Bellingham City Council
Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer
Action Taken at May 6, 2019 Meeting
Shall the council:
78. Spend $775,000 to purchase a 12-acre parcel of property located in the Lake Whatcom watershed? This purchase is part of the city’s Lake Whatcom Watershed Property Acquisition Program. The property is being purchased with money from the water fund. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
79. Seek proposals for the sale of surplus property for affordable housing? On 10/22/2018, the council declared three residential parcels as surplus to the city’s needs. On 1/28/2019, the council directed staff to assess the level of interest from nonprofit housing providers. Three agencies responded that they are interested in one or more of the parcels, pending due diligence. Staff was directed to request full proposals from interested nonprofit housing agencies on two of the parcels, Texas Street and Samish Hill. The next step is to either request a detailed proposal for the properties from each of the interested agencies, or sell the parcels on the private market, and redirect the funds toward other affordable housing projects in the city. Approximately $300,000 is the anticipated potential gain to general fund or to be designated for affordable housing. (AB22177) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
80. Declare the Sportsplex Building property, located at Civic Field, surplus and allow the negotiated sale of the property to include continued public recreation programming? (Public hearing held.) On 3/11/2019, the City Council was presented with a proposal to consider the Sportsplex Building as surplus, it has always been operated by a private nonprofit agency and therefore potentially surplus to the city’s needs. Whatcom Sports and Recreation, which operates the facility, has expressed an interest in purchasing the building and giving them the ability to make needed repairs. Chet Lackey, president of Whatcom Sports and Recreation, presented an improvements list, which includes such items as roof and insulation ($430,000), LED lighting ($20,000), bleachers ($80,000), scoreboard repair ($1,200) and refrigeration costs estimated at $74,100. In 1997, the council approved a land lease with Whitewater Ice to construct the Sportsplex and approved the purchase building and lease to Whatcom Sports and Recreation in 2004. The remaining balance on the loan to purchase the Sportsplex is approximately $3 million. The loan is paid by the rent received from Whatcom Sports and Recreation, with a net balance revenue to the city of approximately $20,000 per year. (AB22244) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
81. Authorize the mayor to extend fire services to newly annexed city properties? At the 12/11/2017 meeting, vote #224, the council initiated the petition review process for the Mt. Baker Highway/Britton Road annexation. At the 12/10/2018 meeting, vote #214, the council voted to annex the approximately 75 acres of property and it became effective on 4/1/2019. In accordance with contract #1997-0398, the Fire Department worked with Fire District #4 on an annexation mitigation agreement. This agreement is consistent with previous annexations into Fire District 4’s area and with the 1997 agreement with Fire Districts 2, 4, and 8. This agreement will compensate Fire District 4 for lost revenue for three years, at $34,773 per year, for a total of $104,318. During that time, Fire District 4 will continue to provide first response services into the newly annexed areas of the city. At the end of the three year period, Fire District 4 will continue to respond into the city in compliance with the automatic aid agreement. (AB22297) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
82. Accept a donation from the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition? The coalition has offered to design and construct an expansion of the parking lot at Galbraith Lane and Old Samish Way in Lake Padden Park. Now that the city has acquired a recreation easement on Galbraith Mountain, the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition has offered to pay all costs (estimated at $350,000) for an expansion of the parking lot. This lot currently serves the eastern trails at Lake Padden and Galbraith Mountain, but is undersized (space for approximately 30 cars) for the use it receives, resulting in overflow parking along the side of a busy street. The council approval of the donation was requested due to the significant value of this donation. The new lot will provide parking for approximately 140 cars, and will include restroom facilities, a dog waste station, trash cans, wayfinding signage and nonmotorized access aligning with Galbraith Lane. Whatcom County has budgeted to design and build a new pedestrian crosswalk in this location in 2020 to serve the expanded parking lot. Maintenance of the expanded parking lot will likely include a combination of Sanitary Service Company for waste disposal, volunteers, and staff. The design carefully preserves mature conifers in Lake Padden Park, and will include minor rerouting of the existing trail. (AB22303) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
83. Appropriate $5,541,613 for goods and services checks issued from April 13, 2019 through April 26, 2019? (AB22308/22309) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
