Action Taken at June 5, 2023 Meeting
Shall the council:
99. Authorize the mayor to sign a letter in support of the City of Berkeley’s petition for rehearing of the California Restaurant Association vs. City of Berkeley decision? The City of Berkeley seeks a rehearing of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that federal law preempted the city’s prohibition on natural gas infrastructure in new buildings. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion Carried 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
100. Authorize the mayor to sign a $100,000 settlement agreement with Rodney Schreib? The agrement has the following terms: Dismissal of the Schreib v. State of Washington et al. lawsuit filed in Skagit Superior Court with the payment of $100,000 to his attorneys, GLP Attorneys P.S. Inc. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion Carried 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
101. Ratify the agreement with the What-Comm Dispatchers Guild? Duration: 1/1/2023 through 12/31/2024. Wages and compensation: Effective: 1/1/2023, 4 percent cost of living increase and a 3 percent market adjustment. Effective: 1/1/2024, 3 percent cost of living increase and a 1 percent market adjustment. Medical Insurance: For 2023, maintain current language to increase the city’s contribution to medical healthcare by 5 percent. For 2024, increase the city’s contribution to medical heathcare by 6 percent. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion Carried 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
102. Authorize the mayor to acquire 10.2 acres for $640,000 from SV-II LLC & SV-III LLC? The property has 26 potential development units. Motion Carried 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
103. Authorize the mayor to acquire an approximately .23-acre property for $10,000 located adjacent to park property on Wilkin Street? (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion Carried 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
104. Appropriate $4,482,100 for payroll checks issued from April 15 through April 30, 2023? (AB23742) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
105. Appropriate $4,574,257 for goods and services checks issued from May 12 through May 25, 2023? (AB23743/23744) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
106. Authorize the mayor to accept a $125,435 state grant for the Post Point treatment facility? The Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction Program provides grants to wastewater treatment facilities that discharge directly into Puget Sound. This project will improve water quality by reducing nutrients discharged into the Salish Sea. There is no city match requirement for this grant. Total cost of the project is $300,000. (AB23745) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
107. Authorize the sale of two police motorcycles to Pierce County? The Bellingham Police Department has determined that the BMW motorcycles are not needed. Pierce County offered to purchase two motorcycles at $20,900 each for total offer of $41,800 plus sales tax. City code requires council approval for the disposition of surplus property with a value of $20,000 or more. These motorcycles have not been in use since 2021. (AB23746) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
108. Authorize the court administrator to accept, if needed, $311,745 in state funds for the Bellingham Municipal Court? The money will reimburse the city for the extraordinary judicial, prosecutorial, and/or defense-related costs between 7/1/2023 and 6/30/2024 for resentencing and vacating the sentences of individuals whose convictions or sentences are affected by the State v. Blake decision, which ruled unconstitutional arrests and convictions for simple drug possession. If needed, this allows the city reimbursement for up to $311,745 (later changed by amendment to $360, 967) for the extraordinary judicial, prosecutorial, and/or defense-related costs of resentencing and vacating the sentences. (AB23747) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
109. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Whatcom Conservation District for wildfire risk reduction education? The city will pay the district a total of $62,943 for the program. As the number of wildfires occurring annually in Western Washington increases, there is also an increase in the potential for wildland fires to impact nearby residential buildings and other structures. The Whatcom Conservation District will provide risk reduction outreach to property owners within the Wildland Urban Inteface/Intermix zone of Bellingham as defined by Washington Department of Natural Resources. This will include wildfire risk reduction education in the form of individual risk assessments for private property owners and community presentations on wildfire preparedness. The agreement runs from 6/10/2023 to 12/31/2024. (AB23749) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
110. Approve a requested crosswalk project and develop a formal policy for future installations? The city received a request that volunteers install — in conjunction with PRIDE celebrations — a rainbow pattern on a Cornwall Avenue crosswalk between Holly and Magnolia streets. Staff recommends the midblock crosswalk be modified to standard transverse markings with a rainbow pattern and that the work done by city staff to ensure compliance with regulations. As this is a pilot project, the city will reserve the right to remove the installation with no notice. The cost of the crosswalk installation is approximately $15,000 to be taken from the public works budget. AB23737 (Resolution 2023-09) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
