Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at June 13, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
111. Solicit public comment on the size of the proposed Whatcom County jail? (Public hearing held) At the 5/30/2017 meeting, vote #109, the council set this meeting for a public hearing to address the size of the proposed jail. The current jail capacity is 212 beds at the main jail and 150 beds at the work center. The county administration and small cities caucus propose an increase of combined jail capacity to 463-489 beds. (AB2017-185A) No vote held.
112. Appoint Alexander Vondrell to the Noxious Weed Control Board, District 4? The board promotes public education regarding the impact and management of noxious weed species, including: knapweed; knotweed; purple loosestrife; and tansy ragwort. Mr. Vondrell is employed as a stormwater utility foreman with the city of Bellinghamt. The term is for a period of four years. (AB2017-186) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
113. Authorize the executive to spend $21,600 for .072 in mitigation credit from the Lummi Nation Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The credit will help the county to offset the impact upon wetlands of the High Creek sediment management and fish passage improvement project. The project will reduce recurrent flood damages to nearby landowners and closure of the Mt. Baker Highway at High Creek south of the Kendall Elementary School. (AB2017-187) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
114. Authorize the executive to accept a $549,430 state grant to be used for the design and construction phases of the East Smith Road pavement rehabilitation project? The project covers approximately 3.25 miles from Everson-Goshen Road to State Route 542. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1,500,000. (AB2017-189) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
115. Update the Public Participation Plan? The Growth Management Act requires that counties create public participation programs for comprehensive plan and development regulation amendments. At the 9/13/2016 meeting, vote #159, council voted to accept a draft public participation plan. Changes from the 2016 plan include: the deletion of language related to the 2016 Comprehensive Plan update; the inclusion of amendments initiated for review in 2017; and the deletion of amendments related to mineral resource lands on Lummi Island and an application for off-site wetland mitigation/restoration. (AB2017-192) Approved 5-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed, Todd Donovan absent.
116. Approve the sale of a conservation easement? (Public hearing held) Property owners Randy and Elizebeth Doucet petitioned the county to grant a conservation easement over an adjacent county-owned former gravel pit known as “Clark Pit” in order to create a greenbelt along the west bounary of their property. The county has no plans to develop it. The petitioners will be responsible for all financial costs incurred from the easement, including $15,000 for the property as valued. AB2017-178 (Resolution 2017-035) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
117. Accept a petition to create the Lummi Island Park and Recreation District and set 7/11/2017 for a public hearing on the proposal? The council is expected to vote on the proposal on 7/25/2017, including naming the proposed district and determining the district boundaries. If council approves the ordinance it will be forwarded to the county auditor for inclusion on the November general election ballot. Under the formula outlined by state law, 115 signatures from registered voters residing within the area described were required for submittal. The submitted petition includes 166 verified signatures. AB2017-200 (Resolution 2017-036) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
118. Reduce the speed limit on portions of Marine Drive? (Public hearing held) The speed limit will be reduced from 40 to 30 miles-per-hour for the section of Marine Drive between Bancroft Road and Hoff Road. Fifteen residents of the Marietta area submitted the request to lower the speed limit. AB2017-179 (Ordinance 2017-031) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
119. Reduce the speed limit affecting the intersection of Slater Road and Beach Way? (Public hearing held) The Public Works Department requested that the speed limit on Slater Road be reduced from 45 to 25 miles-per-hour on the westbound section of roadway for the 700 feet before it intersects with Beach Way. Public Works cited an increase in the number of collisions at that intersection as the reason for the reduced speed limit. AB2017-180 (Ordinance 2017-032) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
120. Repeal and replace sections of the Whatcom County Code on court fines and costs for offenders? Current code requires offenders with unpaid fines to repay those fines at the rate of $40 per day if they stay in jail or $60 per day if they provide labor for the county. This ordinance will allow offenders with unpaid fines to satisfy unpaid court fees or fines by serving on work crews and allow the District Court to refer unpaid court fees or fines to collections. The ordinance also increases the per-day value of labor from $60 to $102 for 2017 and includes a provision to reset the rate each calendar year to reflect current statewide averages of related wages. AB2017-181 (Ordinance 2017-033) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.
