Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at September 25, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
141. Authorize the executive to accept $13,223 in federal grant funds from the city of Bellingham? (Public hearing held.) The city of Bellingham will administer the $35,780 in grant funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The city will receive $22,557 and forward $13,223 to the Whatcom County sheriff’s office for the purchase of inclement-weather protective gear. (AB2018-257) Approved 7-0
142. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $79,695 with the state of Washington for a Washington Conservation Corps crew? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The contract will fund a six-person Washington Conservation Corps crew to assist Public Works with salmon habitat restoration and water quality monitoring. The crew will be shared with Whatcom County Parks and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association: they will sign separate agreements with the state. The contract expires on 9/8/2019. (AB2018-260) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
143. Authorize the executive to sign an $86,391 joint funding agreement with the federal government for eight stream gauges? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The agreement supports the operation and maintenance, including data collection and access, of eight stream gauge sites in the Nooksack Watershed. Water temperature will be taken at the North Fork of the Nooksack River near Glacier, the Nooksack River at Saxon Bridge and North Cedarville, Skookum Creek near Wickersham, Anderson Creek near Goshen, Fishtrap Creek at Lynden, Bertrand Creek at the International Boundary and an unnamed tributary to Bertrand Creek near Lynden. Stream discharge will be taken at six locations. The total cost is $137,500, with the federal government contributing $51,109. The agreement expires on 9/30/2019. (AB2018-261) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
144. Authorize the executive to accept a $75,000 state grant for the Water Resource Inventory Area 1 (WRIA 1) water resources programs? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The grant will fund the cost of maintaining, organizing, facilitating the water resources programs administered by the local integrating organization. The grant expires on 9/30/2019. (AB2018-262) Approved 5-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
145. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $279,435 to Strider Construction Company of Bellingham for stormwater improvements to Hazel Lane and the North Cottonwood neighborhood in Birch Bay? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The engineer’s estimate was $383,975. The project will reduce flooding/drainage-related impacts to private property and county road systems, provide roof/downspout connections to the upgraded system, and improve water quality by safely conveying the stormwater to a water quality treatment swale. Total estimated project cost: $398,535. Seven bids were received, the high bid was $382,974. (AB2018-263) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
146. Authorize the executive to sign an $18,468 contract (amendment #2) with Tetra Tech of Seattle for additional design options for an outfall improvement project? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) In March 2018, the county entered into a contract with Tetra Tech to conduct hydrologic and hydraulic analyses and project design options to address a slope washout at Port Whitehorn caused by the failure of a outfall pipe resulting in a public safety issue. This amendment provides additional design services for an expanded area for the Birch Bay Drive outfall improvement project. The total amended contract is $102,278 and expires on 6/1/2019. (AB2018-264) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
147. Authorize the executive to accept a $75,000 state grant for the Marine Resources Committee? The grant will fund administrative costs for Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee projects from 10/1/2018 to 9/30/2019. The Marine Resources Committee advises Whatcom County government on marine issues, including remedial action. Projects include education and outreach, water quality monitoring, bull kelp surveys, forage fish spawning surveys, and monitoring of a pilot Olympia oyster restoration project. The administrative costs fund an existing 0.7 FTE position responsible for coordination, contract administration, and project implementation and monitoring. The grant expires on 9/30/2019. (AB2018-265) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
148. Sell surplus property by sealed bid? The Public Works Department determined that the property is not required for operations. The 0.74 acre property is located on Deeter Road and has an appraised price of $5,000. The minimum sale price will be $5,000. AB2018- 211A (Resolution 2018-033) Approved 7-0
149. Approve the six-year (2019 – 2024) transportation improvement program? (Public hearing held.) State law requires counties to update their six-year transportation plans annually. The program establishes a list of needed capital improvements and eligibility for state and federal funds and sets the rate for impact fees. Amendments to the program include the addition of eight projects and the removal of five projects. This vote also includes the first six years of the 14-year ferry capital improvement program. AB2018-250 (Resolution 2018-034) Approved 7-0
150. Approve the 2018 Flood Control Zone District and subzones budget (amendment #3) in the amount of $86,391? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The budget was adopted at the 12/5/2017 meeting, vote #250. Appropriate: $86,391 to fund U.S.G.S. stream gauges (see vote #143) at eight sites in the Nooksack Watershed. AB2018-255 (Resolution 2018-035) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
151. Adopt amendments to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Whatcom County Code related to drinking water? (Public hearing held.) At the 1/30/2018 meeting, vote #14, the council adopted construction, zoning, land division, and health, that pertain to water resources in the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Whatcom County Code. The vote was a response to the October 2016 state Supreme Court ruling, Whatcom County v. Hirst et. al. and Senate Bill 6091, signed into law in January of 2018, that directs local permitting agencies to approve groundwater withdrawal applications for exempt wells without requiring instream flow analyses and mitigation plans. Thes amendments will eliminate the Vote #14 compliance exemption for Point Roberts, Eliza Island, Lummi Island and the upper Skagit River. The prosecuting attorney’s office requested the vote to remedy criticism of the exemptions. AB2018-253 (Ordinance 2018-047) Adopted 7-0
152. Amend the 2018 budget (request #11) in the amount of $948,010? Appropriate: $78,697 to fund criminal justice treatment account programs intended to support non-violent offenders with initiating and maintaining drug treatment; $35,000 to fund the Project Now program, which will address health outcome disparities in low-income communities; $466,866 to fund What-Comm E911 emergency equipment upgrades; $13,515 to fund sheriff’s department drug trafficking investigations; $50,000 to fund the Peace Health Grace program contract, which will provide intensive outreach services to individuals with complex health conditions; $208,750 to fund paramedic training; $95,182 to fund the Purchase of Development Rights program easement on the 40-acre Sidhu application. AB2018-254 (Ordinance 2018-048) Adopted 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.
