Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at October 24, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
195. Authorize the executive to sign a $25,000 contract (amendment #1) with the Cascadia Law Group of Seattle to conduct a study and make recommendations related to the exports of crude oil, coal, liquefied petroleum gases and natural gas from the Cherry Point UGA? This amendment bring the total contract to $65,000 and it expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017-301) Substitute approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed.
196. Authorize the executive to sign a $50,000 contract (amendment #3) with ReSources? The original contract was approved at the 9/29/2015 meeting, vote #176, it provided for a countywide waste reduction and recycling education program for youth at the elementary, middle and high school levels. This brings the amended contract to $170,000, it runs from 1/1/2018 through 12/31/2018. (AB2017-306) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner2 opposed.
197. Confirm the assessment roll for property within the boundaries of the Emerald Lake lighting district and remand the roll to the county treasurer for collection? (Public hearing held — council acting as the Board of Equalization.) The 1987 rate cap will be replaced and the first annual assessment will be charged at $2.00 per account per year and $8.50 per parcel. AB2017-262B (Resolution 2017-047) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner3 opposed.
198. Confirm the assessment roll for property within the boundaries of the Birch Bay lighting district and remand the roll to the county treasurer for collection? (Public hearing held — council acting as the Board of Equalization.) The 1983 rate cap will be replaced and the first annual assessment will be charged at $2 per year and 0.45 cents per lineal front foot but shall not exceed $0.75 per lineal front foot. AB2017-263B (Resolution 2017-048) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner3 opposed.
199. Approve the sale of a portion of surplus real property? (Public hearing held) The property is the Y Road landfill and is approximately 4.624 acres and will be sold by sealed bid for the minimum price of $32,368, to include all costs of the sale of said property. AB2017-285 (Resolution 2017-049) Approved 7-0
200. Approve the 2018 annual road construction program? (Public hearing held) The road construction program (also called the annual construction program) is identical to the first year of the six-year transportation improvement plan, which was approved at the 9/26/2017 meeting, vote #173. Expenditures of county funds are estimated at $12,244,000 and the grand total is estimated at $16,280,000 for 33 projects. AB2017-294 (Resolution 2017-050) Approved 7-0 (Rud Browne abstained from voting on project item R3)
201. Adopt the six-year (2018–2023) water resources improvement program? (Public hearing held — council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The flood control and storm water improvement program includes 34 identified projects as well as unanticipated projects on an as-needed basis. AB2017-295 (Resolution 2017-051) Approved 7-0
202. Adopt a salary schedule and policies for unrepresented Whatcom County employees? The schedule and policies cover county employees not represented by a union, and include: a 2.5 percent increase for 2018 at all salary levels; clarification in contractual language covering medical benefits, probable cause overtime for prosecuting attorneys; and flex time and paid sick leave rules. The schedule runs from 1/1/2018 to 12/31/2018. AB2017-302 (Resolution 2017-052) Approved 7-0
203. Cancel $29,339 in uncollectible accounts? The accounts are more than three years old. They consists of seven Planning & Development Services code enforcement violations totaling $5,950 and 48 Public Works accounts for primarily road damages and code-violation penalties totaling $23,349. AB2017-303 (Resolution 2017-053) Approved 7-0
204. Order the cancellation of uncashed checks issued prior to 7/1/2016? There are 145 uncashed checks (warrents) totaling $13,870.The uncashed checks were written to various businesses, groups, or individuals. Whatcom County has 117 uncashed checks totaling $5,585, Fire District No. 7 has one uncashed check totaling $6,245, the NW regional council, cemetery, rural library, drainage, fire, and water districts have 27 uncashed checks totaling $2,040. The money will be held for one year and then transferred to the state of Washington as abandoned property where it will be available to the payee indefinitely. AB2017-304 (Resolution 2017-054) Approved 7-0
205. Establish a Homeless Strategies Workgroup? The “2017 Point in Time Count” identified 742 individuals experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County, up from 719 in 2016 and 651 in 2015. The proposed work group will identify multiple policy initiatives that address the needs of individuals living unsheltered in Whatcom County. The workgroup will consist of 10 members, the Whatcom County executive/mayor of Bellingham or their designee, two Whatcom County Council/Bellingham City Council members, and one representative each from the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, the Opportunity Council, Northwest Youth Services, and the Lighthouse Mission Ministries. AB2017-300 (Resolution 2017-055.) Substitute approved 7-0; councilmembers Rud Browne and Barry Buchanan appointed to the workgroup.
