Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at June 29, 2021 Meeting
Shall the council:
149. Authorize the executive to sign a $106,250 contract (amendment #1) with DH of Spokane to continue funding the Covid-19 campaign to educate young adults? At the 2/23/2021 meeting, vote #58, the council passed the original $200,000 contract to provide a youth-centered (18 to 26) social media marketing campaign to promote behaviors that reduce coronavirus transmission. å(AB2021-343) Failed 3-3-1, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, and Kathy Kershner opposed, Rud Browne abstained.
150. Authorize the executive to sign a $95,460 contract (amendment #4) with SeaMar Community Health Centers of Seattle to provide temporary oversight and assistance at the Covid-19 temporary housing facility? The original contract ran from 3/1/2020 to 12/30/2020. The purpose of the amendment is to extend the contract. The total amended contract is $453,436; it expires on 9/30/2021. (AB2021-347) Authorized 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
151. Authorize the executive to sign four contracts — totaling $813,053 — to provide assistance in accessing housing, improving housing stability and reducing homelessness? The contracts are with: the Opportunity Council ($262,341); Catholic Community Services ($168,339); Lydia Place ($203,602); and Northwest Youth Services ($178,771) and will expire on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-338/348/349/350) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
152. Authorize the executive to sign four contracts — totaling $3,427,825 — to provide to provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities? The contracts are with: the Cascade Connections ($1,321,837); Kulshan Supported Employment ($1,150,942); Washington Vocational Services ($268,910); and Work Opportunities ($686,136) and it will expire on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-351/352/353/354) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
153. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $951,551 (amendment #4) with the Opportunity Council to operate the Whatcom Homeless Service Center? At the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #257, council approved the original contract for $796,701 to provide intake and case management services for the Whatcom Homeless Service Center. The purpose of the amendment is to extend the contract and provide funding for emergency shelter space in motels. Total amended contract (not to exceed) $2,345,623; it expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-372) Approved 7-0
154. Amend the 2021 Flood Control Zone District and subzones budgets, (request #1) in the amount of $15,415? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The funds will provide a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for represented and unrepresented employees. AB2021-328 (Resolution 2021-022) Approved 7-0
155. Amend the Purchase of Development Rights Program? (Public hearing held.) The program was created at the 9/10/2002 meeting, vote #166; is used to preserve forest and farmland for habitat conservation and outdoor recreation purposes. This amendment will change the name of the program to the “Whatcom County Conservation Easement Program” and revise the program’s site selection criteria to include ranking criteria for forestland and other non-farmland areas of ecological importance. AB2021-296 (Ordinance 2021-037) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
156. Amend the 2021 budget (request #10) in the amount of $744,800? Appropriated: $543,102 to fund cost-of-living adjustments for represented and unrepresented county employees; $36,272 to the sheriff’s department for premiums inadvertently omitted from the 2021 budget; $165,426 for the corrections deputies bargaining unit. AB2021-327 (Ordinance 2021-038) Adopted 7-0
157. Extend the suspension of the county code related to correctional facilities operational standards? At the 6/18/2019 meeting, vote #137, council voted to suspend obsolete state correctional facility standards to permit the County Council and the Law and Justice Committee to review code and propose replacement standards. This ordinance will extend the suspension for up to eighteen additional months, expiring on 12/8/2022. AB2021-340 (Ordinance 2021-039) Adopted 7-0
Action Taken at July 13, 2021 Meeting
Shall the council:
158. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $773,839 to Foss Maritime of Seattle for the annual repair and maintenance of the Lummi Island ferry? The engineer’s estimate was $773,600. The 2020 cost for dockside repair due to coronavirus restrictions was $436,161. Three shipyards attended the pre-bid meeting and three bids were received; the high bid was $928,868. The drydocking is anticipated to take 21 days, from 9/11 through 10/1/2021. (AB2021-385) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
159. Authorize the executive to accept a $139,688 grant from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs? State funding is allocated to verify the address and residency of convicted sex and kidnapping offenders for entrance into a statewide database. The grant will provide in-person registration and residency verification services. The grant expires on 6/30/2022. (AB2021-387) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
160. Authorize the executive to accept a $6,335,182 state grant for housing services? The grant will provide resources through local providers to assist people who are experiencing homelessness to obtain and maintain housing stability. The grant expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2021-393) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
161. Authorize the executive to sign a $2 million economic development contract with the city of Lynden? The contract will provide a 20-year $1,333,333 loan and $666,667 in grant funding to support the West Front Street arterial improvement project. At the 6/15/2021 meeting, vote #140, the council approved the Economic Development Investment Board’s recommendation to fund the city of Lynden project. Money for the EDI board’s loans and grants comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. This project will replace 1,900 feet of sub-standard roadway with an all-weather surface that includes upgraded sewer and storm drainage systems, from Duffner Creek to Tromp Road. (AB2021-397) Approved 7-0
162. Authorize the executive to accept a $4,125,535 state grant for the administration of developmental disabilities, services? The funding will provide supportive employment and community access services for adults with developmental disabilities, early childhood development services; and community information and training for caregivers and families supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. It expires on 6/30/2022. (AB2021-398) Approved 7-0
163. Amend the Whatcom County Code and the Comprehensive Plan related to mineral extraction? (Public hearings held at this meeting and July 27 meeting.) It would introduce an additional conditional use permit that required a site-specific geotechnical analysis be conducted when mineral extraction is proposed within 500 feet of a gas or petroleum transmission pipeline. The purpose of the analysis is to determine if a pipeline would be exposed or damaged during an earthquake. AB2021-363 (Ordinance 2021-040) Adopted 6-1, Tyler Byrd abstained.
