Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at April 6, 2021 Meeting
Shall the council:
81. Authorize the executive to sign a $253,034 contract (amendment #23) with Washington State University? The original contract — dated 9/22/1999 — was approved for mutual benefits and to jointly share costs for faculty positions and program support for WSU Extension, including: county director/human development programs; 4H; agricultural systems agent; water resources coordinator; community horticulture program; and strengthening families/prevention program. The total amended contract is $2,491,358; it expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-163) Approved 7-0
82. Authorize the executive to sign a $618,121 contract (amendment #3) with Opportunity Council to provide additional funding for rental assistance and emergency shelter in motels for 71 families with children? At the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #257, the council approved the original contract for $796,701 to provide services for the Whatcom Homeless Service Center, and added $100,000 in additional funding at the 2/23/2021 meeting, vote #56. The total amended contract is in the amount of $1,514,822; it expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2021-191) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
83. Authorize the executive to sign two contracts – totaling $815,153 – to provide funding for operations and other costs for the 2021 paramedic training program, as well as the attendance of four qualifying students? The contracts will fund two firefighter/EMTs from the North Whatcom Fire & Rescue ($236,000) and two firefighter/EMTs from the Bellingham Fire Department ($579,153, with program operations costs). The contracts expire on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-199/216) Approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
84. Deny an appeal to a road name change and address renumbering? Seven Point Roberts residents are appealing Marine Drive changes.Street numbers in the block are not in numerical order; 305 Marine Drive is between 307 Marine Drive and 313 Marine Drive. The road is not consistant with county code requiring a logical system of address numbering. The Public Works Department is recommending the private road be renamed and properties readdressed. (AB2021-204) Denied 0-7, Rud Browne, Barry Buchanan, Tyler Byrd, Todd Donovan, Ben Elenbaas, Carol Frazey and Kathy Kershner opposed.
85. Authorize the executive to sign a $68,692 contract (amendment #7) with Lydia Place for housing case management services in association with the Whatcom Homeless Service Center? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #239, the council voted to provide housing case management services for individuals and families receiving rental subsidies to improve housing stability and reduce homelessness in Whatcom County. This amendment will provide case management for 12 families with children, and motel stays for six/seven families. The total amended contract is $965,759; it expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2021-211) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
86. Authorize the executive to sign a $579,153 contract with the city of Bellingham for two eligible firefighters to participate in the Paramedic Training Program? The Bellingham Fire department operates the paramedic program; this appropriation reimburses the city of Bellingham for two students and program costs. (AB2021-216) Approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
87. Sell tax title property surplus by public auction? (Public hearing held.) A Kel Bay parcel shall be sold to the highest bidder for no less than foreclosure, interest, penalty, and tax costs of $1,878. AB2021-128 (Resolution 2021-012) Approved 7-0
88. Lease property on Emerson Road? (Public hearing held – council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District acquired the property in 2001 and has leased it for agricultural use since 2010. The former lease expired 5/31/2021 and the property will be leased again at the fair market rental value of $960 per year, plus a leasehold tax. AB2021-168 (Resolution 2021-013) Approved 7-0
89. Lease property on Dahlberg Road? (Public hearing held – council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District acquired the property in 2020. Historically it has been leased for agricultural use and the county will continue to lease it at the fair market rental value of 2,610 per year, plus a leasehold tax. AB2021-169 (Resolution 2021-014) Approved 7-0
90. Appoint Stephen Gockley to a full term on the Housing Authority of Whatcom County? Stephen Gockley is current serving on the Housing Authority. He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Craig Funston. He is retired and was an attorney for Evergreen Legal Services from 1988 to 1996 and the Northwest Justice Project from 1996 to 2016. AB2021-234 (Resolution 2020-015) Approved 7-0
91. Amend the Whatcom County Code on the exposure of the female bosom? (Public hearing held.) The code is amended to conform with state law allowing a mother to breastfeed in a public place, making it unfair to discriminate against a breastfeeding mother and for the county to provide a supportive environment for breastfeeding parents. AB2021-184 (Ordinance 2021-017) Approved 7-0
92. Impose an interim moratorium on the acceptance and processing of applications and permits for new or expanded outdoor recreational cannabis growing and/or processing facilities? (Public hearing held.) The current marijuana production, processing and retailing regulations were passed at the 3/31/2015 meeting, vote #52. This vote imposes a six-month moratorium on conversion of land or water and/or new building or structure permits in response to complaints from neighbors adjacent to grow operations and the increase in the number of permit applications for larger-scale grow operations. Interim moratoria are required to be renewed every six months. AB2021-190 (Ordinance 2021-018) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
93. Amend the 2021 budget (request #5) in the amount of $1,220,565? Appropriated: $863,821 to fund the 2021 paramedic training session open to qualifying firefighters and/or emergency medical technicians from local fire departments/districts; $300,000 to fund additional motel vouchers for families with children who have lost housing due to coronavirus-related impacts; $57,172 to fund the conversion of three custodial positions from private contract status to county employee status. AB2021-173 (Ordinance 2021-019) Adopted 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, Kathy Kershner opposed.
