Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at March 9, 2021 Meeting
Shall the council:
62. Authorize the executive to sign a $210,600 contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) High flows on the Nooksack River in 2017 resulted in damage to 650 total feet of levee at two sites in the vicinity of the Lynden Wastewater Treatment Facility. The project will remove and replace culverts and floodgates that provide protection to 20 residences and several farms. The flood control district’s share of the project will be 20 percent. The total cost will be $1,053,000. (AB2021-139) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd absent.
63. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the city of Bellingham for the formation of a Tourism Promotion Area (TPA)? Due to the impacts of Covid-19 on tourism, Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism is forecasting a 50-75 percent reduction in lodging tax funding in 2021 and is considering alternate funding sources. Washington state legislation permits the creation of a TPA that allows local legislative authorities to collect an additional charge of up to $3 per night per room to the cost of lodging in the designated area. Revenue from the charges must be used to promote an increase in tourism within the area; tourism is defined as persons traveling for business or leisure from more than 50 miles away, or from Canada. The $3 charge will expire on 7/1/2027. AB2021-136 (Resolution 2021-008) Approved 5-1, Joe Elenbaas opposed, Tyler Byrd absent.
64. Authorize the executive to sign a quit claim deed/partial release of easement rights to the city of Bellingham? The county owns a drainage easement located off of Northwest Drive that encumbers a city property that it proposes to use as part of a wetland mitigation bank. Public Works has determined that the property is no longer needed and supports the release of easement. AB2021-141 (Resolution 2021-009) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd absent.
65. Authorize the installation of temporary stop signs on Marshall Hill Road? (Public hearing held.) Severe winter weather caused a slope failure from 940 feet to 1,140 feet east of Cronk Road. The stop signs will be installed for a single-lane configuration and removed when repairs are completed. AB2021-115 (Ordinance 2021-009) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd absent.
Action Taken at March 23, 2021 Meeting
Shall the council:
66. Authorize the executive to sign a $296,995 contract (amendment #1) with Fire Protection District #7? The original contract for $407,130 was approved by the council at the 8/7/2019 meeting, vote #171 — it provided cost reimbursement for one paramedic that will provide mobile integrated health services in coordination with case management specialists, a community health specialist, a nurse practitioner, and administrative staff. This amendment will extend the agreement and add vehicle rental and durable equipment. The total amended contract is $704,125; it expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2021-157) Approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Kathy Kershner opposed.
67. Authorize the executive to sign a $92,875 contract (amendment #4) with SeaMar Community Health Center of Seattle? The original contract for $660,160 was approved at the 9/11/2018 meeting, vote #133. The amendment will add an additional GRACE program case manager. The GRACE program is intended to reduce the 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 $1,712,583; it expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-170) Approved 7-0
68. Authorize the executive to sign a $280,000 contract with the city of Bellingham? The contract establishes Whatcom County as the administrator of the Ground Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) program and provides mobile integrated health services in Whatcom County for the purposes of reducing overuse of emergency medical services. The county funds the program together with the city and PeaceHealth, it is operated by SeaMar Community Health Center. The contract expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2021-172) Approved 7-0
69. Confirm the executive’s appointment of Kathryn Ketteridge to the Marine Resources Committee? The Marine Resources Committee advises Whatcom County government on marine issues, including remedial actions. Kathryn Ketteridge holds a B.S. in civil engineering and Ph.D. in ocean engineering and is currently employed as a senior managing coastal engineer with Anchor QEA of Seattle. (AB2021-176) Approved 7-0
70. Confirm the executive’s appointment of Nichole Oleson and Austin Hengy to the Food System Committee? At the 11/7/2018 meeting, vote #176, the council created the Food System Committee to draft, implement, and provide oversight for a countywide plan to “strengthen the local food system and take steps to improve conditions for a healthy, resilient, and prosperous regional food economy” by further developing production and distribution systems. Nichole Oleson holds a B.S. in pre-physical therapy and currently serves as director of operations for nonprofit food verification program at the Non-GMO Project in Bellingham. Austin Hengy works a local chef and farmer. (AB2021-177) Approved 7-0
