Bellingham City Council
Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer
Action Taken at December 3, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
191. Authorize the mayor to sign a $125,000 settlement agreement with Haskell Corporation for the following terms: dismissal of a lawsuit and resolution of all claims? The following came from Haskell’s claim for damages. In 2005, the city of Bellingham and the Haskell Corporation entered into a easement for a trail on the Haskell Corporation property. The easement allowed for the construction of a biofiltration and stormwater facility by Haskell. In 2008, in violation of the easement the city designated the area a wetland. The designation prohibited the construction a stormwater treatment facility and the Haskell Corporation considers it an improper taking. The damages are estimated to be approximately $1,500,000. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
192. Authorize the mayor to award the only bid of $641,796 to Faber Construction of Lynden for Lake Padden lift stations? The engineer’s estimate was $582,000. The project involves replacement of existing sanitary sewer wet vaults, pumps, and conveyance pipes; traffic control; asphalt removal and placement; earthwork; grading; planting and directional drilling. This project is financed with $428,000 in Greenway funds, $133,000 in real estate excise tax funds and $81,000 golf funds. (AB22138) Approved 7-0
193. Authorize the mayor to sign a memorandum of agreement with the federal government, the state of Washington and the Nooksack Tribe for the proposed Nooksack River fish passage project? The proposed fish passage project is located at the city’s municipal water diversion facility and the purpose is to provide upstream fish passage and maintain the city’s water supply intake by partial demolition of the Middle Fork diversion dam, performing channel restoration, and building a gravity-fed intake structure and fish screening facility approximately 600 feet upstream of the existing dam on the left bank of the river. The project has been determined to have an adverse effect on two National Register of Historic Places properties within the permit area: Nuxwt’íqw’em, a Nooksack Indian Tribal Traditional Cultural Property, and the late 1950s Middle Fork Nooksack diversion dam. City staff have worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State Historic Preservation Office, the Nooksack Tribe and other invited parties to develop and agree on mitigation for the adverse effects and memorialize them in a memorandum of agreement. Measures taken by the city will include the production of a written essay to be hosted online, an historical marker, maintenance of ethnographic census data and yearly status updates. (AB22139) Approved 7-0
194. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement for a mobile data computer network with the Sumas Police Department and WHAT-COMM Communications Center? The Sumas Police Department wants to obtain use of WHAT-COMM’s Versaterm mobile data terminal software and licensing, and will pay an initial one-time licensing fee of $1,100 per license, for the purchase of four mobile data terminal software licenses to be issued by WHAT-COMM, as well as a per year maintenance fee equal to 20 percent of the initial licensing fee (4 licenses X $1,100 X 20 percent) for connectivity to WHAT-COMM’s mobile data terminal server, due on January 1 of each new year. This expense applies regardless of the amount of use or lack of use. Maintenance costs are subject to annual increases. (AB22141) Approved 7-0
195. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Andy Asbjornsen to the finance director position? The finance director was an elected position until voters approved a charter amendment at the 2006 general election changing it to an appointed position.The charter provides the finance director shall be appointed or removed by the mayor with City Council approval. The finance director shall be appointed based on professional qualifications with special reference to knowledge and experience in municipal finance, and is responsible for all the finances of the city of Bellingham, and for the performance of all duties normally assigned to the clerk and treasurer and such other duties as required by state law or ordinance. Andy Asbjornsen has served as the interim finance director since 9/10/2018, and has acted as audit manager for the Washington State auditor’s office. (AB22145) Approved 7-0
196. Approve the mayor’s appointments of Garrett Leque and Anna Santo to the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? Garrett Leque is a senior environmental geologist with GeoEngineers and has been a Bellingham resident for 27 years, he has worked with Snohomish and Pierce Counties, the cities of Bellingham and Centralia, Washington Department of Ecology and the Puget Sound Partnership for environmental remediation projects. Anna Santo is a faculty research assistant with the University of Oregon has been a Bellingham resident for three years. Both terms expire on 12/3/2021. (AB22147) Approved 7-0
197. The mayor appointed Ellen Howard to a full term on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board? She was appointed to a partial term at the 2/26/2018 meeting, vote #31. A retired medical librarian, she has lived in Bellingham for three years. Has been involved with the Patient and Family Advisory Council at PeaceHealth, the League of Women Voters board, the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival and the Bellingham Counseling Association. (AB22148) Does not require council confirmation.
