Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer

Presentation at August 19 Meeting
Representatives from Governor Jay Inslee’s office presented the Governor’s Smart Project Award — now in its 14th year — to Mayor Linville, the City Council and public works director for the rapid implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan. The plan was approved at the 10/13/2014 meeting, vote #207; it has created more city-wide bicycle connectivity than any other city of a similar size in Washington. In the five years since adoption, Bellingham public works has funded and completed over 111 of the 215 individual prioritized bicycle infrastructure projects at an estimated cost of $30 million. (AB22377)

Action Taken at August 19, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
133. Ratify the three-year collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, Local 114? The following general terms apply to the 2018–2020 Bellingham Police Guild agreement: wages will increase by 3.25 percent in base rate of pay (retroactive to 1/1/2018), by 3.0 percent in base rate (retroactive to 1/1/2019), and by 2.75 percent effective 1/1/2020, with additional 1.0 percent deferred compensation retroactive 1/1/2018. Health Insurance premiums will be status quo with premium structure and plan offerings, with an increase in dental and vision to match IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters), Local 106 premiums. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

134. Authorize the city attorney’s office to hire Ketia Wick for the purpose of providing legal representation for the city’s employees named in the Ginn vs. City of Bellingham lawsuit? When the body of Bradley Ginn, Sr. was waiting at a fire station to be transported to a funeral home, 11 Bellingham Fire Department employees admitted to attempting to intubate the man in contradiction of a “do not resuscitate” order. The wife of Bradley Ginn, Sr. has filed a lawsuit against the city with claims of civil rights violations. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

135. Approve the mayor’s appointment of John Peppel to his first term on the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? The board consists of up to 11 members appointed by the mayor for three-year terms: a member may be reappointed. It advises the city on the purchase, management, maintenance and use of properties within the Lake Whatcom watershed. John Peppel is a returning resident who currently lives in Edgemoor, formerly senior vice president of Cargill Animal Nutrition and served for many years on the Global Agri-business Alliance. His term expires on 8/19/2022. (AB22379) Approved 7-0

136. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Seth O’Harra to a partial term on the Greenway Advisory Committee? The advisory committee consists of up to nine members appointed by the mayor for three-year terms, with a two-term limit. The committee provides recommendations to the City Council and the Parks and Recreation Department about Greenway levy expenditures for the acquisition of parks/trails/open space development projects. Seth O’Harra is a front-end web-developer with a four-year degree from the Art Institute of Seattle. He lives on the South Hill. His term expires on 6/1/2020. (AB22380) Approved 7-0

137. The mayor’s reappointed Courtney Lange to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The advisory board consists of 11 members, 10 are appointed by the mayor and one is recommended by the Bellingham school district superintendent. Members serve three-year terms with a two-term limit. The board provides recommendations on plans and programs designed to enable the Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain and improve city parks and provide recreation programs for the general welfare of the people of the city. Advises the City Council, Mayor, Department of Parks and Recreation Director, and other city departments. A major objective is to develop public interest in the Parks and Recreation Department’s activities and to solicit, to the fullest extent possible, participation of community groups, the general public, and public and private agencies. Her final term expires on 8/9/2022. (AB22383) This appointment does not require council approval.

138. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $728,118 to Strider Construction of Bellingham for Cordata/Stuart/Horton safety improvements? The engineer’s estimate was $855,460. The project involves re-striping Cordata Parkway from Kellogg to Kline, Stuart Road from Cordata to Kellogg, and Horton Road from Meridian to the west end, adding buffered bicycle lanes and vertical delineators on Cordata and center turn lanes on Stuart and Horton. Also included is a roundabout at the Horton/Cordata intersection and two pedestrian- activated crossing signals for Cordata Park. The city received three bids: the high bid was $873,231. (AB22374) Approved 7-0

139. Grant a noise variance to Colacurcio Brothers Construction for paving? Construction work in residentially zoned areas between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. requires a noise variance. The noise variance is requested to allow night work on Aldrich Road and Northwest Avenue between the dates of 8/20 and 8/27/2019. The project encompasses Northwest Drive from West Bakerview Road to just north of Garland Lane and Aldrich Road from Northwest Drive to just north of the Cordata Elementary access road. The bid was awarded at the 7/15/2019 meeting, vote #123. (AB22360) Approved 7-0

140. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County to provide a second community paramedic position? This agreement provides for a second position in the fire department. Community paramedics connect individuals who frequently use 9-1-1 services for non-emergency medical needs with more appropriate services. This position is supported and funded by the current Whatcom County Emergency Medical Services levy and the established budget and planned expenditures of $321,055 over the biennium. (AB22385) Approved 7-0

141. Authorize the mayor to update and modify the contract with the 2019 What-Comm agreement? On 6/27/2019, the What-Comm Administrative Board met and unanimously voted to approve several changes to the current What-Comm Communications Center agreement. Some of these changes include extension of the agreement through 2020, the establishment of an operations board, clarifying language concerning the use of 9-1-1 eligible tax dollars, and redefining the fire-services-user-fees formula. This new interlocal agreement requires approval from both the city of Bellingham and Whatcom County councils. (AB22387) Approved 7-0

142. Appropriate $3,563,462 for payroll checks issued from July 1 through July 15, 2019? (AB22388) Approved 7-0

143. Appropriate $12,449,500 for goods and services checks issued from July 06, 2019 through August 09, 2019? (AB22389/22390/22391/22392/22393) Approved 7-0

144. Authorize the mayor to renew an agreement with the state of Washington for the Local Source Control Program Partnership? At the 3/31/2008 meeting, vote #83, the council initially approved a state grant to hire a source control specialist. This agreement funds city employees — not to exceed $174,570 — to provide education, outreach, and technical support to small businesses regarding proper practices to handle and dispose of hazardous and/or dangerous waste. This program aids business owners in maintaining compliance with federal, state and local laws and protects our stormwater, sewer, lands and waterways from contamination. The agreement runs from 7/1/2019 to 6/30/2021. (AB22394) Approved 7-0

145. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County for the Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program? The City Council initially approved an agreement with the county at the 6/17/2013 meeting, vote #117. The city and county collaboratively implemented the Homeowner Incentive Program under the umbrella of the Lake Whatcom Management Program with the goal of improving water quality in Lake Whatcom. The EPA approved the final Total Maximum Daily Load study for phosphorus and fecal coliform bacteria in April 2016, which requires the city and the county to develop a response strategy for the Lake Whatcom watershed located partially within the corporate limits of the city and partially within unincorporated areas of the county. At the 3/28/2011 meeting, vote #55, the city started receiving state grants for homeowner projects such as rain gardens; porous asphalt, concrete or paving stones; bioretention planter boxes; infiltration trenches; native plantings and lawn removal. The city conducted extensive research and program evaluation at the end of the pilot program. Findings from this effort were used to develop a revised program and were implemented in 2017 as a joint city-county program. This agreement creates the framework for the partnership and provides for funding for 2019 to 2020, by replacing the previous agreement with Whatcom County and clarifying program guidelines, requirements, and geographic areas. The city will contribute $350,000 and Whatcom County will contribute $100,000. (AB22395) Approved 7-0

146. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the state of Washington for two Washington Conservation Corps crews? The city will sponsor the crews from 10/7/2019 to 9/10/2020. The total cost for the two crews is $502,293: the city will reimburse the state $426,400. The cost to the city for 2018 was $404,250 and for 2017 was $387,334. The crews will perform riparian restoration work throughout the city of Bellingham and the Lake Whatcom Watershed. Specific tasks could include invasive control, native species installation, plant nursery care, scientific monitoring, and fence installation or repair. Among the special terms and conditions that apply will be that WCC resources (members, supervisors, tools and trucks) will not be utilized to clear active or abandoned homeless encampments or to clean up hazardous materials including hypodermic needles. If a significant amount of hazardous or unidentifiable material is discovered on a project site, activity will cease until the city mitigates potential hazards or finds an alternate project site. (AB22396) Approved 7-0

147. Relinquish a portion of a utility easement located within a vacated portion of 19th Street between Knox and Mill Avenue? (Public hearing held.) Bill Converse, the site’s current owner, has requested the partial relinquishment to develop the property located in vacated westerly 10 foot right-of-way of 19th Street between Knox Avenue and Mill Avenue abutting Lot 2 of Clifford and Betty Davis Short Plat. The easement area, located at 1816 Knox Avenue is surplus to the city’s needs and is not required for providing continued public utility services. Surplus utility easements are typically relinquished at no cost to the property owner. AB22378 (Resolution 2019-23) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at August 26, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
148. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $240,316 to Strider Construction of Bellingham for Cornwall Avenue repairs? The engineer’s estimate was $225,737. The Cornwall Avenue project involves relocation of an existing stormwater outfall that frequently gets blocked by sediment. The project will move the outfall approximately 300 feet west to deeper water. The city received two bids: the high bid was $280,973. (AB22399) Approved 7-0

