Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

Action Taken at January 16, 2018 Meeting

Shall the council:

1. Fill the at-large (B) position vacancy on the County Council? The postion became vacant when Todd Donovan was elected in November 2017 to the District 2 position. Twenty nine county residents applied for the vacancy, the council narrowed the number to eight. Seven of the candidates made presentations at the meeting, Timothy Ballew II, Patricia Dunn, Seth Fleetwood, Carol Frazey, Cliff Langley, Natalie McClendon and Alicia Rule. Councilmembers made nominations for a roll call vote. Ballew was first with four votes, Fleetwood received three, Dunn received two with Langley and McClendon receiving one each. Timothy Ballew II was elected to fill the at-large position until the November 2018 election. He is a commercial fisherman and former chairman of the Lummi Nation. (AB2017-389A) Approved 5-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.

2. Authorize the executive to sign a $196,540 contract (amendment #20) with Washington State University? The contract will continue the cost-sharing agreement that provides faculty for the WSU Whatcom County Extension, the forestry program, and the solid waste education and outreach program for 2018? The amendment adds a half-time position to the strengthening families program. The total amendment contract is $1,783,326, it expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2018-032) Approved 6-0

3. Authorize the executive to sign a $112,227 contract (amendment #1) with the Opportunity Council for the homeless outreach team? The amendment will continue to fund a professional on the Opportunity Council’s outreach team to provide services for individuals experiencing homelessness and opiate/substance use disorders. A federal grant funds $94,157 of the contract. The original contract ran from 7/1/2017 through 12/31/2017. The total amended contract is $163,227, it expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2018-033) Approved 6-0

Action Taken at January 30, 2018 Meeting

Shall the council:

4. Uphold the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner’s decision? Jerry Pate appealed the decision allowing a wireless communications facility which includes a 150 foot tall steel monopole, with an initial antenna array consisting of twelve panel antennas and one six foot wide microwave dish antenna. ((AB2017-355) Approved 7-0

5. Appointments to the Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee. The committee was established at the 12/5/2017 meeting, vote #259. The committee will advise the council on the implementation of the climate action plan. At the 5/9/2006 meeting, vote #107, the council voted to participate in the Counties and Cities for Climate Protection Campaign. The climate action plan went into effect in January 2007 with a goal of 100 percent renewable energy use for Whatcom County operations. The committee will update the climate action plan every five years. It will consist of 11 voting members. At least seven committee members will have professional or educational backgrounds in climate science, renewable energy development, energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling, farming, food security, land use planning, municipal government, flood mitigation, and planning. The council received 45 applications. Appointed for three years: Kate Blystone, Seth Fleetwood, Treva Gabrish, Derek Gremban, Alex Ramel, and Sharon Shewmake. Appointed for two years: William Harmon, Gabriel Westergreen, Tim Miller, David Kershner, and Eric Grossman. (AB2018-028)

6. Appointments to six committees. Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection Committee: Richard Beauregard. Incarcertion Prevention and Reduction Task Force: Kate Hansen, Jerry DeBruin, Bryron Manering, Moonwater, Deborah Hawley, Lisa McShane, Patricia Dunn, and James Dickinson. Planning Commission: (District 4) Jon Maberry; (District 5) Natalie McClendon and Kelvin Barton. Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District: Andy Ross. Solid Waste Advisory Committee: Lisa Friend; Mark Peterson; Robert Hendricks; Kevin Moore; and Troy Lautenbach. Wildlife Advisory Committee: The committee was reactivated at the 11/21/2017 meeting, vote 232, 11 members were appointed. Frank Bob, Joel Ingram, Vikki Jackson; Stephen Nyman, Fenner Yarborough, Canaan Cowles, Christopher Kazimer, Joan Drinkwin, Marvin Hoekeme, Gregory Green, and Rob Rich. (AB2018-029)

7. Authorize the executive to sign a $150,000 agreement (amendment #1) with The Nature Conservancy for the Deming levee setback project and geomorphic assessment of the lower Nooksack River? At the 3/21/2017 meeting, vote #48, the council authorized the executive to sign a $250,000 agreement with The Nature Conservancy. The Deming levee project is $300,0000 and geomorphic assessment is $100,000. The Nature Conservancy obtained $400,000 in federal (National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration) grant funding for the floodplain management and habitat restoration project. (AB2018-043) Approved 7-0

8. Authorize the executive to accept a $94,500 federal grant for engineering and environmental permitting for the guardrail safety program? The grant requires a local match of $15,500 for a total of $110,000. The program will add guardrails to two-lane county roads that do not currently have them. The total estimated cost of the guardrail program is $915,000 with $899,500 in federal funds and the rest local. (AB2018-046) Approved 7-0

