Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at November 7, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
170. Fill two vacancies on the Climate Impact Advisory Committee? The eleven-member committee advises the council and executive on issues related to the prevention and mitigation of the impacts of climate change. There were four applicants. At least seven committee members will have professional or educational backgrounds in: climate science; renewable energy development; energy conservation; waste reduction and recycling; farming; food security; land use planning; municpal government; flood mitigation and planning. Ellyn Murphy earned a bachelors of science, masters of forest science, and a Ph.D. in hydrology, and was most recently employed as program manager and research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. John Yakawich earned bachelors of science in chemical and biological engineering from Montana State, and is currently employed as a process engineer at BP Cherry Point refinery. Both terms end on 1/31/2021. (AB2018-289) Appointed: Ellyn Murphy and John Yakawich.
171. Approve a salary schedule and policies for unrepresented Whatcom County employees? The schedule and policies cover county employees not represented by a union. It does not include county council members, and include: a 2.25 percent increase for 2019 at all salary levels; language referencing sick leave and leave sharing; and compensation allowances for prosecutors and public defenders who are assigned on-call overtime. The schedule runs from 1/1/2019 to 12/31/2019. AB2018-309 (Resolution 2018-040) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
172. Order the cancellation of 28 uncollectible accounts totaling $2,790 that are more than four years old? Four of the accounts consist of code enforcement fines totaling $2,320, a sign repair for $150 and 23 parking violations totaling $320. AB2018-310 (Resolution 2018-041) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
173. Order the cancellation of uncashed checks issued prior to 7/1/2017? Washington state law allows for the cancellation of checks unredeemed within one year of their issue. There are 175 uncashed checks (warrants) totaling $9,746. The uncashed checks were written to various businesses, groups, or individuals. Whatcom County has 150 uncashed checks totaling $4,686. The South Whatcom Fire Authority has one uncashed check for $3,000 and a total of $3,246. Fire District 1, 8, 11, 16, 17 and 18 have uncashed checks totaling $745.64. The money will be held for one year and then transferred to the state of Washington as abandoned property where it will be available to the payee indefinitely. AB2018-311 (Resolution 2018-042) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
174. Establish the Northshore Drive/Edgewater Lane Stormwater Improvements Fund and and and initial $220,000 project-based budget? This project will improve water quality in the Lake Whatcom watershed by substantially reducing the discharge of phosphorus and other pollutants into the lake. It will treat runoff from approximately 33 acres of land using filter vaults. Right-of-way scoping and preliminary engineering are expected to cost $170,000. The project is listed as item no. 2 on the six year water resources program. AB2018-300 (Ordinance 2018-056) Adopted 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
175. Establish the E. Smith/Hannegan Road Intersection Improvements Fund and a $860,000 project-based budget? The project will address traffic delays due to the lack of a left-turn lane through the installation of a double-lane roundabout. Preliminary engineering and right-of-way costs are expected to be $700,000. The project is listed as item no. 11 on the 2018 annual construction program. AB2018-301 (Ordinance 2018-057) Adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed.
176. Create a Whatcom County Food System Committee? The committee will have nine members appointed by the executive and confirmed by the council. Four members will represent farming, fishing, and food process; two will represent food consumption and nutrition/public health; and three will represent labor issues, natural resources, and the Whatcom Food Network. The term of office will be four years. The committee will draft, implement, and provide oversight for a county-wide plan to “strengthen the local food system and take steps to improve conditions for a healthy, resilient, and prosperous regional food economy” by further developing production and distribution systems. AB2018-302 (Ordinance 2018-058) Adopted 7-0
Action Taken at November 20, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
177. Fill one vacancy on the Whatcom County Planning Commission? The commission has nine members, duties include helping to prepare and execute the Comprehensive Plan and recommendations to the Planning and Development Department for the adoption of official controls and/or amendments. Stephen Jackson (an attorney for the Whatcom County Public Defender) and Nick Moss (a restaurant manager and chef) applied for the partial term expiring on 1/31/2021. The applicant must reside in Council District 1 or 2. (AB2018-306) Appointed: Stephen Jackson.
178. Send a letter to the federal government supporting continuation of providing benefits to everyone, regardless of legal immigration status? (AB2018-312) Approved 5-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed and Tyler Byrd out of the room.
