Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at June 2, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
87. Authorize the executive to sign a cost-sharing agreement (addendum #1) with the city of Bellingham? The agreement will formalize cost and revenue sharing related to the relocation of the Lighthouse Mission drop-in center shelter currently located at Bellingham High School. In response to social-distancing requirements related to the Covid19 emergency, the shelter was temporarily relocated from Holly Street to the Bellingham High School. The use agreement with Bellingham School District #501 expires on 8/10/2020, and a new site is needed. The shelter currently houses approximately 110 individuals who would likely return to unsheltered status and be unable to safely quarantine or isolate as necessary without continued shelter access. Two relocation options are being considered: the leasing and adaptation of an existing building for an estimated cost of $1.5 million; or the leasing of land and construction of a new building or modular unit for an estimated cost of $2.5 million. (AB2020-238) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd abstained.
88. Send a letter to the U. S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services? The purpose of the letter is to request an extension for area eligibility waiver for child nutrition programs through September. The waiver allows states to waive the requirement that summer meal programs offering open-meal service be limited to areas where at least half the children are from low-income households. (AB2020-240) Approved 7-0
89. Apply for the implementation of phase 2 under the Safe Start Washington plan? (Council acting as the Whatcom County Health Board.) The variance will allow the county to implement phase 2 modifications and is conditioned on: current county epidemiological numbers; the existence of plans for testing all county demographics; the speed at which test results are available; the availability of contact tracing; the existence of plans to isolate or quarantine unsheltered individuals and provide them with support services during isolation or quarantine; the existence of localized outbreak response plans; and the existence of plans to protect low-income communities and communities of color. AB2020-232 (Resolution 2020-018) Approved 7-0
90. Authorize a second application for a state grant to remove a fish barrier? At the 7/9/2019 meeting, vote #142, council approved an application for preliminary engineering phase funding for the North Fork Road/Kenney Creek fish passage project. The project will restore full fish passage through a fishway and culvert at the location where Kenney Creek crosses under North Fork Road. This application is for construction phase funding for the project: it is #30 on the 2020 annual construction program. AB2020-223 (Resolution 2020-019) Approved 7-0
91. Continue the interim moratorium on the acceptance and processing of applications and permits for new or expanded facilities in the Cherry Point urban growth area? (Public hearing held.) The moratorium covers facilities including but not limited to piers, wharfs, buildings, tank farms, pipelines, rail loading and offloading facilities, road spurs, or other infrastructure purposed for exporting unrefined fossil fuels, including stabilized or unstabilized crude oil, diluted or raw bitumen, syncrude, coal, methane, propane, butane, and liquid or gaseous natural gas. The interim moratorium was first passed at the 9/27/2016 meeting, vote #173, and has been renewed eight times. Interim moratoria are required to be renewed every six months.AB2020-217 (Ordinance 2020-030) Adopted, 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, and Kathy Kershner opposed.
Action Taken at June 16, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
92. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $95,000 with Sustainable Connections? At the 5/17/2016 meeting, vote #82, the council approved a program to achieve a 50 percent waste reduction and recycling rate. This contract will conduct commercial sector waste audits, waste reduction and recycling efforts by providing the following services: food waste audits and technical assessments; action plan development; and performance evaluations, recycling, and food waste recovery initiatives. The contract commences on 7/1/2020 and expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2020-182) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
93. Authorize the executive to sign a $163,738 contract (amendment #6) with Action Cleaning Services of Bellingham for custodial services? At the 3/22/2016 meeting, vote #50, the council approved the contract to provide custodial services for seven satellite buildings: Central Shop and portable, Northwest Annex, Civic Center building, Central Plaza, Health Department, Forest Street, and the State Street annex. The amendment will add the sheriff’s Laurel Street station and the Whatcom Unified Emergency Command Center . The amendment includes a 4 percent cost increase that reflects increased services due to Covid-19. The contract expires on 12/31/2020: the total amended amount is $395,509. (AB2020-225) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
94. Authorize the executive to sign three contracts — $1,997,143 is the estimated total — to continue to provide pathways to employment and community access services for adults with developmental disabilities? The original contracts were approved by the council at the 6/27/2017 meeting, vote #123. These amendments are required to continue providing services with federal Medicaid funding, and will extend services for one year. Total compensation under the contracts will vary depending on the number of clients and types of services. The contract with Kulshan Supported Employment of Bellingham (amendment #4) is estimated at $1,066,912, for a total estimated amount of $4,533,257 (AB2020-228). The contract with Washington Vocational Services of Everett (amendment #1) is estimated at $258,093, for a total estimated amount of $449,318 (AB2020-229). The contract with Work Opportunities of Lynnwood (amendment #4) is estimated at $672,138, for an estimated total of $2,236,299 (AB2020-230). All three contracts expire on 6/30/2021. In January 2020, 325 adults received employment services and 32 received community inclusion services through the four county-qualified providers. The federal government through Medicaid and the state of Washington funds these contracts. (AB2020-228/229/230) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
95. Authorize the executive to sign a $171,838 five-year contract with Siemens Industry of Bellevue? The contract will continue heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) support for county buildings, including: Central Plaza, Central Shop, Civic Center, Courthouse, Forest Street annex, Lottie annex, and Northwest annex, East Whatcom Regional Resource Center, jail and jail work center and Williamson Way. In addition to technical HVAC support, the contract provides: software analysis and updates, staff education classes, system updates and upgrades. The contract expires on 3/31/2025. (AB2020-239) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