198. Appropriate $2,613,160 for goods and services checks issued from November 10 through November 16, 2018? (AB22149) Approved 7-0
199. Amend the housing levy administrative and financial plan? The housing levy is estimated to bring in $4,000,000 per year for the 10 years from 2019-2028, totaling $40,000,000. The low-income housing levy was approved by voters at the 2012 and 2018 general elections. This is the sixth amendment to the plan. The council initially approved the administrative and financial plan at the 11/19/2012 meeting, vote #226; and amended it at the 5/13/2013 meeting, vote #91; the 10/14/2013 meeting, vote #224; the 5/5/2014 meeting, vote #86; the 11/10/2014 meeting, vote #229; the 5/2/2016 meeting, vote #72 and as part of the 2018 action plan approved at the 5/7/2018 meeting, vote #66. These amendments increase transit access, make changes in rental assistance and support services. AB22140 (Resolution 2018-34) Approved 7-0
Action Taken at December 10, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
200. Hold a public hearing on the emergency ordinance concerning bed and breakfast facilities? A public hearing must be held within 60 days of passing an emergency ordinanace. At the 11/5/2018 meeting, vote #181, the council adopted an emergency moratorium on the siting, establishment and operation of bed and breakfast facilities and the submission of any business license or land use applications for such uses. The six-month moratorium is to allow the implementation of the city’s short-term rental regulations, which become effective on 5/5/2019. Council President Dan Hammill opened the floor for the public comment period but no citizens spoke; the public hearing was closed and the ordinance remains in effect. (AB22150) No vote required.
201. Authorize the mayor to award the lowest responsible bid of $1,512,047 to Dawson Construction of Bellingham for 2018 watermain replacements? The engineer’s estimate was $1,952,567. The project involves replacing approximately 4,500 linear feet of water main in the public right-of-way for two areas abutting Northwest Avenue, along E. Maplewood Avenue and also Lorraine Ellis Court and W. Illinois Street. The work includes demolition, sawcutting, excavating, installation of water mains and appurtenances, asphalt paving, concrete sidewalks, stormwater piping, and other work. A low bid from Len Hancoop Gravel was disqualified because of unsigned documents. The city received 11 bids; the high bid was $2,011,548. This project is financed by the water fund. (AB22152) Approved 7-0
202. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1,303,466 to Ram Construction of Bellingham for phase 2 of the Public Works operations yard retrofit? The engineer’s estimate was $1,570,395. The low bid of $1,714,272 for phase 1 was approve at the 10/22/2018 meeting, vote #160. Phase 2 replaces aging asphalt surfaces with concrete and connects stormwater runoff to stormwater controls constructed in phase 1. The city received seven bids; the high bid was $1,678,151. Future phases will renovate existing buildings and construct new facilities to ensure continued operations for the city. (AB22153) Approved 7-0
203. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1.994,499 to Colacurcio Brothers of Blaine for Roeder Avenue paving project? (Public hearing held on parking removal at February 12 meeting.) The engineer’s estimate for the base bid and schedules A and B was $2,766,866. The project involves repaving Roeder Avenue from Squalicum Parkway to the Whatcom Waterway. Also included is sidewalk replacement and reconstruction of 119 street tree wells. There were two additive bids concerning fiber conduit installation, one for port utilities at $204,200 and one for the city as a dig once at $610,809, which was rejected. The city received three bids, the high bid was $2,159,650. This vote approves the agreement with the Port of Bellingham for port fiber conduit in Roeder Avenue and C Street. City additive bid is at City Council discretion for the general fund. Funds for future fiber conduit and the dig once program were not accounted for in the 2017-2018 budget. (AB22154) Approved 6-1, April Barker opposed.
