Bellingham City Council
Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer
Action Taken at August 7, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
134. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Heather Keay to the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? The board advises the city on the purchase, management, maintenance and use of properties within the Lake Whatcom watershed. Heather Keay is a payroll and benefits manager for Nature’s Path Foods in Blaine and a local resident for 10 years. She has managed payroll and benefits for both The Markets LLC and Haggen, Inc. and has a BA in interdisciplinary studies from University of Missouri-Columbia. Her first term expires on 8/7/2020 at which time she may be reappointed. (AB21693) Approved 7-0
135. Appropriate $3,351,437 for payroll checks issued from June 24 through July 10, 2017? (AB21695) Approved 7-0
136. Appropriate $7,114,071 for goods and services checks issued from July 15 through July 28, 2017? (AB21696/21697) Approved 7-0
137. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $111,894 to Chaplin Construction of Burlington for improvements to retail space in the city-owned Commercial Street Garage? Improvements involve demolition and construction required to divide an existing 4,140 square foot lease space into separate spaces of approximately 3,000 square feet and 1,000 square feet, plus a shared common space. Walls, doors, supports, signage, and electrical-mechanical revisions are included in the work. The engineer’s estimate was $102,231. The city received three bids, the high bid was $133,208. (AB21698) Approved 7-0
138. Authorize the mayor to relinquish a surplus utility easement located within a vacated portion of McKenzie Avenue adjacent to the Bellingham Tennis Club? (Public hearing held.) Made at the request of Tennis Club property owners Douglas K. Robertson and Robin L. M. Robertson, the easement will become surplus to the city’s needs and no longer be needed for the provision of public utility services upon the applicant’s granting the city an acceptable replacement waterline easement and granting Cascade Natural Gas a replacement gas line easement. At the 3/27/2017 meeting, vote #59, the City Council passed a resolution authorizing the city’s traffic engineer to change McKenzie Avenue to one-way westbound traffic between 8th and 9th Streets. AB21686 (Resolution 2017-31) Approved 7-0
139. Approve the Qwest Broadband Services d/b/a CenturyLink application for a cable television franchise? (Public hearing held at July 24 meeting.) The city received an application in June 2016 from CenturyLink to construct, operate and maintain a cable television franchise. Negotiations took place over the past year, based on community needs and interests, staff interaction with the public, and policy direction and guidance provided from the council franchise working group and mayor. Important to note is the fact that CenturyLink, as a second cable television provider in the community, is not required to meet the same standards as the incumbent cable television provider, per the Federal Communications Commission. AB21671 (Ordinance 2017-08-022) Approved 7-0
Action Taken at August 14, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
140. Deny the appeal to a claim for damages? The claim amount was $24,000. The following was obtained from a claim for damages. A city storm drain was blocked by tree roots causing water to backup into the basement of a house at 828 Blueberry Lane. Three tenants that live in the basement were moved upstairs. The city removed a buckled sidewalk and tree, installed new pipe and a catch/clean-out basin where the tree had been. Damaged laminate flooring and drywall were replaced plus carpet and the walls were painted. There was excavation and drainage remediation plus a sump pump was replaced.
The city denied the claim based on a Public Works investigation that determined a faulty sump pump connected to a perforated pipe that had no head pressure and not tree roots was the cause of the problem. The City Council reviewed merits of the claim and upheld the denial. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 6-0, Pinky Vargas excused.
141. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Port of Bellingham for installation, operation and maintenance of casing, conduit and district energy piping within the Granary Avenue and Laurel Street? At the 12/2/2013 meeting, vote #253, the city and the port entered an agreement in which the city agreed to construct Granary Avenue and Laurel Street, scheduled to commence in the fall of 2017. It provides for the city to include certain port elements within the project at the port’s expense, including casing and conduit to house franchise utilities, fiber optic cable, and district energy piping that will serve adjacent port properties, and authorizes the city to access and use the port’s aerated stabilization basin to manage construction stormwater and groundwater during the project. (AB21700) Approved 6-0, Pinky Vargas excused.
142. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $239,645 to Apply-A-Line of Pacific, Washington for a re-striping project? The project involves bicycle and pedestrian safety and efficiency improvements. A cycle lane or sharrow will be painted on Alderwood, Highland, Mill, St. Paul and Undine Streets, and W. Campus Way; bike lane channelization will take place on N. Forest, Orleans, N. State, and Woburn Streets. The city received four bids, the high bid was $513,725. The engineer’s estimate was $359,425. (AB21701) Approved 6-0, Pinky Vargas excused.
143. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $262,652 to Razz Construction of Bellingham for interim shoreline stabilization at Boulevard Park? This project includes improvements at Boulevard Park to stabilize and protect the shoreline which has been impacted by high tides, wind and waves. A remedial investigation and feasibility study is currently underway for portions of the park which are contaminated from previous industrial uses. An interim action is needed to temporarily stabilize the shoreline while the city, with oversight by the Washington State Department of Ecology, continues to evaluate cleanup options. Work includes temporary shoreline repair, decking removal, stabilization of a failing concrete bulkhead, and removal of loose pier and piles, to be conducted along the northernmost edge of the park. The city received two bids, the high bid was $334,734. The engineer’s estimate was 296,404. (AB21702) Approved 6-0, Pinky Vargas excused.
144. Appropriate $3,267,763 for payroll checks issued from July 11 through July 24, 2017? (AB21707) Approved 6-0, Pinky Vargas excused.
145. Appropriate $1,355,297 for goods and services checks issued from July 29 through August 4, 2017? (AB21708) Approved 6-0, Pinky Vargas excused.
Action Taken at September 11, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
146. Authorize the mayor to sign a settlement agreement with Judy Swatosh? The following was obtained from a claim for damages filed with the city on 4/8/2015. The claim amount was $1.58 million. Judy Swatosh became an employee of the Bellingham Public Library in 2001 and part-time reference desk librarian in 2004. In 2007, she was attacked by a library patron and filed a grivance regarding workplace safety. That was the beginning of her problems. She was denied extra reference desk hours. A reprimand for missed work because of chest pains and a diagnosis of ADHD caused additional problems. This vote dismisses the lawsuit Swatosh v. City of Bellingham and makes a payment $60,000 to the plaintiff. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
147. Adopt the Cordata Community Park master plan? At the 3/23/2015 meeting, vote #52, the council authorize the expenditure of $3,620,000 to purchase 20.76 acres that became Cordata Community Park. Public meetings held in 2016 and 2017 resulted in a park master plan with recreation activities for adults and children including a playground, sport courts, a spray park, an enclosed pavilion, picnic areas, restrooms and performance stage. Other park improvements include an open lawn area for casual play, trails, wetland buffer mitigation, and parking at the north and south ends of the park. Development will proceed as funds are available, including Greenway 4 levy and park impact fees, with $100,000 previously budgeted to develop park master plan and an estimated $13 million to develop the park. (AB21658) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
148. The mayor reappointed Peter Hurd to his final term on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Mr. Hurd also served on the Watershed Advisory Board (2008) and the Park Board Steering Committee (2016) and also buys, sells, and restores high-quality oboes, horns, and other various reed instruments. He was first appointed on 9/23/14, his last term will expire on 9/23/2020. (AB21719) Does not require council confirmation.
149. Authorize the mayor to sign a cost share agreement with the state of Washington for the Local Source Control Program? At the 3/31/2008 meeting, vote #83, the city received a $125,205 state grant to hire a source control specialist and received additional grants in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. The program provides education, outreach and support for small businesses regarding proper handling, storage, and disposal practices of hazardous or dangerous waste, and aids business owners in maintaining compliance with federal, state and local codes for such materials and protects our stormwater, sewer and lands from contamination. The state will reimburse up to $178,809 for the program. (AB21720) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
150. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the State of Washington for Washington Conservation Corps crews? The city will sponsor two full-year crews from 10/2/2017 to 9/9/2018, the total cost to the city is 387,334. The estimated value of the two crews are $442,666. Crews will perform riparian restoration work throughout Bellingham and the Lake Whatcom watershed. (AB21721) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
151. Appropriate $6,534,710 for payroll checks issued from July 26 through August 25, 2017? (AB21722/21723) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
152. Appropriate $ 5,033,523 for goods and services checks issued from August 5 through September 1, 2017? (AB21724/21725/21726/21727) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
153. Authorize the mayor to relinquish a surplus utility easement located within a vacated portion of 40th Street and Consolidation Avenue between the north line of Byron Avenue and the center line of Consolidation Avenue? (Public hearing held.) The property is subject to a public utility easement that was retained by the city in street vacation Ordinance Numbers 7814 (1969) and 7963 (1970) and is surplus to the city’s needs and not required for the provision of public utility services. AB21709 (Resolution 2017-32) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
154. Authorize the demolition of houses at 2315 and 2512 Lynn Street? At the 3/10/2014 meeting, vote #37, the council authorized the legal department to file civil nuisance actions with respect to properties at 2315 and 2512 Lynn Street. A judge declared the properties a public nuisance, a threat to public health due to their dilapidated conditions and ordered their demolition. The property owner, who will retain ownership, is not known to have taken any mitigating actions, despite claims made to the contrary. The city does not have the ability to provide access to private third party contractors for inspections allowing for the standard bidding process. The emergency declaration not requiring a bidding process will shorten the length of time required to complete the cleanup. AB21711 (Resolution 2017-33) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
155. Support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigrant program? President Donald Trump has announced a plan to terminate the DACA program. The termination would affect 800,000 immigrant children in our country, approximately 17,000 in Washington State and it would affect students locally. It is an action that will likely lead to harmful trauma, hurt local and national economies, and create unrest here and throughout our country. At the 2/13/2017 meeting, vote #29, the council passed a resolution that “Affirms the Safety of All People Residing in Bellingham.” AB21716 (Resolution 2017-34) Approved 6-1, April Barker excused.
