Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at December 4, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
240. Approve the mayor’s reappointment of Kelsey Wylie to a full term on the Greenways Advisory Committee? The committee will identify, develop, review, and recommend selection criteria, relating to the expenditure and allocation of Greenway levy funds. Kelsey Wylie was appointed to a partial term at the 3/27/2023 meeting, vote #61. A 16-year resident of Bellingham, she has a bachelor’s degree from WWU and is currently employed in project management support at Eleven 11 Solutions in Kirkland. Her term will expire on 1/11/2027 at which time she may be reappointed. (AB23940) Approved 7-0

241. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $6,803,830 to Ram Construction of Bellingham for the Telegraph Road improvement project? The engineer’s estimate was $6,430,000. The project is from Deemer Road to James Street, and involves adding sidewalks, bike lanes, a center turn lane, curbs, gutters, stormwater treatment, and pedestrian crossings for transit stop access. The intersections at James Street and Deemer Road will have traffic signals added. Two rectangular rapid flashing beacons will be installed across Telegraph Road in coordination with WTA bus stops. The project is partially funded with a grant from the Federal Highway Administration which determines the amount of apprenticeship training hours allowed. The city received nine bids — the high bid was $290,947,126 (an obvious error). (AB23941) Approved 7-0 

242. Grant a public access easement and restrictive covenant at 855 Bennett Road? The Parks and Recreation Department was approached by neighboring landowner on Samish Crest for a residential well water supply covenant within their wellhead protection area. Granting of the restrictive covenant will prohibit any pollution- generating land use within the 100-foot wellhead protection area. The area subject to the covenant is currently a fully forested area of Samish Crest open space. In exchange, the landowner has granted a public trail easement on their property at the end of Bennett Road to the Samish Crest open space. The easement also secures public access to an existing pedestrian trail. (AB23947) Approved 7-0 

243. Provide $65,000 in partial funding for ongoing operations at the Whatcom County crisis stabilization center? Whatcom County leases the facility (called the Anne Deacon Center for Hope) located at 2026 Division Street in Bellingham. It offers behavioral health treatment on-site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is a new agreement; funding for the crisis stabilization center has been provided by the City of Bellingham since 1998. This agreement includes a provision to extend the agreement by mutual written consent but includes no additional significant changes. (AB23948) Approved 7-0

244. Share What-Comm 911 phone services with Western Washington University? The university police department needed to replace their 911 phone system and logging recorder. To conserve resources and support interoperability, they elected to contract with What-Comm 911 to use the same phone system and logging recorder. The university will pay What-Comm for maintenance and day-to-day support of the system. The university will have the ability to use What-Comm as a backup center should their dispatch center become inaccessible or inoperable. Sharing these critical systems allows for significant cost savings and valuable cross-training among agency personnel. (AB23949) Approved 7-0

245. Extend the agreement with the Whatcom Conservation District for the cooperative Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program? The program provides technical assistance and financial incentives to homeowners who voluntarily install stormwater best management practices to reduce stormwater runoff containing phosphorus to Lake Whatcom.The agreement with Whatcom County was originally approved at the 6/17/2013 meeting, vote #117. The current agreement expires 12/31/2023; this extension is through 11/30/2024. (AB23950) Approved 7-0

246. Appropriate $4,828,758 for payroll checks issued from November 1 through November 15, 2023? (AB23953) Approved 7-0

247. Appropriate $7,114,594 for goods and services checks issued from November 10 through November 22, 2023? (AB23954/23955) Approved 7-0

248. Authorize a state grant application for Padden Creek Estuary fish passage improvements? Staff is authorized to apply for a fsh barrier grant to help fund fish passage improvements in Padden Creek at the Padden Creek estuary. The grant requires a council resolution authorizing the application and designating authority for administration of the grant. Revenues are anticipated at approximately $1,810,000, with $1,120,000 from the grant and $690,000 in matching funds from the city. AB23951 (Resolution 2023-27) Approved 7-0

249. Set the dates and times of the 2024 regular City Council meetings? Twenty-four meetings are scheduled; meetings will start at 7:00 p.m. “Roberts Rules of Order” are to be used unless otherwise provided by the Charter. AB23952 (Resolution 2023-#28) Approved 7-0

250. Extend the moratorium on the acceptance of development applications within the RM zones in the Silver Beach neighborhood? (Public hearing held at November 20 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 housing within the four RM zones in the Silver Beach neighborhood. At the 6/26/2023 meeting, vote #126, the council extended a moratorium for six months. Initially, the moratorium was adopted by council to allow city staff time 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. This extension expires on 7/10/2024. AB23923 (Ordinance 2023-12-037) Amended and approved 7-0.

Action Taken at December 11, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
251. Authorize the mayor to sign a six-year agreement with Whatcom County for an annual service fee of $12,830,990 for the provision of advanced life support services? The funds are collected through the six-year countywide EMS levy. Annual costs: four paramedic units available 24 hours a days, 365 days per year ($10,835,136); an EMS captain position available 24 hours a days, 365 days per year ($1,054,869); two community paramedics available 40 hours per week ($455,180); and an entry-level paramedic training program ($485,805). This agreement terminates on 12/31/2029. (AB23962) Approved 7-0

252. Authorize the mayor to sign a $782,304 agreement with Whatcom County for 2024 paramedic training? The funds are collected through the six-year countywide EMS levy. This agreement covers the student back-fill and preceptor costs for the 2024 Paramedic Class cohort and anticipated needs for lateral training in 2024. The Bellingham Fire Department administers a paramedic training program in association with the Bellingham Technical College. This apprenticeship program takes just over one year to complete and provides training to both city of Bellingham firefighter/EMTs and firefighter/EMTs from other regional fire agencies. The 2024 COHORT will include three City of Bellingham Firefighter/EMTs and seven firefighter/EMTs from other regional fire agencies. This agreement terminates on 3/31/2025 or upon completion of paramedic training. AB23963) Approved 7-0