204. Appropriate $26,382 to renew the agreement between Whatcom County (Parks and Recreation) and the Bellingham Police Department for the use of the Whatcom County Plantation Rifle Range? Located at 5102 Samish Highway, this is where officers train and qualify with their firearms, the agreement was first approved in January 1999. These facilities have two separate shooting ranges named as pistol and smallbore range and the high power rifle and trap range. (AB22157) Approved 7-0
205. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Port of Bellingham for communications maintenance and repair services? The Port of Bellingham utilizes similar two-way radio equipment as the city of Bellingham such as mobile, portable, and fixed base radio equipment, as well as headsets, chargers, intercom systems and the like. In addition, they currently co-locate facilities to share resources with the city. In an effort to increase security, increase efficiency and response times, and reduce the cost of hiring a third-party repair company to maintain port communications equipment, the port will utilize Bellingham’s in-house existing radio communications shop to perform these services. Services will only be provided as time and resources are available as secondary priority to city needs. The city has similar agreements in place for fleet maintenance services with local fire districts that have been successful and remain in effect with no detrimental impacts to our fleet operations. The port will pay the city for work done at the starting base pay rate of $90 per hour. (AB22158) Approved 7-0
206. Appropriate $7,486,432 for goods and services checks issued from November 17 through November 30, 2018? (AB22159) Approved 7-0
207. Appropriate $3,336,173 for payroll checks issued from November 10 through November 21, 2018? (AB22160) Approved 7-0
208. Adopt the 2018 Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan? The Washington State Emergency Management Division requires local jurisdictions to update, and submit for approval, their Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans (CEMP) every five years. The CEMP represents the framework for city disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery activities. The CEMP details authorities, functions and responsibilities to establish a mutually cooperative plan of action between city departments and other public and private entities in response to a disaster. The CEMP will be used to enhance the city’s capabilities in reducing the impact from a disaster or significant event to citizens, the environment, the economy and property. The 2017-2018 budget for emergency management was $501,633. AB22156 (Resolution 2018-35) Approved 7-0
209. Establish guidelines for the attachment of small cell facilities to city light poles? Fees will be assessed at $500 per pole application fee, with a $600 per pole annual license fee. One of the stated goals of the regulations adopted at the 9/10/2018 meeting, vote #139, for the deployment of “small cell” telecommunications facilities was to minimize visual clutter by requiring operators to attach to existing poles whenever feasible. The municipal code authorizes attachment to city light poles upon execution of a license or lease agreement approved by the mayor. Council directed that the municipal code be amended to include the guidance outlining administrative guidelines for considering applications related to attachment to city street lights. AB22006 (Ordinance 2018-12-028) Approved 7-0
210. Adopt a multimodal transportation impact fee system and 2019 rate? (Public hearing held at November 6 meeting.) The transportation impact fee system is required to be based on the list of transportation system improvements deemed necessary to support the level of growth planned for in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan. The purpose and intent of this proposal is to update the TIF-eligible project list and to implement policy direction. Public Works has been working with Fehr & Peers transportation consultants to update and change the citywide TIF program to calculate person trips rather than vehicle trips to bolster the expansion of the multimodal transportation network. The November 2018 Multimodal Transportation Impact Fee Study is available at: https://www.cob.org/Documents/pw/transportation/Bellingham%20TIF%20Rate%20Study.pdf. Current TIF revenue is approximately $950,000 per year; future revenue is expected to increase over time. AB22123 (Ordinance 2018-12-029) Amended and approved 7-0
211. Close the Federal Building Fund? At the 3/15/2004 meeting, vote #51, the council approved the purchase of the Federal Building for $1, it was constructed in 1912 on the northwest corner of Cornwall and Magnolia. At the 6/12/2004 meeting, vote #147, the council accepted a $2,600,000 federal grant for renovations and improvements. The Federal Building Fund was created at the 3/26/2012 meeting, vote #58. The restoration project is complete and all special revenues related to the project have been expended. The remaining cash on hand is from internal sources. A year-end budget amendment ordinance also before the council increases appropriations by $190,000 in the fund so all remaining cash can be spent before the fund is closed on 12/31/2018. AB22142 (Ordinance 2018-12-030) Approved 7-0
