Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at May 5, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
70. Authorize the executive to accept two federal grants totaling $459,700 for county projects? One grant is for preliminary engineering, environmental permitting and right-of-way acquisition (federal funding: $360,000, county funding: $90,000, total funding: $450,000) for the Goshen Road/Anderson Creek Bridge replacement project. The bridge is considered structurally deficient and the total replacement cost is estimated at $5,074,950. The other grant is for the horizontal alignment advisory speed review project (federal funding: $99,700, county funding: $11,078, total funding: $110,778). Advisory speeds on curves thoughout Whatcom County have never been reviewed. The former expires on 2/28/2025 and the latter on 3/31/2024. (AB2020-141/143) Approved 7-0
71. Authorize the executive to sign a $288,778 contract with Sea Mar Community Health Centers of Seattle? The contract will provide oversight and administrative services for the Law Enforcement Assisted Division program implementation in Whatcom County. The LEAD program is a community-based diversion program intended to reduce justice system involvement by individuals experiencing behavioral health or substance use issues, and will operate as part of the GRACE program. The contract expires on 2/28/2021. (AB2020-144) Approved 7-0
72. Authorize the executive to accept two state grants totaling $467,361 for the Purchase of Development Rights program? At the 5/21/2019 meeting, vote #114, the council approved an application for state conservation grants. The contracts will secure matching funds for the acquisitions of 115 acres of the Kiera-Duffy forestry conservation easement (state funding: $117,361, county funding: $126,139, total funding: $245,000) and 160 acres of the Squalicum Forest conservation easement (state funding: $350,000, county funding: $398,000, total funding: $748,000). The program is used to preserve forest, farmland for farming, habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation purposes. The two grants expire on 5/31/2022. (AB2020-186/187) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
73. Authorize Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu as the authorized representative on behalf of Whatcom County for the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office grant application process? The county is applying for farmland and forestland preservation project grants on four Purchase of Development Rights’ program applications: Bishop, Rethlefsen, VanderWerff, and Moors. AB2020-185 (Resolution 2020-014) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
74. Authorize the Public Health Advisory Board to convene a task force on employer infection control and social distancing guidance? The task force will provide guidance to Whatcom County employers regarding workplace infection control measures. The resolution instructs the Public Health Advisory Board and Whatcom County Health Department to: prioritize guidance included in Governor Inslee’s Phase II plan; provide workplace safety information materials to member organizations of the Regional Economic Partnership; focus on workplace safety training for member organizations; release infection control and social distancing guidance materials for specific economic sectors, as available; and act with guidance from the best available information. AB2020-210 (Resolution 2020-015) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
75. Provide permit relief to food establishments? The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order issued by Governor Inslee has resulted in the loss of revenue, and affected businesses may be unable to pay for renewing the operating permit issued by the Whatcom County Health Department. This ordinance will extend permit expiration dates and fee deadlines by six months and allow late fee waivers by executive order. The timeframe is 3/1/2020 to 2/28/2021. AB2020-189 (Ordinance 2020-022) Adopted 7-0
Action Taken at May 19, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
76. Authorize the executive to amend a jail use agreement with the city of Blaine? Until 2019, when additional jail capacity was needed, the county sent inmates to the Yakima County jail. The amendment will update agreement language to remove Yakima County Jail and add the Kittitas County Jail as a carceral facility utilized by the county when it houses inmates sent by the cities. The cost for basic housing is $66.50 per day, and $133 per day for high-maintenance housing. The contract ends on 12/31/2021. (AB2020-203) Approved 7-0
77. Authorize the executive to sign a $191,548.00 contract with the U.S. Forest Service? Whatcom County has provided jail work crews to the Forestry Service since 2003. The federal government will reimburse the county for up to $191,548. This contract will provide: equipment purchases, rentals and repairs, supplies, work crew supervisor wages and insurance coverage, and other miscellaneous administrative and operational expenses for forestry projects. The five-year contract expires on 4/1/2025. (AB2020-212) Approved 7-0
