Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at August 5, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
133. Authorize the executive to sign a $239,047 contract (amendment #22) with Washington State University? At the 1/29/2019 meeting, vote #20, council voted to jointly share costs for faculty positions and support for various WSU Extension programs, including: county director/family programs; 4H; agricultural systems agent; water resources coordinator; community horticulture and strengthening families program. This amendment will continue the cost share agreement for a total amended contract amount of $2,238,324, expiring on 12/31/2020. (AB2020-191) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed
134. Authorize the executive to sign seven contracts — totaling $835,400 — with county school districts for behavioral health services? The contracts were first approved at the 8/4/2015 meeting, vote #147, and have subsequently been renewed the maximum allowable number of times. These new contracts extend the services to 8/31/2021 and are with: the Nooksack Valley School District for $120,000; the Lynden School District for $111,000; the Blaine School District for $131,400; the Meridian School District for $108,000; the Ferndale School District for $120,000; the Bellingham School District #501 for $138,00; and the Mount Baker School District for $108,000. The services are intended for students experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues. (AB2020-211/220/231/235/236/237/244) Approved 7-0
135. Authorize the executive to sign a lease agreement with Sun Community Services? The county has sponsored Sun Community Services since 1982 with state funding to provide transitional services to adults recovering from mental illness. The county also leases (at no charge) a building, known as Sun House at 515 East Chestnut Street in Bellingham, to the nonprofit organization. This agreement extends the lease for an additional five years, expiring on 6/30/2025. (AB2020-295) Approved 7-0
136. Appoint Michael Berres to the special populations position on the Homeless Strategies Workgroup? At the 10/24/2017 meeting, vote #205, the council voted to create the workgroup of 10 members for the purpose of identifying multiple policy initiatives to address the needs of individuals living unsheltered in Whatcom County. The membership was increased by one number at the 2/27/2018 meeting, vote #32, six more members were added at the 7/23/2019 meeting, vote #150, and three more were added at the 2/25/2020 meeting, vote #40, for a total of 20 members. Mr. Berres has experience as a public school administrator in Seattle, Bellingham and Ferndale. (AB2020-300) Approved 7-0
137. Authorize the executive to accept a $139,263 grant from the state of Washington? Money is funneled through the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. All sex/kidnapping offenders are required to register their addresses with a statewide sex offender database.This grant will fund personnel costs associated with verifying the address and residency of all registered sex offenders and kidnapping offenders. The contract expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2020-301) Approved 7-0
138. Authorize the executive to sign a $608,211 contract (amendment #7) with the Opportunity Council? At the 6/5/2018 meeting, vote #90, council voted to enter into contract with the Opportunity Council to provide housing case management services, and rental and utility assistance for participants in the state Housing and Essential Needs (HEN). The amendment increases funds for programmatic and administrative costs and increases the number of households to be served during the contract period from 170 to 214. The total amended contract is $4,666,788, expiring on 6/30/2021. (AB2020-307) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
139. Authorize the executive to sign a $528,000 contract with Reichardt & Ebe Engineering of Lynden? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The contract will provide for phase one of engineering design and technical analysis services for the Ferndale levee improvement project. The project will make flood protection improvements to levees protecting the Ferndale water and wastewater treatment plant and PUD water treatment plant along with Star and Pioneer parks, residential structures and farmland. Eighty percent of the funding is from the state of Washington and the rest is from the flood control district. The contract expires on 6/30/2022. (AB2020-309) Approved 7-0
140. Authorize the executive to accept a $408,842 federal grant (amendment #16) to fund various public health services? Money is funneled through the Washington State Department of Health. It will provide additional funding for the delivery of Covid-19-related epidemiological modeling and laboratory capacity development; infectious disease prevention services; marijuana use and prevention and education programming; perinatal Hepatitis B immunization and other vaccination programming; and recreational shellfish activities. The total amended contract amount is $4,928,000, expiring on 12/31/2020. (AB2020-313) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
141. Authorize the executive to accept a $494,112 federal Housing and Urban Development grant? The contract will provide resources to address Covid-19-related needs for individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance, including: rental assistance, case management and emergency shelter services. The grant expires on 6/30/2022. (AB2020-317) Approved 7-0
142. Authorize the executive to sign three contracts — totaling $1,067,143 — for paramedic training? These contracts are with: Fire Protection District #7 for $218,640, North Whatcom Fire Authority for $206,000 and the Bellingham Fire Department for $642,503. The agreements will cover the costs for student wages, and instructor and evaluation fees associated with an EMS paramedic training course for recommended students. The contracts expire on 12/31/2023. (AB2020-318/319/320) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.
