Whatcom County Council

Action Taken at January 12, 2021 Meeting

Shall the council:
1. Authorize the executive to sign a $572,717 contract (amendment #5) with Compass Health of Everett for behavioral health services? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #237, the council voted provide crisis stabilization, clinical treatment, and referral services for adults and juveniles currently incarcerated in Whatcom County detention facilities. The amendment will extend the contract period and increase the status of the licensed mental health professional providing direct service to full-time status. The total amended amount is $2,439,780; it expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2020-592) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

2. Authorize the executive to sign a $271,615 contract (amendment #9) with the Opportunity Council? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #235, council voted to provide housing case management services for eligible individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County. The amendment will extend the duration of the contract by six months and update reported outcomes. The total amended amount is $1,865,647; it expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2020-593) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

3. Authorize the executive to sign three contracts (amendment #6) – totaling $451,205 – for housing case management services in association with the Whatcom Homeless Services Center? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #239, council voted to provide housing case management services for individuals and families receiving rental subsidies to improve housing stability and reduce homelessness in Whatcom County. The contracts are with: Lydia Place ($159,267, for a total amended amount of $897,067); Catholic Community Services ($157,567, for a total amended amount of $1,207,157) and Northwest Youth Services ($134,371, for a total amended amount of $958,340). The amendments will extend the duration of the contracts by six months. The total amended amount is $3,062,564; the contracts expire on 6/30/2021. (AB2020-595/596/597) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

4. Authorize the executive to sign a $290,000 contract with Bellingham /Whatcom County Tourism for tourism marketing and operations? Expenses covered can include: rent, utilities, salaries, payroll taxes, health insurance, telephone service, printing and postage. The contract expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2020-599) Approved 7-0

5. Authorize the executive to sign two contracts – totaling $200,000 – for tourism marketing and operations? The contracts are with the Birch Bay Chambers of Commerce ($100,000) and the Mount Baker Chambers of Commerce ($100,000). It will help fund for operations of the visitor centers in those communities, including expenses related to salaries and benefits, marketing and promotion and travel. The contracts expire on 12/31/2021. (AB2020-600/601) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

6. Authorize the executive to sign a $58,025 contract (amendment #1) with Northwest Youth Services of Bellingham to provide reimbursement for Covid-19 related operations and prevention expenditures? This amendment will reimburse for additional personnel and other expenses related to coronavirus isolation and quarantine at the Positive Adolescent Development (PAD) emergency shelter for youth aged 13-24 years of age. The total amended amount is $111,816; it expires on 1/31/2021. (AB2021-001) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

7. Authorize the executive to sign a $340,395 contract (amendment #2) with Sun Community Services of Bellingham for operation and maintenance of Sun House? At the 12/4/2018 meeting, vote #222, council entered into the original contract, Sun House is an emergency shelter for adults with mental illness who are exiting institutions. This amendment will add federal funding to respond to coronavirus and extend the contract by one year. The total amended amount is $911,665; it expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-004) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

8. Authorize the executive to sign a $188,858 contract (amendment #1) with Whatcom County Fire District 7 to provide Covid-19 testing? Low barrier testing will be provided by three licensed emergency medical technicians supervised by the district. The estimated total amended amount is $314,763; it expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2021-010) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

9. Authorize the executive to sign a $43,547 contract (amendment #3) with Pacific Security? The original contract and amendment #1 were deemed an emergency so they didn’t need council approval. Amendment #2 was passed at the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #263. Pacific Security services will provide 24 hour security at the temporary housing facility located at Motel 6 (3701 Byron Avenue) in Bellingham. This amendment will continue the contract for one month. The total amended amount is $199,547; it expires on 1/31/2020. (AB2021-014) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

10. Authorize the executive to sign a $16,667 contract (amendment #3) with ServiceMaster Cleaning by Roth? The original contract and amendment #1 were deemed an emergency so they didn’t need council approval. Amendment #2 was passed at the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #251. This vote provides cleaning services at Motel 6 (3701 Byron Avenue) for the Covid-19 temporary housing facility. The total amended amount is $166,667; it expires on 1/31/2021. (AB2021-015) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

11. Authorize the executive to sign a $25,771 contract (amendment #4) with Lighthouse Mission Ministries to funds staffing at the Covid-19 temporary housing facility? At the 11/24/2020 meeting, vote #223, the council approve the original contract. Services include: providing assistance with laundry and meal services; cleaning and sanitizing rooms between guests; coordination of care for guests; and scheduling for onsite staff. The total amended amount is $373,214; it expires on 1/31/2021. (AB2021-016) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

12. Authorize the executive to sign a $23,865 contract (amendment #1) with SeaMar Community Health Centers of Seattle to provide healthcare related oversight and support at the Covid-19 temporary housing facility? At the 11/24/2020 meeting, vote #224, council approved the original contract. The purpose of the amendment is to extend the contract. The total amended amount is $262,516; it expires on 1/31/2021. (AB2021-017) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

