Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at December 4, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
206. Appoint Heather Christianson to the Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committee? The committee advises the County Council on proposed actions and operations relating to the restoration of water quality in Drayton Harbor. Heather Christianson grew up and currently lives in Blaine. She has a BA in cultural anthropology and has been employed since 2014 as a program support supervisor at Western Washington University. She is currently a member of the Whatcom Conservation District board of supervisors. (AB2018-333) Approved 7-0
207. Authorize the executive to sign a $55,000 agreement with the Whatcom Conservation District to provide technical assistance for non-dairy agricultural operators? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The Whatcom Conservation District will provide technical assistance for non-dairy agricultural operators to protect and improve water quality. It will enhance and support elements of Whatcom County’s pollution identification and correction program. (AB2018-355) Approved 7-0
208. Authorize the executive to sign a $290,000 contract with Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism? The contract will support tourism-related marketing operations. It expires on 12/31/2019. (AB2018-356) Approved 7-0
209. Authorize the executive to sign a $100,000 contract with the Mount Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce? The contract will support the Mount Baker Foothills Visitor Center operations. It expires on 12/31/2019. (AB2018-358) Approved 7-0
210. Authorize the executive to sign a $276,000 two-year contract with the Bellingham Food Bank? The contract will support the sourcing, storing, and distribution of healthy, nutrient-rich food and other essentials to low-income families. Each year, $80,000 of the total will go the Bulk Buy Food Purchase network for nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and chicken. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2018-359) Approved 7-0
211. Authorize the executive to sign a $100,000 two-year contract (amendment #1) with the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center? At the 5/16/2017 meeting, vote #91, the council voted to enter into a contract to provide administration of the family law mediation program. The program provides case management, fee subsidies for low-income participants, and parenting seminars with language interpretation services. The total amended contract is $200,000 and it expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2018-360) Approved 7-0
212. Authorize the executive to sign a $3,149,851 agreement (amendment #1) with the state of Washington for the West Badger Road/Bertrand Creek Bridge replacement project? The county has been awarded a federal grant of $1,430,008 for the project. The local share is estimated at $1,938,681 for a total estimated cost of $3,368,689. The agreement expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2018-363) Approved 7-0
213. Authorize the executive to sign an $82,685 contract with Tetra Tech of Seattle to develop a Lake Whatcom Subwatershed Master Plan for portions of the East Geneva neighborhood? Some of the primary tasks include: inventory of the existing stormwater system, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of flows within the system, identification and evaluation of system constraints and needed capital improvement projects, and dissemination of information through general public meetings. (AB2018-364) Approved 7-0
214. Authorize the executive to sign a two-year $120,000 contract with the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services and the Domestic Violence Commission of Bellingham? The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services will provide administrative support and space for the Domestic Violence Commission staff and members. The contract will support the Bellingham-Whatcom County Commission Against Domestic Violence by providing education, trainings, and public outreach to help prevent domestic violence, it expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2018-368) Approved 7-0
215. Authorize the executive to sign a $1,463,368 agreement (amendment #1) with the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham to fund the Small Business Development Center? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #232, the council authorized the executive to sign a three-year $423,500 contract to fund the Development Center at Western Washington University. This three-year amount is for $478,777 (2019); $487,700 (2020) and $496,894 (2021) for a total amended amount of $1,886,868. The three-year grand total for the three entities is $3,805,201. The agreement expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2018-369) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
216. Authorize the executive to sign a $78,500 contract with Community Attributes of Seattle for professional services related to a new buildable lands program? The Washington State Legislature approved a bill establishing new land-use planning requirements and the Legislature allocated $225,000 to the county for staff time, expenses, and consultant work. The program will include developing countywide planning policies, data collection, research, and developing methods to conduct the buildable lands evaluation. The contract expires on 6/30/2019. (AB2018-370) Approved 7-0
217. Authorize the executive to sign a two-year $120,000 contract with the Northwest Regional Council of Bellingham? The contract will support Meals on Wheels services for eligible Whatcom County residents in need, including client assessment by a registered dietitian and individualized daily food deliveries. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2018-371) Approved 7-0
