Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

Action Taken at May 7, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
97. Appoint Rodd Pemble to represent business/industry on the Solid Waste Advisory Committee? The committee meets four times a year and has 11members from public interest groups, business, the waste management and recycling industries and local elected public officials (or their designees). It provides for coordination and information exchange between the groups about solid waste issues as well as providing ongoing public input and advice to Whatcom County on solid waste management issues. Rod Pemble has been the recycling manager for Sanitary Service Company in Bellingham since 1996. His term will expire on 1/31/2020. (AB2019-200) Approved 6-0.

98. Forward for concurrent review modifications to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan proposed by the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee? (Public hearing held.) The proposed amendments modify level of service relating to Lummi Island ferry policy and delete a ferry feasibility study because it is complete. (AB2019-223) Approved 7-0

99. Appoint Trevor Delgado to the Wildlife Advisory Committee? The committee advises Planning and Development Services Department staff and the County Council on the value of wildlife and habitat management issues as they relate to the Comprehensive Plan. The committee has eleven members, seven of whom are required to have technical expertise. Mr. Delgado currently serves as historic preservation officer and wildlife policy representative for the Nooksack tribe. His term will expire on 12/31/2022. (AB2019-235) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd was out of the room.

100. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the federal government for flood damage repairs to the twin view levee? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide repairs to 250 to 275 feet of flood damage to the left bank of the twin view levee on the Nooksack River near Everson. The federal government will be responsible for $286,000 and the Whatcom County responsible for $71,500 for a total cost of $357,500. (AB2019-250) Approved 7-0

101. Authorize the executive to award the only bid of $843,248 to Cowden Gravel & Ready Mix of Bellingham for a two-year supply of crushed aggregate? The aggregate will be stockpiled at various Whatcom County pit sites including Point Roberts, Lummi Island, and Whatcom County’s Abel Pit and used for the annual road paving program. (AB2019-254) Approved 7-0

102. Approve amendments to the Public Participation Plan for the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations? State law requires that counties develop public participation plans for the purpose of incorporating public input when drafting amendments to comprehensive plan and development regulations. Amendments are categorized as level 1, 2, or 3, with increasing levels of required public accommodation, including: published notices in local newspapers and on the county website; two public hearings; amendment review by citizen advisory committees; and town hall meetings. Proposed changes include: inclusion of the Shoreline Management Program update into statutory requirements; inclusion of new docketed amendments; and removal of completed or withdrawn amendments. (AB2019-255) Substitute amended and approved 7-0

103. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement (amendment #3) with Compass Health and T-Mobile West LLC? Compass Health is the successor to Whatcom Counseling and Psychiatric Clinic, a Washington nonprofit corporation. The agreement continues to provide access by the company to a cell tower located on county property at 3645 E. McLeod Road and expand the tower site by 87 square feet. (AB2019-267) Approved 7-0

104. Approve the Economic Development Investment Board’s recommendation for a Port of Bellingham project? The Economic Development Investment Board members include small cities and other economic interests such as the agriculture community. Money comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. The Economic Development Investment Board recommended a $750,000 grant to the Port of Bellingham for its rural broadband construction program. The firstphase of the construction starts on the Mt. Baker Highway headed east. At Nugent’s Corner it splits off and goes north towards Limestone and east to Glacier. The total estimated cost of the project is $2,125,000. (AB2019-273) Approved 7-0

105. Approve the Economic Development Investment Board’s reco mendation for Whatcom County sheriff’s office program? The Economic Development Investment Board members include small cities and other economic interests such as the agriculture community. Money comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. The Economic Development Investment Board recommended a $515,000 grant to the Whatcom County sheriff’s public safety radio program. Phase one will repair failing equipment at Mount Constitution, Post Point, and Lummi Island. A radio systems manager will also be hired to design, implement, and maintain the system. The current estimate cost for the project is $6,015,000. (AB2019-273) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.

106. Consider a petition to vacate a portion of Safsten Road? BP West Coast Products submitted a petition for the county to vacate a 33-foot wide strip of road within the unincorporated area of Whatcom County. The county engineer will investigate and report to the council on the proposed vacation, so that a public hearing can be held on the matter. AB2019-262 (Resolution 2019-025) Approved 7-0

107. Amend the Unified Fee Schedule? (Public hearing held.) The schedule covers fees charged by the county to provide services such as building permits, parking, filing and licensing, animal control, and charges for park equipment and facilities. Amended changes will allow low income county residents convicted of minor and moderate offenses serving jail time in other jurisdictions to be eligible to participate in electronic monitoring and/or school and work release programs for a fee. AB2019-248 (Ordinance 2019-039) Adopted 7-0

Action Taken at May 21, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
108. Authorize the executive to sign a $99,821 contract with Herrera Environmental Consultants of Bellingham to complete a comprehensive biofiltration swale (grasses and other dense plants are used to filter out sediments and oily materials) evaluation in the Geneva neighborhood of the Lake Whatcom watershed? Herrera will evaluate the tributary basins and condition of the facilities, then perform an assessment and make recommendations to improve the performance of the facilities. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2019-286) Approved 6-0, Tyler Byrd abstained.