9. Authorize the executive to sign a $33,698 contract (amendment #2) with the Whatcom Conservation District for the Homeowner Incentive Program? At the 7/9/2013 meeting, vote #111, council voted to partner with the city of Bellingham to reduce stormwater runoff and associated phosphorous pollution flowing into Lake Whatcom by introducing the Homeowner Incentive Program. Homeowners within the sub-basin are eligible to apply for $1,000 to $6,000 reimbursement for the installation of landscape features on their property to improve water quality, inlcluding impervious surface and lawn removal, infiltration tenches, native plantings, porous paving, and rain gardens. The Whatcom Conservation District is providing technical assistance to homeowners in basins 1 and 2 of the Lake Whatcom watershed. The contract amendment extends the partnership for one year and expands the scope to support the Homeowner Incentive Do-It-Yourself Native Landscaping Program. The total amended contract is $305,492. It expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2018-047) Approved 7-0

10. Authorize the executive to accept a $1,294,039 state grant for the county health department? The funds are for emergency preparedness and response, infectious disease prevention, women, infants and children nutrition program, promotion of breastfeeding, and others. The expiration date is 12/31/2020. (AB2018-049) Approved 7-0

11. Authorize the expenditure of $89,095 for election systems equipment, software, and services? The expenditure will cover the acquisition, installation, training, and first year maintenance of mail ballot vertifier equipment. Equipment and software is $79,095, maintenance of hardware and software is $15,000 with a $5,000 discount. The contract is with Election Systems & Software of Omaha, NE. (AB2018-052) Approved 7-0

12. Clarify 2018 tax levies? (Public hearing held) At the 11/21/2017 meeting, votes 229, 230 and 231 and the 12/5/2017 meeting, vote #249, the council passed property, conservation futures fund, road fund, and flood control district tax levies. The 2017 settlement of the BP refinery tax appeal created the need for a one-time adjustment in all four. The purpose of the adjustment is to refund all taxpayers for the partially recovered tax in the BP Refinery settlement. AB2018-040 (Resolution 2018-001) Approved 7-0

13. Accept the Whatcom County Treasurer’s list of petitions for 2017 property tax refunds? The refund total is $823,486; they reflect senior exemptions ($454,881), taxes paid in error, changes in tax status, destroyed property ($10,255), equalization board orders ($296,151), and miscellaneous exemptions. The 2016 refunds totaled $1,016,190. AB2018-045 (Resolution 2018-002) Approved 7-0

14. Adopt amendments to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Whatcom County Code related to construction, zoning, land division, and health, as pertain to water resources? This vote is repealing Ordinance 2017-057 passed at the 10/10/2017 meeting, vote #193. It imposed an emergency 60-day moratorium on development activities releating to water sources. Ordinance 2017-057 was a response to the October 2016 state Supreme Court ruling, Whatcom County v. Hirst et. al. Senate Bill 6091, signed into law on 1/19/2018, directs local permitting agencies to approve groundwater withdrawal applications for exempt wells without requiring instream flow analyses and mitigation plans. Applicants are required to pay $500 ($350 of which will be transferred to the state Department of Ecology) and will be limited to a maximum daily withdrawal of 3,000 gallons per day per connection. This emergency ordinance expires expires on 3/25/2018. and a public hearing is scheduled on 2/13/2018. AB2018-057 (Emergency Ordinance 2018-001) Substitute adopted 6-1, Todd Donovan opposed.

15. Amend the 2018 budget (request #3) in the amount of $1,888,113? Appropriated: $500,000 to fund an Opportunity Council housing rehab grant program that will benefit 25 low-income, owner-occupied housing units in Whatcom, Island, and San Juan counties over a three-year period; $13,113 to purchase ballistic vests for the sheriff’s office; $185,500 to fund the electronic patient care reporting system and purchase an EMS manager vehicle; $55,000 to fund a communications van satellite system at the sheriff’s office; and $35,000 to purchase of an EMS manager vehicle. Re-appropriate: $1,100,000 to fund the City of Bellingham waterfront project. AB2018-037 (Ordinance 2018-002) Adopted 7-0

17. Approve the expenditure of $350,000 (amendment #1) in the jail improvement fund? At the 7/26/2011 meeting, vote #121, the council authorized the expenditure of $3,117,700 to replace fire alarms and control systems in the main jail and juvenile detention. This appropriation will fund phase 2 (design) and phase 3 (construction) at the existing jail and work center facility. At the 11/8/2017 meeting, vote #213, the council approved a $543,000 contact with Design2Last of Edmonds for building assessment studies and capital improvementss on the jail and work center. This amendment brings the total project budget to $3,467,700. AB2018-038 (Ordinance 2018-003) Adopted 7-0

18. Increase the petty cash fund of the Whatcom County treasurer? The petty cash fund is used to supply change to other county government departments and taxpayers. The fund will be increased from $4,795 to $5,795. AB2018-039 (Ordinance 2018-004) Adopted 7-0

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