Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at November 10, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
210. Authorize the executive to sign a $131,000 contract (amendment #1) to reimburse the Whatcom Family YMCA? The Whatcom Family YMCA operates 22 childcare sites within the county, providing all-day care and synchronized learning in partnership with county school districts for approximately 30 children at each site. At the 9/15/2020 meeting, vote #155, council voted to reimburse the organization in the amount of $295,221 for economic losses due to COVID-19. This amendment brings the total amended contract to $426,221. (AB2020-519) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
211. Authorize the executive to sign four contracts — totaling $418,010 — with local school districts? The contracts are with the: Mt. Baker ($94,325); Nooksack Valley ($82,755); Lynden ($146,025); and Blaine ($94,325) school districts and will reimburse them for expenses related to cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment. The contracts expire on 12/30/2020. (AB2020-499/505/506/507) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
212. Authorize the executive to sign five contracts — totaling $211,948—- with five cities to provide support for Operation Stonegarden border security activities? The contracts are with: Sumas ($60,000); Everson ($60,000); Blaine ($31,948); Lynden ($30,000) and Ferndale ($30,000). (AB2020-477/478/479/480/481). Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
213. Authorize the executive to sign a contract with Securus Technologies of Dallas, TX to provide inmate communication and services at the main jail and work center? The contract includes a provision for the county to earn a commission based on percentage of service charges; commission rates collected by the county would be: 30 percent during months 1-36, 47 percent during months 37-48; and 55 percent during months 49 and beyond. The contract expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2020-488) Approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Todd Donovan opposed.
214. Authorize the executive to sign a contract (amendment #2) with G6 Hospitality Properties, LLC? The council voted to lease the Motel 6 located at 3701 Byron Ave. in Bellingham for the purposes of providing Covid-19 related quarantine and isolation facilities, as well as emergency lodging for families and seniors experiencing homelessness. The amendment will extend the lease term through 2/28/2021, with the option to further extend through 5/30/2021, with increase of $10,000 in the monthly base rent, to $50,000 per month. (AB2020-521) Substitute approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
215. Adopt a salary schedule and policies for unrepresented Whatcom County employees? The schedule and policies cover county employees not represented by a union. It does not include County Council members and includes: a transition from self-insured medical and dental plans to plans operated by the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust; wage adjustments to deputies participating in duty staff rotations at the sheriff’s department; the permitting of sick or vacation leave donation to eligible colleagues. The schedule runs from 1/1/2021 to 12/31/2021. AB2020-503 (Resolution 2020-046) Approved 7-0
216. Transition Whatcom County government from paper to digital operations? It will support the development of a plan to reduce paper usage by county government by 90 percent of 2019 levels by 2023. This vote will have a positive impact on the environment by decreasing the amount of waste send to landfills and help reduce the amount of carbon generated. AB2020-526 (Resolution 2020-047) Approved 7-0
217. Distribute surplus computers and similar devices to the community? Whatcom County replaces an average of 200 still functioning desktop and laptop computers per year, at a cost of 25 cents per pound for disposal. This vote establishes a program to distribute surplus computers to community members in need of technology resources. AB2020-527 (Resolution 2020-048) Approved 7-0
218. Amend the Point Roberts Special District? The amendments address business operations in the commercial district and will: permit businesses to have up to two on-site storage containers; allow hotels, motels, and timeshare condominiums within the district; allow kenneling of up to six animals when associated with an animal grooming establishment; allow RV parks; repeal the 40-foot setback along Roosevelt Road; allow a 10-foot setback in the district; establish a maximum building height of 45 feet; and address standards for parking, utilities, and trash storage areas. AB2020-445 (Ordinance 2020-056) Adopted 7-0
219. Grant a non-exclusive 25-year franchise for the provision of sewer services to Gordon Montgomery and John Milobar? The franchise will grant access (26-lot plat) to county rights of way to install and maintain sewer lines from the city of Blaine to the Ridge at Semiahmoo. AB2020-310 (Ordinance 2020-057) Substitute adopted 7-0
220. Amend the Civic Center Improvement Fund project budget (request #1) in the amount of $4,350,000? At the 11/12/2013 meeting, vote #206, council established a $2.5 million project budget to renovate the Civic Center building. This amendment will fund additional improvements to the building, including: the replacement of the fire suppression and alarm systems; energy efficiency upgrades to the HVAC system; electrical system upgrades; the installation of energy efficient LED lighting; and accessibility upgrades to the main entrance and garden level conference room. The total amended contract amount is $6,850,000. AB2020-449 (Ordinance 2020-058) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
221. Amend the 2020 budget (request #20) in the amount of $4,476,128? Appropriated: $4,350,000 to fund safety, energy efficiency, and accessibility upgrades at the Civic Center building; $126,128 to fund planning and operations for the 2020 general election. AB2020-450 (Ordinance 2020-059) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
Action Taken at November 24, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