253. Call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, Israel, and Palestine? This resolution speaks to the broadest possible spectrum of humanitarian principles, represents values and concerns of our broader community while addressing the tactics taken by both sides of the conflict, and expresses support of HB786 encouraging the White House to use its powers and available tools to implement a cease-fire in Gaza. Old/New Business (Resolution 2023-33) Approved 7-0

254. Authorize the mayor to sign the update to a long-standing agreement for fire, medical aid and hazardous materials support? This agreement is with Fire District 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, South Whatcom Fire Authority and the City of Lynden Fire Department. Since 1986, the Bellingham Fire Department has been a party to the countywide mutual aid agreement. The agreement allows fire agencies to share resources when an incident or incidents exceed the capabilities of any one agency. It has been updated to reflect changes in participating agencies (several organizations have merged since 1986) and added insurance language to reflect the city’s self-insurance program. (AB23967) Approved 7-0   

255. Appropriate $1,377,401 for goods and services checks issued from November 23 through November 30, 2023? (AB23968) Approved 7-0

256. Relinquish a surplus utility easement between 12th Street and 13th Street that is located within vacated McKenzie Street? (Public Hearing held.) People’s Bank at 1315 12th Street has plans to improve and redevelop the site but needs the added area encumbered by the city’s retained utility easement to properly complete the design and meet current regulations. Public Works has no need or plans to place public utilities in the retained utility easement area. Other franchise utilities do not exist in the retained utility easement area and their services are provided from outside the easement area. AB23956 (Resolution 2023-29) Approved 7-0 

257. Honor Seth Fleetwood for his service to the City of Bellingham? Prior to becoming mayor in January 2020, he served two terms in the Whatcom County Council at-large position (2002-2009) and two terms in the Bellingham City Council at-large position (2010-2013). He took office of mayor in January 2020 at the onset of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, requiring him to take emergency actions affecting government services, business operations, and community life. He prioritized action and made progress on affordable housing, climate initiatives, behavioral health, public safety, alternative response systems, race and justice issues, and other significant initiatives. As a long-time Greenways champion, he led the establishment of a new Greenways strategic plan to guide future parks, trails and open space purchases and development, completed plans to guide the future of the Hundred Acre Wood, and contributed to the recent success of the Greenways V levy. The council expresses its appreciation and honors Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood for his leadership, public service and dedication to the people of the city  and our community. AB23961 (Resolution 2023-30) Approved 7-0

258. Honor Kristina Michele Martens for her service to the City of Bellingham? She has served on the City Council with distinction and dedication as the at-large member since 2022. She has served on the Public Works and Natural Resources Committee, the Community and Economic Development Committee, and acted as the chair of the Climate Action Committee. She is the first Black woman to serve on the council, was an organizer and key speaker at the 2020 Bellingham Black Lives Matter rally, events in recognition of Juneteenth and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and oversaw the creation of the Whatcom County Racial Equity Commission. The council expresses its appreciation and honors Kristina Michele Martens for her leadership, public service, and dedication to the people of the city and our community. AB23959 (Resolution 2023-31) Approved 6-0, Kristina Michele Martens abstained. 

259. Honor Senior Legislative Policy Analyst Mark Gardner for his 15 years of service to the Bellingham City Council? Mark Gardner began serving as the legislative policy analyst for the Bellingham City Council office in 2008, and has since been promoted to senior legislative policy analyst. He shepherded the 18-month- long Climate Action Task Force, supported the work of the Lake Whatcom Policy Group, helped to write the council’s ordinance banning single-use plastics, and provided research and consultation on many other environmentally focused projects including close work with the Office of Climate. Mark helped establish the Groundlevel Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) program and the Alternative Response Team (ART), and often served as a liaison between the council and our state legislative delegation. Mark’s wealth of institutional knowledge and expertise on a wide breadth of subject matter will be greatly missed. The weather never deterred him from his daily bike commute. The council wishes Mark the very best in his well-deserved retirement and expresses its appreciation and for his leadership, public service, and dedication to the people of the city and our community. AB23960 (Resolution 2023-32) Approved 7-0

260. Adopt required changes to the Business and Occupation Tax? In 2003, the Washington State Legislature mandated that all cities imposing a Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax adopt uniform requirements through a “model ordinance.” While this limits a city’s ability to achieve policy objectives through targeted taxation, it simplifies the tax paying process for the many businesses that operate across metropolitan boundaries. This amendment updates the definition of printing and publishing. It is not anticipated to have any impact on tax revenues. AB23942 (Ordinance 2024-12-038) Approved 7-0

261. Amend the vehicle license requirements for taxicabs and for-hire vehicles? The city’s taxicab regulations need to be more consistent with state regulations for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. Police have been required to perform a safety inspection on the cars and background investigation of the drivers. This process puts the police department in the position of performing a duty they are not fully qualified to perform (vehicle inspections). This amendment requires companies to annually provide an affidavit that they have had all vehicles inspected by a certified mechanic, performed background checks on all drivers, and acquired appropriate insurance. The new fee will be $50 per vehicle licensed, $35 for background checks and $20 for processing of licenses. AB23943 (Ordinance 2024-12-039) Approved 7-0

262. Amend the 2023-2024 budget? With $50,752,686 in revenue changes and $58,568,300 in expenditure changes, the amended budget is $949,206,883 over the biennium. Throughout the months of October and November, the City Council reviewed the contents of the mid-biennial budget adjustment in work sessions and at public hearings on 11/6 and 11/20). AB23945 (Ordinance 2024-12-040) Approved 7-0  


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