Bellingham City Council
Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer
Action Taken at December 7, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
230. Approve the collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, Local 114F for 2015–2017? Wages will increase by two percent on 1/1/2015, three percent on 1/1/2016, two percent on 1/1/2017 and half a percent 7/1/2017. The premium sharing contributions for 2015 benefits will remain the same as implemented on 1/1/2015. In 2016, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums is capped at a five percent increase above the employer contribution for Group Health in 2015. The employer contribution for premiums in 2017 will be capped at a five percent increase above the employer contribution in 2016. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
231. Approve the collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters, Local 231 for 2015–2017? Wage increases are scheduled at two percent for 1/1/2015, three percent on 1/1/2016, two percent on 1/1/2017 and half a percent on 7/1/2017. The premium sharing contributions for 2015 benefits shall remain the same as implemented on 1/1/2015. In January 2016, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums is capped at a five percent increase above the employer contribution for Group Health in 2015. The employer contribution for premiums in 2017 will be capped at a five percent increase above the employer contribution in 2016. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
232. Approve the collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, Local 114L for 2015–2017? Wage increases are scheduled at two percent for 1/1/2015, two percent on 1/1/2016, two percent on 1/1/2017 and half a percent on 7/1/2017. Effective 7/1/2016, 114L will receive up to a one-and-a-half percent matching contribution in a 457 plan. The premium sharing contributions for 2015 benefits shall remain the same as implemented on 1/1/2015. In 2016, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums is capped at a five percent increase above the employer contribution for Group Health in 2015. The employer contribution for premiums in 2017 will be capped at a five percent increase above the employer contribution in 2016. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
233. Authorize the legal department to file a civil abatement action to demolish structures on properties located at 2315 and 2512 Lynn Street? At the 3/10/2015 meeting, vote #38, the council authorized the legal department to file civil nuisance actions with respect to properties at 2315 and 2512 Lynn Street. At the 5/18/2015 meeting, vote #96, the council passed an ordinance allowing code enforcement officers to negotiate compliance agreements with property owners. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0
234. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $573,188 to Severn-Trent-De Nora of Sugar Land, TX for hypochlorite water treatment plant equipment? The company is a leading provider of water disinfection systems using onsite generated sodium hypochlorite produced from seawater or brine. The water treatment plant pre-treatment project is currently in the design phase at approximately 60 percent. The hypochlorite generation system which has been procured early to facilitate the design process. The bid includes full life cycle costs for the equipment and is for the capital cost component of this total which is $267,000.00. The engineer’s estimate was $320,000.00 for capital cost only. The city received four bids, the high bid was $738,523. (AB21055) Approved 7-0
235. Authorize the mayor to sign a $904,973 agreement with Western Washington University for the 2016-2018 Lake Whatcom Monitoring Project? A Lake Whatcom restoration study began in the 1982; it was initiated by the city and WWU to measure and track long-term lake data for temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, and nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus. The work of the monitoring program since 1987 has been under the helm of Robin Matthews at Western’s Institute for Watershed Studies and funded by the city. The partnership between Western and the city for Lake Whatcom monitoring is a key component of the Lake Whatcom Management program. Work in future years is subject to city budget approval. Funding for all years was projected with the 2012 rate study as an annual and repeating operating expense to the water utility.The agreement starts on 1/1/2016 and ends of 12/31/2018. (AB21056) Approved 7-0
236. Authorize the mayor to accept a $47,803 federal grant for 2015 emergency management programs? Federal grant funds are awarded to emergency management programs to assist in preparing for all hazards through sustainment and enhancement of existing programs. These annual grant awards have been accepted since 2008. (AB21057) Approved 7-0