222. Authorize the executive to sign a $157,721 contract with Compass Health of Everett? The contract will provide reimbursement from federal grant funding for Covid-19 related operations and prevention expenditures. These include: the installation of touchless faucets and drinking fountains; purchase of personal protective equipment and other sanitation supplies; and updates to air filtration systems. The contract expires on 12/30/2020. (AB2020-530) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
223. Authorize the executive to sign a $51,543 contract (amendment #3) with Lighthouse Mission Ministries? The amendment will extend oversight and operation services at the Whatcom County Covid-19 temporary housing facility for two months. The facility is currently used to house community members in need of isolation in quarantine but who have no other option for shelter. The total amended contract is $347,443; it expires on 12/30/2020. (AB2020-531) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
224. Authorize the executive to sign a $238,650 contract with SeaMar Community Health Centers of Seattle? SeaMar currently operates the GRACE (Ground-level Response and Coordinated Engagement) program. The contract will provide operational support to the Lighthouse Mission Ministries for temporary housing facility, including: laundry exchange; meal and sundries delivery; and phone access. The contract expires on 12/30/2020. (AB2020-533) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
225. Authorize the executive to sign a $160,000 public health marketing contract with Sustainable Connections? The contract will support the development and implementation of a mixed-media campaign to promote the importance of local shopping to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19 on small businesses in Whatcom County. The contract expires on 12/30/2020. (AB2020-534) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
226. Authorize the executive to sign a $35,000 contract (amendment #1) with the Opportunity Council? The contract will provide ongoing reimbursement for Covid-19 related operations and prevention expenditures, including communications technology and equipment for remote work, personal protective equipment, and sanitation supplies. Funding for the contract comes from federal CARES Act dollars. The total amended contract is $308,500; it expires on 12/30/2020. (AB2020-537) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
227. Authorize the executive to sign a transfer option agreement with the Opportunity Council? The agreement will permit the transfer of county-owned property to the Opportunity Council, located at 100 North Forest Street (Forest Street Annex), at the corner of North Forest and Laurel streets. It will be re-developed to provide 60 permanently affordable homes for low-income seniors, as well as a childcare center. The contract expires on 12/31/2025. (AB2020-545) Substitute approved 7-0
228. Authorize the executive to sign contracts with two school districts – totaling $635,185 – for reimbursement of eligible Covid-related prevention and technology expenses? The contracts are with the Bellingham School District ($449,185) and the Ferndale School District ($186,000) and both expire on 12/30/2020. (AB2020-547/548) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
229. Authorize the executive to sign a $506,546 contract (amendment #3) with SeaMar Community Health Services of Seattle? The contract for $660,160 was originally approved at the 9/11/2018 meeting, vote #133. This amendment will renew the contract for the GRACE program facilitation services for one year. The program is intended to reduce overuse of emergency response, law enforcement, and other public resources by providing intensive care coordination services for individuals with complex needs. The total amended contract is $1,619,708; it expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2020-550) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
230. Adopt the 2021-2022 budget for the Point Roberts Transportation Benefit District? (Public hearing held – council acting as the governing body of the Point Roberts Transportation Benefit District.) The $40,000 budget will support the district’s plan to spend $20,000 each year of the biennium. AB2020-491 (Resolution 2020-049) Approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
231. Adopt the 2021 budget for the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District and subzones? (Public hearing held – council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The funds will be used for flood control and stormwater construction and improvements in the subzones, which include: Acme/Van Zandt; Lynden/Everson; Sumas/Nooksack/Everson; Birch Bay Watershed and Samish Watershed. Revenues for 2021 are projected at $9,221,401 and expenditures at $12,173,669. AB2020-493 (Resolution 2020-050) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
232. Authorize the board of supervisors of the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District to levy a 2021 property tax? (Public hearing held – council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The levy will be up to 50 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value upon real property, the same as 2020 except for new construction and improvements. AB2020-514 (Resolution 2020-051) Approved 7-0
233. Certify amounts of property taxes to be levied by Whatcom County taxing districts? State law requires the council to certify to the county assessor the amounts of taxes to be levied upon properties by each city, town, and taxing district in the county each year. AB2020-472 (Resolution 2020-052) Substitute approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
234. Order the cancellation of uncashed checks issued prior to 7/1/2019? Washington state law allows for the cancellation of checks unredeemed within one year of their issue. There are 166 uncashed checks (warrants) totaling $9,566. The uncashed checks were written to various businesses, groups, or individuals. Whatcom County has 135 uncashed checks totaling $6,059. The largest uncashed check is for $1,300. There are seven checks for $100 or more. The smallest check is for 27 cents. The other 16 cemetery, fire, park, rural library and water districts have 31 uncashed checks totaling $3,507. The largest uncashed check is for $458. There are 11 other checks for more than $100. The smallest check is for $10.00. The money will be held for one year and then transferred to the state of Washington as abandoned property, where it will be available to the payee indefinitely AB2020-529 (Resolution 2020-053) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
