Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at March 7, 2016 Meeting

Shall the council:
38. Authorize the mayor to sign a financing agreement with the Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District? The city will issue limited tax general obligation bonds and then loan the money to the Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District to refund their 2007 limited sales tax obligation bond, which was issued to pay for the Lightcatcher Museum and the Mt. Baker Theatre renovations. The bonds will be paid back to the city from sales tax revenue. At the 7/16/2007 meeting, vote #141, the City Council voted to guarantee the repayment of Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District bonds. To issue bonds, the district required a city pledge that they will repay the bonds if it is unable to repay them. Lower interest rates are projected to reduce debt service payments over the next twelve years, saving an estimated $600,000. (AB21164) Approved 7-0

39. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Mark Buehrer 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. Mark Buehrer is a civil engineer, owner of 2020 Engineering, and has lived in Bellingham for 29 years. He was formerly a project engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, and has made presentations at international conferences on alternative transportation systems. This will be his first term; it expires on 3/7/2019, at which time he may be reappointed. (AB21168) Approved 7-0

40. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $604.20 per ton to JCI Jones Chemical of Sarasota, FL, for liquid chlorine? The water treatment plant uses approximately 25 tons of chlorine per year to disinfect the drinking water and the sewer treatment plant uses approximately 160 tons of chlorine for disinfecting the Post Point treatment plant effluent. The two previous chlorine bids were $550 per ton in 2013 and $537 in 2010. The city received two bids; the high bid was $633.82. (AB21170) Approved 7-0

41. Appropriate $2,822,718 for payroll checks issued from February 11 through February 25, 2016 (AB21171) Approved 7-0

42. Appropriate $3,421,303 for goods and services checks issued from February 13 through February 26, 2016? (AB21172/21173) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at March 21, 2016 Meeting

Shall the council:
43. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County for joint use of the Whatcom Unified Emergency Coordination Center? The center is located in the International Trade Center building at the Bellingham airport. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) has leased 30,000 square feet in the International Trade Building since 2004; the lease expires in 2023. In 2009, the federal government leased an additional 25,000 square feet in the building for two years with two one-year options. They used it as the 2010 Olympics Coordination Center. The Port of Bellingham spend approximately $2 million on improvements to the building. At the 12/9/2013 meeting, vote #269, the City Council authorized the mayor to sign an agreement with the county to open an emergency operations center. The agreement expires on 12/31/2023. The yearly cost for 24,854 square feet is $134,212 and is divided between the city and county. Starting in 2017, payments will increase up to 3 percent annually. (AB21174) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

44. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1,514,581 to Tiger Construction of Everson for trail construction? The project is the Squalicum Creek Trail segment of the Bay to Baker Trail; 1.4 miles of new trail will be constructed from Orchard Place to Irongate Road, with an underpass at Interstate 5. The city received 11 bids; the highest bid was $2,184,773. (AB21177) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

45. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement for inmate housing with the South Correctional Entity (“SCORE”), located in Des Moines, WA? SCORE retains the right to refuse certain prisoners, to assign inmates to work crews, and will charge the city at a guaranteed bed rate of $105 per day and a non-guaranteed bed rate of $157. At the 12/14/2015 meeting, vote #251, the City Council authorized the mayor to sign a contract with Yakima County for as-needed jail services. The agreement with SCORE expires on 12/31/2016. (AB21180) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

46. Authorize the mayor to sign a $200,000 grant agreement (amendment #2) with the state of Washington for the Little Squalicum Creek Estuary restoration project? A $200,000 grant from the Rose Foundation (8/10/2015 meeting, vote #155) required matching funds. This vote increase the state grant from $710,000 to $910,000; the budget for Little Squalicum Creek Estuary construction is $510,000 with the rest going for the Whatcom Creek Estuary, Padden Creek Estuary and a juvenile chinook assessment. (AB21183) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

47. Appropriate $4,507,677 for goods and services checks issued from February 27 through March 11, 2016? (AB21184/21185) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

48. Appropriate $2,858,236 for payroll checks issued from February 26 through March 10, 2016? (AB21186) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

49. Support the city’s implementation of the Ban the Box initiative? A question about arrest and conviction history will be removed from city employment application forms. The City Council supports fair chance hiring practices to afford otherwise qualified individuals with arrest or conviction records a fair and equal opportunity to obtain employment. Studies indicate that stable employment is one of the best predictors of post-conviction success; more than twenty states and one-hundred cities across the country have adopted fair chance hiring policies. AB21150 (Resolution 2016-06) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

50. Refinance outstanding 2007 general obligation bonds? Up to $11,000,000 in general obligation bonds will be issued to refund outstanding Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District bonds. The bond refunding will save an estimated $600,000 in debt service payments over the next twelve years. At the 6/15/2002 meeting, vote #115, the City Council approved the formation of the Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District. At the 10/25/2004 meeting, vote #234, the city sold $9.65 million in general obligation bonds for the Public Facilities District ($6.5 million to repay city loans and $3 million to be used for future projects). At the 7/16/2007 meeting, vote #141, the City Council voted to guarantee the repayment of Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities District bonds. To issue bonds, the district required a city pledge that they will repay the bonds if it is unable to repay them. In 2007, the district issued $9.995 million in bonds. The district issued bonds to fund construction of the Lightcatcher Museum and renovations to the Mount Baker Theatre. As of the end of 2015, there is approximately $18.3 million outstanding of the original $22 million debt. AB21163 (Ordinance 2016-03-009) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

51. Establish rental inspection fees? At the 3/9/2015 meeting, vote #52, the City Council adopted a rental registration and safety inspection program. That vote required all costs for the program to be recovered by registration and inspection fees. The fees will be set at $100 per unit when served by city inspector and $45 for a private inspector, with no charge for the first re-inspection and $50 each for the second and final re-inspections. Missed appointments will be charged $25 each and late payments (after 60 days) will be $50 plus cost of collection. All Bellingham Hearing Examiner appeals will cost $550 with an additional $531 charged for staff time. AB21165 (Ordinance 2016-03-010) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

52. Appropriate an additional $51,329 and reclassify an office assistant II to a planner I in the Planning and Community Development Department? At the 3/9/2015 meeting, vote #52, the City Council adopted a rental registration and safety inspection program. Reclassification of the part-time office assistant II position, supporting the rental registration and inspection program, to a full-time planner I position is necessary to adequately address enforcement issues regarding illegally-established rental units. This better aligns with the intent of the program to ensure that all rental units in the city are safe and consistent with adopted codes. The increase in salary and benefits will be funded through the rental registration and inspection program and the development services fund, with no impact to the general fund. AB21166 (Ordinance 2016-03-011) Approved 5-0, Terry Bornemann, and Pinky Vargas excused.

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