Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at August 7, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council
156. Appropriate $4,608,082 for payroll checks issued from July 1 through July 15, 2023? (AB23813) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

157. Appropriate $6,841,259 for goods and services checks issued from July 14 through July 27, 2023? (AB23814/23815) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

158. Authorize the mayor and police chief to sign an agreement with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission for a teacher/administrator/counselor officer? Bellingham Police Officer Kenneth Lott will be employed full time for the training of criminal justice personnel at the Northwest Regional Campus. The Bellingham Police Department will be reimbursed for Officer Lott’s full salary, and overtime reimbursed by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. The contract commences on 8/1/2023 and terminates on 6/30/2025 unless terminated or extended by mutual agreement. (AB23816) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

159. Amend the city code to address the possession and public use of controlled substances? At the 4/24/2023 meeting, vote 75, the council passed an ordinance making the use of a controlled substance in public a misdemeanor and subject to arrest. On 5/16/2023, the state Legislature adopted 2E2SSB 5336 that makes the known possession and use of controlled substances a gross misdemeanor. The legislation provides a permanent fix to the state Supreme Court’s Blake decision that found the state’s previous drug possession and use statutes unconstitutional. The new law took effect on 7/1/2023, making knowing possession and use of controlled substances in a public place gross misdemeanors. In order to enforce and prosecute these offenses, the City Council must adopt these laws by reference. AB23799 (Ordinance 2023-08-021) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

160. Amend the city code relating to accessory dwelling units (ADUs)? This ordinance incorporates the city code with new state regulations on ADUs, which expands housing options by easing barriers to the construction and use of ADUs. Declarations or governing documents for condominiums, homeowners’ associations, and common interest communities created after the effective date of the act may not prohibit the construction, development, or use of an ADU within an urban growth area unless such declarations or governing documents were created to protect public health and safety or to protect ground and surface waters from on-site wastewater. A city or county that issues a permit for the construction of an ADU may not be held civilly liable on the basis that the construction would violate the restrictive covenant or deed restriction created after the effective date of the act. AB23800 (Ordinance 2023-08-022) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

Action Taken at August 14, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
161. Authorize the mayor to sign a contract with the Kenyon Disend of Issaquah to provide legal advice and representation to the city on eminent domain matters? Kenyon Disend is the only law firm in the state with a practice devoted to municipal law services. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

162. Authorize the mayor to accept a $59,649 federal grant from the STOP Violence Against Women program? This is a pass-through grant to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County to improve the community response to violence against women. Activities funded under this program are available to adult or youth victims (ages 11 or older) of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or dating violence and include victim services, law enforcement and prosecution. (AB23825) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

163. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget (amendment #7) in the amount $2,331,304? Purchase swimming blocks (a raised platform from which swimmers begin a race) for the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center with a $52,022 donation from the Bellingham Public School Foundation; add a building plans examiner position for $170,711 in the Planning and Community Development Department; allocate $2,108,572 of the remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for food security, homeless services, and to assist in the purchase of property at the Bellis Fair Mall for low-income housing. After passage of this ordinance, all but $59,245 of the city’s ARPA allocation will be budgeted. As of 6/31, $7.4 million of the $20.9 million available has been spent. The city has until 12/31/2024 to fully obligate the funds and until 12/31/2026 to fully expend them. AB23811 (Ordinance 2023-08-023) Approved 6-0, Daniel Hammill excused.

Action Taken at September 11, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
164. Spend $904,000 to acquire 16.5 acres of property at the west end of Palmer Road on Samish Crest from property owner West Pac Management? (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion carried 7-0

165. Spend $10,000 to acquire a quarter of an acre of property located in the Padden Gorge area, west of Lake Padden Park and south of Padden Creek from property owner Bradley Pagnossin? (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion carried 7-0

166. Spend $82,500 to acquire 0.21 acres of Lake Whatcom Watershed property with one potential development unit from property owner Mark Beckwith? (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion carried 7-0

167. Radify the contract with IAFF Local 106S (firefighters) for 1/1/2022 through 12/31/2023? Wages and compensation: Effective 1/1/ 2022: 8 percent wage increase; effective 1/1/2023: 7 percent wage increase; effective 1/1/2023: 1 percent increase in deferred compensation match, increase in MERP contribution by $200 per month. Medical Insurance: For 2023, maintain current language to increase the city’s contribution to medical healthcare by 6 percent. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Motion carried 7-0

168. Authorize the Bellingham Police Department to apply for a $32,432 federal grant? (Public hearing held.) The application is with the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program. The Bellingham Police Department would like to create a bicycle response team ($20,000) and purchase PowerEngage software ($12,432) as part of the civil disturbance unit. The software would keep citizens informed with automatic updates and real-time data.(AB23827) Approved 7-0

169. The mayor appointed Asa Deane to a full term in the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board provides recommendations on plans and programs designed to enable the department to maintain and improve city parks and provide recreation programs for the general welfare of the people of the city. Asa Deane was appointed to a partial term at the 10/24/2022 meeting, vote #191 — at the time of initial appointment, he was executive director of Friends of the Forest in Anacortes. He has lived in Bellingham for approximately five years. His full term will expire on 9/29/2026 at which time he may be reappointed. (AB23830) Nonvoting issue.

170. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County for Behavioral Health Outreach Services at the Bellingham Central Library? As became evident at the June 2023 All Hands Whatcom Opioid Summit, our community has many silos in services that are difficult to navigate for individuals experiencing behavioral health issues. On Sept. 6, Whatcom County issued a request for proposals for qualified agencies to provide prevention, intervention, resource referrals, and stabilization strategies that reduce risks for substance use, declining mental health, and related needs at the downtown Bellingham Public Library. This contract dedicates up to $75,000 annually from the City of Bellingham to fund nearly 50 percent of a community-based behavioral health support specialist to be located at the central library during all open hours. (AB23832) Approved 7-0

171. Extend the lease for 1530 Cornwall Avenue (modication #2) with JMC1 LLC, in addition to the sublease agreement with Lighthouse Mission Ministries (LMM)? The City of Bellingham, Whatcom County and LMM partnered to provide a safe alternative to the Old Town drop-in center. In March 2020, the Bellingham High School was selected as a temporary drop-in center. The city searched for a suitable replacement and the city leased the building at 1530 Cornwall Avenue (former Public Market), and, at the 6/16/2020 special meeting, vote #90, the council subleased it to the Lighthouse Mission to operate as a shelter. The original lease term was for a period of three years from 7/17/2020 to 6/17/2023 — it was renewed for one year from 6/18/2023 to 6/17/2024. This five-month extension is through 11/17/2024 to allow for the completion of a replacement facility in Old Town; construction is taking longer than anticipated. Further, the city needs an additional one month to ready the site for return to the property owner. The City Council authorized a subsequent budget ordinance of $265,000 to cover the fourth year, plus the five additional months. (AB23833/23834) Approved 7-0 

172. Appropriate $9,319,094 for payroll checks issued from July 16, 2023 through August 15, 2023? (AB23844/23845) Approved 7-0

173. Appropriate $17,332,515 for goods and services checks issued from July 28, 2023 through August 31, 2023? (AB23846/23847/23848/23849/23850) Approved 7-0

174. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Whatcom County for a portion of a federal grant? The City of Bellingham is the grant administrator. The 2023 Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program has allocated the city and county $47,374 in grant funding: $32,432 for the City of Bellingham and $14,942 for Whatcom County. The city and county will use the money to purchase ballistic helmets, plates and an illumination device. (AB23851) Approved 7-0

175. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement (amendment #3) with Whatcom County for the Alternative Response Team (ART)? The program is a collaborative approach between law enforcement, emergency medical response, human services, and other community agencies to respond to low-level noncriminal and/or nonmedical calls for service. The ART team is not intended to provide police or medical services. The original agreement for $427,127 was approved at the 5/23/2022 meeting, vote #88; and was amended on 3/6/2023 for $62,969 and this renewal is for $80,000 from a grant from the Associated Washington Cities (AWC) for a total amended amount of $570,096. (AB23852) Approved 7-0

176. Authorize the mayor to renew an agreement with the state of Washington to sponsor two Washington Conservation Corps crews for natural resource projects? The total cost will not exceed $538,167 and will run from from 10/1/2023 to 9/30/2024. The two crews’ work will continue the city’s long-term commitment to improving and protecting the community’s water quality, salmon habitat, and open space. The program is a partnership between the city of Bellingham, Washington state and the federal AmeriCorps program. Crews will perform riparian restoration work throughout the City of Bellingham and the Lake Whatcom watershed. The previous agreement was approved at the 8/29/2022 meeting, vote #154. (AB23853) Approved 7-0 

177. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for a water resources investigation? The city’s contribution towards this agreement is $190,451, and the federal government’s contribution is $36,828 for a total of $227,279. The Public Works Department works with the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) for the operation and maintenance of the stream gaging program. The program also monitors the stream flows of Olsen Creek, Carpenter Creek, Euclid Creek, Silver Beach Creek, Brannian Creek, Squalicum Creek and Chuckanut Creek. This agreement is offered at a fixed cost with both the City of Bellingham and the USGS participating in funding the project to study stream flows in the Lake Whatcom Watershed and the Middle Fork Nooksack River flows and turbidities. Information from the program will help the city manage the water supply. The agreement runs from 10/1/2023 to 9/30/2024. (AB23854) Approved 7-0 

178. Authorize the mayor to apply for a state grant to be used for deferred maintenance projects at the Civic Athletic complex? The maximum grant amount available is $100,000. The Washington State Legislature is providing a one-time grant funding opportunity for parks deferred maintenance and it is administered through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. If the grant is received, it will install, repair, or replace signage and fences at the Civic Athletic Complex up to the maximum grant request, including adding signs to direct the public to designated accessible pathways. The grant does not require matching funds. AB23831 (Resolution 2023-20) Approved 7-0 

179. Grant a street vacation for a portion of the 10th Street right-of-way? (Closed record hearing held at 8/14/2023 meeting.) Boiler Works LLC has petitioned the city to vacate the right-of-way in order to facilitate a future development project. The petition is for the westerly 10-feet of the 10th Street right-of-way generally located between Taylor and Douglas avenues in exchange for portions of tidelands owned by the petitioner. The Bellingham Hearing Examiner held a public hearing on 6/28/2023 and recommended approval of the vacation. The council voted to accept the hearing examiner’s recommendations and the petitioner will pay $46,400 for the right-of-way. AB23820 (Ordinance 2023-09-024) Approved 7-0

180. Grant a vacation for a platted alley within block 299 of the town of Whatcom? (Closed record hearing held at 8/14/2023 meeting.) The Columbia Elementary School was constructed in 1925, and it sits over a portion of the unvacated right-of-way. The Bellingham School District petitioned the city to vacate a 4,000-square-foot platted alley traversing the school to clear title prior to the construction of a new elementary school. On 7/12/2023, the Bellingham Hearing Examiner held a public hearing on the petition and recommended approval of the vacation. The council voted to accept the hearing examiner’s recommendations and the $3,125 in compensation be waived because the school provides a public benefit. AB23821 (Ordinance 2023-09-025) Approved 7-0  

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