13. Authorize the executive to sign a $14,000 contract (amendment #1) with Northwest Workforce Council of Bellingham to provide reimbursement of wages and benefits for eligible temporary employees working in various Covid-19 related positions? At the 10/27/2020 meeting, vote #196, council voted to provide reimbursement from federal funding for wages and benefits related to the Covid-19 emergency response, including: nurses, contract tracers, and testing site support staff. The total amended amount is $126,000; it expires on 6/30/2021. (AB2021-020) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

14. Authorize the executive to sign a $120,000 two-year contract with Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services of Bellingham? The contract will provide support for the Bellingham-Whatcom County Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence, including: administrative support, community organization and public outreach efforts, and facilitation of trainings and conferences. The contract expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2021-021) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

15. Authorize the executive to sign a $276,000 two-year contract with the Bellingham Food Bank? The contract will provide for the procurement, warehousing and distribution of food to low families living in Whatcom County, including gleaning programs to farm waste and bulk purchase coordination programs to increase purchasing power. The contract expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2021-022) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

16. Authorize the executive to sign a $120,000 two-year contract with the Northwest Regional Council of Bellingham? The contract will support the Meals on Wheels program, which annually provides meals, nutrition education and social service referrals to more than 1,800 eligible senior citizens in Whatcom County. Meals are provided by the program once daily and cost $6.59 per meal. The contract expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2020-023) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

17. Appoint Charlie Crabtree, Jeremiah Ramsey, Michael Estes and Stephen Jackson to serve on the 2021 Whatcom County Districting Committee? They purpose of the committee is to produce compact and contiguous districts, which are approximately equal in population. Two members will represent each major political party and they will appoint a fifth member who will be chairman. The Whatcom County Republican Party nominated Charlie Crabtree and Jeremiah Ramsey; the Whatcom County Democratic Party nominated Michael Estes and Stephen Jackson. (AB2021-026) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.

18. Appoint Ellen Murphy, Katherine Kissinger, William Bethel, Eddy Ury and Ginny Broadhurst to the Climate Impact Advisory Committee? At the 12/5/2017 meeting, vote #259, council voted to establish the committee, which consists of 11 voting members to advise the council on the implementation of the climate action plan, which sets a goal of 100 percent renewable energy use for county operations. The committee will update the action plan every five years. The first committee meeting was held on 3/15/2018. Members are appointed to a three-year term with a two-term limit. (AB2021-032) Approved 7-0

19. Appoint Atul Deshmane to the Whatcom County Planning Commission? The commission assists Planning & Development Services with carrying out the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Deshmane was elected Whatcom PUD District 2 Commissioner at the 2018 general election. He has professional engineering experience. (AB2021-037) Approved 7-0

20. Affirm the diversity of the county’s population by improving written accessibility? This resolution supports the following measures: integrate Google Translate or a similar product into the county website; replacing signage in county buildings with multilingual signage in English, Spanish, Lummi, and Brail; and providing multi-language information kiosks in the lobbies of county buildings. AB2020-598 (Resolution 2021-001) Approved 6-0-1, Ben Elenbaas abstained.

21. Authorize the executive to apply for a $400,000 state grant for non-motorized off-road vehicle trails? The grant, if received, will be used to support the development of a connector trail between Chanterelle and Hertz trails and the construction of six miles of new non-motorized foot, horse, and bike trails in the Lake Whatcom Park. AB2020-008 (Resolution 2021-002) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.

22. Adopt a Whatcom County policy on indigent defense? State law requires counties to adopt professional standards for assigned counsel, including: compensation of counsel; duties and responsibilities of counsel; caseload and case type limits; expert witness fees and administrative expenses; training, supervision, monitoring, and evaluations of attorneys; substitution and assignment of attorneys; limitations on private practice of contract attorneys; disposition of client complaints; and cause for termination of contract or removal of attorney. AB2021-013 (Resolution 2021-003) Approved 7-0

23. Grant the city of Lynden a non-exclusive pipeline franchise? (Public hearing held.) It will allow the city of Lynden to access county rights of way for a 25 year franchise to construct, erect, alter, lay, support, connect, improve, renew, replace, repair, operate and maintain an industrial condensate pipeline. AB2020-553 (Ordinance 2021-001) Adopted 6-0-1, Todd Donovan abstained.

Action Taken at January 26, 2021 Meeting

Shall the council:
24. Authorize the executive to sign a $106,127 three-year contract with CenturyLink Communications? The contract will provide telecommunications trunk line services for county buildings. The contract expires on 12/30/2023. (AB2020-587) Authorized 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.

25. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $24,000 per easement with the Whatcom Land Trust? The county has partnered with the Whatcom Land Trust since 2002 a total of 30 conservation easements purchased through the Purchase of Development Rights Program. The program is used to preserve forest and farmland for habitat conservation and outdoor recreation purposes. The contract will provide inventory development, monitoring and enforcement services at a fee between $18,000 and $24,000 per easement or a five percent fee on the easement price, whichever is greater, it expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2021-035) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.

