Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at January 13, 2020 Meeting

Shall the council:
1. Allocate $55,000 in undesignated funds for two public festivals? Council Member Pinky Vargas serves as the chair on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which is funding two events this year: the NW Tune-Up bike festival, and a music festival produced and managed by Artist Home. The 2019-2020 budget included $75,000 for a new signature event. The Tax Advisory Committee has decided to allocate $55,000 from “undesignated” to the “signature event” line item. The reserve remains at $200,000. (AB22537) Approved 6-0-1, Hollie Huthman abstained due to a potential conflict of interest.

2. Grant an easement to the Washington State Department of Transportation to replace a culvert on Chuckanut Drive? The state plans to replace the existing two-foot diameter concrete culvert under State Route 11/Chuckanut Drive at milepost 18.65 with a 12-foot diameter fish-passable culvert, A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2018 requires the state to protect salmon habitat by replacing approximately 415 culverts under state highways by 2030. This fish passage project will benefit Arroyo Park by reconnecting Hoag’s Creek and allowing fish species listed under the Endangered Species Act to return to the stream within the park. The culvert easement to be acquired is at the western edge of the parcel in a stream valley and is not visible from the trail. (AB22538) Approved 7-0

3. Appropriate $7,206,844 for payroll checks issued from November 16 through December 15, 2019? (AB22540/22541) Approved 7-0

4. Appropriate $11,380,926 for goods and services checks issued from December 7, 2019 through January 3, 2020? (AB22543/22544/22545/22546) Approved 7-0

5. Appropriate $100,000 to help alleviate an emergency shortage of childcare? The childcare provider Kids’ World ceased business on 12/31/2019. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County has expressed an intent to take over Kids’ World operations to ensure that the 532 licensed childcare slots Kids’ World currently provides will remain available to members of the community. Those slots represent 15 percent of all slots in the county and 61 percent are filled by children reliant on a full or partial state subsidy. However, they anticipate a $300,000 shortfall within the first 90 days of obtaining a license and taking over operation of the centers, and another $150,000 shortfall within the second 90 days of operation while they work to make it a revenue-neutral operation by 2021. This ordinance finds an emergency exists due to the shortfall of childcare slots that would result from the unmitigated closure of all Kids’ World childcare facilities, and adds appropriation authority for a $100,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Club sof Whatcom County to defray start-up costs related to taking over Kids’ World operations. AB22525 (Ordinance 2020-01-001) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at January 27, 2020 Meeting

Shall the council:
6. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $323,834 to Tiger Construction of Everson to modernize the elevator at the downtown library? The engineer’s estimate was $190,225. The lifespan of vertical transportation equipment is typically 25 to 30 years. The passenger elevator at the central library was installed in 1984, making is over 35 years old. It is experiencing frequent mechanical failures resulting in costly repairs and limiting public access to all three levels of the library. The city received three bids: the highest bid was $345,666. The lowest bid was 58 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate, in part because no elevator construction and repair companies submitted bids as a prime contractor, resulting in a general contractor’s markup on the work of utilizing an elevator construction company as a subcontractor. In addition, the subcontractors work was 25 percent higher than the consulting engineer’s estimate, likely due to a highly competitive and busy construction market. Additionally, and for the same market reason, minor mechanical and electrical subcontract work was bid at 50 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate. A rebid of the project was predicted to be unlikely to result in bids more favorable to the city, and there is no reasonable reduction available to the scope of work other than to reject all bids and fall back on continued, periodic repairs of aged and unreliable equipment. (AB22551) Approved 7-0

7. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $3,130,515 to Ram Construction of Bellingham for phase 1 of the West Horton Road extension? The engineer’s estimate was $3,915,168. The project includes construction of a new roadway from the existing terminus of West Horton Road to Aldrich Road including public and private utilities, vehicle lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks, lighting — as well — as sidewalks and roadway improvements on Aldrich to connect to the Cordata Elementary School The city received six bids: the highest bid as $4,420,770. (AB22552) Approved 7-0

