment roll for property within the boundaries of Emerald Lake Lighting District No.7? (Council acting as the Board of Equalization). The reassessment will support funding for the electrical bills for street lighting within the lighting district by updating the 1987 rate cap. A public hearing is scheduled for 10/24/2017. AB2017-262 (Resolution 2017-038 ) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
164. Authorize the preparation of a reassessment roll for property within the boundaries of Birch Bay lighting District No. 1? (Council acting as the Board of Equalization)LThe reassessment will support funding for the electrical bills for street lighting within the lighting district by updating the 1983 rate cap. A public hearing is scheduled for 10/24/2017. AB2017-263 (Resolution 2017-039) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
165. Amend the solid waste disposal district tax? (Public hearing held) The amendment will apply an $8.50 per ton excise tax to solid waste deposited by residential and commercial self-haulers. The tax is currently applied only to certificated and franchised haulers, which means a lack of treating all customers the same, even though they all are eligible for the services the tax provides. In 2016, only 65 percent of solid waste disposed in the county was subject to the excise tax, resulting in decreased revenues and a lack of fairness. This tax does not apply to recyclables. AB2017-244 (Ordinance 2017-043) Adopted 6-0, Carl Weiber absent.
166. Repeal the the garbage pass-through fee? (Public hearing held) The fee has not been collected since a 1997 arbitration ruling making the fee legally untenable. The county has used a solid waste excise privilege tax to fund solid waste services. AB2017-245 (Ordinance 2017-044) Adopted 6-0, Carl Weiner absent.
167. Amend the section of the zoning code relating to cumulative impervious surface coverage standards? (Public hearing held) The code changes will apply to properties zoned rural and residential rural, and address which stormwater mitigation plan applies to properties based on overall amounts of impervious surface relative to parcel size. AB2017-195 (Ordinance 2017-045) Adopted 5-1, Todd Donovan opposed and Carl Weiner absent.
168. Establish a $300,000 expansion fund and project based budget for the Triage Center expansion project? The North Sound Behavioral Health Organization awarded a $2,500,000 grant for the expansion project. The budget will allow initiation of phase 1 plan design, architectural support, and public outreach efforts for the Triage Center, addressing the emergency needs of individuals experiencing substance abuse and/or mental health issues. The current capacity at the center is 13 beds, eight for alcohol and/or drug detox and five for metal health stabilization. The center will expand to a 32-bed capacity, 16 for mental health related needs and 16 for drug- and alcohol-related needs. AB2017-246 (Ordinance 2017-046) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
169. Amend the 2017 budget (request #10) in the amount of $197,253? Appropriated: $125,253 to fund services through Opportunity Council referral and education programs supporting low- and moderate-income homeowners and residents of Whatcom, Island, and San Juan Counties; $32,000 to fund food handler test fees and program cost adjustments; $40,000 to fund audio-visual upgrades for the County Council chambers. AB2017-247 (Ordinance 2017-047) Approved 5-0, Carl Weiner absent and Todd Donovan was out of the room.
Action Taken at September 26, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
170. Authorize the executive to sign a $758,750 contract with Bruce Harris & Associates of Batavia, Illinois? The contract will provide technical support for the continued conversion of existing assessor’s office mylar maps to digital format used in Geographic Information Systems spatial data management. The contract expires on 7/31/2018. (AB2017-279A) Approved 7-0
171. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the state of Washington for the Washington Conservation Corps? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The six-member crew will work from 10/3/2017 through 9/9/2018 on water quality, habitat monitoring and improvement projects, new restoration projects, and maintaining existing projects. The total cost is $221,334, with the county providing $76,000, county parks providing $60,000, the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association providing $30,000 under a separate agreement and the state providing the remaining $55,334. (AB2017-281/2017-282) Approved 7-0
172. Authorize the executive to sign a joint funding agreement with the United States Geological Survey? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The agreement will provide support for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the county’s six stream gages within the Nooksack River early flood warning system, as well as stream gages at the Nooksack River Everson overflow and Jones Creek in Acme. The flood zone district share will be $86,740, the federal government $16,745, the Acme VanZandt subzone $6,135 and the city of Abbotsford $4,100, for a total of $113,720. It agreement expires on 9/30/2018. (AB2017-283) Approved 7-0
173. Approve the six-year (2018 – 2023) transportation improvement program? (Public hearing held.) State law requires counties to update their six-year transportation plans yearly. The program establishes a list of needed capital improvements and eligibility for state and federal funds, and sets the rate for impact fees. Amendments to the program include the removal of nine projects and the addition of five projects. This vote also includes the first six years of the 14-year ferry capital improvement program. AB2017-261 (Resolution 2017-040) Approved 7-0 (Rud Browne abstained from voting on item R3)
