Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at November 6, 2019 Meeting
Shall the council:
238. Authorize the executive to sign a $65,135 contract (amendment #1) with Herrera Environmental Consultants of Bellingham to expand two other stormwater facility types in the biofiltration swale evaluation of Geneva retrofits? The original $99,821 contract was approved at the 5/21/2019 meeting, vote #108. It was for 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. This amendment brings the total contact to $164,956. (AB2019-549) Approved 7-0
239. Authorize the executive to sign a $216,815 pass-through agreement between the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District and the state of Washington? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was awarded a National Coastal Wetland grant to acquire floodplain properties along the Nooksack River, downstream from Ferndale. The money will be used to acquire flood prone properties in Marietta and for hydraulic and habitat restoration modeling. (AB2019-558) Approved 7-0
240. Authorize the executive to accept a $169,613 state grant (amendment #1) for the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The first phase of the grant was $342,737: five properties were acquired. The second phase will be used to acquire property in the Marine Drive area. It will also be used to demolish structures and for restoration work. The total amended amount is $512,350. (AB2019-559) Approved 7-0
241. Authorize the executive to sign a $119,201 contract with SoftResources of Kirkland to assist the county in the replacement of the current JDE World system? The existing JDE World software system was purchased in 1993. It supports countywide financial, asset, and human resource functions. It is a text-based system that needs to be upgradedto the newer JDE EnterprisesOne product or replaced by a different vendor’s product. At the 10/9/2018 meeting, vote #155, the council voted to establish the Financial System Software Fund with a $1,750,000 project-based budget. This contract is structured in two phrases: phase 1 is a needs assessment and phase 2 is vendor selection. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2019-561) Approved 7-0
242. Authorize the executive to sign a contract (amendment #1) with the Summit Law Group of Seattle to serve as a professional negotiator? Daniel A. Swedlow will provide legal services for collective bargaining, negotiations, mediation, binding interest arbitration, and other actions brought by a union. The total amended contract is not to exceed $250,197, with $89,076 for each of the years 2020, 2021 and 2022. It expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2019-570) Approved 7-0
243. Authorize the sale of surplus property? (Public hearing held.) The surplus property is a courthouse backup generator purchased in 1992. Water leaked into the crankcase, parts are not readily available, and it is too costly to repair. AB2019-528 (Resolution 2019-051) Approved 7-0
244. Authorize the sale of surplus property? (Public hearing held.) The surplus property is the former manager’s house located at Silver Lake Park. The house is in poor condition, too costly to repair. When sold, the structure is to be removed from the property. AB2019-529 (Resolution 2019-052) Approved 7-0
245. Approve $1,280,038 for 2020 convention center fund allocations? There were 27 applications for annual lodging tax funding allocations received and 22 were approved. Approved applications above $8,000: multijurisdictional wayfind project ($565,775); Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism ($290,000); Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce/VIC ($100,000); Mt. Baker Foothills Chamber/Visitors Center ($100,000); Whatcom Events/Ski to Sea ($40,000); Sustainable Events/Whatcom Food and Farms ($34,800); Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce ($25,000); Point Robert’s Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center ($17,650); Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival ($15,000); North Cascades Bluegrass Festival ($15,000); Point Robert Race Week ($15,000); Ferndale Chamber of Commerce ($12,000); Whatcom County Parks brochures ($11,500); Whatcom Symphony Orchestra ($10,000); Bellingham Festival of Music ($9,000); Bellingham SeaFeast ($9,000) and Glacier restrooms ($9,000). AB2019-548 (Resolution 2019-053) Approved 7-0
246. Establish the Dearborn no-shooting zone? The city of Blaine submitted a resolution on 7/12/2019 requesting that the council establish a no-shooting zone for all aquatic areas and tidelands within Drayton Harbor. State law allows counties to restrict the discharge of firearms within their jurisdictions to protect public health and safety. Residents requested the restriction to promote public safety and protection. Twenty-two other no-shooting zones have been established in Whatcom County. AB2019-573 (Resolution 2019-054) Approved 7-0
247. Adopt interim zoning regulations for the siting, establishment and operation of temporary homeless facilities? (Public hearing held.) Ordinance 2018-041, passed at the 7/24/2018 meeting, vote #119, expired on 7/24/2019. That ordinance allowed tents or other temporary structures such as “tiny homes” to reside on land owned or leased by sponsoring state or federal not-for-profit organizations. Requirements for the temporary encampments include: the establishment of a 20-foot buffer from adjoining property; a restriction on siting within critical areas designated under Whatcom County Code; fencing and lighting requirements; maximum resident capacities; parking requirements; age restrictions; written code of conduct requirements; transit access requirements; requirements for toilet facilities and potable water provision; requirements for waste management and collection; limitations on tent/structure size; requirements for restoration of the site to the original condition; and application and permitting requirements. This ordinance makes minor changes to Ordinance 2018-041: it begins on 11/6/2019 and ends on 11/6/2020. AB2019-531 (Ordinance 2019-074) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
Action Taken at November 19, 2019 Meeting
Shall the council:
248. Limit the 2020 general fund property tax levy? (Public hearing held.) Barbara Brenner moved and Tyler Byrd seconded the ordinance requiring the public hearing be adopted. (This ordinance will limit the 2020 tax to the 2019 tax.) Todd Donovan stated he would like to discuss the language of an ordinance and propose a new ordinance imposing a 1 percent property tax rate. Barbara Brenner’s motion to limit the general fund property tax to the 2019 limit failed. (AB2019-546) Failed 2-4, Rud Browne, Todd Donovan, Carol Frazey and Satpal Sidhu opposed, Barry Buchanan absent.