206. Lower the speed limit on portions of North Shore Road? (Public hearing held) Local residents requested a reduction in the speed limit. It will be reduced to 30 miles-per-hour from Lakeshore Road to the west side of Smith Creek and 35 miles-per-hour from Y Road east to Lakeshore Road. Additionally, the 30 miles-per-hour zone shall be designated as a “no passing” zone. AB2017-196A (Ordinance 2017-058) Adopted 6-1, Todd Donovan opposed.
207. Amend the 2017 budget (request #12) in the amount of $1,229,376? Appropriated: $78,355 to fund a contract increase for the Developmental Disabilities program; $12,320 to fund a clerk supervisor position at the Health Department; $10,272 to fund an account clerk III position at the Health Department; $25,014 to fund the Foundation Public Health communicable disease education and monitoring program, including a 1 FTE position; $40,000 to fund the Community Prevention & Wellness Initiative program addressing opioid addiction; $414,141 to fund permit system replacement; $159,925 to fund additional 2017 wage adjustments for county employees; $45,100 to fund the What-Comm E911 operations grant program for 2017-18; $13,000 to fund a Parks Department vehicle body upgrade; $22,149 to fund a correction of a 2017 wage and benefit settlement; $137,776 to fund a 2017 medical benefit increase for sheriff’s guild members; $176,094 to fund the replacement of the permit system used by Public Works; $172,653 to fund an increase in the emergency solutions housing grant program serving homeless and low-income individuals; $150,000 fo fund an electronic patient care reporting system; $29,427 to fund the closeout of the Academy Road project budget; $50,000 to fund a replacement Parks Department sprinter van that was totaled in an accident; $13,000 to fund a service body upgrade for Parks Department vehicle #899. AB2017-296 (Ordinance 2017-059) Adopted 7-0
208. Add $1,448,327 to the project based budget (amendment #1) for the integration of the land records and permit management systems? The system will be used for land-use planning applications by county departments, private businesses, and citizens. The $1,168,334 project based budget was originally passed at the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #236. The project has identified a potential vendor to provide hardware, software, and implementation services, with the anticipated vote on the contract to occur in November 2017. The total amended budget is $2,616,661. AB2017-298 (Ordinance 2017-060) Adopted 7-0
209. Repeal the Whatcom County Accident Prevention Program? The ordinance was adopted by the council on 2/6/1996. The executive’s office has updated safety-related policies, regulations, resources, and rules to align with current laws covering workplace safety. The Accident Prevention Program was approved as an administrative police by the executive on 9/20/2017. AB2017-297 (Ordinance 2017-061) Adopted 7-0
Action Taken at November 8, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
210. Authorize the executive to sign a $168,339 contract with North Sound Behavioral Health Organization for housing case management and emergency shelter support? The contract will promote recovery and provide community outreach for individuals with serious mental illness that are experiencing homelessness. The contract expires on 6/30/2018. (AB2017-313) Approved 7-0
211. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the city of Bellingham and the Lake Whatcom Water & Sewer District for Lake Whatcom tributary monitoring? The agreement supports fecal coliform and phosphorous monitoring in the watershed tributaries from the fall of 2017 until 4/30/2021. The total amount is $279,779, the county contributes 45 percent or $125,901, the city 45 percent and the water and sewer district 10 percent or $27,978. Brown and Caldwell of Seattle will conduct the monitoring. (AB2017-314) Approved 7-0
212. Authorize the executive to sign a $1,080,240 contract with Tyler Technologies of Plano, TX to implement a new land-use permit system? Since 1992, the county has used the current Tidemark Advantage permit system to track over 5,000 applications per year. One-time software licenses are $514,989 and implementation services are $565,250. Maintenance payments begin in 2019, and are ongoing, until vacated by either party. (AB2017-315) Approved 7-0
213. Authorize the executive to sign a $543,000 contract (amendment #2) with design2LAST of Edmonds for building assessment studies and capital improvements at the jail and work center? At the 7/12/2016 meeting, vote #114, council voted to enter into a contract to provide a needs assessments, it was amended at the 1/24/2017 meeting, vote #10, to add Phase 1B. The total amended amount is $913,287 and the contract expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2017-316) Approved 7-0
214. Authorize the executive to sign a $68,970 contract between Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District and Geneva Consulting Services of New York, NY? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The contract will provide support for the coordination of the local integrating organization (the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Board acts as the local integrating organization) for the purpose of managing regional water resources. The contract expires on 9/30/2018. (AB2017- 312) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner opposed.4
