Action Taken at April 11, 2022 Meeting
The mayor reappointed Kendra Bradford to her second term on the Sehome Hill Arboretum Board of Governors. The arboretum site is 175.5 acres; the city owns 137.5 acres and Western Washington University owns 38 acres. The initial agreement between the city and WWU to develop and coordinate the Sehome Hill arboretum was adopted by the City Council on 8/7/1974. The agreement was last renewed at the 4/20/2015 meeting, vote #69. The board of governors is composed of eight members. It works with the city and WWU in planning the use of such capital, operating and maintenance funds as shall be authorized by the city of Bellingham or WWU. Kendra Bradford has been a scientific instructional technician in the biology department at WWU for over 12 years. She was first appointed to the board of governors at the 5/20/2019 meeting, vote #90. Her second term will expire on 5/9/2025, at which time she may be reappointed. (AB23313) Nonvoting issue.
Shall the council:
58. Spend $351,000 to acquire a 131-acre property in the Lake Whatcom watershed? It was purchased from CBC Brothers LLC (formerly Henry C. Semple) for land on Lookout Mountain at the south end of Lake Whatcom. It is zoned commercial forestry and has no potential development units. An amended agreement was signed at vote #66. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0
59. Authorize the mayor to sign a $75,000 settlement agreement with Matthew and Laurie King? The following information was obtained from the lawsuit filed in Whatcom County Superior Court. The lawsuit claims the city violated the Public Records Act and for an award of $534,000. In 2018, the city received an application for a building permit next door to the King property. The King’s discussed some reservation about the building plans with the property owner and city planners, but no resolution was reached. During construction on the adjacent property, the King’s filed a complaint that stormwater management on the site violates city code. The city was indifferent to the complaint. Matthew King filed a public records’ request with the city of Bellingham on enforcement reports; disciplinary action; images, video and any other relevant files. The city withheld some of the requested information for 588 days. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0
60. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $1,320,401 to Western Refinery Services of Ferndale for asphalt repair services? The city received four bids: the high bid was $3,129,901. The contract provides for multiple city departments to repair asphalt pavement sidewalks, roads, alleys and structures as needed to maintain the city’s infrastructure. This bid amount was based on an estimated number of billable hours and parts provided in the city bidding documents and used as a basis of comparison among the bids. This three-year contract shall not exceed $2,400,000 using the unit rates provided in the Western Refinery Services bid, and contains a provision for an optional one-year renewal. There is no guarantee for the city to expend all funding provided for in the contract. (AB23314) Approved 7-0
61. Appropriate $3,824,517 for payroll checks issued from March 1 through March 15, 2022? (AB23318) Approved 7-0
62. Appropriate $3,940,381 for goods and services checks issued from March 18 through March 31, 2022? (AB23319/23320) Approved 7-0
63. Authorize the city to apply for a State Historical Society grant to fund Old City Hall restoration projects? The Old City Hall is in need of restoration to the sandstone, brick façade, and windows in the structure. There is significant degradation of the sandstone and window sills, particularly on the north side of the building. Reports show continued deterioration of the exterior, raising concern about the potential hazard to the public from failing sandstone debris. The request will be for $283,000, or approximately one-third of the project cost, with the balance coming from city funds. The project is estimated to cost $850,000. AB23315 (Resolution 2022-06) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill recused.
64. Increase fees at Bayview Cemetery? Bayview Cemetery operates as an enterprise fund. The fees were last increased by 5 percent at the 1/28/2019 meeting, vote #21. In 2021, the cost of maintenance and operations for the cemetery was approximately $444,000, with approximately half of this amount coming from revenue and half from a general fund subsidy, which fluctuates annually depending on revenues generated. An overall average of 8 percent — estimated at $35,000 per year — in fees for goods and services is needed to offset maintenance and operation costs and keep the general fund subsidy at approximately the same level. AB23316 (Resolution 2022-07) Approved 7-0
65. Establish disc golf fees for the Lake Padden Golf Course? Premier Golf Centers LLC operates and maintains the Lake Padden Golf Course per a management agreement (see 12/11/2017 meeting, vote #225) with the city. In July 2021, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board approved a pilot project to introduce an 18-hole disc golf course at Lake Padden Golf Course. Four successful disc golf tournaments were held in late 2021, which attracted approximately 75 high caliber players during each event and generated $16,723 in total revenue. Premier would like to formalize this new recreational opportunity by establishing disc golf fees for in-season and off-season play. Beginning in Fall 2022, seasonal rates (including taxes of 8.8 percent) will be $22.85 for 18 holes in-season and $16.32 during off-season. Premier is estimating that approximately $40,000 of additional revenue will be generated in 2022-2023. Premier installed new permanent baskets/tee pads and signage: the increase in revenue will help reimburse expenses by Premier. AB23317 (Resolution 2022-08) Approved 7-0
Action Taken at April 25, 2022 Meeting
Mayor Fleetwood announced that he has selected Rebecca Mertzig as the next chief of police for the city of Bellingham. She will begin on 6/1/2022, the same day that Police Chief Flo Simon will be retiring. The state Department of Natural Resources announced that the Bessie Sorts timber sale (166 acres of naturally grown nearly-old-growth forest, less than a mile southeast of Lake Whatcom) has been cancelled.
Shall the council:
66. Authorize the mayor to sign an amended purchase agreement for 131 acres commonly known as the Henry C. Semple property? At the 4/11/2022 meeting, vote #58, the council authorized the spending of $351,000 to acquire the 131 acres on Lookout Mountain at the south end of Lake Whatcom. The property is zoned commercial forestry. The tax status of the property is designated forestland. The city is required to assume the seller’s obligation to pay the compensating tax that will be imposed as a result of the land being removed from its designated forestland status in connection with the sale of the property to the city. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0
67. Authorize the mayor to award the only bid of $46,862 to Overhead Door of Bellingham for overhead door repair services? Due to the number of repairs needed, the varying type, age, and manufacture of overhead door systems, city staff has found it difficult to keep up with the needed required repairs and maintenance for each system. The city is seeking to consolidate overhead door maintenance and repair services into a single unit-price contract. This bid amount is based upon the estimated quantity of services to be performed during each year of the contract term. The maximum payable under this three-year contract is $175,000. (AB23323) Approved 7-0
68. Direct city staff is to proceed with the continued development of the anaerobic digester process to manage biosolids at the Post Point Treatment Plant and conduct further assessment of post digestion solids management? Aging and failing incinerators need to be replaced at the Fairhaven treatment plant. The estimated cost to replace the incinerators with anaerobic digesters is $275 million. Nine times since 2016, the council has discussed in committee meetings ways to replace the failing digesters. This is the first vote on a specific way to replace the digesters. (AB23326) Approved 7-0
69. Appropriate $3,456,720 for goods and services checks issued from April 1 to April 14, 2022? (AB23330/23331) Approved 7-0
70. Appropriate $3,977,036 for payroll checks issued from March 16 through March 31, 2022? (AB23332) Approved 7-0
71. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Port of Bellingham for the installation, operation and maintenance of port-owned fiber conduit at Roeder Avenue and F Street? The city is preparing to commence a Public Works construction project known as the F Street crossing project, with an estimated date of completion of 12/31/2022. The project will bring the existing railroad crossing up to quiet zone standards, repair asphalt pavement, and install new ADA curb ramps. The new fiber conduit will connect with existing port-owned fiber conduit located within Roeder Avenue. The port is required to reimburse the city for all costs associated with the fiber conduit work. (AB23333) Approved 7-0