84. Authorize the mayor to submit the city’s draft Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Program ordinance to the state Department of Ecology for approval? Once approved, the ordinance will be brought back to the council for a vote. The Clean Water Act requires publicly owned wastewater treatment plants to establish pretreatment programs to safeguard the facility and the environment. The state has administered the program since 1972. It notified the city that it no longer intends to manage the program and ordered the city to adopt and administer a local pretreatment program. The city submitted a proposed program to the state on 10/22/2018. The state requested minor changes and a council resolution supporting the program. Implementation of the program is anticipated by the end of 2019. Costs for administration of the program will come from utility charges and fees assessed to customers subject to the regulations. AB22097 (Resolution 2019-12) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
85. Honor the Sikh community? Sikhs have been living in the United States and Whatcom County for more than 100 years, and, during the early 20th century, thousands of Sikh Americans worked on farms, in lumber mills and mines, and on the Washington, Oregon, California and Pacific & Eastern Railroad. Sikhism, the fifth largest world religion with approximately 25 million adherents from diverse backgrounds throughout the world, including an estimated 500,000 adherents in the United States. The local Sikh community will be celebrating Vaisakhi (one of the most significant days in Sikh history, which commemorates the creation of the Khalsa, a fellowship of devout Sikhs) on 4/27/2019. AB22304 (Resolution 2019-13) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
86. Adopt the 2019 action plan of the 2018-2022 consolidated plan? The federal government requires the consolidated plan to be updated every five years. The 2018-2022 consolidated plan was approved at the 5/7/2018 meeting, vote #66. The action plan designates city use of federal funds for low- and moderate-income households. It allocates federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program funding ($3,520,820 or 38 percent), city housing levy funds ($4,984,455 or 55 percent) and city general funds ($633,760 or 7 percent) to homebuyer, public facilities, housing preservation and production, rental assistance and services. AB22306 (Resolution 2019-14) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
87. Vacate an easterly portion of South State Street abutting 614 and 622 11th Street between Bayview Drive and Easton Avenue? (Closed record hearing held on 4/22/2019.) The Kink Family LLC of Seattle proposes the city vacate the subject right-of-way in order to maximize the density and development potential. The Riptide condominiums signed the vacation petition and are in support of the petition. Two residential units occupy the petitioner’s property. The additional right-of-way would provide the opportunity for 10 units, seven are currently allowed. On 4/29/2019, Capritaur Enterprises of Bellingham made a payment of $225,000 for the appraised market value of the property. AB22282 (Ordinance 2019-05-011) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
88. Update and clarify the permitting requirements for roadside vending, including food trucks and sidewalk cafes? This project includes adoption of new city code to replace the existing right-of-way use chapter, a policy guide outlining specific requirements, and updated application and renewal fees. The project has been a collaboration between Planning and Community Development, Public Works, legal, and fire departments. The Washington State Food Truck Association, Downtown Bellingham Association, Hospitality Resource Alliance, Fairhaven Merchants Association and Fountain District Business Association also participated and commented on the development of the new ordinance. AB22279 (Ordinance 2019-05-012) Approved 5-0, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
89. Amend council ward boundaries to include recently annexed property? At the 11/19/2018 meeting, vote #190, the council voted to annex approximately 174 acres of Bennett/Bakerview/Airport Drive property and at the 12/10/2018 meeting, vote #214, the council voted to annex approximately 75 acres of Mount Baker Highway/Britton Road property. Both annexations became effective on 4/1/2019. The Whatcom County Auditor recently requested updated information from the city regarding ward boundaries which account for the recently annexed areas; state law requires that the City Council provide the auditor accurate information describing the city’s geographical boundaries and the boundaries of council wards, and the charter provides that the city shall be divided into six wards as nearly equal in population and geographically compact as possible. Staff recommends adding the newly annexed areas to the first, second, and fourth wards. AB22286 (Ordinance 2019-05-013) Approved 4-1; April Barker opposed, Dan Hammill and Hanna Stone excused.
Action Taken at May 20, 2019 Meeting
Shall the council:
90. Mayor Linville appointed Kendra Bradford to the Sehome Hill Arboretum Board of Governors. Kendra Bradford has been a scientific instructional technician in the biology department at WWU for over 10 years. The arboretum site is 175.5 acres, the university owns 38 acres and the city 137.5 acres. The initial agreement between the city and Western Washington University to develop and coordinate the Sehome Hill arboretum was adopted at the City Council meeting on 8/7/1974. The agreement was recently renewed at the 12/12/2005 meeting, vote #267, and the 4/20/2015 meeting, vote #69. The board works with the city and WWU in planning the use of capital, operating and maintenance funds authorized by the city or WWU, and such endowment funds to the arboretum as may be received by either agency. Kendra Bradford’s first term will expire on 5/9/2022. (AB22313) Does not require council confirmation.
91. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $549,501 to Henefin Construction of Bellingham for Lake Whatcom water quality improvements? The engineer’s estimate was $579,885.24. The project includes installation of new stormwater management and treatment facilities in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Work will take place at three sites, two near the easterly edge of the north shore (Hayward West and Huntington Channel) with the third located on the westerly shore (Summit and Prospect). The city received five bids: the high bid was $696,979. (AB22316) Approved 7-0
92. Appropriate $3,531,883 for payroll checks issued from April 1 through April 15, 2019? (AB22321) Approved 7-0
93. Appropriate $4,326,818 for goods and services checks issued from April 27 through May 10, 2019? (AB22322/22323) Approved 7-0
94. Relinquish a portion of surplus utility easement located in the vacated easterly 10-foot portion of the Moore Street right-of-way, between Edwards Street and the south line of Jones Donation claim? (Public hearing held.) The city vacated 10 feet on each side of Moore Street in 1966, but retained a utility easement. The property located at 925-935 Nevada Street is affected by this utility easement. The easement is 10 feet in width and runs along the western property line within the Moore Street right-of-way. There are no known franchise utilities present within the easement. This request to relinquish is being made on behalf of the property owners, Nadeem Israr, Zeeshan Israr and Asma Zeeshan. The Public Works Department has determined that the easement is surplus to the city’s needs and not required for the provision of public utility services. AB22311 (Resolution 2019-15) Approved 7-0
95. Authorize the mayor to accept a $10,560,250 state grant to assist with the Nooksack River fish passage project? The Public Works Department applied for the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Program grant in 2018, and funding was included in the 2019-2020 biennium budget passed by the state legislature on 4/28/2019. The project will remove portions of the city’s diversion dam facility on the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River; the dam is approximately 20 miles east of the city of Bellingham. The removal will allow fish passage and restore access to approximately 16 miles of pristine spawning and rearing habitat in the upper Middle Fork, and install fully compliant fish screens for fish protection. The city has diverted water from the Middle Fork since 1962 to supplement its main water supply source, Lake Whatcom. Water from the Middle Fork is diverted intermittently, mostly during winter and spring high flows, and in compliance with instream flow requirements. From the river, the water flows through a 1.6 mile long tunnel and 9.5 mile long pipe into Mirror Lake and then into Anderson Creek, which empties into Lake Whatcom. The lake is the drinking water reservoir for over 85,000 city and county residents. No fish passage facilities were required when the diversion dam was constructed. The dam obstructs access to approximately 16 miles of river and tributary stream habitat for three anadromous Endangered Species Act-listed Puget Sound species: Chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout, as well as other native resident fish species. This project is a collaborative effort between the city of Bellingham, Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and American Rivers, with funding from Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Resources Legacy Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. AB22317 (Resolution 2019-16) Approved 7-0
96. Amend the 2019-2020 biennial budget to increase appropriations in the Medic One Fund? The city has entered into a contract with IAFF, Local 106 for the years 2018-2020. Because the contract was not settled when the 2019-2020 biennial budget passed 12/10/2018, funding for cost of living increases was not included in the department budget (no reserve was established for this impact). Council ratified the contract with IAFF, Local 106 at the 2/25/2019 meeting, vote #35. After Local 106S and police guild contracts are settled, additional budget authority will be required using unrestricted reserves. AB22298 (Ordinance 2019-05-014) Approved 7-0
97. Reconcile the 2019 beginning reserve balances and actual beginning reserve balances? The 2019-2020 biennial budget was passed at the 12/10/ 2018 meeting, vote #215. This ordinance establishes new budgeted reserves based on actual reserve balances. This reconciling ordinance recognizes revenues that exceeded the preceding biennium’s projections and expenditures that did not occur. Citywide, this increases the 2019-2020 biennium’s ending reserves by $57,876,494, including an additional $6,550,580 in the general fund. During budget preparation, the finance department estimates beginning reserve balances based on projected revenues and expenditures. At the beginning of each biennium, city financial policy requires that the city revise the budgeted beginning reserves so that they match actual reserves after all the final accounting of revenues and expenditures from the previous year is complete. This ordinance establishes revised beginning reserve balances and applies the difference to the estimated ending reserves. The additional funding is for programs and projects which were intended to be completed by the end of 2018 and were not budgeted in the 2019-2020 biennium. AB22299 (Ordinance 2019-05-015) Approved 7-0
98. Amend the 2019-2020 biennial budget to increase appropriation authority in various funds to pay for goods and services authorized in the previous biennium? Appropriation authority totaling $17,450,853 has been identified in the 2017-2018 biennial budget for projects and programs continuing into the 2019-2020 biennial budget and not expended prior to the end of 2018. This ordinance brings appropriation authority forward from the 2017-2018 biennium into the 2019-2020 biennial budget. This includes both encumbered items and unencumbered items. Encumbered items have been committed through an active contract in our financial system and unencumbered items have been committed though some other contractual method or are not committed, but are needed for an incomplete project or program funded in the previous biennium. The unspent funds associated with these items from the previous biennium reverted to reserves at the end of 2018. There are sufficient reserves in all the associated funds to add these appropriations. AB22300 (Ordinance 2019-05-016) Approved 7-0
99. Close the Paths and Trails Reserve Fund? The fund was established in 1975 to account for motor vehicle fuel tax provided by the state for the purpose of developing paths and trails. This revenue is typically less than $10,000 a year, much less than the city now spends on paths and trails. The fund is no longer needed to track these revenues, and accounting and budgeting an additional fund creates undue overhead. The fund balance of $132,000 will be transferred to the street fund. AB22301 (Ordinance 2019-05-017) Approved 7-0