215. Approve the sale of an easement over Whatcom County-owned property? Terry and Joeen Daughters own property off Lummi View Drive and adjacent to “Emma Road property,” they are are requesting an easement for the purposes of landscape installation and maintenance. They will compensate the county for the appraised value of $63,400. AB2017-308 (Resolution 2017-056) Approved 7-0
216. Set a public hearing at the November 21 meeting for the sale of county tax title property by negotiation? The driveway for the home at 8133 Pony Express Way in Maple Falls is on Paradise Lakes Country Club property. The Whatcom County Property Management Commitee has determined that the property is not suitable for building and should be sold to Elton Sanders. The price shall be no less than $1,801, including principal taxes, interest, penalties, title search, and foreclosure costs. AB2017-311 (Resolution 2017-057) Approved 7-0
217. Request that the executive allocate funding to make minor changes to improve service to the public and eliminate certain repetitive tasks for the staff? The conversion of all single stall gender-assigned public restrooms in county government buildings to gender neutral status; he installation of changing tables in all public restrooms in county government buildings; and the installation of permanent signs in the south parking lot designating parking for County Council members on meeting days. AB2017-333 (Resolution 2017-058) Approved 6-0, Barbara Brenner abstained.5
Action Taken at November 21, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
218. Appoint Stephen Jackson to a partial term on the Whatcom County Planning Commission? Mr. Jackson is a deputy public defender for Whatcom County. He had been employed by Whatcom County since April 2015. The District 2 term ends on 1/31/2021. (AB2017-309) Approved 7-0
219. Authorize the executive to sign two contracts totaling $150,000 with Watershed Science & Engineering of Seattle and LandC, etc. of Bothell? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) Each contract is for $75,000. The contracts will provide Full EQuations hydraulic modeling services and assistance to river and flood staff as they revise and run the hydraulic model developed for the lower Nooksack River? The goal is to evaluate integrated flood hazard management alternatives. Both contracts expire on 12/31/2019. (AB2017-337/AB2017-338) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room.
220. Authorize the executive to sign a $83,765 joint funding agreement between the Flood Control Zone District and the federal government? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior/U.S. Geological Survey will support collection and publication of surface water data at eight stream gages in the Nooksack River basin from 10/1/2017 to 9/20/2018. (AB2017-339) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room.
221. Sell county tax title property by negotiation? (Public hearing held) The driveway for the home at 8133 Pony Express Way in Maple Falls is on Paradise Lakes Country Club property. The Whatcom County Property Management Commitee has determined that the property is not suitable for building and can be sold to Elton Sanders. The price shall be no less than $1,801, including principal taxes, interest, penalties, title search, and foreclosure costs. AB2017-311A (Resolution 2017-059) Approved 7-0
222. Approve the 2018 recommended allocations for tourism-related facilities and activities? The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee has made a funding recommendation in the amount of $669,500, with an additional 5 percent contingency fund in the amount $33,475, for a total allocation of $702,975. AB2017-340 (Resolution 2017-060) Approved 7-0
223. Approve four Open Space applications? The applications: Open Space Land: William and Ruth Geyer and Joshua McConnel (4 acres). Open Space Land: Michael and Kathleen Craig (8.48 acres). From Forestland to Open Space Land: Lummi Island Hertitage Trust (113.57 acres). From Open Space Farm and Agriculture to Open Space Farm and Agriculture Conservation Land: Ed Lofquist (9.95 acres). All four properties are being recommended for approval, subject to conditions, incuding providing signed public access. AB2017-336 (Resolution 2017-061) Approved 7-0
224. Appropriate $83,765 (amendment #4) to the 2017 Flood Control Zone District and Subzones Budgets? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The money will fund the operation of United States Geological Survey stream gauges. Data collected by the gauges is used to address water quality issues in the county. AB2017-324 (Resolution 2017-062) Approved 7-0
225. Update the capital project section of the Lake Whatcom Comprehensive Stormwater Plan? The council adopted the Comprehensive Stormwater Plan at the 5/6/2008 meeting, vote #93, the primary goal of the plan is to identify projects that would reduce pollution in Lake Whatcom. At the 10/27/2015 meeting, vote #197, the council approved a $137,157 contract with Herrera Environmental Consultants of Seattle to identify and prioritize capital improvement projects, develop a Sudden Valley sub-watershed master plan, and facilitate public meetings. This vote adopts the plan as an agency SEPA policy under the State Environmental Policy Act. AB2017-322 (Resolution 2017-063) Approved 7-0