71. Authorize the executive to sign a $111,000 contract with Mt. Constitution Sites, Inc. of Bellingham? The Whatcom Integrated Public Safety Radio Network is used by all first responder agencies in the county and relies on leased communication sites to provide countywide emergency response. The contract will provide tower access at the Mt. Constitution communications site in San Juan County. The rent for 2021 is $22,200 with annual adjustments; the contract expires on 12/31/2025, with provision for three additional five-year renewals. (AB2021-183) Approved 7-0
72. Set a public hearing at the April 6 meeting for the sale of county tax title property surplus to be sold at public auction? The Kel Bay parcel shall be sold to the highest bidder for no less than foreclosure, interest, penalty, and tax costs of $1,878. AB2021-127 (Resolution 2021-010) Approved 7-0
73. Apply for a federal grant to fund the Lummi Island ferry modernization and preservation project? At the 7/24/2018 meeting, vote #118, council adopted a new action plan for Lummi Island ferry service levels, including the design and construction of a hybrid 34-car replacement ferry, as well as terminal facility upgrades. Together with a $1 fare surcharge, the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant is a key source of funding for the project. AB2021-178 (Resolution 2021-011) Approved 7-0
74. Amend the Whatcom County code relating to electoral precincts? (Public hearing held.) State law requires the county legislative authority of each county in the state to divide the county into election precincts and establish the boundaries of the precincts. Precincts in which the population exceeds 1,500 active registered voters need boundary line adjustments. This vote will make adjustments in the “Book of Election Precinct Maps.” Precincts 177, 182, 201, 202, 208, 213, 225, 227, 245, 253, 302, 305, 603, and 604 will be affected. AB2021-134 (Ordinance 2021-010) Adopted 7-0
75. Authorize the temporary installation of stop signs on Noon Road? (Public hearing held.) East Hemmi Road is flooded for several months each year and Public Works plans to raise the roadway and install a culvert. Construction is expected to start in the summer of 2021. Stop signs will be installed on Noon Road at Ten Mile and East Hemmi roads until the project is completed. AB2021-135 (Ordinance 2021-011) Adopted 7-0
76. Establish a fare capital surcharge for the Lummi Island ferry system? (Public hearing held.) At the 7/24/2018 meeting, vote #118, the council adopted an action plan for Lummi Island ferry service levels, including the design and construction of a hybrid 34-car replacement ferry vessel, as well as terminal facility upgrades. To fund projects in the action plan, a surcharge of $1 would be applied to all fares, except: special needs-based fares; special senior/disabled fares, and student multiuse cards. AB2021-147 (Ordinance 2021-012) Adopted 7-0
77. Authorize an additional sales and use tax of one-tenth of one percent for housing and related services? (Public hearing held.) State law permits county and city governments to impose additional taxes without voter approval to fund the construction and operation of affordable housing and behavioral/mental health treatment facilities. AB2021-164 (Ordinance 2021-013) Adopted 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas and Kathy Kershner opposed.
78. Amend the Academy Road Stormwater Improvements Fund project budget (request #2) in the amount of $86,835? At the 11/25/2015 meeting, vote #231, the council voted to establish the $1,109,000 fund and project-based budget. The project was intended to treat runoff from about 80 acres, and included a prefilter treatment unit, a media filtration system, a high-flow bypass, and a lakefront vegetation buffer. The project has not performed to original design expectations, and the amendment will add funding to evaluate and improve system performance. The total amended project budget is $1,290,835. AB2021-145 (Ordinance 2021-014) Adopted 7-0
79. Amend the 2021 budget (request #4) in the amount of $3,397,903? Appropriated: $14,532 to add funding for the What-Comm 911 operations grant program; $1,222,459 to fund a microenterprise and housing rehabilitation program operated by the Opportunity Council; $93,942 to fund the 2018 Operation Stonegarden border security operations by the sheriff’s department; $9,240 to fund traffic safety equipment used by the sheriff’s department; $33,324 to fund review and evaluation of the Buildable Lands program by Planning & Development Services; $425,000 to fund coronavirus response and vaccination programs at the Health Department; $32,945 to fund Center for Tech and Civic Life program activities at parks; $168,000 to fund Birch Bay Beach Park frontage and site improvements; $220,000 to fund Purchase of Development Rights support services and the Martin conservation easement acquisition; $63,165 to fund further work on the Academy Road stormwater project; $1,070,296 to fund replacement of the roof and HVAC system at the Plantation Rifle Range; $45,000 to fund additional design work for the Northwest Annex redevelopment project. AB2021-146 (Ordinance 2021-016) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
80. Amend Whatcom County code related to the purchasing system? This amendment will include language requiring nondiscrimination by county contractors in order to provide equal employment opportunity for all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation (including gender identity), age, marital status, disability, or veteran status. AB2021-148 (Ordinance 2021-016) Adopted 7-0