Whatcom County Council

Action Taken at March 10, 2020 Meeting

Shall the council:
42. Authorize the executive to sign a jail use agreement (amendment #1) with the cities of Sumas, Ferndale and Everson? Until 2019, when additional jail capacity was needed, the county sent inmates to the Yakima County jail. The Whatcom County jail will be undergoing renovations, maintenance or repairs that will reduce the capacity by 48 beds. This amendment will update agreement language to remove Yakima County Jail and add the Kittitas County Jail to house overflow offenders. The cost for basic housing is $66.50 per day, and $133 per day for high maintenance housing. The contract ends on 6/30/2020. (AB2020-095/101/102) Approved 6-0, Kathy Kershner excused.

43. Confirm the executive’s appointment of Robin Thomas to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee? The committee assists the county with planning, funding, and the development and implementation of facilities and programs that increase bicycle and pedestrian safety and practicality. Mr. Thomas holds a Bachelors of Science in wildlife biology and has personal experience with bicycle commuting and urban planning. (AB2020-104) Approved 6-0, Kathy Kershner excused.

44. Authorize the executive to sign an $100,000 contract (amendment #1) with the Whatcom Conservation District? At the 7/9/2013 meeting, vote #111, the council voted to partner with the city of Bellingham to reduce stormwater runoff and associated phosphorous pollution flowing into Lake Whatcom. 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, including impervious surface and lawn removal, infiltration trenches, native plantings, porous paving, and rain gardens. The total amended contract is $316,883 and it expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2020-109) Approved 5-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed, Kathy Kershner excused.

45. Authorize the executive to sign an $18,410 contract with the city of Ferndale? The city and the county are required by phase II of the municipal stormwater permit to build public awareness about methods to address and reduce impacts from stormwater runoff. The contract will provide facilitation of six focus groups, for stormwater education and outreach. Facilitation will be provided by VEDA Environmental consulting of Bellingham. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2020-112) Approved 6-0, Kathy Kershner excused.

46. Amend the Veterans’ Advisory Board and the Veterans’ Assistance Program? Amendments will update code language to reflect changes to eligibility definitions and other changes made to the county’s veteran’s program. AB2020-092 (Ordinance 2020-007) Adopted 6-0, Kathy Kershner excused.

47. Amend the 2020 budget (request #7) in the amount of $250,000? Amended from $150,000 to $250,000 to fund Covid-19 emergency response by the Whatcom County Health Department, including: overtime; extra help for employee absence coverage; miscellaneous supplies; and other contracted services. An emergency ordinance requires approval of two-thirds of the council and signature of the executive. AB2020-131 (Emergency Ordinance 2020-008) Amended and adopted 6-0, Kathy Kershner excused.

Action Taken at March 24, 2020 Meeting

Shall the council:
48. Authorize the executive to amend an interlocal jail use agreement with the city of Lynden? Until 2019, when additional jail capacity was needed, the county sent inmates to the Yakima County jail. The amendment will update agreement language to remove Yakima County Jail and add the Kittitas County Jail as a carceral facility utilized by the county when it houses inmates sent by the city of Lynden. The cost for basic housing is $66.50 per day, and $133 per day for high maintenance housing. The contract ends 6/30/2020. (AB2020-127) Approved 7-0

49. Authorize the executive to sign a $265,420 contract (amendment #1) with the Whatcom Humane Society? At the 4/23/2019 meeting, vote #87, council entered into a $398,130 contract to provide animal control and shelter services, including: housing, administering regulations, enforcement, and penalties pursuant to applicable laws. The contract ended on 4/30/2020. This amendment will bring the total amended contract to $663,550 and extends it for an additional eight months, expiring on 12/31/2020. (AB2020-128) Approved 7-0

50. Authorize the executive to sign a $100,000 contract with the city of Bellingham to provide administrative oversight of the Domestic Violence Perpetrator Opportunity for Treatment Services program? Courts commonly order that defendants convicted of domestic violence pay for assessment and treatment. This agreement will pay for the assessment and treatment of qualifying indigent defendants. Whatcom County experiences a shortage of certified treatment providers. This contract will fund defendants referred by the Bellingham Municipal Court. (AB2020-134) Approved 7-0

51. Authorize the executive to accept a $905,821 grant from the state of Washington? The agreement will fund emergency housing needs immediately related to the Covid-19 outbreak, including: the creation of housing options for isolation and quarantine; the creation of shelter capacity lost to social distancing; and the provision of increased sanitation services in existing housing options accessed by individuals experiencing homelessness. (AB2020-153) Approved 7-0

52. Support the application to the state of Washington for a $131,227 Community Development Block Grant to fund public service activities? The grant funding will be administered by the Opportunity Council and used in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties to support affordable housing and other projects benefitting low-income residents. This is a recurring grant application that the county council has supported for several years. AB2020-121 (Resolution 2020-011) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

53. Support the application to the state of Washington for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for community development and small business? The funding is to support microenterprise assistance programs to be administered in partnership with the Opportunity Council. AB2020-154 (Resolution 2020-012) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

54. Amend the 2020 budget (request #6) in the amount of $339,615? Appropriated: $100,000 to fund a domestic violence perpetrator treatment program; $5,750 to fund the purchase of radar and other traffic safety equipment at the sheriff’s department; $11,621 to fund a 3 percent increase in the animal control budget; $400,000 to fund rental assistance and the acquisition, rehabilitation, and/or construction of affordable housing; $397,740 to fund advanced life support equipment and one full-time emergency medical services training coordinator position; $14,000 to fund Whatcom Land Trust services related to the Seed Orchard forestry conservation easement. AB2020-118 (Ordinance 2020-009) Adopted 5-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed, Tyler Byrd abstained.

55. Establish a Swift Creek Capital Projects Fund and project-based budget in the amount of $5,217,160? At the 7/24/2018 meeting, vote #120, council established the Swift Creek Sediment Management Fund, and at the 2/12/2019 meeting, vote #36, council entered into a $966,275 contract with Herrera Environmental Consultants of Seattle for preliminary project design services. The state Legislature has appropriated $6.4 million for the Sumas Mountain/Swift Creek project. Swift Creek transports naturally-occurring asbestos and heavy metals eroding from Sumas Mountain into the Sumas River where it is deposited in channel banks and floodplains within Whatcom County, creating health risks for residents. AB2020-119 (Ordinance 2020-010) Adopted 7-0

56. Authorize an interfund loan to finance cash flow for the Swift Creek Capital Projects Fund? At the 7/24/2018 meeting, vote #120, council established a $1 million Swift Creek Sediment Management Fund. The next phase of the project is land acquisition, design, permitting, and preliminary construction. The no-interest loan is in an amount not to exceed $1,000,000, the term of which shall not exceed two years. AB2020-120 (Ordinance 2020-011) Adopted 7-0

57. Amend the 2020 budget (request #8) in the amount of $1,155,821? Appropriate: $250,000 to fund the general emergency response to the threat of Covid-19; $905,821 to fund Covid-19 related emergency housing needs of citizens experiencing homelessness. AB2020-149 (Emergency Ordinance 2020-012) Adopted 7-0

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