Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at November 4, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
187. Authorize the mayor to sign a $19,875 settlement agreement with Troy Curran? The CityMac store operating at 2551 Roeder Avenue is owned by Troy Curran. He claims that the Colacurcio Brothers Construction when repaving Roeder Avenue (see the 12/10/2018 meeting, vote #203) trespassed on the premises and damaged property. The company stored equipment on the premises, tore up asphalt and landscaping, crushed a sign and spray painted the driveway/parking lot. The city instructed the Colacurcio Brothers repave the parking area but the work was substandard and had to be redone. Troy Curran submitted an asphalt bill for $19,870 and landscaping bill for $6,881. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

188. Approve the mayor’s reappointment of Cory Blackwood to the Transportation Commission? The Transportation Commission advises the City Council on transportation planning and transit issues, ensures that transportation investments are consistent with Comprehensive Plan goals and advises the council on parking fees, fines and collection methods, off-street parking contracts and possible expansion of residential parking zones. He was initially appointed to the commission at the 12/5/2016 meeting, vote #211, his final term, which will expire on 12/5/2022. (AB22471) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

189. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the federal government for the Puget Sound Coastal Storm Modeling System? The United States Geologic Survey proposes to include Bellingham Bay and the shoreline of Whatcom County in the Puget Sound Coastal Storm Modeling System. The model will give local jurisdictions the data needed to plan for and respond to coastal flooding due to sea-level rise plus storm events by providing information about storm wave heights, currents, and inundation areas, depths, and durations. It couples coastal storm processes including surge, waves and wind-wave setup with sea-level rise, tides/King tides, stream flow and circulation to predict flooding extent and physical processes that influence erosion and sediment transport out to the year 2100, and is based on 10 years of research and development with international partners and guidance from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA. The model will provide information necessary to evaluate risk associated with sea-level rise in the city of Bellingham, but specifically at the Post Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. For more information, please see ( The full cost of the system will be $500,000, it will be split between the United States Geologic Survey ($150,000), city of Bellingham ($135,000), Whatcom County ($125,000), Port of Bellingham ($80,000) and city of Blaine ($10,000) (AB22473/22477/22478/22479) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

190. Approve the 2020 joint legislative agenda? The city has been partnering with Whatcom County and the Port of Bellingham since 2013 on a shared legislative agenda. The three entities shared objectives and committ to work cooperatively with the Legislature, to strengthen the partnership between state and local governments, and to ensure that we have the full resources to implement the policies and goals as adopted by the state of Washington. During committee, one change on the clean energy portion of the agenda was made to change the bullet point under clean energy to read, “Continued fiscal and policy support for energy efficiency and clean energy transition and development.” (AB22474) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

191. Renew the agreement with the South Correctional Entity (SCORE) for inmate housing? The 164,000 square foot facility cost $52 million to build, has a staff of 150 full-time positions and the capacity to house 813 inmates.The original agreement with the Des Moines facility was approved at the 3/21/2016 meeting, vote #45. This agreement renews the city’s contractual relationship with SCORE for the purpose of booking and holding inmates when the city is not able to use the Whatcom County jail. The services begin in 1/1/2020 and terminates on 12/31/2022. The SCORE facility charges a daily housing rate of $184.00 with additional charges for services related to mental health and medical care. (AB22476) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

192. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County for a portion of a federal grant? The 2019 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program has allocated $36,076 in grant funding to Whatcom County; $22,685 for the city of Bellingham and $13,391 for the Whatcom County sheriff’s office. The city of Bellingham is the recipient and Whatcom County is the sub-recipient. The Bellingham Police Department will be purchasing three commercial refrigerators and three commercial freezers for the evidence and ID unit, and the county will use its $13,391 toward the purchase of ballistic vests. (AB22480) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

193. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County for municipal court probation services? The cost is $325,000 per year. The city of Bellingham contracts with the Whatcom County for probation services for persons who have been found guilty of violating ordinances of the city. The parties recently negotiated a successor agreement for these services. Active probation services include: referral and monitoring of compliance with treatment and counseling programs, community service, payment of restitution, indigency status reviews, the performance of bail studies, breath and urine testing, and other requirements as indicated by the court. This agreement will be effective from 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2022. (AB22481) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

