Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

Action Taken at August 8, 2018 Meeting

Shall the council:
122. Authorize the executive to sign a joint funding agreement with the federal government for the maintenance and operation of the county’s stream gages? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The agreement will provide support for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the county’s six stream gages within the Nooksack River early flood warning system, as well as stream gages at the Nooksack River Everson overflow and Jones Creek in Acme. The share from the county flood control district will be $99,985 and from the United States Geological Survey will be $16,952. The agreement expires on 9/30/2019. (AB2018-225) Approved 6-0, Tim Ballew absent.

123. Authorize the executive to sign contracts (amendment #3) — totaling $482,400 — with four county school districts for behavioral health services? The contacts were first approved at the 8/4/2015 meeting, vote #147. The contracts are with: the Ferndale School District for $120,000; the Nooksack Valley School District for $120,000; the Blaine School District for $131,400 and the Lynden School District for $111,000. The services target students experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues. The total amended amount is $1,653,300 and the contracts expire on 8/31/2019. (AB2018-226/227/228/229) Approved 6-0, Tim Ballew absent.

124. Authorize the executive to accept $115,506 in Medicaid funds via the North Sound Behavioral Health Organization to provide funding to support evidence-based services in Whatcom County? The funds are for the development, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation of programs that support prevention and recovery support services for middle school and high school aged students. The services have been shown to reduce elevated risk factors for substance use disorders and behavioral health issues. The contract expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2018-230) Approved 6-0, Tim Ballew absent.

125. Affirm the recommendations of the oversight committee for applications under the Purchase of Development Rights Program? The executive and development rights administrator are authorized to proceed with the acquisition of the agriculture conservation easement for the Sidhu (40 acres) property, a title search and appraisal for the Roper (26.75 acres), McLeod (16.59 acres) and Vanderwerff (19.77 acres) applications. The Purchase of Development Rights Program was created in 2002. Since then, 919 acres of farmland have been protected from development. AB2018-223 (Resolution 2018-028) Approved 6-0, Tim Ballew absent.

126. Update the appendix of the 2015 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy? The Economic Development Strategy is a planning tool required by the federal Economic Development Administration in order to be eligible for public works funding, and includes community development projects identified by governments and other economic development entities in Whatcom County. A development strategy was first approved at the 8/13/2002 meeting, vote #153; the 2015 strategy was approved at the 3/31/2015 meeting, vote #49; updated at the 4/19/2016 meeting, vote #68 and 4/4/2017 meeting, vote #63. This votes adds the East Whatcom County Resource Center expansion project, the Birch Bay watershed, Aquatic Resource Management outfall drainage project, and the rural county broadband feasibility study. AB2018-224 (Resolution 2018-029) Approved 6-0, Tim Ballew absent.

127. Continue the interim moratorium on the export of unrefined fossil fuels from the facilties in the Cherry Point Urban Growth Area? (Public hearing held). This vote extends the moratorium for six months, with options for renewal if the appropriate public hearings are held. The moratorium covers facilities including, but not limited to, piers, wharfs, buildings, tank farms, pipelines, rail loading and offloading facilities, road spurs, or other infrastructure purposed for exporting unrefined fossil fuels, including stabilized or unstabilized crude oil, diluted or raw bitumen, sycrude, coal, methane, propane, butane, and liquid or gaseous natural gas, the primary purpose of which would be the shipment of unrefined fossil fuels not to be processed at Cherry Point. The council initiated the original moratorium at the 8/9/2016 meeting, vote #147, extending it for six months at the 9/27/2016 meeting, votes #173, 3/21/2017 meeting, vote #54, 9/26/2017 meeting, vote #180 and the 2/27/2018 meeting, vote #34 respectively. This ordinance retains options for renewal upon expiration if the appropriate public hearings are held. AB2018-077B (Ordinance 2018-044) Adopted 4-2, Barbara Brenner1 and Tyler Byrd opposed, Tim Ballew absent.

Action Taken at September 11, 2018 Meeting

Shall the council:
128. Appoint Robert Waddell to the wildlife and habitat management position on the Wildlife Advisory Committee? The committee advises Planning and Development Services Department staff and the County Council on the value of wildlife and habitat management issues as they relate to the Comprehensive Plan. The committee has eleven members, seven of whom are required to have technical expertise. Mr. Waddell is currently employed as a district wildlife biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and holds a BA and MA in wildlife ecology and management from the University of Georgia. The term expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2018-214) Appointed 5-1, Tyler Byrd opposed and Barbara Brenner2 abstained.

129. Authorize the executive to sign a memorandum of agreement with the State of Washington to protect the public health and the environment? Washington State law permits the Department of Ecology to delegate the oversight of biosolids (septic tank sludge, known as septage, and municipal sewage sludge) use as applied agricultural fertilizers. The County Health Department has assumed this oversight role since 2008 through a memorandum of understanding renewed every five-years since 2008. (AB2018-240) Approved 7-0

130. Authorize the executive to sign a $150,000 contract (amendment #1) with the Herrera Environmental Consultants for the 1999 Lower Nooksack River Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) This amendment will update and provide additional support to improve integration of strategies to balance for flood risk, healthy salmon populations, and floodplain land use. The amendment will add feasibility screening; landowner outreach; partnership formation; and restoration design. The total amended contract is $189,000 and expires on 6/30/2019. (AB2018-242) Approved 7-0