218. Authorize the executive to accept a $196,141 state grant for two attorneys at the Whatcom County Public Defender’s office? The total cost of two attorney positions comes to $247,178, requiring the county to provide $51,037 in local funding. The grant is based on the amount of felony filings in the previous year and therefore fluctuates from year to year. (AB2018-372) Approved 7-0
219. Authorize the executive to sign a five-year $186,360 contract with Wave Business Solutions of Kirkland to provide fiber optic connectivity from the Courthouse to five county buildings? The five buildings are the Forest Street Annex, parks headquarters, sheriff’s work center on Division Street, sheriff’s substation on West Laurel Road and sheriff’s DTF on Barkley Boulevard. The annual cost is $37,272, with automatic renewal unless vacated by either party. (AB2018-373) Approved 7-0
220. Authorize the executive to sign a three-year $1,124,760 contract (amendment #2) with Stericycle Environmental Solutions of Houston, Texas, for the disposal of toxics? At the 1/12/2016 meeting, vote #10, council entered into a $1,081,500 contract (amendment #1) to operate the moderate-risk waste facility for toxic material disposal, maintain three used motor oil and antifreeze disposal stations, and one to two off-site collection events per year. The amendment includes a 4 percent cost increase. The amended amount of the contract is $3,256,260. It expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2018-374) Approved 7-0
221. Authorize the executive to sign a six-month $34,000 contract (amendment #4) with the Communities in Schools of Bellingham to provide support services to students facing various challenges to their basic education? At the 5/31/2016 meeting, vote #88, the council approved (amendment #1) to provide behavioral health services, including support for mental health and substance abuse issues. This amendment expands the program to the Blaine School District. The total contract amended amount is $282,750 and it expires on 6/30/2019. (AB2018-375) Approved 7-0
222. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $285,635 with Sun Community Services of Bellingham to operate Sun House? Sun House is an emergency shelter for residents with mental illness who may be homeless, including after leaving jail and/or mental health institutions. The median length of stay for clients will be less than 90 days. The contract expires on 12/31/2019. (AB2018-376) Approved 7-0
223. Confirm the executive’s appointment of Tara Satushek to the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee? Ms. Satushek has been employed as a professional land-use and transportation planner with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community since 2007. She is a Bellingham resident and holds a BA from Western Washington University. (AB2018-378) Approved 7-0
224. Authorize the executive to allocate $310,175 for tourism-related facilities and activities? Twenty-six applications for Convention Center funds were received and 22 were approved. Approved applications above $9,000: Bellingham Festival of Music ($10,000); Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce ($25,000); Bellingham SeaFeast ($10,000); Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce/VIC ($100,000); Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival ($15,000); Point Robert’s Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center ($17,650); Sustainable Events/Whatcom Food and Farms ($34,800); Whatcom Events/Ski to Sea ($40,000); Whatcom Symphony Orchestra ($10,000) and Whatcom County Parks brochures ($11,500). AB2018-354 (Resolution 2018-048) Approved 7-0
225. Extend for 90 days a resolution approving the Glacier Water District comprehensive system plan? State law requires county councils to approve, conditionally approve, or reject comprehensive water system plans. The condition of approval for the comprehensive system plan is that water service shall be provided consistent with densities allowed in the Whatcom County Zoning Code Title 20. AB2018-307 (Resolution 2018-049) Approved 7-0
226. Send a letter to the federal government (Department of Homeland Security) supporting health benefits to everyone, regardless of legal immigration status? AB2018-312A (Resolution 2018-050) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
227. Amend the 2018 budget (request #15), in the amount of $314,598? Appropriate: $70,598 to fund overtime hours at the sheriff’s office; $50,000 to fund increased fuel costs at the sheriff’s office; $194,000 to provide psychiatric and other medications for inmates at the Whatcom County jail. AB2018-347 (Ordinance 2018-075) Adopted 7-0
228. Adopt the 2019 Unified Fee Schedule? 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. AB2018-332 (Ordinance 2018-076) Adopted 5-2, Barbara Brenner1 and Tyler Byrd opposed.
1. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed the Unified Fee Schedule because many proposed fee increases did not provide adequate information as to why the increase was justified. Specifically, many increases simply stated “increased staff costs.” However, none said why or for what were increased staff costs. Additionally I proposed places where departments could be consolidated without affecting front-line staff and that would reduce duplication of services. When this first came to the council I complained that we did not receive adequate information. The council held it for more information as to why many increases were justified. I even wrote to the executive in between the meetings that, in the past we had always received more specifics regarding cost increases. Yet when we received it at this meeting it was the exact same information, not any more specifics.