149. Authorize the mayor to sign an updated agreement with the Bellingham School District for shared facilities? Under a 1989 agreement, the city and the Bellingham School District have mutually shared use of their facilities for athletics and recreation programs. The 1989 agreement is outdated, fees and associated costs have increased, priorities and programs have changed, new facilities have been developed, and some of the requirements in the agreement are no longer feasible. This agreement allows for reasonable priority use at a lower rate than other members of the community would pay, keeping these taxpayer-funded facilities affordable for city and school district programs. The Bellingham School District will pay the city an estimated $78,000 in facility use fees for the 2019-2020 school year, and the city will pay the school district an estimated $5,000 per year in facility use fees for recreation programs, for a net revenue to the city of approximately $73,000.The new agreement also requires approval by the Bellingham School District Board. (AB22407) Approved 7-0

150. Appropriate $1,680,683 for goods and services checks issued from August 10 through August 16, 2019? (AB22410) Approved 7-0

151. Appropriate $3,680,804 for payroll checks issued from July 16 through July 31, 2019? (AB22411) Approved 7-0

152. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for communications maintenance and repair services? The sheriff’s office utilizes similar two-way radio equipment as the city of Bellingham. In an effort to increase security, efficiency and response times, and reduce the cost of hiring a third-party repair company to maintain the sheriff’s office communications equipment, the county is seeking an agreement to utilize Bellingham’s in-house existing radio communications shop to perform these services. Equipment includes mobile, portable, and fixed-base radio equipment in use by the county. The city has a similar agreement in place with other local fire districts and the Port of Bellingham that have been successful and remain in effect with no detrimental impacts to city fleet and communications operations. (AB22412) Approved 7-0

153. Docket amendments to the 2019-2020 Bellingham Comprehensive Plan? (Public hearing held.) State law allows cities to amend their Comprehensive Plans once a year. The first step in the amendment process is to establish the list (or “docket”) of amendment proposals that will be reviewed in the upcoming year. The city received four requests to docket for (see #1 below) in 2019-2020. Request 2019-0003 was withdrawn by the property owner. On 6/20/2019, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on docking the proposals and recommended the City Council they add the requests to the list of Comprehensive Plan amendments for review in 2019-2020. AB22397 (Resolution 2019-24) Approved 7-0

154. Amend the 2019-2020 biennial budget in the amount of $321,055 to add one Medic One position? This funding and position authority provides implementation of the Whatcom County agreement for a second community paramedic. Community paramedics connect individuals who frequently use 9-1-1 services for non-emergency medical needs with more appropriate services. As part of that agreement, Whatcom County will use EMS program funds to compensate the city of Bellingham for the position and related expenses. AB22384 (Ordinance 2019-08-025) Approved 7-0

155. Permit temporary encampments in buildings located in public zoning districts and allow exemptions for very short-term adverse weather shelters? At the 10/22/2018 meeting, vote #170, the council adopted permanent regulations addressing building encampments, tent encampments, tiny house encampments and safe parking areas. Currently, the city can respond to an emergency by following the requirements of BMC Chapter 2.57. However, the intent and purpose of that process is to address community-wide impacts associated with a natural disaster. This proposed interim ordinance will allow for temporary encampments in buildings to be established in public zones as well as exempting very short-term (14 days or less) adverse weather shelters from a public review process, allowing quicker response times in adverse weather rather than declaring an emergency consistent with the requirements of city code. AB22408 (Emergency Ordinance 2019-08-026) Approved 7-0

1. Docketed Amendments
2019-0001: Amend the Compressive Plan to add new food access policies which, help preserve and improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas — along transit routes and the annexed area. 2019-0002: The second was from the Parks and Recreation Department on the Open Space plan, which must be adopted every six years to remain eligible for state grants. 2019-0004: Modify and clarify the York Neighborhood Plan by requiring the city to acquire lands as ownership changes along Whatcom Creek or obtain easements and to provide guidance for future multifamily zoning along Meador Avenue in Area 1.