8. Share resources with the Whatcom County Fire Agency Radio System for communications maintenance and repair services? The Fire Agency Radio System utilizes similar two-way radio equipment as the city of Bellingham. In an effort to increase security, efficiency, response times, and reduce the cost of hiring a third-party repair company to maintain Fire Agency communications equipment, the agency is seeking an agreement to utilize Bellingham’s in-house existing radio communications shop to perform these services. The city has similar agreements with other local fire districts, Whatcom County, and the Port of Bellingham that have been successful and remain in effect with no detrimental impacts to city fleet and communications operations. The city will provide installation services of mobile and fixed-base radio equipment and other emergency services-related equipment, such as emergency lights and sirens, which is purchased by the Fire Agency. (AB22559) Approved 7-0

9. Appropriate $3,980,218 for goods and services checks issued from January 4 through January 17, 2020? (AB22560/22561) Approved 7-0

10. Appropriate $3,763,950 for payroll checks issued from December 16 through December 31, 2019? (AB22562) Approved 7-0

11. Authorize the sale of surplus property on Byron Avenue? This parcel is in the Samish neighborhood, at the edge of the Samish Crest development. Undeveloped and surrounded by other undeveloped properties on three sides, the northern edge of this property fronts Byron Avenue. At the 10/22/2018 meeting, after a public hearing, the council voted to declare the parcel surplus to the city’s needs, but moved on 5/6/2019 to postpone selecting a method of disposition. On 10/9/2019, a Request for Proposal was issued for this property to affordable housing providers. It had no respondents, so will be disposed by negotiated sale on the private market with an anticipated value of approximately $180,000. AB22549 (Resolution 2020-01) Approved 7-0

12. Relinquish surplus property at 611 Texas Street for special disposition? At 10/22/2018 meeting, the council voted to declare this parcel surplus to the city’s needs, but voted on 5/6/2019 to postpone selecting a method of disposition for further discussion. A Request for Proposal to affordable housing providers for this property had one respondent — the Kulshan Community Land Trust has offered $0 for the property valued at $160,000 in exchange for constructing a single-family home, which will be permanently affordable for purchase by low-income households with a disabled child. The city will require a restrictive covenant, to ensure the long-term benefit to low-income households. AB22177 (Resolution 2020-02) Approved 7-0

13. Establish a mitigation bank? The city of Bellingham is actively developing a new mitigation bank for unavoidable wetland and stream impacts resulting from city projects and private development. The city’s goal in establishing a mitigation bank is to improve the success rate of mitigation projects, achieve regional restoration goals, address mitigation needs for public and private entities, reduce costs, coordinate efforts, and streamline process. The city has begun acquiring properties to use for its mitigation bank, and has already acquired three properties for future mitigation bank sites. The city has spent $2.6 million on property acquisition to-date. AB22553 (Resolution 2020-03) Approved 7-0

14. Increase green fees at the Lake Padden Golf Course? At the 12/11/2017 meeting, vote #225, the council amended the golf course budget. The city had entered into a management agreement with Premier Golf Centers for the operation and maintenance of Lake Padden Golf Course. Under the agreement, the city receives all revenues and pays a direct costs plus management fee to Premier. The budget amendment was necessary to reflect the change in revenue and expenses, it froze fees for one year, followed by a slight fee reduction at the 1/28/2019 meeting, vote #22, to keep the course competitive with other courses in the region. Premier is requesting up to a 3 percent cumulative annual fee increase for the remaining years of their agreement. The changes are warranted based on increased course operating costs, improved course conditions and pace of play. The new rate structure does not change the cost of annual passes which remain comparable to the market; however, a 3 percent annual increase for the grandfathered annual passes is needed. Premier is estimating approximately $75,000 in additional revenue will be generated in 2020 from the proposed changes. AB22556 (Resolution 2020-04) Approved 7-0