Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

Action Taken at January 12, 2016 Meeting 

Shall the council:
1. Fill two vacancies on the Noxious Weed Control Board? Members must reside in District 3 and District 5. These are four-year terms. There were no applications for the two vacancies. (AB2015-367)

2. Fill four vacancies on the Open Space Advisory Committee? These are four-year terms. There were no applications for the four vacancies. (AB2015-367)

3. Fill four vacancies on the Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District? Appointed: Steve Seymour (incumbent) and David Thomson. These are four-year terms. There were no applications for the third and fourth vacancies. (AB2015-367)

4. Fill five vacancies on the Forestry Advisory Committee? Appointed: Aubrey Stargell (commercial forest landowner), Phil Cloward (citizen with forestry expertise), Rod Lofdahl (harvester), and Gerry Millman (small forest landowner). All are incumbents and serve four-year terms. There were no applications for the fifth vacancy. (AB2015-367)

5. Fill one vacancy on the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force? Appointed: Randy Polidan (represents a federally qualified health center). This is a partial term, ending 1/31/2020. (AB2015-367)

6. Fill two vacancies on the Planning Commission? Gary Honcoop (incumbent), Stephen Jordan, Virginia Malmquist and Atul Deshmane applied for the two vacancies. Gary Honcoop and Atul Deshmane were approved for four-year terms. (AB2015-367)

7. Fill three vacancies on the Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District? Appointed: Jon DeJong (incumbent) and Albert de Boer (incumbent). These are four-year terms. There were no applications for the third vacancy. (AB2015-367)

8. Fill three vacancies on the Solid Waste Advisory Committee? Appointed: Ed Nikula (citizen, incumbent) and Casey Heinle (citizen, incumbent). There were no applicants for the solid waste disposal facility position. These are three-year terms. (AB2015-367)

9. Fill two vacancy on the Surface Mining Advisory Committee? Appointed: Leaf Schumann (potable domestic groundwater supply). There were no applicants for the ecologist position. This is a two-year term. (AB2015-367)

10. Authorize the executive to sign a $1,081,500 contract (amendment 1) with Stericycle Environmental Solutions of Houston, Texas, for the disposal of toxics? At the 12/4/2012 meeting, vote #207, the county entered into a contract with Burlington Environmental (now Stericycle Environmental Solutions) to provide hazardous waste education, collection, disposal, storage, and transportation of moderate-risk waste from small quantity generators, including used motor oil and antifreeze. This amendment extends the agreement for an additional three-year period, clarifies the scope of work, and allows for a three percent cost increase. This amendment brings the total contract to $2,131,500 and it expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2016-048) Approved 7-0

11. Support a proposal by the Point Roberts Lighthouse Society for the construction of a lighthouse at Lighthouse Marine Park in Point Roberts? Darrel and Dorothy Sutton have pledged $500,000 to the Point Roberts Lighthouse Society for the construction of a lighthouse, and the U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to locate its navigational facilities in the proposed structure. AB2016-050 (Resolution 2016-001) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at January 26, 2016 Meeting

Shall the council:
12. Uphold the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner’s decision regarding Marr’s Black Plush Ranch? In 1987, a building permit was granted to house a mink farm in Glacier. The farm has expanded over last three decades but no permits have been granted for any of the expansion. In 2015, the mink farm owners applied for a permit to construct a manure/compost storage shed. The Whatcom County Planning and Planning Services concluded that mink ranches are not a permitted or conditional use in a rural zone. Planning Services issued an administrative decision that Marr’s Black Plush Ranch is prohibited in the rural zone district. The hearing examiner upheld the decision. It was appealed to the County Council. (AB2015-279) Approved 7-0

13. Authorize the executive to sign a $33,096 contract (amendment 3) with Stellar J Corporation of Woodland, WA, for the Portal Way/Dakota Creek Bridge No. 500 seismic retrofit project? The council at the 2/11/2014 meeting, vote #36, to adopt the Dakota Creek Bridge #500 retrofit project at an estimated cost of $3 million. Council added $880,336 at the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #217, and increased the project-based budget by $450,000 at the 4/14/2015 meeting, vote #59. This amendment provides for plant material substitution, reduce in-fill wall drilling, reduced touch up painting, additional overhead and weld inspection costs, bringing the total to $3,478,685 with $3 million covered by a federal grant. The contract expires upon completion of the project. (AB2016-054) Approved 7-0

