Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at January 10, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
1. Appointments to council-appointed boards, commissions and committees? Planning Commission, County Council District 2: Andrew Rowlson (incumbent), County Council District 3: Atul Deshmane (incumbent); Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District Advisory: Christine Woodward (incumbent), Lee First (incumbent), and Dorie Belisle (incumbent); Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Business/Industry Representative: Amber Jones; Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Solid Waste Disposal Facility Representative: Larry McCarter. (AB2017-031)
2. Appointments to positions on the Flood Control Zone District Board of Supervisors? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) Appointed: Advisory Committee, Special Districts: Ron Bronsema (incumbent) and Scott Hulse (incumbent); Advisory Committee, Impacted Cities: Robert Bromley; Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resource Management Advisory Committee: Scott Hulse (incumbent). (AB2017-032)
3. Authorize the executive to sign a $40 per hour contract (amendment #6) with Pacific Northwest Guardian Ad Litem of Bellingham? The contract is for up to 4,000 hours and will provide representation to minors in the Whatcom County Superior Court in cases involving juvenile dependency and custody cases. The amendment extends the contract until 12/31/2017. (AB2017-033) Approved 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
4. Authorize the executive to sign a $498,867 agreement with North Sound Behavioral Health Organization to fund mental health programs in Whatcom County? The service area also consists of Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Snohomish counties. The funding comes from Medicaid and state mental health funds. The agreement expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017-034) Approved 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
5. The Board of Health calls on the Washington State Legislature to fund core public health services? (Council acting as the Whatcom County Health Board) Washington state spends less on public health ($38.08 per person) than states like Idaho ($54.35 per person) and Wymoning ($89.75 per person). Whatcom County ranks second highest in the state for the demand for opiate additional treatment. The board requests that the Legislature allocate the following amounts for core public health services: $50 million to fund public health prevention, response, and tracking activities by local health departments; $6 million to fund investigation and monitoring activities by the state Department of Health; and $4 million for public health system collaboration and modernization measures. AB2017-035 (Resolution 2017-001) Approved 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
Action Taken at January 24, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
6. Appointments to council-appointed positions on boards, commissions and committees? Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District: Charles Hawkins (incumbent); Forestry Advisory Committee: Sharon Westergreen (citizen with forestry experience, incumbent), Scott Thompson (small forest landowner), Greg Zender; Planning Commission: Kate Blystone; Solid Waste Advisory Committee: Riley Grant (public interest group, RE Sources). (AB2017-031)
7. Authorize the executive to sign a $150,000 contract with Applied Geomorphology of Bozeman, Mont. to provide a geomorphic assessment of the Lower Nooksack River? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The assessment will be from the Deming area to Bellingham Bay to support a Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan update. It will address flood hazard mitigation related to salmon habitat recovery and agriculture within the Nooksack floodplain. The contract expires on 6/30/2018. (AB2017-044) Approved 7-0
8. Authorize the executive to sign an $100,000 agreement with the Whatcom Conservation District to provide technical assistance for non-dairy agricultural operators? The agreement is in support of the Pollution Identification and Correction Program, which addresses water quality issues. It also funds a data coordinator position in partnership with the Whatcom Conservation District. This agreement is fully funded by a state grant. It expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017-045) Approved 6-0, Rud Browne abstained.