143. Authorize the executive to sign a modified contract with the City of Bellingham? The purpose of the agreement is to provide a mechanism whereby all Whatcom County public safety agencies may combine all, or portions of their law enforcement, fire and emergency medical communications dispatching services, by the establishment of a consolidated telephone call receiving and law-enforcement-dispatch communications center. The contract is modified to extend the agreement through 12/31/2023. (AB2020-321) Approved 7-0
144. Authorize the executive to sign a $273,500 housing services contract with the Opportunity Council? The contract will provide reimbursement for operational expenses related to Covid-19 prevention, including: additional staffing of residential counselors at the 22 North program site; communications and technology needs for staff working remotely; personal protective equipment; sanitation equipment and supplies; increased janitorial services; private security services for enforcement of social distancing; and retrofitting of a client service center. The contract expires on 10/31/2020. (AB2020-323) Approved 7-0
145. Authorize the executive to sign an $80,000 contract (amendment #2) with James P. Richmond, attorney? Petrogas West LLC and Petrogas Pacific LLC have appealed their Cherry Point property value assessments for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2109. The trial date before the Board of Tax Appeal has been extended due to Covid-19 until April 2021, and the amendment continues legal services provided to the county assessor’s office during the appeal. The total amended contract is $155,000. (AB2020-326) Approved 7-0
146. Set a public hearing to consider submitting an application for a community development block grant? (Public hearing held.) The application is to the state Department of Commerce for approximately $500,000 in grant funding to be used to address Covid-19 impacts in Whatcom County; including: emergency response operations; emergency housing needs; public health services; and other public services benefitting people with low to moderate incomes. (AB2020-330) Approved 7-0
147. Authorize the executive to sign a 20-year lease agreement with Verizon Wireless? (Public hearing held.) The annual lease amount for the first five years is $25,251; it expires on 3/31/2042. In 2014, the state of Washington conveyed to Whatcom County land at the Lookout Mountain Forest Reserve. The land contained three commercial communication towers. This lease will grant a 20-year lease for the existing tower and includes an annual three percent rate increase and five-year rate reviews. AB2020-253 (Resolution 2020-031) Approved 7-0
148. Establish County Council budget goals and guidelines? Goals established by the council under county charter authority include: the preparation of a 2021-22 biennial budget that reflects a 20 per cent decrease in revenue; the achievement of a local housing market with a five-to-seven month vacancy rate of five to seven percent by the end of 2025; the achievement of a countywide unemployment rate of five percent or less by the end of 2025; the achievement of a 50 percent increase in the number of students ready for kindergarten by the end of 2022; increased investment in incarceration prevention and reduction strategies; and the maintenance of current service and staffing levels during a time of fiscal challenge. AB2020-334 (Resolution 2020-032) Approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Kathy Kershner opposed.