212. Amend the 2017-2018 budget? Total funds reallocated will be $1,602,340 with $1,200,000 to the fire department. Several departments and/or funds are projected to exceed their budgeted appropriations for the 2017-2018 biennium, have received new revenues, or changed spending timelines. Passage of this budget adjustment before year-end will ensure the city avoids disruptions to operations or audit findings. Council approved the 2017-2018 budget at the 12/12/2016 meeting, vote #224 and the mid-biennial adjustment at the 12/11/2017 meeting, vote #226. AB22143 (Ordinance 2018-12-031) Approved 7-0
213. Authorize the finanace department to make an in-lieu-of payment of approximately $120,000 to Mayor Kelli Linville? The amount is equivalent to the amount the city would have paid to the Department of Retirement Systems, in the event the mayor is denied membership into the Public Employees’ Retirement System. The payment is related to PERS contributions and PERS membership. In general, the Bellingham Municipal Code recognizes that most city employees, including elected officials, are entitled to join a Washington State Retirement System (SRS). The Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (SRS) interprets Washington State law and promulgates rules regarding the participation of employees and elected officials in the Public Employees’ Retirement System and other retirement systems. DRS has prohibited mayor Linville from joining PERS based on its interpretation of RCW 41.04.270. Prior to becoming the mayor, she was a member of the Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS). When she became mayor, DRS denied her application to join PERS because she was eligible to retire under TRS, even though she chose not to receive any retirement allowance under TRS. The city has made no employer contributions to DRS on behalf of the mayor to date. If the mayor is accepted into PERS, the city will be required to make employer contributions. In the alternative, council may elect to pay the mayor and other similarly situated employees an amount in lieu of the PERS contributions. AB22144 (Ordinance 2018-12-032) Approved 5-2, Daniel Hammill and April Barker opposed.
214. Annex the Mt. Baker Highway/Britton Road property consisting of approximately 75-acres within the city’s northern Urban Growth Area? (Public hearing held at November 19 meeting.) Property owners submitted a petition for annexation and the council voted to initiate the annexation review process at the 12/11/2017 meeting, vote #224. The entire annexation area is currently zoned Urban Residential Mixed Use (6-12 units/acre) in the county. This zoning designation is primarily a residential zone that encourages a mix of land uses and residential densities once public utility services are available. To encourage a mix of housing types, this URMX zone allows 25 percent of the total number of dwelling units to be duplex and multifamily dwellings within a residential subdivision. The comparable city zoning for the URMX zone is Residential Single (RS) with a medium density. Under the RS designation, the annexation area would be added to Area 28 of the Barkley neighborhood with a density of 7,200 square feet per dwelling unit. An option to increase the residential density to 3,600 square feet per dwelling unit would also be available using the cluster bonus provisions or through use of a Transfer of Development Rights or the city’s Purchase of Development Rights. AB22121 (Ordinance 2018-12-033) Approved 7-0
215. Adopt the 2019-2020 budget? (Public hearing held at November 5 meeting.) The budget has $187,096,935 in beginning reserves, $573,946,349 in revenues, $617,913,005 in expenditures and $143,130,279 in ending revenues. More information and details can be found at www.cob.org/gov/budget. AB22082 (Ordinance 2018-12-034) Approved 5-2, Daniel Hammill and April Barker opposed.
216. Revise and update the Bellingham Municipal Code? (Public hearing held at September 24 and November 19 meetings.) The proposed amendments to Title 13 include adding a new definition of “right-of-way” and the existing street improvement requirements to the current subdivision ordinance. AB22122 (Ordinance 2018-12-035) Approved 7-0
217. Establish new land division regulations? (Public hearing held at September 24 meeting.) The most significant change contained in this draft is how land subdivision time limits, phasing and vesting are treated. Further details can be found at https://www.cob.org/gov/council/abhistory/Pages/abitem.aspx?llid=26717 AB22069 (Ordinance 2018-12-036) Approved 7-0