109. Authorize the executive to accept two state grants totaling $1,200,000? One grant is $165,000 and the other is $1,035,000, both are from the Washington State County Road Administrative Board. The $165,000 grant will provide funding for the Birch Bay/Lynden Road (Enterprise Road to Rathbone Road), total estimated cost is $750,000. The $1,035,000 grant will provide funding for the East Smith Road (Hannegan Road to Everson-Goshen Road), total estimated cost is $1,150,00. The grants expire on 9/2023. (AB2019-290/AB2019-291) Approved 7-0

110. Update the Shoreline Master Program? The Shoreline Master Program was initially approved by the county commissioners at the 5/27/1976 meeting. State law requires counties to update their shoreline management plans on an eight-year schedule, and to include public participation in the process. The program was last updated at the 2/27/2007, vote #53, and state recommended changes to the program were approved at the 8/5/2008 meeting, vote #155. This public participation plan will have seven phases. It will include: information conveyed through the Whatcom County government and other websites; notices in local publications, including: The Bellingham Herald; the Lynden Tribune; the Northern Light; and the Point Roberts All Point Bulletin; public open houses; public comment periods and hearings; ongoing comment and primary staff contacts by concerned stakeholders submitted to Planning and Development Services. The council should take final action on the plan by June 2020. (AB2019-295) Approved 7-0

111. Authorize the executive to sign the 2019-2020 collective bargaining agreement with the Professional and Technical Employees, Local 17? The agreement covers 19 environment health employees and one community health employee. The agreement includes: a 2.5 per cent wage increase for 2019 (retroactive to January); a 2 per cent wage increase in January 2020; and a 1 per cent wage increase in July 2020. The agreement begins on 1/1/2019 and expires 12/31/2020. (AB2019-298) Approved 7-0

112. Acknowledge receipt of 2020-2021 salary and benefits for Whatcom County elected officials from the salary commission? At the 2011 general election, voters passed an amendment to the Whatcom County Charter that created a commission to set salaries for elected county officials. At the 2/28/2012 meeting, vote #39, the council approved creation of the Whatcom County Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials. The ten-member commission serves two-year terms and prepares salary schedules for the Whatcom County assessor, auditor, councilmembers, executive, prosecuting attorney, sheriff, and treasurer. See the below table for 2019, 2020 and 2021 salaries. (AB2019-303) A motion was approved to notify the public that the council received salary adjustments.

113. Authorize the acquisition of a forestry conservation easement on the Seed Orchard application? The Purchase of Development Rights program is used to preserve farmland for farming, habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation purposes. In 2018, the program protected 235 acres and extinguished 12 development rights, and in 2019, pending easements will protect an additional 326 acres and extinguish 43 development rights. The 2019 ranked list includes the: Bishop (47.2 acres, $300,000); VanderVeen (36.9 acres, $$100,000); Newell (20.2 acres, $120,000); TeVelde (19.6 acres, $120,000); Seed Orchard (84 acres, $220,000); Rethlefsen (48.8 acres, $300,000); Squalicum Forest (160 acres, $700,000); and Kiera (115 acres, $500,000) applications; and an additional forestry conservation easement on the Seed Orchard property. AB2019-296 (Resolution 2019-026) Amended and approved 7-0

114. Authorize the executive to apply for state grants? State law requires that grant recipients incorporate state recreation and conservation office language into Purchase of Development Rights Program applications. The inclusion of resolution language will support conservation easement applications for the following properties: Rethlefsen (48.8 acres, $300,000); Bishop (47.2 acres, $300,000); Squalicum Forestry (160 acres, $700,000); and Kiera-Duffy (115 acres, $500,000). AB2019-297 (Resolution 2019-027) Approved 7-0

115. Set June 4 for a public hearing on the sale of surplus property? State law permits the sale of property declared to be surplus and the county purchasing agent has determined it is in the best interest of the county to sell the following property: 21 trucks; 11 cars; 2 vans; 2motorcycles; 2 tractors; and 17 miscellaneous equipment items. AB2019-276 (Resolution 2019-028) Approved 6-0, Barbara Brenner1 abstained.

116. Restructure the Public Health Advisory Board? (Public hearing held.) The advisory board serves in an advisory capacity to the health department on matters related to community needs and public health services. Proposed changes to the advisory board include: increasing board diversity; increasing the number of positions from nine to not over 13 members; decreasing the length of term from four years to three; and updating language and practices in the overall structure. AB2019-249 (Ordinance 2019-040) Amended and adopted 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.

117. Amend the 2019 budget (request #7) in the amount of $907,787? Appropriate: $373,500 to fund the purchase of a new salt water patrol vessel at the sheriff’s office; $410,000 to fund Operation Stonegarden border security activities at the sheriff’s office; $7,731 to fund a 3 per cent increase in the animal control and shelter services contract with the Whatcom Humane Society; $20,000 to fund the purchase of a new Disabled American Veterans van to replace the current van, which has exceeded the maximum allowable mileage. The van is used to transport veterans living in Whatcom County to the nearest Veteran’s Administration hospital, located in Seattle; $41,000 to fund the GRACE program; $54,356 to fund the Public Safety Radio System project. AB2019-263 (Ordinance 2019-041) Adopted 7-0

118. Approve the expenditure of $54,356 (request #1) for the Public Safety Radio System Fund? At the 11/20/2018 meeting, vote #205, a $396,802 project based budget was approved. The current radio system isincompatible with regional partners, has gaps in coverage, and isunreliable. The estimated cost of a new system is $6,023,751. Phase 1 ofthe project will include the replacement of a failing repeater site onMount Constitution. This vote brings the total amended budget to $451,158. AB2019-265 (Ordinance 2019-042) Adopted 7-0 1.
From Barbara Brenner: I abstained because some surplus property items did not list mileage or how much usage. I asked to have it held to get that information but the council majority voted no and approved the public hearing.