194. Appropriate $4,819,925 for goods and services checks issued from October 12 through October 25, 2019? (AB22482/22483) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

195. Appropriate $4,499,313 for payroll checks issued from September 16 through September 30, 2019? (AB22484) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

196. Establish an Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Program? The Clean Water Act requires publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants with design flows greater than five million gallons per day and that receive industrial wastewater to establish a pretreatment program to safeguard the facility and the environment. The state of Washington has administered the program since 1972, but ecology notified the city in 2018 that it no longer intends to manage the program and ordered the city to adopt and administer a local pretreatment program. The city submitted an initial draft ordinance to the state on 10/22/2018. The state requested minor changes. A revised ordinance was passed by the council at the 5/6/2019 meeting, vote #84. Staff submitted the revised ordinance to the state for review and delegation of authority. The state approved the program, after public comment and consultation with the EPA. This ordinance will be effective starting 1/1/2020. Funding and staffing were included in the approved 2019-2020 budget. Costs for administration of the program will come from utility charges and fees assessed to customers subject to the regulations as outlined in the ordinance. AB22457 (Ordinance 2019-11-032) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

197. Establish an Immigration Advisory Board? On 5/21/2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5497 (E2SSB 5497), an act relating to establishing a statewide policy supporting state of Washington’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace (“Keep Washington Working Act”); the mayor, as the chief executive officer of the city, is responsible for ensuring compliance with E2SSB 5497. This ordinance establishes an immigration advisory board to review and evaluate policies regarding compliance with E2SSB 5497 and to make specific recommendations regarding policies related to immigration matters, provides for data collection regarding contact between the city of Bellingham, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and includes periodic updates to council. At the 2/13/2017 meeting, vote #29, the council passed a resolution affirming the safety of all people residing in Bellingham. At the 2/27/2017 meeting, vote #38, the council passed an ordinance adopting a city policy with respect to immigration enforcement, equal protection and equal provision of city services. It is called the “Keep Bellingham Families Working” ordinance. AB22430 (Ordinance 2019-11-033) Approved 6-0, Dan Hammill excused.

Action Taken at November 18, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
198. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Ernest Scherb to a partial term on the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? The board consists of up to 11 members appointed by the mayor to three-year terms, with a two-term limit. The Watershed Advisory Board advises the city regarding the protection, cleanup, and restoration of the Lake Whatcom Reservoir and the surrounding watershed; the city watershed land acquisition program; and the management, maintenance, and use of acquired property. The board also provides citizen advice concerning proposed specific land acquisitions except when not feasible. Ernet Scherb has lived in Bellingham for four years, is a Silver Beach resident and a retired executive manager/entrepreneur involved in the electronics industry. His term will expire on 2/24/2022, at which time he may be reappointed. (AB22488) Approved 7-0

199. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Jake Hawes to the Greenway Advisory Committee? The committee provides recommendations to the City Council and the Parks and Recreation Department about Greenway levy expenditures, parkland acquisitions and parks/trails/open space development projects. Appointments shall be for three-year terms, with a two-term limit. A lifetime resident of Bellingham and a employee of Gensco (a wholesale distributor of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment) Mr. Hawes is an active volunteer in the community with service in many local programs. This will be his first term, which will expire on 11/18/2022, at which time he may be reappointed. (AB22489) Approved 7-0

200. Adopt the Historic Preservation Commission recommendations on the “Pickett Bridge”? On 9/10/17, the council voted to task the Historical Preservation Commission with three items: to engage the community, to research the history of the bridge, and to present their findings to council and the mayor at a later meeting. On 10/22/2019 the commission held a public meeting regarding whether the name “Pickett” should be removed from the bridge that crosses Whatcom Creek on Dupont Street. The commission reviewed staff findings, considered public comment and deliberated on the topic, and presented its recommendations to City Council on 10/31/2019. One consideration in favor of the renaming was the fact that Pickett was being honored with the plaque at a time when the Ku Klux Klan was operating openly in Bellingham and Whatcom County. The commission found that the naming of the Pickett Bridge was inappropriate and not reflective of the city’s values. The bridge will no longer be referred to as the “Pickett” bridge on all city documents and maps, if the plaque cannot be removed it will be appended with additional signage to include more nuanced interpretation. (AB21714) Approved 7-0