149. Correct a scrivener’s error in Ordinance 1987-009? (Public hearing held.) The correction will allow the installation of stop signs at the intersection of Everson-Goshen Road southbound at East Smith Road. The change is part of a project to remove a roundabout and establish four-way stop signs at that intersection. AB2020-291 (Ordinance 2020-041) Adopted 7-0
150. Amend the 2020 budget (request #15) in the amount of $716,503? Appropriated: $492,687 to fund Operation Stonegarden border security operations at the sheriff’s department; $12,500 to fund the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operations at the sheriff’s department; $28,000 to fund aquatic invasive species boat inspection program activities at the sheriff’s department; $9,000 to fund recreational boating safety patrols and mobile radio purchases at the sheriff’s department; $49,169 to fund What-Comm emergency dispatch services; and $124,347 to fund the addition of two full-time equivalent staffing positions at the Health Department to meet Covid-19-related needs. AB2020-297 (Ordinance 2020-042) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
Action Taken at September 15, 2020 Meeting
Shall the council:
151. Authorize the executive to sign seven contracts — totaling $97,443 — for the use of the Plantation Rifle Range? The following will pay the county for use of the rifle range to train commissioned and noncommissioned personnel: the Skagit County sheriff’s office ($15,135); the Marysville Police Department ($12,716); the Bellingham Police Department ($26,477); the Anacortes Police Department ($6,422); the Sedro-Woolley Police Department ($7,414); the Mount Vernon Police Department ($6,783); and the Skagit Valley College Police Department ($22,499). The contracts expire on 12/31/2020. (AB2020-335/336/337/338/339/342/343). Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
152. Authorize the executive to sign into a $10,000 contract (amendment #1) with the Elliot Bay Design Group of Seattle? The contract will provide funding for increased costs for engineering services for the annual dry dock for the Lummi Island ferry, as well as providing for on-call services support for the Lummi Island ferry system during the year. This amendment brings the amended total to $170,000; it expires on 11/30/2020. (AB2020-341) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
153. Authorize the executive to sign into a $160,000 contract with Northwest Youth Services? The contract will provide outreach and engagement designed to reduce risk of opioid use disorder by youth who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Funding is provided by a federal substance abuse block grant. The contract expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2020-346) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
154. Authorize the executive to sign a $100,000 contract with the Lake Whatcom Residential & Treatment Center? The contract will provide reimbursement for Covid-19-related operations expenditures and losses, including: increased risk mitigation measures and decreased admissions and residency capacity reductions. The contract expires on 10/31/2020. (AB2-2020-353) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
155. Authorize the executive to sign a $295,221 contract with the Whatcom Family YMCA? The Whatcom Family YMCA operates 22 childcare sites within the county, providing all-day care and synchronized learning in partnership with county school districts for approximately 30 children at each site. The contract will provide reimbursement for operational losses incurred at their childcare facilities as a result of Covid-19 impacts. (AB2020-365) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
156. Authorize the executive to award the only bid of $229,270 to Henifin Construction of Bellingham for construction services related to the Leeward Way drainage improvement project? The engineer’s estimate was $153,595. Total cost of the project for design, engineering, permitting and surveying is estimated at $387,602. The project is listed as Item No. 39 on the Annual Construction Program. (AB2020-361) Approved 7-0
157. Authorize the executive to accept a $1,194,211 state grant for homeless shelters? The grant funds will maintain shelter operations at the Lighthouse Mission Ministries Base Camp site, as well as expanding additional shelter capacity for subgroups with special needs, including seniors with disabilities and families. (AB2020-376) Approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
158. Grant Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, a non-exclusive franchise for the provision of wireless telecommunications services? (Public hearing held.) The franchise will allow for use of county rights-of-way for activities related to the maintenance and operation of wireless telecommunications facilities. The franchise expires in 2030. AB2020-086 (Ordinance 2020-043) Adopted 7-0
159. Amend the 2020 budget (request #16) in the amount of $987,509? Appropriated: $131,227 to fund Opportunity Council housing support services for low-income residents of San Juan, Island, and Whatcom counties; $55,570 to fund the purchase and installation of two ballot drop boxes, voter outreach, and the partial cost of a new ballot sorter; $775,315 to fund the housing and essential needs program providing support to individuals experiencing homelessness; and $25,397 to fund staffing and equipment for the emergency response to Covid-19. AB2020-316 (Ordinance 2020-044) Adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.