156. Encourge Bellingham residents to celebrate September 21, 2017 as International Day of Peace and recognize the 15th Anniversary of the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center? The date was officially adopted in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly, Mayor Dan Pike issued a Peace Day proclamation in 2010, and it has been commemorated since 2003 with a community event organized by Whatcom Peace & Justice Center. This resolution promotes an event being held at the Majestic Ballroom (1027 N Forest St) and also expresses gratitude for the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center’s contributions to the community. (Resolution 2017-35) Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
157. Amend the Bellingham Municipal Code to allow construction of multifamily uses in residential, single mixed-use zones? (Public hearing held at August 14 meeting.) Currently, in areas where duplex/multifamily housing is permitted as part of a single-family development, the municipal code requires the construction of a certain percentage of these single-family units before the duplex/multifamily uses can be constructed. This amendment allows the construction of duplex/multifamily uses to occur before the single-family uses when the duplex/multifamily units are found to provide a buffer/transition area between the single-family uses and more intense land use districts. This amendment also includes correction of scrivener errors and minor code clean-up for consistency. AB21699 (Ordinance 2017-09-023) Approved Approved 6-0, April Barker excused.
Action Taken at September 25, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
158. Appoint Michael Lilliquist as liaison to the Whatcom County Council and express the city’s desire to partner with the county and other local agencies in finding a suitable site for a low-barrier shelter? The 24-hour drop-in center currently in operation isn’t able to adequately address the city’s housing needs without assistance in the form of partnership. Planning and Community Development reports that no properties which are for sale and no vacant lots meet the criteria. (Old/New Business) Approved 7-0
159. Direct city staff to negotiate a water contract with the Lummi Nation? The Lummi Nation has applied for between 300,000 and 600,000 gallons of water per day to serve properties in the Slater Road/I-5 area. Average daily treated water withdrawl from the lake has declined from 10.4 million gallons in 2004 to 7.4 million gallons in 2016. The city is required to evaluate the application based on state law. The city anticipates development on Slater Road would result in a revenue loss of $300,000 to $1.6 million. (21704) Approved 7-0
160. The Bellingham police department has applied for a $22,828 federal grant for body camera software. (Public hearing held) The application requires public hearing so citizens can comment on the proposed use of federal funds. Police officers have been wearing body cameras for two years. Officers have many videos to time-stamp in a day and each takes approximately three minutes. The grant will be used to purchase software to automate time-stamping body camera videos. (AB21729) Does not require a council vote.
161. Extend the inmate housing agreement (amendment #2) with the South Correctional Entity (SCORE) for a one year increased bed rate? This contract for inmate housing provides another tool to address overcrowding at the main jail. At the 3/21/2016 meeting, vote #45, the council authorized the mayor to sign an agreement for inmate housing with SCORE, located in Des Moines, WA. The 164,000 square foot facility cost $52 million to build, has a staff of 150 full-time positions and the capacity to house 813 inmates. The agreement was extended at the 11/7/2016 meeting, vote 183, throught 12/31/2022 with a non-guaranteed bed rate of $163. This amendment increases the 2018 bed rate to $175. To date in 2017, $2,114 has been spent for 13 bed days. (AB21731) Approved 7-0
162. Appropriate $3,306,392 for payroll checks issued from August 26 through September 9, 2017? (AB21732) Approved 7-0
163. Appropriate $3,938,523 for goods and services checks issued from September 2 through September 15, 2017? (AB21733/21734) Approved 7-0