174. Request the executive develop a special funding district to fund water quality improvements in the unincorporated Lake Whatcom watershed? Additional funding is required to continue services related to the improvement of water quality in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Fifteen special funding districts currently exist in Whatcom County to finance drainage, flood control, and other water quality improvments projects.This resolution requests that the county executive create an additional funding district by 11/8/2017. AB2017-251A ( Resolution 2017-041) Approved 7-0
175. Authorize the executve to accept a $594,500 grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service? The grant is from a federal government owned and operated entity to provide farmers and ranchers with financial and technical assistance, it will provide for a 50 percent cost share for the purchase of development rights easements. The Purchase of Development Rights program is used to preserve farmland for farming, habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation purposes. The Purchase of Development Rights Oversight Committee’s current ranked list of applications is authorized and the application provides for matching funds through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Grant Program. Properties approved for purchase: Brar, 78 acres; Greenwood, 94 acres; Jacoby 100 acres; Sigurdson/Neptune Beach 66 acres; Williams (Broad Leaf Farm, 66 acres, total number of acres protected 427. Easement cost to Whatcom County is $828,120. Total easement cost is $1,656,240. AB2017-278 (Resolution 2017-042) Approved 7-0
176. Set October 24, 2017, as the public hearing date for Emerald Lake Lighting District No. 7? This vote also accepted the property roll assessment within the Emerald Lake Lighting District. At the 9/12 /2017 meeting, vote # 163, council voted to initiate a property roll reassessment to support funding for the electrical bills for street lighting within the Emerald Lake Lighting District by updating the 1987 rate cap. The first annual maintenance assessment will be in the amount of $2 per account per year and a rate of $8.50 per parcel. The second and succeeding annual assessments will be in the amount of $2 per account per year and the actual cost of mainteance and power charges of Puget Sound Energy, not to exceed $20 per parcel. AB2017-262A (Resolution 2017-043) Approved 7-0
177. Set October 24, 2017, as the public hearing date for Birch Bay Lighting District No.1? This vote also accepted the property roll assessment within the Birch Bay Lighting District. At the 9/12 /2017 meeting, vote # 164, council voted to initiate a property roll reassessment to support funding for the electrical bills for street lighting within the Birch Bay Lighting District by updating the 1983 rate cap. The first annual maintenance assessment will be in the amount of $2 per account per year and a rate of $8.50 per parcel. The second and succeeding annual assessments will be in the amount of $2 per account per year and the actual cost of mainteance and power charges of Puget Sound Energy, not to exceed $20 per parcel. AB2017-263A (Resolution 2017-044) Approved 7-0
178. Set the Whatcom County Council meeting dates for 2018? The Whatcom County Charter requires the council to meet 22 per year. Meetings are scheduled for: January 16 and 30; February 13 and 27; March 13 and 27; April 10 and 24; May 8 and 22; June 5 and 19; July 10 and 24; August 7; September 11 and 25; October 9 and 23; November 7 (Wednesday) and 20; and December 4. AB2016-293 AB2017-287 (Resolution 2017-045) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner2 opposed.
179. Modify (amendment #1) 2017 the unified fee schedule? (Public hearing held.) The 2017 fee schedule was passed at the 11/22/2017 meeting, vote #209. The schedule lists fees charged by the county to provide services such as building permits, parking, filing and licensing, animal control and charges for park equipment and facilities. The fees shall not exceed reimbursement costs to the providing department, and the executive may add or adjust fees with sufficient justification. AB2017-267 (Ordinance 2017-048) Adopted 7-0
180. Continue the interim moratorium on the export of unrefined fossil fuels from the facilties in the Cherry Point Urban Growth Area? (Public hearing held). This vote extends the moratorium for six months, with options for renewal if the appropriate public hearings are held.The moratorium covers facilities including, but not limited to, piers, wharfs, buildings, tank farms, pipelines, rail loading and offloading facilities, road spurs, or other infrastructure purposed for exporting unrefined fossil fuels, including stabilized or unstabilized crude oil, diluted or raw bitumen, sycrude, coal, methane, propane, butane, and liquid or gaseous natural gas, the primary purpose of which would be the shipment of unrefined fossil fuels not to be processed at Cherry Point. The council initiated the original moratorium at the 8/9/2016 meeting, vote #147, extending it for six months at the 9/27/2016 meeting, votes #173 and the and 3/21/2017 meeting, vote #54 respectively. This ordinance retains options for renewal upon expiration if the appropriate public hearings are held. AB2016-256C (Ordinance 2017-049) Adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner3 opposed.