179. Authorize the executive to sign a $18,700 contract (amendment #3) with Lydia Place? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote # 239, council approved a $162,210 contract with Lydia Place to provide case management and supportive services for individuals receiving rental subsidies through the Whatcom Homeless Service Center. This amendment continues the contract for the remainder of 2018, adding personnel expenses, for a total amended amount of $343,120, expiring on 12/31/2018. (AB2018-336) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
180. Authorize the executive to sign a $115,000 contract with Northwest Youth Services? The contract will provide funding for personnel to support facility operations of the positive adolescent development emergency shelter program for youth aged 13-17 who are experiencing homelessness. The contact expires on 12/31/2019. (AB2018-337) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
181. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $113,228 to Blythe Plumbing & Heatingof Bellingham for the Central Shop North End Exhaust System Upgrade Project? Three bids were received and one withdrew; the high bid was $120,327. (AB2018-338) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
182. Authorize the executive to accept a $1,950,000 state grant for the acute detox facility construction progect? Whatcom County’s acute detoxification project is a 16-bed facility located at the Triage Center in Bellingham. Architecture and engineering, construction, permits, fees, taxes, bonds, and insurance are estimated at $5,861,084. The expiration date is 6/30-2021. (2018-340) Approved 7-0
183. Renew the stop loss self-insured medical program with Sun Life Assurance Company for 2019? The anticipated annual premium is $725,677. The plan covers 103 employees and 285 family members for a total of 388. Number of members enrolled has dropped because correction deputies and the Northwest Regional Council have moved to other plans. (2018-342) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd out of the room.
184. Authorize executive to sign a contract not to exceed $475,000 with Cando Recycling & Disposal of Point Roberts? Whatcom County code mandates single-family residential curbside solid-waste collection in Point Roberts. Starting on 1/1/2019, single-family residences will no longer be exempt from mandatory curbside collection services. The contract will implement a fee for service that is included on Point Roberts property tax bills and remit the fees on a bi-monthly basis. The contract expires on 12/31/2019. (AB2018-344) Approved 5-2 with Barbara Brenner2 and Tyler Byrd opposed.
185. Send a letter to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission supporting Puget Sound Energy’s electric vehicle outreach and pilot project plan? (AB2018-348) Approved 7-0
186. Authorize the levy of taxes for the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District for 2019? (Public hearing held – council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) To fund essential flood control and storm water management services. There will be no increase in 2019. AB2018-315 (Resolution 2018-043) Approved 7-0
187. Adopt the 2019 budget for the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District and subzones? (Public hearing held – council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The funds will be used for flood control and storm water construction and improvements in the subzones, which include: Acme/Van Zandt; Lynden/Everson; Sumas/Nooksack/Everson; Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District; and Samish Watershed. The district budget for 2019 is $2,392,258 and the and subzones budget is $755,854. AB2018-316 (Resolution 2018-044) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
188. Adopt a 2019 budget for the Point Roberts transportation benefit district? (Public hearing held – council acting as the transportation benefit district board). A $30,000 budget will fund roadside maintenanace projects. AB2018-317 (Resolution 2018-045) Approved 7-0
189. Authorize Parks and Recreation Director Michael McFarlane to apply for a $200,00 state grant for South Fork Park? Whatcom County is seeking funding to construct a five mile multi-use trail at South Fork Park. The project is located near the town of Acme and the proposed trail will connect a new parking and trailhead facility to two historic homestead properties located to the south. The trail connection is needed to provide public access to existing park properties that are currently difficult to access due to deed restrictions, adjacent private properties, and Department of Natural Resources timber lands. The completed project will serve approximately 35,000 visitors per year based on current use and visitor counts. AB2018-334 (Resolution 2018-046) Approved 7-0
190. Approve five open space applications? The law gives property tax relief to open space designations and decreases conversion to non-rural use. If the property is removed from the open space designation it is subject to an additional tax equal to the difference between the tax paid on the current use value and tax would have been paid on that land had it not been classified as open space. The additional tax is payable for the last seven years, plus interest. Reclassify from open space farm and agriculture to open space land, Jacob and Natasha Little, 15.1 acres. Reclassify from open space farm and agriculture to open space land, Janette Hatch, 10 acres. From designated forestland to open space land, Frances Barbagallo and Robert Satushel, 40 acres. From designated forestland to open space land, Gail Baragar and Ramiro Cisneros, 34.47 acres. From open space land to farm and agricultural conservation land, Rodney and Carol DeJong, 39 acres. AB2018-313 (Resolution 2018-047) Substitute approved 7-0
191. Adopt the conservation futures fund tax levy for 2019? (Public hearing held.) The levy will be the same as 2018, 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on real property. The funds can only be used to acquire land or development rights for conservation easements, with a small percentage used for maintenance. AB2018-327 (Ordinance 2018-059) Adopted 7-0
192. Authorize the levy of 2019 property taxes for county road purposes? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2018 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2018-328 (Ordinance 2018-060) Adopted 6-1, Todd Donovan opposed.
193. Authorize the levy of taxes for countywide emergency medical purposes for 2019? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2018 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2018-329 (Ordinance 2018-061) Adopted 7-0
194. Limit the 2019 general fund property tax levy? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2018 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2018-330 (Ordinance 2018-062) Adopted 6-1, Todd Donovan opposed.