Action Taken at September 9, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
156. The mayor announced two appointments to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board provides recommendations on plans and programs designed to enable the Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain and improve city parks and provide recreation programs for the general welfare of the people of the city. Neha Harle was appointed the student representative for a one-year term. A 16-year-old student at Sehome High School and a South Hill resident, she belongs to the Sehome High School environmental club and the Lake Padden kayak sprint team. The mayor appointed Michael Kutcher to a first term. A 23-year resident who lives in the Puget neighborhood, he has a B.S. in political science from the University of Maine and is a former military officer and worked as a large environmental engineer company responsible for water testing and wetlands impacts studies. The board consists of 11 members appointed by the mayor: membership is three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms. The term for Neha Harle will expire on 8/29/2020, at which time she may be reappointed. The term for Michael Kutcher expires on 8/30/2022, at which time he may be reappointed. (AB22417) These appoints do not require council confirmation.

157. Exempt 80 percent of the $5,410 Lighthouse Mission Ministries system development charges? Lighthouse Mission Ministries operates a day center and overnight shelter at 1013 W. Holly for community members experiencing homelessness. The facility currently has two single use (single toilet and sink) client bathrooms. The Lighthouse Mission restrooms are supplemented with three porta-potties located outside the facility. The mission is in the process of expanding the client restrooms to include three commercial restrooms that will add a total of four toilets, two urinals and three sinks. This expansion will allow them to remove the porta-potties, which will significantly improve sanitation, safety and security, while lessening sidewalk congestion. The work requires the water meter to increase in size, which equates to a cost of $6,763 in charges due to the city. The City Council may grant a water and sewer system development charge exemption of up to 80 percent to a low-income housing project. The total cost of the project is $30,000, which is being paid by the the mission. City staff are seeking an 80 percent reduction, in the amount of $5,410. If the property is converted to a use other in the future, the mission must pay the applicable system-development charges in effect at the time of any conversion. (AB22419) Approved 7-0

158. Appropriate $3,780,277 for payroll checks issued from August 1 through August 15, 2019? (AB22421) Approved 7-0

159. Appropriate $3,669,327 for goods and services checks issued from August 17 through August 30, 2019? (AB22422/22423) Approved 7-0

160. Authorize the mayor to award the only bid of $115,916 to Applied Ecology of Indialantic, Fla., for maintenance of the McCormick Creek headwaters mitigation site? The biologist’s estimate was $120,000. The McCormick Creek headwaters mitigation site requires regular maintenance to reduce noxious weeds and enhance native vegetation. At the 9/24/2018 meeting, vote #143, the council authorized the city to purchase the 159-acre McCormick Creek headwaters property as part of the city’s future mitigation bank. The purpose of this five-year project (2019-2024) is to preserve the property’s ecosystem function and facilitate the growth of recently installed native plants by reducing the presence of noxious weeds through regular maintenance. Regular maintenance also reduces long-term costs by avoiding expansion of weeds and the need for more intensive management actions. (AB22424) Approved 7-0

161. Pass the responsibility and administration of a sales and use tax for affordable and supportive housing under Substitute House Bill 1406 to Whatcom County? SHB 1406 authorizes the governing body of a city or county to impose a local sales and use tax for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing or facilities providing supportive housing, for the operations and maintenance costs of affordable or supportive housing, and for certain cities and counties providing rental assistance to tenants. The city and the county staff are currently working on a proposal under which the county will impose the maximum amount of the tax instead of the city, and the jurisdictions will work collaboratively to ensure the funds are administered in a manner that is consistent with the attached memorandum. Approximately $650 – $700K is anticipated to be raised countywide, which will then be administered by Whatcom County. AB22420 (Resolution 2019-25) Approved 7-0

162. Appropriate $137,000 over the next two years for the creation of an additional planner position? This position is needed due to the sustained high volume of permitting, and will add capacity to design review and land use projects. Salary and wages will be set at $84,000, with personnel benefits set at $53,000. This position will terminate on 12/31/2021. This will allow the Planning Department to adjust to lower demand levels if economic factors change. AB22405 (Ordinance 2019-09-027) Approved 7-0