Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at April 10, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
66. Authorize the expenditure of $525,000 for the acquisition of 19.83-acres of watershed property from Rafael and Karrie Soto? It has one potential development unit. (Discussed in Executive Session) Motion Carried 7-0

67. Authorize the mayor to sign a $175,00 settlement agreement in Fox v. City of Bellingham litigation? The lawsuit is dismissed with the payment of $100,189 to Robert John Fox and $74,811 to Corr Downs, PLLC. Damage claim: $300,000 for the emotional and mental distress he suffered regarding the desecration of his brother’s body. When the body of Bradley Ginn, Sr. was waiting at a fire station to be transported to a funeral home, 11 Bellingham Fire Department employees admitted to attempting to intubate him 15 times in contradiction of a “do not resuscitate” order. After the findings of an investigation by the Summit Law Group were released, one Bellingham Fire Department employee retired and another resigned. (Discussed in Executive Session) Motion Carried 7-0

The mayor made two reappointments to the Immigration Advisory Board? At the 11/4/2019 meeting, vote #197, the council established the Immigration Advisory Board. It reviews and evaluates policies regarding compliance with state law and makes specific recommendations regarding policies related to immigration matters; provides for data collection regarding contact between the city of Bellingham, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and/or Customs and Border Protection; and includes periodic updates to council. (AB23678)

68. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Homero Jose Garrido to a full term on the Immigration Advisory Board? He was appointed to a partial term at the 12/13/2021 meeting, vote #237; the term expired on 4/12/2023. An immigrant from Mexico, he is a resident of Ferndale, an activist and has been a self-employed mechanic for the past 19 years. His first full term will expire on 4/12/2025 at which time he may be reappointed. (AB23678) Approved 7-0

69. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Alfredo Juarez Zeferino to a full term on the Immigration Advisory Board? He was appointed to a partial term at the 1/10/2022 meeting, vote #6; the term expired on 4/12/2023. Mr. Zeferino has direct experience with detention by Customs and Border Patrol, having been racially-profiled and detained at the age of 15. He is a founder of the first indigenous-led independent farmworker union in the state of Washington. He served formerly as an alternate. His first full term will expire on 4/12/2025 at which time he may be reappointed. (AB23678) Approved 7-0

70. Authorize the mayor to sign a three-year lease for 1400 Iowa Street? Cost of the three-year lease is approximately $600,000. In addition, the city will make $200,000 in tenant improvements. The lease is for the south side of Iowa (at the Pacific Street intersection).It will provide operational space during construction at the Pacific Street and the Woburn Street operation centers, and be a secure location for the police department to store vehicles and equipment at a lower cost than current storage space leases. The Woburn operations site will be reconstructed. There will be a new two-story north wing at the Pacific Street operations building, replacement of the vehicle storage building, a new fuel island canopy, new roofs and solar panel installation. (AB23680) Approved 7-0

71. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $3,735,228 to Colacurcio Brothers of Blaine for Phase 2 construction at Cordata Park? The engineer’s estimate was $4,143,493. At the 3/23/2015 meeting, vote #32, the council authorized the expenditure of $3,620,000 to purchase 21 acres known as Cordata Community Park. It is located on the east side of Cordata Parkway between Stuart and Horton roads. At the 2/25/2019 meeting, vote #39, the name was changed from Cordata Community Park to Cordata Park. Phase 2 involves a park pavilion with overhead trellis and seat wall, covered outdoor stage, skate dot, covered double swing, pedestrian circulation, utility services and distribution, pickleball and basketball courts, park shelter, park lighting, park furnishings and signage, landscape planting, turf lawn, wetland mitigation planting, lighted parking area and driveway. The city received five bids, the high bid was $7,411,529. The construction project is anticipated to begin in May 2023. (AB23683) Approved 7-0

72. Appropriate $4,446,309 for payroll checks issued from March 1 through March 15, 2023? (AB23688) Approved 7-0

73. Appropriate $4,204,882 for goods and services checks issued from March 17, 2023 through March 30, 2023? (AB23689/23690) Approved 7-0

74. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget (amendment #1) in the amount of $847,542? This amendment expands security and information staffing at the downtown library from a one-person to a two-person team. Hours will be increased for three existing positions and a new 30-hour position created. Two Portland Loo toilets will be purchased and installed for approximately $650,000 in the downtown core. AB23671 (Ordinance 2023-04-008) Approved 7-0

75. Prohibit the use of controlled substances in public places? Recent changes in state law have resulted in an increase in the use of controlled substances in public places and an increase in negative impacts, and in some cases, criminal behavior. With this change to the city municipal code, use of a controlled substance in public would be a misdemeanor and subject to arrest. State law requires an offender to be referred to assessment and services in lieu of arrest at least twice before he or she may be arrested. AB23655 (Ordinance #2023-04-009) Approved 5-2, Michael Lilliquist, Kristina Michele Martens opposed.

Action Taken at April 24, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
76. Approve the name “Scramble Nature Playpark” for property next to the Regal Cinema in Barkley Village? The Talbot Group designed, constructed, and dedicated the new nature playpark to the City of Bellingham. The company requested the park be named “Scramble Nature Playpark.” Park policy allows an exception to the standard park naming process when the park includes a donation. While the Talbot Group received a park impact fee credit for its construction and dedication of the park, the company will maintain the park and adjacent trail in perpetuity. (AB23692) Approved 7-0

78. Grant a noise variance to Faber Construction for sewer replacement work on Woburn Street? Construction work in residentially zoned areas between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. requires a noise variance. This noise variance will allow work on Woburn Street from approximately E. Illinois Street to Texas Street between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. for the duration of the project and between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. for an as-yet undetermined number of nights at the intersection of Alabama and Woburn Streets. Traffic will be required to be reduced to a single lane during work hours to safely replace the sewer mains on Woburn. (AB23702) Approved 7-0

79. Appropriate $4,684,065 for payroll checks issued from March 16 through March 31, 2023? (AB23703) Approved 7-0

80. Appropriate $4,842,423 for goods and services checks issued from March 31, 2023 through April 13, 2023? (AB23704/23705) Approved 7-0

81. Amend the docket1 of Comprehensive Plan amendments to be reviewed in 2022–2023 amendment cycle? At the 2/24/2020 meeting, vote #33, the council passed the 2020 Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan (PRO Plan). The PRO Plan is an adopted chapter of the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan and a required element of the State Growth Management Act.  This proposal would amend the mapped “proposed trail corridors” to address changes since 2020, improve trail alignments to better reflect geographic constraints and align with proposed updates to the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans. In addition, three infrastructure improvement projects will be added to the Capital Facilities Plan: a railroad trail overpass at Woburn Street, old village trail revitalization and a covered pickleball court. By incorporating these projects into the capital facilities plan, a private developer would be eligible to construction and dedication such improvements for park impact fee credit. AB23699 (Resolution 2023-03) Approved 7-0 

82. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget (amendment #2) in the amount of $705,319? During the budget presentations in October of 2022, the city had a total of 14 vacant positions in the police department. This amendment increases the number of police officer positions and associated funding. It moves the two positions budgeted to begin in 2024 into 2023 and adds two additional new positions. This adjustment will allow the department to leverage its current hiring momentum to better position itself for the 23 anticipated retirements in 2024 and 2025. AB23686 (Ordinance 2023-04-010) Approved 7-0  

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