181. Amend the 2017 budget (request #11) in the amount of $34,028? Appropriated: $$13,950 to fund the Parent 4 Parent program which supports parents of youth in dependency hearings; $14,433 to fund the addition planning technician position for the Permit Center; $5,645 fo fund upgrades to the Ferndale Senior Center roof. AB2017-268 (Ordinance 2017-050) Adopted 7-0
182. Close the South Pass Road/Saar Creek Bridge #212 project? The project (Fund 370) is complete and the fund is no longer needed. The cash balance of $443,540 will be returned to the road fund. AB2017-269 (Ordinance 2017-051) Adopted 7-0
183. Close the Slater Road intersections, Imhoff and Ferndale roads project? The project (Fund 349) is completed and the fund is no longer needed. The cash balance of $287,156 will be returned to the road fund. AB2017-270 (Ordinance 2017-052) Adopted 7-0
184. Close the Birch Bay-Lynden Road/Portal Way signalization improvements project? The project (Fund 341) is completed and the fund is no longer needed. The cash balance of $300,351 will be returned to the road fund. AB2017-271(Ordinance 2017-053) Adopted 7-0
185. Close the Dakota Creek bridge #500 project? The project (Fund 350) is completed and the fund is no longer needed. The cash balance of $358,380 will be returned to the road fund. AB2017-272 (Ordinance 2017-054) Adopted 7-0
186. Close the Hannegan Road/Nooksack River bridge #252 project? The project (Fund 353) is completed and the fund is no longer needed. The cash balance of $16,323 will be returned to the road rund. AB2017-273 (Ordinance 2017-055) Adopted 7-0
Action Taken at October 10, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
187. Appoint Paul Stermer to the Open Space Advisory Committee? The committee advises the county assessor on the assessment of farms and agricultural lands, open spaces, and timber lands: Mr. Stermer is employed at the Phillips 66 refinery, and holds bachelor’s of science in chemistry and biochemistry from University of Washington. (AB2017-277) Approved 7-0
188. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the city of Bellingham for a federal grant? (Public hearing held) The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program will provide $35,941 to fund the purchase of ballistic vests for law enforcement officers; $22,828 for the city of Bellingham and $13,113 for the sheriff’s office. The vests help add a measure of protection against gunshot injuries. (AB2017-280) Approved 7-0
189. Authorize the executive to award the only bid of $290,450 to PacWest Machinery of Kent for one hydrostatically driven chip spreader? The base price is $313,438, trade-in value $45,000 and sales tax $22,012. The 2017 model will replace a 2006 model. (AB2017-290) Approved 7-0
190. Authorize the executive to sign a $279,779 contract with Brown and Caldwell Environmental Engineers & Consultants of Seattle? The contract will support the Lake Whatcom tributary monitoring program to address water quality issues, including fecal coliform and phosphorous levels in tributaries flowing into Lake Whatcom. The costs are shared between Whatcom County (45 percent), city of Bellingham (45 percent) and the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District (10 percent). The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2017-292) Approved 7-0
191. Order the cancellation of uncashed checks issued between 7/8/2014 and 6/30/2015? There are 255 unclaimed jail inmate trust fund checks totaling $2,304. The largest check is for $146.04 and five between $36.50 and $25.25. Most of the remaining checks are for amounts below $5.00. The money will be transferred to the state of Washintgon as abandoned property where it will be available to the payee indefinitely. AB2017-289 (Resolution 2017-046) Approved 7-0
192. Amend the Whatcom County Code relating to flood damage prevention? (Public hearing held) The Planning Department staff recommends changes to code to improve flood protection standards and clarify administrative procedures to better comply with the Endangered Species Act and the standards of the National Flood Insurance Program. AB2017-286 (Ordinance 2017-056) Adopted 7-0
193. Amend the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and the Whatcom County Code? (Public hearing held) The Planning Commission has recommended amendments to Title 15 Buildings and Construction, Title 20 Zoning, Title 21 Land Division Regulations, and Title 24 Health sections of the code relating to water resources. At the 10/25/2016 meeting, vote #196, council voted to impose an emergency 60-day moratorium on development activity relying upon permit-exempt wells in closed basins. At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #250, council adopted interim amendments and extended the interim ordinance. At the 3/7/2017 meeting, vote #44, interim amendments and the interim ordinance was extended again. At the 4/18/2017 meeting, vote #74, council extended the interim ordinance requiring the county to verify the existence of an adequate water supply as a condition of granting development permits in closed watersheds. The ordinance is in response to a 10/6/2016 Washington State Supreme Court ruling, Whatcom County v. Hirst et. al. AB2016-309G (Ordinance 2017-057) Adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner4 opposed.