111. Adopt the annual six-year (2024-2029) transportation improvement program? (Public hearing held at May 22 meeting.) State law requires cities to update their six-year transportation program by July 1 of each year. The program provides a list of capital improvement projects and establishes the city’s eligibility for state and federal funds. Projects funded include repair and resurface of roadways, construct new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, replace bridges, enhance transit use and implement strategies identified in the Climate Action Plan. AB23740 (Resolution 2023-10) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
112. Establish a Water Resources Advisory Board and accompanying legislation? The program has shifted into implementation mode, which creates an opportunity to consider how to garner resident advice on upcoming water resource issues, such as the Stormwater Comprehensive Plan, Water System Plan (including protection of Lake Whatcom), and Sewer Comprehensive Plan, as well as issues of prominence like Lake Padden. Amendments were discussed by the Watershed Advisory Board members and city staff at multiple public meetings over several months. A formal vote of 3-2 (with six vacant positions) recommended the council pass the ordinance. Four City Council motions to amend were approved and two failed. AB23710 (Ordinance 2023-06-014) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
113. Dissolve the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? At the 9/18/2000 meeting, vote #120, the City Council established the board for the purpose of guiding the Lake Whatcom property acquisition process. Over the last 23 years, the city has purchased 2,642 acres and removed 846 development units from the Lake Whatcom Watershed. The Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board will become part of the Water Resources Advisory Board. AB23709 (Ordinance 2023-06-015) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
114. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget (amendment #4) to add an intern? This amendment adds 416 hours for an intern over 10 weeks for a total cost of $6,926, which includes wages and benefits. AB23722 (Ordinance 2023-06-016) Approved 6-0, Edwin “Skip” Williams excused.
Action Taken at June 26, 2023 Meeting
Shall the council:
115. Appropriate $9,572,150 for payroll checks issued from May 26 through June 15, 2023? (AB23760/23761/23762) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
116. Appropriate $9,317,377 for goods and services checks issued from May 1 through May 31, 2023? (AB23763/23764) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
117. Authorize the mayor to accept a $15,562 state grant to form a panel to improvement planning for the protection order system? The Washington State Department of Commerce is providing a grant to form a panel of subject matter experts to meet outside regular business hours and create a series of recommendations from stakeholders across the justice system in Whatcom County. The objective is to develop a coordinated response to improve outcomes, including more immediate removal of firearms from individuals who are legally prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms. (AB23765) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
118. Authorize the mayor to accept a $148,044 state grant to study and define the most effective operations and maintenance practices for stormwater facilities in the Lake Whatcom Watershed? This project will help protect and restore water quality by reducing stormwater impacts from existing infrastructure and development. The focus will be on phosphorus and bacteria sources generated by municipal land uses and operations. Findings will be used to develop operations and maintenance procedures that limit phosphorus and bacteria sources of pollution and optimize the function of existing stormwater facilities. The outcomes of this project will inform and support the Lake Whatcom Total Maximum Daily Load efforts. The grant requires a 25 percent city match ($49,348). The total cost of the project is $197,392 and the expiration date is 6/30/2025. (AB23766) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
119. Authorize the mayor to sign a $22,758 agreement with the Whatcom Council of Governments to help fund the Whatcom Smart Trips program? Since 2006, the city has funded the Whatcom Smart Trips program. Smart Trips is an ongoing program between local governments, public agencies, employers and schools to promote transportation by walking, bicycling, sharing rides and riding the bus. The Smart Trips program is a key element in expanding education opportunities to increase use of nonmotorized transportation and transit options. This summer, improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure will be installed on routes to and from Parkview Elementary School. (AB23767) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
120. Authorize the mayor to accept a $552,335 state grant to retrofit stormwater treatment facilities in the Lake Whatcom Watershed? The state Department of Ecology grant will help improve water quality in Lake Whatcom by retrofitting existing stormwater treatment facilities with the Phosphorus Optimized Stormwater Treatment system. This project will provide treatment for total suspended solids, dissolved copper and zinc, and total phosphorus and will also reduce stormwater flows into Lake Whatcom. The grant requires a 25 percent city match ($118,112). The total cost of the project is $736,447 and it expires on 6/30/2027. (AB23768) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