78. Approve an application for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant? The grant will be administered by the Opportunity Council and will be used to support a housing rehabilitation program serving approximately thirty low- to moderate-income homeowners living in Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties and who cannot otherwise afford health and safety repairs. AB2020-216 (Resolution 2020-016) Approved 7-0
79. Establish a process for the development of a Covid-19 interim economic recovery plan? (Council acting as the Whatcom County Health Board.) The state of Washington has designated the Port of Bellingham as the associate development organization (ADO) for the county. The council will request that the Port of Bellingham act as the designated ADO for the purposes of: researching and developing an economic recovery plan for the county; reporting emerging relevant information impacting economic recovery to the Incident Command, the County Council, the county executive, the Port of Bellingham, mayors, tribal chairs, and the county Health Department. The ADO will assume responsibility for public messaging and communications and provide weekly economic development updates to the community. If technical resources and analysis are required, the associate development organization may request funds in an amount not to exceed $50,000. AB2020-218 (Resolution 2020-017) Substitute amended and approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
80. Amend the 2020 budget (request #12) in the amount of $77,641? Appropriate: $47,016 to repair winter 2018/2019 slide damage on two roads located in the Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve; $30,625 to develop plans, specifications and engineering estimate for the storm-damaged stairway at Point Whitehorn, which provides public access to saltwater shoreline and tidelands. AB2020-194 (Ordinance 2020-023) Adopted 7-0
81. Amend the 2020 budget (request #7) in the amount of $250,000? Emergency ordinances expire 60 days after they become law. The executive is requesting the council replace the expiring Covid-19 emergency ordinance adopted at the 3/10/2020 meeting, vote #47. Appropriate: $250,000 to fund additional hiring, contracted services, overtime labor, and office and other supplies required for preserving public health and safety during the Covid-19 emergency response. AB2020-195 (Ordinance 2020-024) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
82. Amend the 2020 budget (request #8) in the amount of $1,155,821? Emergency ordinances expire 60 days after they become law. The executive is requesting the council replace the expiring Covid-19 emergency ordinance adopted at the 3/24/2020 meeting, vote #57. Appropriate: $250,000 to fund operational costs and the purchase of supplies related to the emergency response to Covid-19; $905,821 to fund emergency housing for unsheltered persons requiring quarantine facilities. AB2020-196 (Ordinance 2020-025) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
83. Establish the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund and fund budget? Emergency ordinances expire 60 days after they become law. The executive is requesting the council replace the Covid-19 emergency ordinance adopted at the 4/3/2020 meeting, vote #61, establishing an initial budget of $1,750,000. Funds will provide supplies and contracts required for preserving public health and safety during the Covid-19 emergency response. AB2020-197 (Ordinance 2020-026) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
84. Amend the 2020 budget (request #10) in the amount of $3,000,000? Emergency ordinances expire 60 days after they become law. The executive is requesting the council replace the expiring Covid-19 emergency ordinance adopted by the council at the 4/7/2020 meeting, vote #65. Appropriated: $3,000,000 to fund operational costs and the purchase of supplies related to the emergency response to Covid-19. AB2020-198 (Ordinance 2020-027) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
85. Amend the 2020 budget (request #11) in the amount of $154,946? Emergency ordinances expire 60 days after they become law. The executive is requesting the council replace the expiring Covid-19 emergency ordinance adopted by the council at the 4/21/202 meeting, vote #68. Appropriate: $154,946 to fund one-time or short-term emergency rental assistance programs for low- to moderate-income county residents. The program is administered by the Opportunity Council and funded by a Community Development block grant AB2020-199 (Ordinance 2020-028) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
86. Authorize an interfund loan to finance cash flow for Covid-19 emergency response? Emergency ordinances expire 60 days after they become law. The executive is requesting the council replace the expiring Covid-19 emergency ordinances adopted at the 4/3/2020 meeting, vote #60 and the 4/7/2020, Vote #64. The $4 million loan will be transferred from the Public Utilities Improvement Fund to the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund. AB2020-200 (Ordinance 2020-029) Adopted 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, and Kathy Kershner opposed.