9. Authorize the executive to sign a $33,045 contract (amendment #5) with the Northwest Regional Council for nursing services at the jail, juvenile detention, and work center? At the 12/9/2014 meeting, vote #257, the council approved the original contract; this amendment is for an hourly wage increase. It reflects cost-of-living and health care cost increases, as well a change in juvenile detention’s billing to a flat monthly rate. This brings the amended contract to $1,247,947. It expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017-046) Approved 7-0
10. Authorize the executive to sign a $218,404 contract (amendment #1) with Design2LAST of Edmonds for a building assessment study and cost estimates for improvements to the jail and work center? At the 7/12/2016 meeting, vote #114, the council voted to enter into the contract for jail and work center assessment studies. Phase 1A is complete. Phase 1B will provide design and scoping services for the eventual establishment of a project budget. This brings the total amended contract to $370,287. It expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017- 047) Approved 7-0
11. Authorize the executive to sign a $161,437 contract (amendment #18) with Washington State University to share costs for faculty positions and program support for the WSU Whatcom County Extension? At the 12/8/2015 meeting, vote #239, the council voted to amend the cost-sharing agreement by $142,811 to support: faculty positions; a forestry program serving Whatcom County; services for the Whatcom County Solid Waste Program; and recycling and composting education services provided by the Master Gardener and Community Gardens programs. This amendment will continue to support these programs and the total amended amount is $1,570,535.90. It expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017-048) Approved 7-0
12. Appointments to executive-appointed positions on boards, commissions and committees? Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee: Matthew Paskus, Eileen Kadesh, and Sunny Beaver (all newly appointed); Ethics Commission: Gary Jensen and Adrian Madrone (incumbents), and Eli Wainman (newly appointed); Marine Resources Committee: Elizabeth Kilanowski (incumbent, scientific expertise position), Doug Stark (incumbent, conservation/environmental interest position), and Christine Woodward (newly appointed, conservation/environmental interest position); Parks and Recreation Commission: Richard Sturgill (incumbent, District 5 position), Jeff Margolis (incumbent, District at Large position), and Susan McClendon (newly appointed, District 2 position) (AB2017-052)
13. Update the Whatcom County Comprehensive Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Plan? Washington State law requires local governments to update their solid waste plans every five years. This update prioritizes efficiency-related regulatory reforms, increasing disposal options for special wastes, and waste reduction and recycling community education and outreach. The update will be submitted to the state Department of Ecology for approval. AB2016-302 (Resolution 2017-002) Approved 7-0
14. Consider a petition to vacate a portion of Chets Road? Petitioners Robert Woods and Petra Tode-Woods request that parts of Chets Road adjoining two lots in the Boundary Heights development located in unincorporated Whatcom County be vacated. This vote initiates a county engineering report on the proposed vacation. AB2017-051 (Resolution 2017-003) Approved 7-0
15. Create the Columbia Valley Park and Recreation District? At the 7/26/2016 meeting, vote #133, the council voted to place a proposition on the 2016 general election ballot to form the Columbia Valley Park and Recreation District. It was approved by a 68.44 percent of the eligible voters. AB2016-218C (Resolution 2017-004) Approved 7-0
16. Permit kennels in agriculture zones as a conditional use? (Public hearing held.) This amendment to the county code will allow individuals to apply for conditional use permits to operate commercial kennels within agricultural zones. The council is required to hold a public hearing on the permit application. AB2017-038 (Ordinance 2017-001) Adopted 7-0
17. Adopt the current state building code and repeal the existing Title 15 of the Whatcom County Code? (Public hearing held.) State law requires that counties administer, enforce, and update the state Building Code in unincorporated areas within their boundaries for reasons of public health and safety. The ordinance will adopt the 2015 editions of: the international codes, the Uniform Plumbing Code, the State of Washington Energy Code, and the State of Washington amendments. AB2016-289 (Ordinance 2017-002) Adopted 5-2, Barbara Brenner and Ken Mann opposed.
18. Amend the 2017 budget (request #1) in the amount of $170,302? Appropriate: $25,500 to fund a community health research project focusing on families with children from birth to three in Whatcom County; $10,302 to fund a health department human papillomavirus vaccine program; $89,500 to fund the addition of office space to the health department building on Girard Street; $45,000 to fund audio-visual upgrades to enhance emergency response at the Whatcom Unified Emergency Coordination Center. AB2017-039 (Ordinance 2017-003) Amended and adopted 7-0
19. Extend due dates for phase III reports by the Whatcom County Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force? At the 6/9/2015 meeting, vote #108, the council created the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force to make specific recommendations for safely reducing the incarceration of individuals experiencing mental illness and chemical dependency, as well as those pre-trial defendants who can be safely released. The due date for the initial report, which addresses planning for a crisis triage center, is extended to 7/11/2017, the due date for the final report is extended to 12/5/2017. AB2017-040 (Ordinance 2017-004) Adopted 7-0