131. Authorize the executive to sign a $250,000 contract with the federal government to lower flood risks and restore salmon habitat on the lower Noonsack River from Ferndale to Bellingham Bay? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The contract will provide integrated modeling for simulation of the effects of the proposed flood control project alternatives. Modeled factors include projected changes in stream flows, sediment delivery, sea-level rise, storm surges, and waves. The contract expires on 12/1/2020. (AB2018-243) Approved 7-0

132. Authorize the executive to sign contracts (amendment #3) — totaling $246,000 — with two school districts for students experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues? The contracts were first approved at the 8/4/2015 meeting, vote #147. The contacts are with: Bellingham School District for $138,000 and the Mt. Baker School District for $108,000. The total amended amount is $861,000 and expires on 8/31/2019. (AB2018-244/245) Approved 7-0

133. Authorize the executive to sign a $660,160 contract with SeaMar Community Health Center of Seattle to facilitate GRACE program care coordination services? The contract will establish a facilitating agency for the Ground-level Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) program. Whatcom GRACE is a multi-agency, cross-system program that provides intensive care coordination to individuals who have frequent contact with law enforcement and emergency response systems, make inappropriate use of health care, and have failed social service and housing episodes, leading to inefficient use of public resources to meet their needs. The contract expires 12/31/2019. (AB2018-246) Approved 7-0

134. Authorize the executive to accept three grants — totaling $1,011,700 — for conservation easement acquisitions? The Purchase of Development Rights program is used to preserve farmland for farming, habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation purposes. The grant for the Brar (78 acres) property is $157,000 with the total easement value of $336,900; the grant for VanderWerff (19.77 acres), McLeod (17.59 acres) and the Roper (26.75 acres) properties is $260,000 with the total easement value of $520,000; the grant for the Carbee (73 acres) , Greenwood (94 acres) and Neptune Beach (15 acres) properties is $594,500 with the total easement value of $1,190,000. The grants will provide for a 50 percent cost share for the development rights easements. The expiration date is 3/1/2020. (AB2018-247/248/249) Approved 7-0

135. Authorize the executive to sign an amendment to the interlocal agreement with the city of Bellingham concerning the Bennett/Bakerview/Airport Drive annexation? Whatcom County contends that the city of Bellingham needs to reimburse the county $50,000 for roadway improvements made to the Bennett/Bakerview/Airport Drive annexation area. The city’s Public Works Department has reviewed the list and acknowledged this project qualifies for reimbursement. The reimbursement becomes effective when the city approves the Bennett/Bakerview/Airport Drive annexation. (AB2018-251) Approved 7-0

136. Set September 25 as the public hearing date to authorize the sale of surplus property? Public Works determined that the property is not required for operations. The 0.74 acre property is located on Deeter Road and will be sold in a sealed bid with a minimum sale price of $5,000. AB2018-211 (Resolution 2018-030) Approved 7-0

137. Authorize the Public Works department to submit a $100,516 grant application, and, if successful, a grant agreement with the state of Washington? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The application is for funding through the state estuary and salmon restoration program to be used to identify nearshore habitat restoration projects including feasibility screening; landowner outreach; partnership development; and permit-ready restoration designs. The total estimated cost of the project is $131,472. AB2018-241 (Resolution 2018-031) Approved 7-0

138. Approve the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District Water System Comprehensive Plan? Washington state law requires that local governing entities approve, conditionally approve, or reject comprehensive water system plans. The Public Works Deparment approved the plan on 2/12/2018 and the Health Department approved it on 3/12/2018. AB2018-256 (Resolution 2018-032) Approved 7-0

139. Amend the 2018 budget (request #10) in the amount of $485,339? Appropriate: $30,000 to fund consulting services for the legal defense of the assessor’s valuation of Petrogas facilities; $13,330 to fund Health Department immunization programs for minors; $45,100 to fund operating costs for the What-Comm E911 emergency response system; $89,874 to fund Health Department investigation and enforcement of illegal dumping; $138,035 to fund an increase of activities at county solid waste facilities, including repair and maintenance of the Disposal of Toxics facility; closed landfills; and the Point Roberts solid waste facility. $115,000 to fund food bank and activity space expansion at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center; $54,000 to fund the replacement of the playground equipment at Lighthouse Marine Park. AB2018-236 (Ordinance 2018-045) Adopted 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.

140. Approve the expenditure of $54,000 (amendment #2) for the 2015 Lighthouse Marine Park Improvement Fund and project based budget? A $250,000 fund was established at the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #229. The Point Roberts project was funded to replace aging and unsafe deck and playground equipment. Hidden structural deficiencies in the boardwalk framing became apparent when the deck surface was removed. This amendment brings the project budget to $328,500. AB2018-237 (Ordinance 2018-046) Adopted 7-0

1. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed the moratorium on exporting unrefined fossil fuels because it was supposed to only be for unrefined fossil fuel, which I support, but it also included materials that are not unrefined such as propane, butane, and natural gas (an extremely clean fuel). I would like to see more refining done in the United States instead of shipping any unrefined fossil fuel off North America, especially shipments to Asia, including China. For many years I have researched wild salmon. During my research I found wild salmon are being very negatively impacted by processing/refining in Asia (having few regulations), which has caused lots of acid rain, acid currents, and other pollution to come our way by the prevailing winds and currents. Although people here don’t see that pollution, it is still a huge problem! Our regulations are much stronger, our refineries are much better, and treat their employees very good. If it isn’t refined here it will be refined somewhere else, especially Asia, and would likely increase the pollution we receive.

2. From Barbara Brenner: I abstained because the applicant has only lived here for a few months. I didn’t oppose because he has excellent credentials but this is the first time I remember appointing someone who has such little experience with Whatcom County.

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