249. Authorize the executive to sign a $40,000 agreement with the Lake Whatcom Water & Sewer District for an investigation of the potential impacts of septic tanks on Lake Whatcom water quality? There are approximately 100 residences with septic tanks located along the Lake Whatcom shoreline on North Shore Drive in unincorporated Whatcom County. Herrera Environmental Consultants conducted an assessment in 2017 of potential impacts of these systems on Lake Whatcom water quality. The water and sewer district wishes to partner with the county to hire a consulting firm to conduct a new study. The water and sewer district will pay 60 percent of the cost, with the county paying the rest. (AB2019-550) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
250. Authorize the executive to sign a $130,028 contract (amendment #4) with the Opportunity Council for opioid-use disorders? A substance-use-disorder professional will engage people with opioid use disorders who are experiencing homelessness and connect them to treatment and other community services. The total amended contract is $405,482 and it expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2019-574) Approved 5-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room, Barry Buchanan absent.
251. Approve the updated Strategic Plan to End Homelessness in Whatcom County? The original plan was passed at the 12/6/2005 meeting, vote #250. The council adopted phase three at the 2/26/2008 meeting, vote #38. Phase one gathered information and needs; phase two worked on coordinating plans and getting grants and working on prevention; phase three established a homeless services center to work toward finding long-term housing and focusing on mental health and substance abuse problems and on youth homelessness. The 58-page plan is available at: https://www.cob.org/Documents/planning/housing/2019-a-home-for-everyone.pdf (AB2019-576) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
252. Authorize the executive to sign a $200,000 contract with the Ferndale School District to provide emergency management services? The Ferndale School District will pay the Division of Emergency Management the sum of $40,000 per year for the services. The five-year contract expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2019-577) Approved 5-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room, Barry Buchanan absent.
253. Authorize the executive to sign a joint funding agreement with the federal government for the annual operation and maintenance of eight stream gauges on the Nooksack River? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The agreement will continue operation and maintenance of the county’s eight stream gauges within the Nooksack River early flood warning system, a stream gauge at the Saxon bridge and North Cedarville, Anderson Creek, Fishtrap Creek, Skookum Creek and at two locations. The county’s share will be $89,296, federal government funds will be $50,804 for a total of $140,100. The agreement expires on 9/30/2020. (AB2019-580) Approved 5-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room, Barry Buchanan absent.
254. Authorize the executive to sign a joint funding agreement with the federal government for the annual operation and maintenance of six stream gauges on the Nooksack River? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The agreement will continue operation and maintenance of the county’s six stream gauges within the Nooksack River early flood warning system: the Nooksack River Everson overflow gauge, two stream gauges on Jones Creek in Acme and Slater Road and Jordan Creek in Ferndale. The county’s share (flood district funds) will be $102,834, the Acme/VanZandt Subzone $6,469, the city of Abbotsford $4,325, and the federal government $16,876. The agreement total is $127,150 and it expires on 9/30/2020. (AB2019-581) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
255. Authorize the executive to sign a contract with Healthcare Management Administrators for administration and claims processing for the self-insured medical program? Services will include medical and prescriptions claims administration, network access for discounted services, care management services, online benefit information and COBRA administration. The county collects a per-employee-per month rate from departments for full family medical coverage. For 2020, the amount is $1,362 per eligible employee. The contract runs from 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2022. (AB2019-594) Approved 5-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room, Barry Buchanan absent.
256. Authorize the executive to spend $281,678 to purchase a replacement dump truck, dump body, hook lift sander, and plow? A 2021 diesel dump truck will be purchased form Freightliner Northwest in Olympia for $136,495. The 2021 dump body, hook lift sander, and plow will be purchased from Northend Truck Equipment in Marysville for $145,183. (AB2019-595) Approved 5-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room, Barry Buchanan absent.