201. Renew the contract for police services with Whatcom Transportation Authority? This modifies the agreement passed at the 1/28/2019 meeting, vote #17, it changes the annual amount from $68,414 to $70,466 and expiration date to 12/31/2020 and services public safety and security of transit patrons in the downtown Bellingham station. A uniformed officer is assigned to the city center station — with periodic trips to the Cordata station — during the hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. (AB22498) Approved 7-0

202. Appropriate $3,626,634 for goods and services checks issued from October 26 through November 08, 2019? (AB22499/22500) Approved 7-0

203. Appropriate $3,506,060 for payroll checks issued from October 1 through October 15, 2019? (AB22501) Approved 7-0

204. Designate Whatcom County as the collector of sales and use tax for affordable and supportive housing? State law authorizes the city or county to impose a local sales and use tax for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing or facilities providing supportive housing, for the operations and maintenance costs of affordable or supportive housing, and for certain cities and counties, providing rental assistance to tenants. At the 9/9/2019 meeting, vote #161, the City Council passed Resolution 2019-25, stating the intent to coordinate with Whatcom County on an approach regarding collection and administration of a sales and use tax for affordable and supportive housing under RCW 82.14.540 (or SHB 1406). This resolution preserved the city’s ability to act to collect the monies directly in the event the county did not act. At the 10/22/2019 meeting, vote #235, the County Council passed an ordinance to authorize the maximum capacity of the tax. The city and the county staff worked on a proposal, under which the county will impose the maximum amount of the tax instead of the city, and the jurisdictions will work collaboratively to ensure the funds are allocated as previously directed. The proposed resolution declares that the City Council will not retain the sales and use tax so that the county may. Now that the county has acted, this resolution confirms that the City Council waives its right to collect directly. The county will begin collecting the rebate on 12/1/2019. AB22493 (Resolution 2019-31) Approved 7-0

205. Exempt winter shelters located in public zoning districts from state building code requirements? Several interim shelters will be in operation this winter. The city is coordinating with Northwest Youth Services and First Congregational Church of Bellingham to locate a youth winter shelter at 2401 Cornwall Avenue; while Whatcom County is coordinating with three faith-based agencies for operating severe weather shelters at 2100 Broadway, 1419 N Forest and 1326 N Garden in Bellingham, Washington. The use of the subject facilities for these shelters is permitted by an emergency interim zoning ordinance. Consistent with state law, building code requirements may be waived provided that: the building provides housing to indigent persons; is preexisting; is owned by a public or a non-profit corporation; and is found to be safe. The building official and fire marshal have determined that the buildings pose no threat to human life, health or safety. Additionally, all criteria established in RCW 19.27.042 have been met. The adoption of the proposed resolution will allow continued operation of the interim shelters without strict compliance with the code, while still being safe. At the 10/22/2018 meeting, vote #170, the council adopted permanent regulations addressing building encampments, tent encampments, tiny house encampments and safe parking areas. AB22494 (Resolution 2019-32) Approved 7-0

206. Establish the 2020 property tax levy? The total 2019 revenue anticipated from the property tax levy is $26,900,338. A one percent increase in the property tax levy, exclusive of the affordable housing levy, will generate an additional $242,333 of revenue in 2020. For an individual homeowner with an assessed valuation of $400,000 the city’s portion of their property tax bill will be approximately $888. This ordinance must be delivered to the Whatcom County Assessor by 11/30/2019. (AB22452 (Ordinance 2019-11-034) Approved 7-0 207. Amend the 2019-2020 biennial budget? (Public hearing held at November 4 meeting.) Adjustments total $37,742,574 for total revised expenditures of $677,208,902. This ordinance also adds, removes and changes budgeted positions throughout the city. AB22447 (Ordinance 2019-11-035) Approved 7-0


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