96. Authorize the executive to accept a $326,786 federal grant (supplement #3) for the construction phase of the Birch Bay Drive and pedestrian facility project? A local match of $51,001 brings the total to $377,787. which will: construct a soft-shore roadway protection berm; make drainage upgrades from Lora Lane to Cedar Avenue; and install an ADA-compliant pedestrian pathway between Lora Lane and Cottonwood Drive. The total estimated cost of the project is $14,450,000 with $3,498,890 in federal funds and $11,278,000 in county road funds. (AB2020-241) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
97. Authorize the executive to sign a $100,000 contract with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County? The contract will support operational costs generated by the addition of 532 childcare slots as a response to the impact of Covid-19 on essential employees with children and the closure of four Kid’s World childcare sites in the county. Whatcom County is home to 8,070 children who have two full-time working parents, but has only 3,608 licensed childcare slots available. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2020-242) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
98. Authorize the executive to sign a $98,950 contract with the RMC Architects of Bellingham to do a Northwest annex feasibility study? The annex is located at the corner of Smith and Northwest roads, and houses the county planning department, permitting and some public works functions. The county purchased the building in the early 90s; it is over 100 years old and beyond repair. At the 4/21/2020 meeting, vote #67, the council appropriated $100,0000 for preliminary architectural design of a proposed three-building master plan. This contract is for design development, preliminary floor plans, construction methodology and type, cost estimating and preliminary budget construction. The contract expires on 9/30/2020. (AB2020-245) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
99. Authorize the parks and recreation director to apply for a $500,000 state grant to support development of a five-mile multiuse trail at South Fork Park? The park is near the town of Acme — the trail will connect the historic homestead sites of the Galbraith farm with the Overby and Nesset farms, and will be open to bicyclists, hikers, and equestrians. Total estimated cost of the project is $666,500, with an estimated completion date of Spring 2022. AB2020-208 (Resolution 2020-020) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
100. Authorize the parks and recreation director to apply for a $500,000 state grant to support development of the Birch Bay Beach Park? The park is located on the site of a former private resort on Birch Bay Drive, and includes: the construction of walkways, the installation of picnic tables, informational signage, and landscaping features. Total estimated cost of the project is $532,825, with an estimated completion date of Summer 2022. AB2020-209 (Resolution 2020-021) Approved 7-0
101. Invite local jurisdictions in Whatcom County to collaborate on efficiency measures for tax savings? The invitation is to councilmembers representing the cities of Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack, and Sumas, as well as the Lummi and Nooksack tribal councils, and is intended to address financial challenges imposed by Covid-19. AB2020-252 (Resolution 2020-022) Approved 7-0
102. Remove term limits on the Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committee and Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committee? Vacant positions on the two shellfish protection districts are going unfilled. To fill the vacant positions, current members will be permitted to serve more than two terms if the council does not appoint another applicant. The committees advise the County Council on proposed actions and operations relating to the restoration of water quality in their respective watersheds. AB2020-091 (Ordinance 2020-031) Substitute adopted 7-0
103. Amend Whatcom County Code relating to public records? At the 6/5/2018 meeting, vote #95, the council added rules to the Public Records Act. In response to the 2019 Washington State Supreme Court Case Kilduff v. San Juan County, this vote will delete provisions requiring the exhaustion of administrative remedies by the requestor of public records before bringing a suit under the Public Records Act. AB2020-093 (Ordinance 2020-032) Adopted 7-0
104. Close the Lighthouse Marine Park Improvement Fund? At the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #229, the council established a $250,000 fund and project-based budget to address structural deficiencies in the park boardwalk. At the 3/27/2018 meeting, vote #53, the council added $24,500, and at the 9/11/2018 meeting, vote #54, another $54,000 for a total of $328,500. The project is now complete and the balance of $721 will returned to the real estate excise tax II fund. AB2020-164 (Ordinance 2020-033) Adopted 7-0
105. Extend the suspension of Whatcom County code related to operational standards in county carceral (jail) facilities? State law requires counties to establish standards for operating carceral facilities. At the 6/18/2019 meeting, vote #137, the council suspended the county code for a period of 12 months in order for the sheriff to update and publish to the county website current operational standards. Due to delays imposed by the emergency response to Covid-19, this vote extends the suspension of the county code for another 12 months, expiring on 7/8/2021. AB2020-214 (Ordinance 2020-034) Adopted 7-0
106. Amend the 2020 budget (request #13) in the amount of $13,153,598? Appropriated: $32,000 to fund Covid-19 emergency response; $286,098 to fund the purchase of ballot sorter equipment to address Covid-19 related voting concerns; $64,000 to fund an increase for the GRACE project, to reduce the high-frequency use of emergency services by vulnerable populations without regular access to medical care; $12,391,500 to fund community response programs addressing Covid-19, including: testing operations, provision of protective equipment, economic impact mitigation, and food and housing security; $380,000 to fund the construction phase of the Northshore/Edgewater Stormwater Improvement Project to address water quality issues in Lake Whatcom. AB2020-224 (Ordinance 2020-035) Adopted 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, and Kathy Kerchner opposed.
107. Add $380,000 in expenditure authority (request #1) to the project budget of the Northshore Drive/Edgewater Lane Stormwater Improvements Fund? At the 11/7/2018 meeting, vote #174, the council established a $220,000 project budget to improve water quality in the Lake Whatcom Watershed by reducing the discharge of phosphorous and other pollutants into the lake. The project will use a filter vault system to treat runoff from approximately 10 acres of land. This amendment is for construction phase costs, for a total amended project budget of $600,000. This project is listed as item no. 1 on the 2020-2025 six-year water resources improvement program. AB2020-226 (Ordinance 2020-036) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.