235. Affirm racism as a public health crisis? The resolution proposes actions to address systemic racism, including: implementing implicit bias and trauma-informed practice training for elected officials, county staff, and members of boards, commissions, and committees; assessing and revising county department policies, procedures, and ordinances to ensure racial equity and transparency; ensuring equitable hiring practices; promoting diversity in county boards and commissions; supporting community efforts to address racism and bias; and building and strengthening partnerships with community organizations addressing racism. AB2020-431 (Resolution 2020-054) Substitute approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
236. Adjust precinct boundary lines and precinct maps? (Public hearing held.) The city of Nooksack annexed voting precinct 147 requiring it be changed to voting precinct 702. The changes will be recorded in the book of election precinct maps, available at the council office or online at the county auditor’s homepage. AB2020-466 (Ordinance 2020-060) Adopted 7-0
237. Adopt the six-year (2021-2026) capital improvement program? (Public hearing held.) The program addresses county parks, trails, activity centers, maintenance and operations, general government buildings and sites, sheriff’s office, emergency management, adult corrections, juvenile detention, transportation, and stormwater facilities. The program requires updating every two years and was last updated in 2018. AB2020-447 (Ordinance 2020-061) Adopted 7-0
238. Adopt the 2021 Whatcom County unified fee schedule? (Public hearing held.) 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. AB2020-490 (Ordinance 2020-062) Substitute adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
239. Authorize the levy of 2021 taxes for county and state purposes? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2020 level except for new construction and improvements. AB2020-509 (Ordinance 2020-063) Adopted 6-1, Tyler Byrd abstained.
240. Authorize the levy of taxes in 2021 for countywide emergency medical purposes? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2020 level except for new construction and improvements. AB2020-510 (Ordinance 2020-064) Adopted 7-0
241. Limit the 2021 general fund tax levy? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2020 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2020-511 (Ordinance 2020-065) Adopted 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Todd Donovan, and Carol Frazey opposed.
242. Adopt the 2021 tax levy for the Conservation Futures Fund? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2020 level except for new construction and improvements. The levy is 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on real property. The funds can only be used to acquire land or development rights for conservation easements, with a small percentage used for maintenance. AB2020-512 (Ordinance 2020-066) Adopted 7-0
243. Authorize the 2021 levy of taxes in Whatcom County for road purposes? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2020 level except for new construction and improvements. For the 2021 budget year, $806,530 will be diverted from county road taxes and used for traffic enforcement. AB2020-513 (Ordinance 2020-067) Adopted 7-0
244. Adopt the Whatcom County 2021-2022 biennium budget? (Public hearing held.) The total appropriation for 2021 is $219,792,067 and for 2022 is $218,021,374. AB2020-504 (Ordinance 2020-068) Substitute adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
245. Continue the interim moratorium on the acceptance and processing of applications and permits for new or expanded facilities in the Cherry Point urban growth area? (Public hearing held.) The moratorium covers facilities including but not limited to piers, wharfs, buildings, tank farms, pipelines, rail loading and off-loading facilities, road spurs, or other infrastructure purposed on exporting unrefined fossil fuels, including stabilized or unstabilized crude oil, diluted or raw bitumen, syncrude, coal, methane, propane, butane, and liquid or gaseous natural gas. An emergency ordinance was adopted at the 8/9/2016 meeting, vote #147; the first interim moratorium was passed at the 9/27/2016 meeting, vote #173. This vote is the ninth time the interim moratorium has been renewed. Interim moratoria are required to be renewed every six months. AB2020-520 (Ordinance 2020-069) Adopted 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, and Kathy Kershner opposed.
246. Amend the 2020 budget (request #21) in the amount of $316,676? Appropriated: $290,324 to fund Covid-19 prevention measures at the health department, including contracting of temporary nursing staff and case investigators; $13,852 to fund customizations services for a medical outreach vehicle at the health department intended to provide safe injection resources in the county; and $12,500 to fund drug enforcement overtime wages at the sheriff’s department. AB2020-494 (Ordinance 2020-070) Adopted 7-0
247. Establish the Shallow Shore culvert relocation fund and $100,000 project-based budget? The project is listed as number one on the six-year water resources improvement program and will address flooding by relocating the existing outfall three hundred feet to the north. The estimated cost of the project is $350,000. AB2020-495 (Ordinance 2020-071) Adopted 7-0
248. Appropriate an additional $237,395 in expenditure authority (amendment #2) to the project-based budget for the public safety radio system fund? The fund will repair and replace failing communications equipment at Mount Constitution, Post Point and Lummi Island, Point Roberts and Blaine. At the 11/20/2018 meeting, vote #205, the council voted to establish a $396,802 project-based budget and approved (amendment #1) at the 5/21/2019 meeting, vote #118. The total amended project budget is $688,553. The estimated cost of a new system is $6,023,751. AB2020-496 (Ordinance 2020-072) Adopted 7-0