237. Approve the annexation agreement with Whatcom County Fire District 4? The city has developed an agreement with Fire District 4 to ensure an orderly transition of fire services for the E. Bakerview/Mt. Baker Hwy annexed area; the key terms of the agreement include the city paying $35,000 in tax revenue to District 4 for three years in exchange for certain automatic aid and continued use of District 4’s training facility. (AB21062) Approved 7-0
238. Approve the mayor’s reappointment of Tom Slocum and Jasmine Fast to the Greenway Advisory Committee? The committee provides recommendations to the City Council and the Parks and Recreation Department about Greenway levy expenditures, parkland acquisitions and parks/trails/open space development projects. Tom Slocum’s was initially appointed to the committee at the 12/3/2012 meeting, vote #230. He was listed as an environmental engineer with a master’s degree in civil engineering, who is experienced with salmon habitat protection; his final term will expire on 12/3/2018. Jasmine Fast’s was appointed to a partial term at the 2/9/2015 meeting, vote #28. She was listed as a city resident for four years, a board member of the Cordata Home Owner’s Association and has studied an array of courses including environmental stewardship, biodiversity, pollution prevention and environmental law. Her first full term will expire on 12/3/2018. (AB21067) Approved 7-0
239. Appropriate $5,935,661 for goods and services checks issued from November 7 through November 27, 2015? (AB21073/21074) Approved 7-0
240. Appropriate $5,756,702 for payroll checks issued from October 24 through November 25, 2015? (AB21075/21076) Approved 7-0
241. Authorize the mayor to accept a $892,400 state grant to complete phase three of the Federal Building historical preservation project? The Washington State Legislature appropriated $920,000, the Washington State Historical Society will retain $27,600 to administer the grant. The project includes restoration of the first floor lobby and additional life safety improvements in the basement of the building. Council previously approved a Federal Building Fund 125 cash match of $3,226,380 for a total project cost of $4,146,380 for phases two and three at the Federal Building. Phase one was approved at the 4/14/2008 meeting, vote #89 and phase two was approved at the 1/12/2015 meeting, vote #1. (AB21077) Approved 7-0
242. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $190,339 to Rite Way Roofing of Puyallup for the re-roofing of Fire Station #1? The roof has reached the end of its useful life and requires replacement. The engineer’s estimate was $301,062. The city received five bids, the highest was $429,710. (AB21078) Approved 7-0
243. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Whatcom County Rural Library District for the mutual extension of borrowing privileges and services? The agreement provides unrestricted access to the materials and services at all city and county library facilities for all city and county residents. Since the county residents use city library materials more often than city residents use the county system, the county library will reimburse the city $156,393 for the difference. The agreement runs from 1/1/2016 trough 12/31/2016. (AB21079) Approved 7-0
244. Authorize the mayor to sign agreements with libraries at the Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University for a Bellingham Public Library “holds pick-up” location? The Bellingham library will install and maintain a self-checkout station at the three locations in order to increase access to Bellingham library materials for students, staff and community members. BTC/WCC/WWU will provide space, electricity and adequate shelving for the library station, and will collect and organize book returns for the library. Library patrons will be allowed to use the staff telephone to contact the Bellingham Library with questions. The agreements run from 1/1/2016 through 12/31/2016. (AB21080/21081/21082) Approved 7-0
245. Call on the Washington State Legislature to pass a Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law in 2016? The Bellingham City Council directed its Community and Economic Development Committee to examine options for rules relating to mandatory paid sick leave for employees of businesses located in Bellingham. The committee heard public comment regarding this idea at a 11/4/2015 listening session, and on 11/9/2015, the City Council directed staff to draft a resolution calling on the Washington State Legislature to pass a paid sick and safe leave law in 2016. A recent amendment allows employees who have accumulated qualified paid sick leave time to use it on the first day of an illness (“first-day” sick leave). AB21065 (Resolution #2015-27) Approved 5-2, Jack Weiss/Roxanne Murphy opposed.
246. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the state of Washington for the local source control program? Since 2008, the city of Bellingham has had a cooperative agreement with the Department of Ecology to provide staffing for DOE’s local source control program. This program funds city employees to provide education and outreach to small businesses on the proper practices to deal with hazardous or dangerous waste, aids business owners in maintaining compliance with federal, state and local codes for such materials and protects our stormwater, sewer, and lands from contamination. This agreement will add $178,809 in revenue for the 2015-2017 biennium. It begins on 7/1/2015 and expires on 6/30/2017. AB20936 (Ordinance 2015-12-047) Approved 7-0
247. Create an infill incentive program for eligible projects in the Downtown or Old Town Urban Villages? The program offers a partial fee exemption through the next three-year biennial budgeting period and allocates $250,000 per year from the general fund to support a 50 percent reduction in charges and fees. Qualifying projects must also be a minimum of three stories or 35 feet for new construction and 10,000 square feet or two stories for existing buildings. AB21049 (Ordinance 2015-12-048) Approved 7-0
248. Grant a partial Business & Occupation tax credit for new businesses or branch locations that open in the City Center (Old Town, Downtown and Waterfront Districts), Samish Way Urban Village, or Fountain District Urban Village? The phased credit will be at 90 percent of the tax due for the first year, 75 percent of the tax due for the second year, and 50 percent of the tax due for the third year. The credit would be available only to businesses new to Bellingham or new branches of existing Bellingham businesses in order to avoid encouraging the relocation of businesses within the city limits, and would not affect the Business & Occupation taxes required and collected by the State of Washington. AB21050 (Ordinance 2015-12-049) Approved 7-0
Action Taken at December 14, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
249. Recognize Julie Guy for her outstanding contributions to the Cordata Neighborhood and the city of Bellingham? Julie Guy served on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board from 9/13/2006 through 7/3/2013 advocating for parks in North Bellingham; participated in the steering committee for the Cordata Park Master Plan, the steering committee for the 2008 update of the Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan, and the planning committee that created the North Bellingham Trail Plan; and has been active on the Cordata Neighborhood Association, most recently serving as association president since 2013, and representing the neighborhood at the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission. AB21083 (Resolution 2015-28) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
250. Honor Councilmember Jack Weiss for his service to the citizens of Bellingham? Jack Weiss is recognized for his many accomplishments and the council’s sends best wishes to Mr. Weiss as he retires. Mr. Weiss was initially elected to the Bellingham City Council on 11/6/2007 and reelected on 11/8/2011; before that he was a staunch supporter of the Greenway Advisory Committee. He was on the council’s Planning Committee, Parks and Recreation Committee, Lake Whatcom and Natural Resources Committee, and Public Works and Public Safety Committee; has represented the city on the Bellingham International Airport Advisory Committee, the board of trustees of the Bellingham Library, and the Whatcom Transportation Authority board of directors; and has an exemplary record of prior public service that resulted in the establishment of the first curbside recycling program in Whatcom County and the creation of the successful Greenways III Levy. AB21084 (Resolution 2015-29) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
251. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Yakima County for as-needed jail services? The city may be precluded from using the Whatcom County jail per the August 15 and November 24 letters from Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo and Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws, regarding the inability of Whatcom County to continue to serve the city’s jail needs. The primary concern expressed has been with the time frames for notification and transfer of inmates back to the custody of the city or its designee. Yakima County costs are estimated from $48.75 per day bed use to $54.75; the annual amount is currently undetermined. (AB21093) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
252. Endorse the contract extension with Whatcom County for jail services? The city’s current contract with Whatcom County for jail services expired on 12/31/2015, and the sheriff has proposed an extension to the city that will allow the city to use the facility under different terms than the existing contract. The time required for inmate transfers will be extended up to seventy-two hours for the next sixty days and then reevaluated. (AB21094) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
253. Appropriate $3,553,067 for goods and services checks issued from November 28 through December 4, 2015? (AB21095) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
254. Amend the 2016 schedule for regular council meeting? At the 11/9/2015 meeting, vote #216, the council scheduled twenty-five meetings for 2016. This amendment changes the date of the April 4 meeting to April 11. AB21096 (Resolution 2015-30) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
255. Amend the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan to include a new Capital Facilities Plan? (Public hearing held) This is an emergency request from the Bellingham School District because the original request did not come in time to be included with the annual cycle of amendments and their current plan expires at the end of this year. The city’s comprehensive plan covers the 2015-2021 planning period. School impact fees are to increase by $388 for single-family dwelling units and decrease by $925 for multi-family units. An update of the school impact fees was last approved at the 12/14/2009 meeting, vote #288; the city began collecting impact fees on behalf of the school district in 1992. AB21047 (Ordinance 2015-12-050) Approved 5-1, Michael Lilliquist opposed, Roxanne Murphy excused.