Action Taken at October 9, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
153. Adopt the six-year (2019–2024) water resources improvement program? (Public hearing held — Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) State law requires that counties update their six-year water resources improvement plans. The plan includes 36 projects that address flood management, salmon recovery, sediment/debris flow issues, and stormwater plans. AB2018-268 (Resolution 2018-036) Approved 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
154. Authorize the executive to sign a $415,000 contract with the Opportunity Council to help fund phase II of the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center expansion project? The East Whatcom Regional Resource Center was constructed in the Kendall area in 2009-2010 for approximately $6 million. In 2016, the Opportunity Council obtained a $750,000 grant for the expansion project. The contract includes the addition of a multiuse building to accommodate community programs and meeting space and a year-round food repository. The total estimated construction cost is $1,989,447. The county is the owner of the center and the contract expires on 12/31/2019. (AB2018- 279) Approved 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
155. Establish the Financial System Software Fund with a $1,750,000 project-based budget? The fund will replace the financial system software used by all branches and departments of county government. The current J.D. Edwards World Solution Company financial system software was purchased in 1993 and is nearing the end of its service life. The replacement project will include a financial system needs assessment, development of bid specifications, new financial system software, and network file servers. AB2018-269 (Ordinance 2018-049) Adopted 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
156. Close the Telecommunications System Replacement Fund? At the 2/11/2014 meeting, vote #38, the council voted to create the fund for the purposes of replacing the 25-year old Ericsson telecommunications system. The replacement of the telecommunications system is complete at a cost of $1,219,077, and the remaining cash balance of $604,732 will be transferred to the administrative services fund. AB2018-270 (Ordinance 2018-050) Adopted 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
157. Approve the expenditure of $4,589,000 (amendment #3) for the Jail Improvement Project? At the 7/26/2011 meeting, vote #121, the council authorized the expenditure of $3,117,700 to replace fire alarms and control systems at the main jail and juvenile detention facility. At the 11/8/2017 meeting, vote #213, council approved a $543,000 contract with design2LAST of Edmonds to conduct a building assessment for capitol improvements to the jail and work center. At the 1/30/2018 meeting, vote #17, council approved $350,000 for the design and construction phases. This amendment expands the scope of improvements at the main jail to include door and lock upgrades, fire detection and suppression upgrades, electrical and lighting system upgrades, installation of private pre-booking and consultation booths, and a Special Project Sergeant position to manage construction-related interruptions. Additionally, improvements at the Work Center facility will include installation of an access gate, a custody desk, and a locker room. This amendment brings the total project budget to $8,367,000. AB2018-271 (Ordinance 2018-051) Adopted 5-1, Todd Donovan opposed, Satpal Sidhu absent.
158. Amend the 2018 budget (request #12) in the amount of $136,027? Appropriate: $103,000 to fund general election cost increases, including the provision of ballot sleeves and mailing envelopes as part of a statewide requirement to provide prepaid postage for ballots; $33,027 to fund additional assistance with a historical records indexing and digitizing project at the auditor’s office. AB2018-272 (Ordinance 2018-052) Adopted 6-0, Satpal Sidhu absent.
159. Establish regular Whatcom County Council meeting dates for 2019? The Whatcom County Charter requires the council to meet 22 times per year. Meetings are scheduled for Tuesday except for Wednesday, August 7 and November 6. Meetings will be held twice a month except for one time in August and December. AB2018-276 (Resolution 2018-037) Approved 5-1, Barbara Brenner2 opposed, Satpal Sidhu absent.