Action Taken at April 20, 2021 Meeting
Shall the council:
94. Authorize the executive to accept a $2,928,061 federal grant (amendment #20) for health services? Programs funded under the grant include: coronavirus emergency response (99 percent); marijuana use education and prevention and a survey/technical support for drinking water systems. The total amended amount is $15,145,319; the expiration date is 12/31/2021. (AB2021-223) Approved 7-0
95. Authorize the executive to sign a $125,000 contract (amendment #1) with the city of Bellingham to support the development and implementation of a U.S. Geological Survey coastal storm modeling system? At the 9/10/2019 meeting, vote #186, council approved the original contract. The COSMOS system will be used to predict coastal flooding, erosion, and bluff failures related to storm events across the Whatcom County shoreline. The amendment will adjust the date and other scheduling details to address coronavirus-related project delays. The contract expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-225) Approved 7-0
96. Authorize the executive to accept a $2,509,695 federal grant for the Marine Drive Reconstruction and Bicycle/Pedestrian Improvement Project? The grant requires a county match of $391,687 for a grand total of $2,901,382. The project will provide multimodal transportation improvements on Marine Drive, from Locust Ave. to Alderwood Ave., including: reconstruction of the roadway; installation of bicycle lanes, curbs/gutters, and sidewalks; installation of street lighting; enhancement of stormwater management systems; and enhancement of ADA accessibility through barrier removal and ramp upgrades. The project is listed as item no. 3 on the 2021 Annual Construction Program. The expiration date is 10/31/2024. (AB2021-231) Approved 7-0
97. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $438,649 to Granite Construction of Everson for the 2021 hot-mix asphalt prelevel? The engineer’s estimate was $479,118. The prelevel is used at various locations for the maintenance and repair of county roads. The contract includes all labor, equipment, and materials required to install asphalt prelevel in an amount not to exceed $438,649. Three bids were received; the high bid was $512,861. (AB2021-236) Approved 7-0
98. Authorize the executive to sign a $20,000 contract with Western Washington University? The contract will support coordination efforts between the county government and the small cities of Whatcom County as they incorporate climate change goals, objectives, and policies into their comprehensive planning processes. The contract expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2021-239) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
99. Authorize the executive to sign two contracts – totaling $135,000 – to support the development of recommendations regarding the establishment of a countywide racial equity commission? The two contracts are with the Chuckanut Health Foundation ($90,000) and the city of Bellingham ($45,000). The city of Bellingham and Whatcom County are contributing $45,000 each for a total of $90,000 to employ the Chuckanut Health Foundation to develop recommendations that address impacts related to racial inequity, including: negative health care outcomes and increased health care costs, reduced economic opportunity, increased government services costs, crime and housing insecurity. The city of Bellingham will reimburse the county $45,000 for the Chuckanut Health Foundation contract. The contracts expire on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-246/247) Approved 7-0
100. Grant the Trans Mountain Pipeline (Puget Sound) LLC, a Delaware company, a nonexclusive franchise for pipeline facilities? (Public hearing held.) The franchise permits the company to access county-owned rights-of-way for the purposes of constructing and maintaining pipelines that will transport petroleum products in Whatcom County. AB2021-171 (Ordinance 2021-020) Substitute adopted 6-1, Todd Donovan abstained.
101. Establish a speed limit on Northshore Road? (Public hearing held.) A speed limit of 30 miles per hour will be established from the Lakeshore Road intersection to Smith Creek. AB2021-193 (Ordinance 2021-021) Adopted 7-0
102. Establish a speed limit on several roads in the Wiser Lake area? (Public hearing held.) A 25 miles per hour speed limit will be established for all roads within the Wiser Lake Estates and the Lochmoor replat. AB2021-195 (Ordinance 2021-022) Adopted 7-0
103. Impose an interim moratorium on the acceptance and processing of applications and permits for new or expanded outdoor recreational cannabis growing and/or processing facilities? (Public hearing held.) At the 3/31/2015 meeting, vote #52, the council adopted the current zoning regulations for recreational cannabis. In response to an increase in the number of permit applications for larger scale grow operations and complaints from neighbors adjacent to grow operations, the moratorium will be imposed on conversion of land or water and/or new building or structure permits. Interim moratoria are required to be renewed every six months. AB2021-230 (Ordinance 2021-023) Substitute adopted 5-2, Ben Elenbaas and Kathy Kershner opposed.
104. Close the Law Library/Elections Remodel Fund? At the 11/20/2018 meeting, vote #199, the council voted to establish a $331,000 fund and project-based budget to convert space within the law library to ballot processing space for auditor’s office staff. The project is completed and the fund is no longer needed; the remaining cash balance of $91,122 will returned to the real estate excise tax fund. AB2021-206 (Ordinance 2021-024) Adopted 7-0
105. Close the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center Construction Fund? At the 7/8/2008 meeting, vote #133, the council voted to establish a construction fund and project-based budget. The resource center is a 12,000 square foot building providing economic development, family support and health services that benefit low- and moderate-income persons in the Kendall area. The project is completed and the fund is no longer needed; the remaining cash balance of $11,738 will be returned to the public utilities improvement fund. AB2021-207 (Ordinance 2021-025) Adopted 7-0
106. Amend the 2021 budget (request #6) in the amount of $583,944? Appropriated: $9,140 in Whatcom Parks & Recreation Foundation donations to fund the purchase of park supplies; $12,963 to fund Water Resources Coordinator benefits at the WSU Extension; $255,950 to fund isolation and quarantine facility costs at the health department; $19,291 to fund the 2021 recreational boating safety program at the sheriff’s department; $143,000 to fund the 2020 paramedic training class; $117,232 to fund emergency medical equipment lease costs; $6,094 to fund emergency management services and equipment; $20,274 to fund border security programs. AB2021-215 (Ordinance 2021-026) Adopted 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, and Kathy Kershner opposed.