Action Taken at June 27, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
121. Amend the 2017 Flood Control Zone District and Subzones budget (request #3) in the amount of $15,000? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The Natural Resources Division of the Public Works Department is requesting funding for specialized legal counsel in order to make changes to the Comprehensive Plan and development regulations to bring them into compliance with the Growth Management Act. These changes are in response to the Washington State Supreme Court’s October 2016 “Hirst” decision, which limits the use of private wells as water sources when issuing development permits. (AB2017-199) Failed 2-5, Barbara Brenner,2 Rud Brown, Barry Buchanan, Todd Donovan and Carl Weimer opposed.
122. Authorize the executive to sign a $353,366 agreement with the Whatcom Conservation District to provide technical assistance for non-dairy agricultural operators? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The Whatcom Conservation District will provide technical assistance for non-dairy agricultural operators to protect and improve water quality. The agreement is funded by a state grant and expires 3/31/2019. (AB2017-205) Approved 7-0
123. Authorize the executive to sign three contracts — estimated total $2,079,307 — to provide pathways to employment and community access services to adults with developmental disabilities? Total compensation under the contracts will vary depending on the number of clients and types of services. The contract with Work Opportunties of Lynnwood is estimated at $361,787 (AB2017-206). The contract with Kulshan Supported Employment of Bellingham is estimated at $827,033 (AB2017-207). The contract with Cascade Connections of Bellingham is estimated at $890,487 (AB2017-208). All three contracts run from 7/1/2017 through 6/30/2018. Currently, 311 adults in Whatcom County receive employment services (82 percent of whom are employed and earing wages) and 17 individuals receive community access services. The federal government through Medicaid and the state of Washington fund these contracts. The service has an individualized plan for each client for support services and sends progress updates. Approved 7-0
124. Authorize the executive to sign a $221,794 contract (amendment #1) with the Whatcom Conservation District? At the 11/9/2016 meeting, the council authorized the executive to sign a $50,000 agreement with the Whatcom Conservation District to provide technical assistance to landowners participating in the Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program. This amendment will extend the scope of work and extend the term of the Homeowner Incentive Program which addresses phosphorous pollution in Lake Whatcom. Homeowners within the sub-basin are eligible to apply for $1,000 to $6,000 amounts for the installation of rain gardens, lawn removal, sand filters, and permeable pavement. The program provides technical assistance, education, oversight, and guidance on maintenance. The amendment brings the total amended contract to $271,794, it expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2017- 210) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner3 opposed.
125. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the city of Bellingham to coordinate the design and cost sharing for the West Horton Road Extension? The extension is approximately 4,000 linear feet of roadway between Northwest Drive and Aldrich Road, 1,320 feet is in the city and 2,680 feet in the county. The project is listed as Item no. 4 in the 2017 annual construction program, and will require $156,070 in local matching funds. (AB2017-211) Approved 6-0-1, Rud Browne abstained.
126. Confirm the appointment of Ramona Abbott to the Whatcom County Ethics Commission? Ms. Abbott is employed as the external relations manager for the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra and holds a BA in history/writing from Evergreen State College. (AB2017-214) Confirmed 7-0
127. Amend the 2017 budget (request #6) in the amount of $572,516? Appropriated: $70,000 to fund E911 emergency telecommunications equipment; $14,475 to fund human papillomavirus prevention projects; $176,000 to fund marijuana-use prevention and education for youth; $18,600 to fund the Tourism Wayfaring Project which seeks to improve the experience of visitors to Whatcom County; $76,838 to fund staffing for an historical records indexing project that allows documents to be available online; $55,524 to fund Whatcom Unified Emergency Coordination Center upgrades, including: electrical, internet connectivity, office equipment, and plumbing; and $6,000 to fund additional Community Response Team training to enhance emergency response capabilities. AB2017-197 (Ordinance 2017-034) Adopted 7-0
128. Close the 2015 Central Plaza improvement fund? At the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #227, council voted to establish a fund and $160,000 project-based budget to replace the roof and make surface repairs to the Central Plaza building. The repairs and replacement are completed and the fund is no longer needed. The remaining balance of $13,150 will be returned to the Real Estate Excise Tax 1 Fund. AB2017-198 (Ordinance 2017-035) Adopted 7-0