Action Taken at October 23, 2018 Meeting
Shall the council:
160. Authorize the executive to accept a $280,125 federal grant to fund the purchase of a saltwater patrol vessel? The estimated cost of the vessel is $373,500. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant will fund 75 percent of the cost with a county match of 25 percent. In addition to freshwater lakes and rivers, Whatcom County contains approximately 700 square miles of saltwater in the Straits of Georgia, where the Whatcom County sheriff’s office is responsible for boating safety, emergency response, marine law enforcement, and transport to Bellingham of those arrested in Point Roberts. (AB2018-280) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
161. Authorize the executive to sign a $169,000 contract (amendment #1) with claims examiner Eberle Vivian to provide administrative services for the county’s self-insured workers’ compensation program? The services will run from 1/1/2019 throught 12/31/2021. The total amended contract is $315,237. (AB2018-293) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
162. Authorize the executive to sign a $108,000 contract (amendment #3) with the Meridian School District for behavioral health services? The contract was first approved at the 8/4/2015 meeting, vote #147. The services target students experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues. The total amended contract is $378,000 and it expires on 8/31/2019. (AB2018-294) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
163. Authorize the executive to sign a $355,490 contract with the Wheeler Consulting Group of Bellingham to provide environmental review, permitting, and engineering design support for the Swift Creek Sediment Management Fund? The fund was initially approved at the 7/24/2018 meeting, vote #120: it authorized $1 million for tasks one and two. The state has allocated $4 million for the project. The creek contains naturally occurring asbestos that continually comes off Sumas Mountain. During flooding, Swift Creek can transport asbestos-laden sediment down the creek and into the Sumas River posing health risks. The sediment can be deposited on channel banks and floodplains within Whatcom County and conveyed into Canada. This contract with Wheeler Consulting will produce a draft and final supplemental environmental impact statement. The draft EIS is expected to be completed by midsummer 2019. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2018-296) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
164. Confirm the executive’s appointment of Raymond Owings to the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee? The purpose of the committee is to assist the county in the planning, funding, development, and implementation of facilities and programs that will result in the increased safety and use of bicycle and pedestrian travel as a significant and beneficial mode of transportation and recreation. Mr. Owings is a retired pathologist and the owner of an online tandem bicycle business. (AB2018-299) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
165. Approve the 2019 annual construction program? (Public hearing held.) The construction program is identical to the first year of the six-year transportation improvement plan, which was approved at the 9/25/2018 meeting, vote #149. Public Works estimates that county road fund expenditures for 42 projects will be $13,805,000 and a grand total of $19,505,000. AB2018-281 (Resolution 2018-038) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
166. Order the cancellation of uncashed checks issued before 6/30/2016? There are 486 unclaimed jail inmate trust fund checks totaling $2,439. The check for the largest amount is $133.22 and three additional ones above $50.00. There are 183 uncashed checks for amounts below one dollar. The money will be transferred to the state of Washintgon as abandoned property where it will be available to the payee indefinitely. AB2018-291 (Resolution 2018-039) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
167. Change the name of Creasy Road to Creasey Road? (Public hearing held.) The current official spelling does not match the original 1883 plat designation, an “e is missing.” The cost to change the seven signs on the two-mile road providing access to 59 property owners is $312.64. AB2018-286 (Ordinance 2018-053) Adopted 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
168. Close County Parks Improvement Fund 330? The council voted to establish the fund in 1989. The anticipated projects have been completed and the fund is no longer necessary. The cash balance of $1,278 will be transferred to the parks’ special revenue fund established at the 4/22/2014 meeting, vote #89, for the maintenance, operations and improvements to park properties. AB2018-284 (Ordinance 2018-054) Adopted 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
169. Amend the 2018 budget (request #13) in the amount of $280,377? Appropriated: $280,377 to fund a crisis intervention deputy position at the sheriff’s department not currently funded as the result of a budget staff error. AB2018-285 (Ordinance 2018-055) Adopted 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
1. From Barbara Brenner: I am opposed to WRIA 1 water resource program because the local integrating organization does not represent all water users but will be influencing water resources programs. We have an organization called the Planning Unit that does represent all water users. That organization should be recommending the water resources programs.
2. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed the 2019 meeting schedule because it is difficult for residents to remember meeting dates. It would be much easier to remember the first and third Tuesday, or second and fourth Tuesday, or better yet, every Tuesday, rather than the approved schedule of every other Tuesday with numerous exceptions.