14. Authorize the executive to sign a $400,000 purchase and sale agreement with the Lummi Island Heritage Trust for the former quarry site? At the 11/24/2015 meeting, vote # 234, the council in a budget amendment approved the funding. The purchase will use Conservation Futures Funds and will establish a conservation easement on the 105-acre Lummi Island site. It is located on Hale Passage and consists of quarried terrain, forest, and 4,000 feet of shoreline, and will be partially restored, protected, and opened for public access. (AB2016-056) Approved 7-0

15. Authorize the executive to approve the spending of up to $150,000 for light bars and accessories? The purchases are for sheriff’s department vehicles and take place on an as-needed basis, using a Washington State Contract. The state contract has been awarded to multiple vendors: Carson Manufacturing Company, Code 3, Inc., Soundoff Signal, Star Headlight & Lantern Company, and Whelen Engineering Company. The contract expires on 4/30/2017. (AB2016-057) Approved 7-0

16. Authorize the executive to approve the spending of up to $500,000 from Alpine Products of Auburn for traffic line paint from vendor? The purchase is on an as-needed basis and will use the Washington State Contract list. The state contract was awarded to Ennis Paint of Ennis, Texas. The subcontract for political subdivisions is Alpine Products. The 2014 expenditures for traffic-line paint was $368,112 and for 2015 was $439,161. The state contract expires on 1/26/2017. (AB2016-058) Approved 7-0

17. Authorize the executive to sign a $88,783 contract with Michael Bobbink for the position of Whatcom County Hearing Examiner? The hearing examiner prepares written recommendations and decisions on land-use permits and administrative appeals. Michael Bobbink dba Michael Bobbink Land Use Services has been the Whatom County Hearing Examiner since 1996. He was the sole respondent to the request for proposals. The contract for 2016 is $5 below the 2015 contract; it expires on 12/31/2016. (AB2016-051) Approved 7-0

18. Authorize the executive to sign a $3 million grant/loan agreement with the Port of Bellingham? At the 10/13/2015 meeting, vote #187, the council approved the recommendation of the Economic Development Investment Board for the grant/loan. The $1 million grant and $2 million loan to the port will be used to construct a new All American Marine building. The company’s original warehouse is too small and the contract will fund its demolition, as well as the preparation and construction of a larger warehouse. The loan is to be repaid by 12/31/2036. (AB2016-059) Approved 7-0

19. Confirm appointments by the executive to boards and commissions? The appointments take effect on 2/1/2016. Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee: Reid Parker (reappointment), Ian McCurdy and Susan Adamson-Towner. Marine Resources Committee: Atina Casas (reappointment-scientific Expertise), Christopher Brown (reappointment-recreational interest), Peter Granger (reappointment-recreational interest), Robert Cecile (citizen-at-large), Petur Sim (recreational interest). Parks and Recreation Commission: Paul Woodcock (reappointment-District 3) and Kenneth Kiesner (reappointment-At-Large). Purchase of Development Rights Oversight Committee: Greg Ebe (reappointment-farmer position). (AB2016-063) Confimed 7-0

20. Appoint members to serve on the 2016 Whatcom County Districting Committee? The Whatcom County Democrats suggested Mike Estes and Lisa McShane, and the Whatcom County Republican Party suggested Mark Nelson and Brett Bonner. At the 2015 general election, voters approve a measure to expand the county districts from three to five. The four members of the committee selected by the council will appoint a fifth member who will be the chairman. The committee will appoint a districting master to draw up a districting plan. The committee must adopt the districting plan by 5/15/2016. (AB2016-068) Appointed: Brett Bonner, Mike Estes, Lisa McShane, and Mark Nelson.

21. Accept the Whatcom County Treasurer’s list of petitions for 2015 property tax refunds? The refunds total $776,476, they reflect senior exemptions; taxes paid in error; changes in tax status; destroyed property; court orders; and miscellaneous exemptions. The 2014 refunds totaled $1,014,401. AB2016-067 (Resolution 2016-002) Approved 7-0

22. Amend the 2016 budget (request #3) in the amount of $38,561? Appropriate: $38,561 to fund the Homeland Security program. These funds are from a federal grant program and are used by the sheriff’s office Division of Emergency Management to support emergency response capabilities, including equipment and training. The amount to be appropriated reflects the balance of a two-year, $79,998 grant awarded to Whatcom County in 2014. AB2016-049 (Ordinance 2016-001) Adopted 7-0