226. Adopt amendments to the Whatcom County Zoning Code? (Public hearing held) Single family residential density will be allowed to increase in the Resort Commercial District in the Birch Bay Urban Growth Area if developers purchase density credits. The density credit program funds the Purchase of Development Rights program, which preserves open space in the county. AB2017-319 (Ordinance 2017-062) Adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner opposed.6
227. Lower the speed limit on a portion of Lake Whatcom Boulevard? (Public hearing held) The speed limit will be lowered from 35mph to 25mph on the section of boulevard between Cherry Lane and the western inersection of Strawberry Point Road. AB2017-323 (Ordinance 2017-063) Adopted 7-0
228. Authorize the levy of taxes for county and state purposes in 2018? (Public hearing held) To fund essential county services there will be no tax increase in 2018. AB2017-327 (Ordinance 2017-064) Adopted 7-0
229. Limit the 2018 general fund property tax levy? (Public hearing held) The 2018 general fund property tax levy will not change from the 2017 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2017-328 (Ordinance 2017-065) Adopted 7-0
230. Adopt the conservation futures fund tax levy for 2018? (Public hearing held) The levy will be the same as 2017, 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on real property. The funds can only be used to acquire land or development rights for conservation purposes, with a small percentage being used for maintenance. AB2014-373 AB2017-329 (Ordinance 2017-066 ) Adopted 7-0
231. Authorize the levy of 2018 property taxes for county road purposes? (Public hearing held) The road fund tax levy will be same as 2017. AB2017-330 (Ordinance 2017-067) Adopted 7-0
232. Reactivate the Wildlife Advisory Committee? The County Council created the committee at the 7/7/2015 meeting, vote #131. It was set up to advise the Whatcom County Planning and Development Services and the Whatcom County Council on the value of wildlife and habitat management in the planning process and to terminate on 6/31/2016. At the 7/12/2016 meeting, vote #122, the life of the committee was extended to 7/31/2017. This reactivated committee will have eleven members, seven of whom are required to have technical expertise. It will add a part-time staff member to support the committee. The amendment adds language encouraging farmers and members of the agricultural industry to apply for the four non-technical positions. Members will be appointed to four years terms. AB2017-318 (Ordinance 2017-068) Substitute amended and adopted 6-1, Barbara Brenner opposed.7
233. Appropriate $7,850,000 (amendment #4) for the Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility project based budget? The project will include the development of a berm/trail to minimize beach erosion and storm damage, and to promote bicycling and walking. The design phase is 90 percent complete and land acquisition is 95 percent complete, with all permits submitted. This amendment will fund construction and construction engineeering and bring the total amount to $11,450,000. AB2017-320 (Ordinance 2017-069) Adopted 7-0
234. Amend the 2017 budget (request #13) in the amount of $4,330,977? Appropriated: $1,290,000 to fund the road construction phase of the Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility Project; $5,287 to fund a chemical dependency professional position at the Whatcom County Drug Court; $519,690 to fund emergency medical services contracts; $16,000 to fund GR36 courtroom video data storage, which will increase the video storage capacity from 3-4 days to 7 days; $500,000 to fund the Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility Project; $2,000,000 to fund unexpected medical claims made by county employees covered by the self-insured medical plan. AB2017-325 (Ordinance 2017-070 ) Substitute adopted 7-0
235. Amend the 2018 budget (request #1) in the amount of $20,456,067? Appropriated: $2,217,245 to fund 2018 wage settlements and benefit adjustments for all general fund departments; $780,241 to fund grant program adjustments at the Health Department; $227,525 to fund a new ballot processing system; $206,172 to fund juvenile electronics hardware refresh, Prox-Lock AMAG upgrades and repairs, and thermostatic mixing valves at the Courthouse; $528,382 to fund security system hardware projects; $7,000,000 to fund increased operational expenditures at the jail; $650,000 to fund a 2018 wage and benefit reserve; $2,700,000 to defund a general fund transfer because of the passage of the EMS tax levy; $7,601,375 to fund the annual road program; $427,525 to fund replacement of the ballot processing system; $700,000 to fund increased operational expenditures; $528,155 to fund security system hardware and thermosatic mixing valve replacements; $2,209,401 to fund adjustments to the 2018 EMS program budget and $300,000 to fund EDI expanded scope for Tri-Funder agreement. Amounts below $200,000 were deleted from this report. AB2017-326 (Ordinance 2017-071) Substitute amended and adopted 7-0.