Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

Action Taken at March 12, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
58. Authorize the executive to sign a $216,883 contract with the Whatcom Conservation District for the homeowner incentive program? At the 7/9/2013 meeting, vote #111, the council voted to partner with the city of Bellingham to reduce stormwater runoff and associated phosphorous pollution flowing into Lake Whatcom. Homeowners within the sub-basin are eligible to apply for $1,000 to $6,000 reimbursement for the installation of landscape features on their property to improve water quality, including impervious surface and lawn removal, infiltration trenches, native plantings, porous paving, and rain gardens. The Whatcom Conservation District is providing technical assistance to homeowners in basins 1 and 2 of the Lake Whatcom watershed. Whatcom County is contributing $100,000 and the city of Bellingham the remaining. This vote extends the Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program until 3/31/2020 when a new agreement is anticipated. (AB2019-140) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd absent.

59. Authorize the executive to sign a $140,000 joint-funding agreement with the city of Bellingham for the GRACE (Ground-Level Response and Coordinated Engagement) Program? The program seeks to reduce the high-frequency use of emergency health services by individuals who are experiencing behavioral and substance use disorders, criminal justice system contacts, and/or homelessness by providing them with coordinated health support. This agreement expires on 12/31/2020. AB2019-152 Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd absent.

60. Docketing comprehensive plan and development regulation amendments? Thirty-one amendments were proposed and 24 (1) were approved. AB2019-148 (Resolution 2019-015) Substitute amended and approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd absent.

61. Amend the 2019 budget (request #3) in the amount of $95,521? Appropriate: $95,521 to fund a program at the juvenile division of the Whatcom County Superior Court to recruit, train, and support CASA (court-appointed special advocate) volunteers working with children experiencing abuse and subject to dependency actions. AB2019-147 (Ordinance 2019-023) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd absent.

Action Taken at March 26, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
62. Authorize the executive to award the only bid of $400,000 to Reisner Distributors of Anacortes to provide fuel cards for Pacific Pride pump locations? Whatcom County vehicles can use Pacific Pride pump locations when they are unable to refuel at the central shop. This is a one-year contract with an option for two annual renewals, the three years expire on 3/31/2022. AB2019-165 Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

63. Authorize the executive to accept $805,000 in federal grant funds (amendment #1) for the guardrail safety program? The construction funds will install guardrails at 25 sites with two-lane roads that do not currently have them. At the 1/30/2019 meeting, vote 8, the council authorized the executive to accept $94,500 in federal grant funds for engineering and environment permitting. The total estimated cost is $920,000 with $899,500 in federal funds and $20,500 in county funds. The total amended amount is $920,000. (AB2019-170) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

64. Authorize the executive to sign a contract up to $100,000 with The Watershed Company of Kirkland to assist with the periodic review of the Shoreline Master Program? Scope of work: project coordination and outreach; facilitation of a public participation plan; and legal and scientific review. The contract expires on 2/31/2020. AB2019-177 Approved 6-0, Terry Bornemann excused.

65. Support a funding application to the state of Washington for a Community Development Block Grant? (Public hearing held.) If awarded, the $129,122 grant will be administered by the Opportunity Council and shared between Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties in support of low-income individuals. In Whatcom County, the funds will be used to support services and activities provided at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center, including early childhood education, food resources, and energy assistance programs. AB2019-158 (Resolution 2019-016) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

66. Authorize the release of covenants on the property known as the Playground Tract, Bennett Hill supplemental? (Public hearing held.) Bellingham School District is constructing a new replacement school at Alderwood Elementary School. A 1995 covenant between the district and the county reserves a portion of the property for a playground to be used by the general public and includes spatial restrictions which would prevent the school replacement process. Release of the covenant will allow the district to proceed with construction of the new school, while still allowing a new playground in a different part of the property that will also remain available for public use during non-school hours. AB2019-159 (Resolution 2019-017) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

67. Support retention of the Alaska ferry service between Bellingham and various destinations in Alaska? Bellingham has been serving as the southern terminus of the route since 1989. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has proposed dramatically cutting the ferry service to balance the state budget. Declining oil production has projected a $1.6 billion deficit. The Alaska Marine Highway System has not not scheduled trips from October 2019 through June 2020. AB2019-191 (Resolution 2019-018) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