121. Authorize the mayor to accept a $1,499,758 state grant for stormwater treatment facilities in the Birchwood neighborhood? The state Department of Ecology grant will help improve water quality in Little Squalicum Creek through installation of bioretention and other enhanced treatment best management practices in the Birchwood neighborhood. This project will provide stormwater treatment for total suspended solids, oil (total petroleum hydrocarbons), dissolved copper, dissolved zinc, and total phosphorus and will also reduce flows to Little Squalicum Creek by increasing stormwater infiltration. The grant requires a 25 percent city match ($499,919). The total cost of the project is $1,999,677 and it expires on 6/30/2027. (AB23769) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
122. Designate July 2023 as Parks and Recreation month? Parks and recreation are an integral and fundamental part of the well-being of communities throughout the country, including Bellingham, Washington. In 1985, the U.S. House of Representatives designated July as Parks and Recreation Month. This is the second year the City Council has recognized the environmental, economic, ecological and educational value of our extraordinary parks and recreation system. Additionally, parks and recreation is a leading provider of free, subsidized or low-cost programs for all ages and abilities, while maintaining open public access to nature and developed public spaces. AB23755 (Resolution 2023-11) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
123. Establish a facility reinvestment and water conservation surcharge at Lake Padden Golf Course? Built in 1972, the Lake Padden Golf Course is just over 50 years old. Other than a major expansion and renovation of the clubhouse in 1995, the city has not had enough money in the enterprise fund to reinvest in the aging infrastructure and irrigation system. While the Lake Padden Golf Course continues to be financially sustainable, the goal is to be more proactive than reactive in managing golf course assets. Each year for the past several years, the golf course maintenance staff has had to repair multiple breaks in the lines caused by deteriorated pipe and failing valves. A $4.00 fee will be added to each golf round and a $2.00 fee added to each disc golf round. Annual passes will be assessed a $200 payment, with collection starting in January 2024. AB23756 (Resolution 2023-12) Approved 5-1, Hannah Stone opposed, Michael Lilliquist excused.
124. Establish a tentative schedule for joint county and city review of the Urban Growth Areas? The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires county and city comprehensive plans to be coordinated and consistent. The GMA also stipulates that Whatcom County, in conjunction with the cities, complete the urban growth area (UGA) review by June 2025. At the 7/27/2022 meeting, vote #107, the mayor and the county executive signed an agreement concerning planning, annexation and development which states that they will coordinate the comprehensive plan and UGA review This resolution includes the review schedule as Exhibit “A” and sets forth main tasks for 2023 – 2025 to guide coordinated planning efforts. AB23758 (Resolution 2023-13) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
125. Affirm the city’s values with regard to the proposed ballot measure for the purpose of providing funds for costs of public health, safety and justice facilities and services? This vote also approves a letter from City Council President Pro Tem Dan Hammell and Mayor Seth Fleetwood to the Whatcom County Council and Whatcom County executive expressing gratitude for improvements to the Justice Project implementation plan. It is anticipated that the Whatcom County Council will seek voter approval for an additional countywide sales tax of 0.2 percent at the November 2023 general election, to fund a new correctional facility, behavioral health programs, and related services. This resolution affirms the city’s values as they relate to the county’s ongoing efforts to plan for and construct new correctional and behavioral health facilities, and to expand behavioral health services and related programs. AB23739 (Resolution 2023-14) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
126. Extend the emergency moratorium on the acceptance of development applications within the Silver Beach neighborhood until 1/11/2024? (Public hearing held at June 5 meeting.) At the 7/11/2022 meeting, vote #126, the City Council adopted an emergency ordinance that imposed a 12-month moratorium on the acceptance or processing of applications to redevelop existing or develop new residential multifamily (RM) housing within the four RM zones in the Silver Beach neighborhood. The moratorium was initially adopted to allow city staff to determine if the multifamily densities in the Silver Beach neighborhood are consistent with existing city policies for protection of water quality in Lake Whatcom or if amendments are necessary. City staff needs additional time to work on this issue. AB23732 (Ordinance 2023-06-017) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.
127. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget (amendment #5) in the amount of $557,084? An accountant position will be added for two years to the finance department with wages to be $137,998, personnel benefits of $39,086 for a total of $177,084. The Old City Hall building envelope project for $380,000 includes repair of the brick and sandstone, structural anchoring of the masonry at select locations, restoration and structural improvements of the columns and capitals, replacement and repainting of existing wood windows, limited roof repairs, and hazardous materials abatement. AB23738 (Ordinance 2023-06-018) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.