195. Authorize the levy of taxes for county and state purposes in Whatcom County for the year 2019? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2018 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2018-331 (Ordinance 2018-063) Adopted 7-0
196. Adopt the 2019-2020 Whatcom County budget? (Public hearing held.) Approve $231,998,850 in appropriations for 2019 and $213,782,552 in appropriations for 2020. AB2018-305A (Ordinance 2018-064) Substitute adopted 5-2, Barbara Brenner3 and Tyler Byrd opposed.
197. Adopt amendments to the Purchase of Development Rights program? The Purchase of Development Rights program is used to preserve farmland for farming, habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation purposes. In response to multiple applications for purchase of development rights on non-agricultural lands, The PDR Oversight Committee will amend the program guidelines in order to expand the capacity of the program to protect working forestland or other important ecosystems from development pressures. AB2018-235 (Ordinance 2018-065) Adopted 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
198. Amend the 2018 budget (request #14) in the amount of $5,501,518? Appropriate: $21,377 to fund the health department; $67,973 to fund opioid misuse prevention activities at the Mt. Baker School District; $249,927 to fund the GRACE program; $200,000 to fund increased housing case management for people experiencing behavioral health challenges; $3,000,000 to fund the new Triage Center; $8,469 to fund road improvement district #1 expenditures; $526 to fund road improvement district #7; $331,000 to fund expansion of the law library; $1,622,286 to fund health insurance claims. AB2018-318 (Ordinance 2018-066) Adopted 7-0
199. Establish the Law Library/Elections Remodel Fund and a $331,000 project-based budget? The project will fund the conversion of space within the law library to additional ballot processing space for auditor’s office staff. AB2018-319 (Ordinance 2018-067) Adopted 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
200. Appropriate $11,100,000 (amendment #2) for the Triage Center expansion project budget? At the 9/12/2017 meeting, vote # 168, the council voted to establish a project budget for the expansion of the center. The current capacity is 13 beds, eight for alcohol and drug detox and five for mental 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. This vote brings the total project budget to $12,400,000. AB2018-320 (Ordinance 2018-068) Adopted 7-0
201. Establish the North Lake Samish Road Bridge No. 107 Replacement Fund and a $770,000 project-based budget? The project will replace a 250-foot timber bridge that is structurally deficient. Right-of-way scoping and preliminary engineering are expected to cost $700,000 plus a 10 percent contingency fee. AB2018-321 (Ordinance 2018-069) Adopted 7-0
202. Establish the Marine Drive/Locust Ave. to Alderwood Ave. Reconstruction Fund and a $797,500 project-based budget? The project will reconstruct a ½ mile of roadway for safety, dainage, and improve bicycle and pedestrian travel and stormwater runoff. Right-of-way scoping and preliminary engineering are expected to cost $725,000 plus a 10 percent contingency fee. The project is listed as item no. R9 on the six year transportation improvement program. AB2018-322 (Ordinance 2018-070) Adopted 7-0
203. Appropriate $3,693,300 (amendment #1) for the Silver Lake Park improvement fund? At the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #228, the council approved $880,00 for the Silver Lake Park improvement fund. This vote approves $1,989,600 for 2019 and $1,703,700 for 2020. It includes: realignment of the entrance area; reconstruction of the dump station; widening of the main road; resurfacing of the group picnic area parking lot; drainage improvements; and the installation of a dry hydrant and mitigation area. The total amended budget is $4,573,300. AB2018-324 (Ordinance 2018-071) Adopted 7-0
204. Establish the Vactor Truck Storage Building Fund and a $440,000 project-based budget? The project will provide a heated storage space for the vactor truck to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. AB2018-325 (Ordinance 2018-072) Adopted 7-0
205. Establish the Public Safety Radio System Fund and a $396,802 project-based budget to replace the current public safety radio system? The current system is incompatible with regional partners, has gaps in coverage, and is unreliable. The estimated cost of a new system is $6,023,751. Phase 1 of the project will include the replacement of a failing repeater site on Mount Constitution. AB2018-326 (Ordinance 2018-073) Adopted 7-0
1. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed sending the letter because it was proposed before the council members received information from the Public Health Advisory Board who brought this issue before the council and it was fair to allow them to send us the information before we voted on a letter. Since then they sent us the information and I supported their letter of support.
2. From Barbara Brenner: I was opposed to the curbside collection contract because people will be charged for many more garbage cans per month whether they use them or not which will likely cause a decrease in reduce, reuse, and recycle.
3. From Barbra Brenner: I opposed the 2019-2020 budget because there were a number of unnecessary new positions and ways to reorganize existing departments to reduce upper management without reducing front line employees. The administration already told the council we are spending more and staffing costs the county the most. It could lead to financial problems in the next several years.