68. Support House Bill 1023 which will permit increases in bed capacity from six to eight residents in adult family homes? Adult family homes are licensed by the state Department of Social and Health Services to provide long term care options for unrelated adults, including: room, board, supervision, and assistance with daily living activities. There is currently a need for additional adult family home capacity in Whatcom County. AB2019-199 (Resolution 2019-019) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

69. Amend Whatcom County Code related to animal control, definitions, administration and enforcement? (Public hearing held.) This vote corrects errors in vote #52, passed at the 2/26/2019 meeting. Code language amendments include: identification of a designated entity responsible for administering and enforcing animal control code; update definitions of “humane societies;” and definition of “animal control officers.” AB2019-153 (Ordinance 2019-024) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

70. Increase the sheriff’s office petty cash fund? The sheriff’s office requires a petty cash fund to provide change when completing cash transactions. This increase will raise the current $60 fund, established in 1968, to $300. AB2019-150 (Ordinance 2019-025) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

71. Amend the 2019 budget (request #4) in the amount of $2,260,652? Appropriate: $114,985 to fund Project Now, a perinatal health program; $14,740 to fund traffic safety and drug task force officer overtime hours; $450,000 to fund painting and structural steel repair at the Lummi Island ferry terminal; $249,927 to fund the GRACE (Ground-Level Response and Coordinated Engagement) program; $85,000 to fund solid waste facilities improvements; $475,000 to fund solid waste collection at Point Roberts; $35,000 to fund 2019 tourism projects and $836,000 for heating and cooling and roof replacement at the Plantation shooting range. AB2019-160 (Ordinance 2019-026) Amended and adopted 4-2, Barbara Brenner (2) and Tyler Byrd opposed, Todd Donovan absent.

72. Repeal Ordinance 2019-017? At the 2/26/2019 meeting, vote #52, the council approved amendments to Whatcom County Code related to animal control. A clerical error occurred when the ordinance was published in the county agenda management system. Vote #69 corrects the error. AB2019-156 (Ordinance 2019-027) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

1. Proposed amendments docketed
2019-00002:Mineral resource lands expansion – Breckenridge Rd;
2019-00004: Lummi Island ferry program;
2019-00005: Density credit program and associated zoning code;
2019-00006: Whatcom County Code amendments;
2019-00007: Point Roberts subarea plans and special district;
2019-00010: Surface mining pipeline buffer;
2019-00011: Surface Mining of dry meander zones;

From past years
2018-00002: Density credit program;
2018-00003: Repeal Cherry Point-Ferndale subarea plan;
2018-00005: Critical Area Ordinanace on-going agriculture;
2018-00008: Wind energy system amendments;
2018-00009: Cherry Point amendments;
2018-00010: Sustainable salmon harvest goal;
2017-00004: Mineral resource lands countywide designation;
2016-00006: Wireless communications facilities;
2016-00009: Sign regulations update;
2016-00011: Vacation rental regulations;
2015-00003: Code enforcement amendments;
2014-00001: Boundary line adjustments;
2014-00016: Weddings and special events;
2014-00020: Vacation rental regulations;
2013-00003: Bellingham development standards;
2012-00007: Agricultural strategic plan implementation;
2012-00009: Mineral resource lands expansion – North Star Road

2. From Barbara Brenner:
I opposed spending $85,000 because I do not support the solid waste collection program set up for Pt. Roberts. We are supposed to prioritize “reduce, reuse, recycle.” This program does the opposite. It charges for two large solid waste containers monthly, even though many residents don’t live there full time and many households are not very big. So either lots of people are being charged for waste they do not create, or by this program they are encouraged to create more waste. We need a program that gives people more incentives to reduce their waste. Also, the administration claimed we needed to pay part of this amount for building a new office for the private contractor. I wanted to see where in the contract we needed to pay for that. The administration said they would send me the information. I moved to pull this item until I had that documentation. My motion to pull this item didn’t get a council majority vote.