257. Authorize the board of supervisors of the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District to limit a property tax levy of up to 50 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value upon real property within the district in 2020? (Public hearing held.) The levy will be the same as 2019, except for new construction and improvements. AB2019-545 (Resolution-2019-055) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
258. Adopt the 2020 budget for the Point Roberts Transportation Benefit District? (Public hearing held – council acting as the governing body of the transportation benefit district). The 2020 budget is $20,000. It will fund roadside maintenance projects. AB2019-551 (Resolution-2019-056) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
259. Adopt the 2020 budget for the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District and Subzones? (Public hearing held – council acting as the flood control zone board of supervisors.) The funds will be used for flood control and stormwater construction and improvements in the subzones, which include: Acme/Van Zandt; Lynden/Everson; Sumas/Nooksack/Everson; Birch Bay; and Samish Watershed. Revenues for 2020 are projected at $8,840,882 and expenditures at $11,299,628. AB2019-557 (Resolution-2019-057) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
260. Authorize the executive to sign a lease agreement with Crown Castle (a Delaware limited liability company) for space on park property at Lookout Mountain? (Public hearing held.) The 20-year communications tower lease has been modified to allow additional space for a shed to house emergency generator equipment. The annual rent is $15,106 and the expiration date is 10/14/2039. AB2019-568 (Resolution 2019-058) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
261. Set December 3 as the public hearing date to sell tax-title property by public auction? The Whatcom County Property Management Committee has recommended Clearwater condominium, unit 1409, be sold at public auction, following notification of adjacent property owners, for no less than $1,683 (total taxes, interest, penalties, and foreclosure costs). AB2019-582 (Resolution-2019-059) Approved 5-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room, Barry Buchanan absent.
262. Order the cancellation of uncashed checks issued before 7/1/2018? Washington state law allows for the cancellation of checks unredeemed within one year of their issue. There are 233 uncashed checks (warrants) totaling $10,431. The uncashed checks were written to various businesses, groups, or individuals. Whatcom County has 199 uncashed checks totaling $5,798. The largest check is for $460. There are eight other checks for more than $100. The smallest check is for 38 cents. The other 16 cemetery, fire, park, rural library and water districts have 34 uncashed checks totaling $4,633.The largest check is for $950. There are nine other checks for more than $100. The smallest check is for $4.00. 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. AB2019-587 (Resolution-2019-060) Approved 5-0, Todd Donovan was out of the room, Barry Buchanan absent.
263. Adopt a salary schedule and policies for unrepresented Whatcom County employees? The schedule and policies cover county employees not represented by a union. It does not include County Council members and includes: a 3.0 percent increase for 2020 at all salary levels; language referencing sick leave and leave sharing; and compensation allowances for prosecutors and public defenders who are assigned on-call overtime. The schedule runs from 1/1/2020 to 12/31/2020. AB2019-593 (Resolution 2019-061) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
264. Authorize the levy of taxes for countywide emergency medical purposes for 2020? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2019 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2019-542 (Ordinance-2019-075) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
265. Adopt the 2020 tax levy for the conservation futures fund? (Public hearing held.) The levy will be the same as 2019, except for new construction and improvements. The levy is 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 easements, with a small percentage used for maintenance. AB2019-543 (Ordinance-2019-076) Adopted 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
266. Authorize the 2020 property tax levy for county road purposes? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2019 level, except for new construction and improvements. For the 2020 budget year, $805,530 is diverted from county road taxes and used for traffic enforcement. B2019-544 (Ordinance-2019-077) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
267. Authorize the 2020 levy of taxes for county and state purposes in Whatcom County? (Public hearing held.) The levy will not change from the 2019 level, except for new construction and improvements. AB2019-547 (Ordinance-2019-078) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
268. Require public funds used for construction projects to do double duty by also providing apprentices with job training hours to meet the requirements necessary to become the next generation of skilled trades persons? (Public hearing held.) AB2019-285 (Ordinance-2019-079) Adopted 4-0, Barbara Brenner 1 and Tyler Byrd opposed, Barry Buchanan absent.*
269. Amend the 2019 budget (request #14) in the amount of $72,853? Appropriate: $30,000 for District Court; $5,300 for indigent burial services; $11,523 for emergency backup generator repairs. AB2019-552 (Ordinance 2019-080) Adopted 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
270. Add $2 million in expenditure authority (amendment #2) to the project-based budget for the Lummi Nation Ferry Lease Fund? The ferry lease fund was established at the 11/22/2011 meeting, vote #197. At the 6/14/2016 meeting, vote #101, a $2 million project-based budget was approved. The funds will be used for construction projects at the Gooseberry Point ferry dock and surrounding areas. The county has committed to providing 6 million dollars in improvements over the term of the lease. The total amended budget is $4 million. AB2019-553 (Ordinance 2019-081) Approved 6-0, Barry Buchanan absent.
271. Add $452,025 in expenditure authority (amendment #1) to the project-based budget for the Lake Whatcom Park Trail Development Fund? The $443,000 project-based budget was approved at the 11/22/2016 meeting, vote #216. Over 12 miles of trails have been constructed/reconstructed in the Lookout Mountain forest preserve and Lake Whatcom Park recreation trail. The amendment money will be used to connect the Chanterelle Trail to the Hertz Trail. The total amended budget is $895,025. (AB2019-564 (Ordinance 2019-082) Adopted 4-2, Barbara Brenner 2 and Tyler Byrd opposed, Barry Buchanan absent. *The executive declined to sign vote 268.
1. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed the apprenticeship program because it is heavily restricted which would disallow many individual small businesses to provide their own programs.
2. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed the park trail development because the county keeps spending money for projects that entice more people into the Lake Whatcom watershed when our intent was the reduction of people in the watershed. People who live in the watershed keep being charged more and more for impacts to the watershed while the county keeps creating more reasons for people to visit it.