256. Expand the multi-family tax exemption program to include Barkley and Fairhaven areas? These two new urban centers will be required to provide 20 percent of the units for affordable low-income housing. The changes to affordable low-income housing would also apply to other urban centers (Downtown, Old Town, Fountain and Samish), but these areas will have the option of receiving an eight-year exemption without affordable low-income housing. Two recent amendments will remove the RT-2 portion from the Fairhaven district and remove the effective date of the Fairhaven Urban Village. Jack Weiss expressed his opposition to the amendment that specifically removed the RT-2 zone in the Fairhaven District. Council provided direction on May 18th to expand the program to include Fairhaven and Barkley. Also, see 3/10/2003 meeting, vote #38; 7/18/2005 meeting, vote #160; 12/13/2010 meeting, vote #254; and 9/8/2014 meeting, vote #175. AB21048 (Ordinance 2015-12-051) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
257. Adopt Transportation Impact Fees for 2016? Fees are charged to new development proposals seeking building permits in order for the city to recover the costs of new transportation infrastructure, (i.e. streets, lighting, signage, maintenance, etc). The base rate is charged per p.m. peak hour vehicle trip, and is calculated by combining the city’s actual expenditures of local transportation funding over the last six years with the anticipated funding needs for transportation during the next six years, and dividing the resulting total by the amount of traffic projected for new development and by the number of p.m. peak hour vehicle trips projected for the entire 12 years. The new base rate of $2,017 for 2016 is budgeted as $927,000 revenue, with additional revenue recovering a proportional share of city investment in transportation infrastructure costs from new development based on building permit activity. AB21054 (Ordinance 2015-12-052) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
258. Add the state’s special tax evaluation eligibility for local historic places listed in the National Register of Historic Places? At the 5/18/2015 meeting, the City Council directed staff to pursue adding an eligible property class to the special tax valuation incentive as part of the urban village incentives package. AB21058 (Ordinance 2015-12-053) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
259. Adopt the 2015-2016 mid-biennial budget modifications? The Revised Code of Washington requires the city of Bellingham to make any mid-biennial modifications to the budget prior to December 31. This ordinance includes modifications to the adopted 2016 budget by fund, and will increase citywide revenues by $7,543,132 and expenses by $9,658,859. The 2015-2016 mid-biennial budget modifications were presented 10/12/2015, with public hearings on revenues held 10/26/2015 and budget on 11/16/2015. AB21060 (Ordinance 2015-12-054) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
260. Revise the duties of the Bellingham Hearing Examiner? The changes reduce the frequency of council presentations to annual and delegates advising on civil service commission duties to an attorney within the city attorney’s office. These changes are a result of a presentation made by contract hearing examiner Sharon Rice on 11/16/2015. The proposals stem from having a contract hearing examiner rather than a hearing examiner who is an employee of the city. AB21064 (Ordinance 2015-12-055) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
261. Dissolve the Bellingham Transportation Benefit District as of 1/1/2016? At the 7/12/2010 meeting, vote #144, the City Council established the Bellingham Transportation Benefit District as a separate entity. It was to be governed by the City Council and preference given to projects that improve safety, travel time, air quality, traffic flow, freight mobility, etc. In 2015, the state enacted legislation that allows the city to absorb the district and assume all of its “rights, powers, functions and obligations.” At the 10/26/2016 meeting, vote #209, the council voted to hold a public hearing, which was held at the 11/9/2016 meeting. From 1/1/2016 forward, all district revenue and expenses assumed by the city will be reported as a special revenue fund; cost savings in the day-to-day managing of the district will be realized as well as a reduction in state auditing fees of approximately $5,300 per audit. AB21071 (Ordinance 2015-12-056) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.
262. Close the Beyond Greenways Fund? The Beyond Greenways Fund was created in 1998 to account for the revenue and expenditures from a nine-year levy. Substantially all of the levy has been collected and expended so closing the fund is in the best interest of the city. AB21072 (Ordinance 2015-12-057) Approved 6-0, Roxanne Murphy excused.