164. Establish a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACER) Program? (Public hearing held.) It will permit the introduction of the C-PACER program to authorizes private lenders to provide financing for eligible property owners to make improvements related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and resiliency improvements. Eligible properties include privately-owned agricultural, commercial, industrial or multi-family properties with five or more dwelling units. AB2021-370 (Ordinance 2021-041) Adopted 7-0
165. Amend by $249,800 the project budget (request #3) for the Silver Lake Park Improvement Fund? At the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #228, council voted to establish the fund and $800,000 project-based budget, and added $1,565,000 in expenditure authority at the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #269. The project renovated the park’s day use areas, campgrounds, and road system; upgraded the electrical system and constructed new shower/restroom buildings at the Red Mountain and Maple Creek campground. The increase in funding is a response to increased construction costs. AB2021-346 (Ordinance 2021-042) Adopted 7-0
166. Amend the 2021 budget (request #11) in the amount of $5,728,416? Appropriated: $52,616 to fund the Next Generation Project at the Health Department; $435,000 to fund coronavirus testing at the jail; $1,250,000 to fund the Bellingham Housing Authority Samish Commons project; $106,000 to fund land acquisition at Squires Lake Park; $1,200,000 to fund the acquisition of property on Division Street; $249,800 to fund completion of a shower/restroom building at the Maple Creek Campground at Silver Lake Park; and $2,000,000 to fund the improvements to West Front Street in the city of Lynden. AB2021-365 (Ordinance 2021-043) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
167. Revise membership in the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee? The Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce position will be reassigned to an additional “citizen at large” position to be appointed by the executive. AB2021-375 (Ordinance 2021-044) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
168. Establish an independent commission to review community response to the Covid-19 pandemic? The County Council shall select, and Whatcom County shall hire, a paid independent special commissioner. The review will be conducted by the commissioner with staff and a report will be produced for the council, executive, and sheriff by 3/31/2022. AB2021-360 (Ordinance 2021-045) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
Action Taken at July 27, 2021 Meeting
Shall the council:
169. Authorize the executive to sign a $153,520 contract with the state of Washington for a Washington Conservation Corps crew? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) This agreement with the state Department of Ecology will fund the environmental projects performed by a six-person crew. Projects will include: new restoration projects, maintain existing salmon recovery and stormwater projects, map and manage riparian invasive species and assist county parks with noxious weed management. The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association is a co-sponsor under a separate agreement. The contract expires on 9/30/2022. (AB2021-396) Approved 7-0
170. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $200,000 with GeoEngineers of Bellingham on-call geotechnical engineering services? It will likely be used for design/construction, bridge and hydraulics, stormwater, river and flood work. Public Works occasionally requires outside expertise, independent opinions and emergency repairs. The contract expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2021-407) Approved 7-0
171. Authorize the executive to sign a $20,000 contract with the City of Lynden? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The funding represents a cost-share with the city for the Lynden levee channel realignment project. The project includes the realignment of a Nooksack River tributary channel and the repair of a levee, culvert that provides flood protection to the city; construction is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2021. (AB2021-409) Approved 7-0
172. Authorize the executive to spend $950,000 to purchase property on Division Street? The property is adjacent to the county crisis triage and work center facilities located at 2000 Division Street. The executive was successful in negotiating a reduction in the price of the property from $1,200,000 to $950,000. (AB2021-456) Approved 7-0
173. Set August 10 to hold two public hearings for property at 1661 Baker Creek? One hearing to declare the real property surplus and another hearing to sell the property? State law permits the sale of property declared to be surplus and the county purchasing agent has determined it is in the best interest of the county to sell the following property: 1661 Baker Creek Place. AB2021-431/432 (Resolutions 2021-023/024) Approved 7-0
174. Approve the Whatcom County Water District No. 7 Water System Plan? State law requires local legislative bodies to approve, conditionally approve, or reject water system comprehensive plans. The plan proposes to have less than one thousand connections so it is exempt from SEPA review. AB2021-438 (Resolution 2021-025) Approved 7-0
175. Adopt amendments to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Whatcom County Code relating to the C herry Point urban growth area? (Public hearing held.) The amendments cover facilities including but not limited to piers, wharfs, buildings, tank farms, pipelines, rail loading and off-loading facilities, road spurs, and 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. Interim moratoria are required to be renewed every six months. It was amended 10 times, the last time at the 5/18/2021 meeting, vote #121. AB2021-403 (Ordinance 2021-046) Adopted 7-0
176. Amend the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan related to land use, housing, resource lands, and the environment? (Public hearing held.) The amendments will replace language in the plan to reflect a shift away from purchase and transfer of development rights programs towards a density credit program model. Density credits allow development incentives such as increased density in project permitting to be exchanged for a voluntary payment towards preserving agriculture and open space. AB2021-380 (Ordinance 2021-047) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
177. Adopt amendments to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan relating to the Lummi Island ferry? (Public hearing held.) The amendments will include language to require that Public Works establish a performance metric to monitor the level of service, and delete language relating to the completed feasibility study. AB2021-381 (Ordinance 2021-048) Adopted 7-0
178. Request that the Whatcom County Auditor include a question on the general election ballot about the establishment of a Birch Bay Library capital facility area? If passed, the proposition will create a special taxing district to finance a library in Birch Bay. The county bookmobile currently serves the Birch Bay community. It cannot continue to support the rapidly growing population. AB2021-405 (Ordinance 2021-049) Adopted 7-0