26. Authorize the executive to accept two state grant totaling $288,550 ? The grants will provide matching funds for the acquisition of agricultural conservation easement on the Bishop-Jones property ($144,275; 47 acres, eight development rights) and Rethlefsen property ($144,275; 48.9 acres, eight development rights) properties through the Purchase of Development Rights Program. The program preserves forest and farmland for habitat conservation and outdoor recreation purposes. The contracts expires on 10/1/2022 and 12/1/2022, respectively. (AB2021-038/39) Approved 6-0-1, Ben Elenbaas abstained.

27. Authorize the executive to accept a $238,417 state grant? The grant will support one additional full-time attorney to provide assistance with cases delayed by the coronavirus. The expiration date is 12/31/2022. (AB2021-041) Approved 7-0

28. Authorize the executive to sign a contract with the city of Everson? The city of Everson will pay the county $1,700. The contract will provide a four-person jail work crew, plus staff crew chief to provide general cleanup and lawn maintenance services at the city of Everson Park, including equipment, insurance, and transportation. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2021-047) Approved 7-0

29. Authorize the executive and sheriff to sign a $177,725 contract with Skagit County? Whatcom County operates the northern part of the northwest shuttle transport system on Interstate 5, retrieving individuals arrested in one county and wanted for trial in another county. Compensation is calculated on the percentage of usage by Skagit County. The contract increases $24,314 from the previous year; it expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-048) Approved 7-0

30. Authorize the executive to sign a $168,333 contract (amendment #4) with ServiceMaster Cleaning by Roth? The original contract, signed in April, was deemed an emergency so it didn’t need council approval. This vote provides cleaning services at Motel 6 (3701 Byron Avenue) for the Covid-19 temporary housing facility. This amendment reflects increases in the guest census and the cost of personal protective equipment. The total amended amount is $335,000; it expires on 5/31/2021. (AB2021-054) Approved 7-0

31. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $100,000 with Wilson Engineering of Bellingham? At times, the Public Works department requires outside support for reasons of workload capacity, technical expertise or outside opinion. The contract will provide on-call professional land surveying services for the department in 2021. Six firms responded to a request for proposal. The contract expires on 12/31/2021. (AB2021-060) Approved 7-0

32. Authorize the executive to sign a $321,055 two-year contract (amendment #1) with the Bellingham Fire Department? At the 8/7/2019 meeting, vote #171, the council added one community paramedic to Fire District 7. This amendment will allow two community paramedics to be funded through the EMS levy. The community paramedic program partners with police and sheriff’s department personnel, the Ground Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) program case managers, and a nurse practitioner for the purposes of providing mobile integrated health services in Whatcom County and reducing overuse of emergency medical services. This contract expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2021-061) Approved 6-1, Tyler Byrd opposed.

33. Support the purchase of 20 larger homes? The council discussed modification of the remaining 20 tiny homes on order, how many people could be housed with different-sized units and whether the purchase is necessary. (2021-086) Approved 5-1-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed, Tyler Byrd abstained.

34. Affirm the Purchase of Developments Rights Oversight Committee rankings and authorize the acquisition of 557 acres of agricultural conservation easements? The PDR program is used to preserve forest and farmland for farming, habitat conservation, and outdoor recreation purposes. The 2021 ranked list includes applications with estimated costs and acreage: the Lakeland Foundation ($1,300,000; 323 acres); Jones-Bishop ($260,000; 47 acres); Martin ($160,000; 54 acres); VanderWerff ($100,000; 20 acres); Kiera-Duffy Forestry ($220,000; 56 acres) and Kiera-Duffy Ecological ($280,000; 57 acres). AB2021-029 (Resolution 2021-004) Approved 5-1-1, Tyler Byrd opposed, Ben Elenbaas abstained.

35. Accept the Whatcom County Treasurer’s list of petitions for 2020 property tax refunds? The refunds total $1,004,872 and reflect: senior/disability exemptions ($704,797); Board of Equalization order change/corrective evaluation ($92,675); measurement and calculation corrections ($47,440); destroyed or abated property ($39,371); personal property ($4,608); court orders ($76,266); and miscellaneous exemptions ($39,715). The 2019 refunds totaled $1,091,648. AB2021-050 (Resolution 2021-005) Approved 7-0

36. Amend the 2021 budget (amendment #2) in the amount of $5,839,516? Appropriated: $170,881 to fund an additional deputy I and deputy II position to assist with felony cases handled delayed by the coronavirus; $126,000 at the health department to fund the temporary addition of four coronavirus testing center staff and three contact tracers; $24,000 at the health department to fund four contact tracing positions to be filled by work-study students; $127,898 to fund behavioral health services at the jail and the GRACE program; $2,424,288 to fund emergency housing and shelter services to reduce homelessness and mitigate the spread of Covid-19 among individuals experiencing homelessness; $192,350 to fund a community paramedic position; $2,673,602 to fund the temporary hire of five full-time nurse positions and other equipment and services required to respond to coronavirus; and $100,397 for emergency management services and equipment. AB2021-018 (Ordinance 2021-01-002) Substitute adopted 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.

 

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