Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at August 9, 2022 Meeting
Shall the Council:
194. Authorize the executive to accept a $250,000 state grant for refugee stabilization services? It will provide state funding to support basic-needs assistance for approximately 40 households or 110 individuals recently arrived in Whatcom County due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russian conflict. The grant runs from 7/1/2022 to 6/30/2023. (AB2022-370) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
195. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the Point Roberts Park and Recreation District to operate a kayak rental program at Lighthouse Marine Park? The program is open to Whatcom County residents and funded by the Point Roberts Park & Recreation District. The agreement expires on 12/31/2025. (AB2022-418) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
196. Authorize the executive to sign a $1,200,000 contract with Snohomish County? The contract will provide the use of up to 45 Snohomish County jail beds to accommodate a lack of capacity at the downtown jail and work center. The following week, The Bellingham Herald reported that Snohomish County had notified Whatcom County that they would not be accepting the inmates. Shortage of staff at the Snohomish jail is the main reason. When negotiations started there were about 17 vacant positions and currently there are 42 vacant positions with the chances of filling them slim. (AB2022-421) Substitute approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
197. Authorize the executive to sign a $207,350 contract (amendment #1) with the Opportunity Council to build a health, resource, and service navigation system in Whatcom County? The original contract for $77,797 ran from 3/1/2022 to 8/31/2022. The proposed system will provide a range of protective and supportive services to parents of children from pre-natal to five years old. The purpose of the amendment is to add funding to extend the contract by 10 months and alter the scope of work. The total amended contract is $285,147; it expires on 7/31/2023. (AB2022-424) Approved 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas and Kathy Kershner opposed.
198. Pass a temporary amendment to the Whatcom County Code relating to flotation devices on the south fork of the Nooksack River? (Public hearing held.) There is currently a ban on the use of and operation of paddleboards, inner tubes, inflatable/foam/limb-propelled flotation devices, and rubber rafts between Edfro Creek and the Acme Bridge from June 1 to October 31. For the purposes of protecting endangered Chinook salmon and upholding tribal treaty rights, the Nooksack Indian Tribe, Lummi Nations and the state of Washington are suggesting a ban on flotation devises on the entire south fork of the Nooksack River during the same time period. (AB2022-425) Failed 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas, Carol Frazey and Kathy Kershner opposed.
199. Authorize the executive to sign a $100,000 contract with Environmental Science Associates (ESA) of San Francisco, CA, to implement the Coastal and Riverine Compound Flood Vulnerability and Risk Assessment project? The project will use sea-level rise, tidal, wave, storm surge, and stream discharge data to assess climate-change related impacts on public infrastructure and private development, ecosystem functions, and county populations for the purposes of land-use regulation, natural hazard and public infrastructure planning. The contract expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2022-433) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
200. Authorize the executive to accept a $787,751 state grant (amendment #1) from the Administrative Office of the Courts to increase reimbursements for legal costs related to the Blake decision? On 2/25/2021, the Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion in Washington v. Blake, finding that the state law making simple possession of a controlled substance a crime violated the due process clauses of the state and federal constitutions and was therefore void. At the 9/28/2021 meeting, vote #221, the original grant for $1,790,621 to reimburse the county for judicial, prosecutorial, and defense-related costs was approved. The purpose of this amendment is to increase funding for reimbursement of legal financial obligations ordered by the courts. The total amended amount is $2,578,372; it expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2022-436) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
201. Authorize the executive to accept a $2,651,000 state grant (amendment #6) for the delivery and funding of various public health services? Services include: Covid vaccination programs; infectious disease control; homelessness; immunization programs; cannabis- and tobacco-use prevention programs; and zoonotic disease monitoring programs. The total amended contract is $9,430,654; it expires on 12/31/2024. (AB2022-438) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
202. Authorize the executive to sign a $50,000 contract with Abatement & Decontamination Specialist LLC of Bellingham? The funding is for on-call services to decrease or eliminate the threat of hazardous or disease-causing material on county properties with long-term solid waste violations. Property can be abated at the owner’ s expense, through a lien. This process will be used only after all existing avenues of mitigating the violation(s) have been exhausted. (AB2022-439) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
203. Grant the city of Bellingham a notice to proceed in applying for a major project permit for their umbrella wetland mitigation bank? The council has found the prospectus to be complete, technically accurate and consistent with the purpose and intent of county code. The bank will consist of several sites throughout the city and county. The city is proposing four bank sites on 607 acres to implement its umbrella mitigation bank. The four sites are: Bear Creek corridor, 95.6 acres; McCormick Creek headwaters, 158.7 acres; Squalicum Lake, 271.4 acres and Valley of the Forks, 81.9 acres. (AB2022-440) Approved 7-0
204. Authorize the executive to sign a $1,250,747 contract with the Kulshan Community Land Trust? The contract will support acquisition of an eight-acre parcel in Ferndale with the intention of developing 50 affordable homes for low- to moderate-income households in Whatcom County. The funds are provided by the American Rescue Plan Act. The city of Ferndale sent a letter supporting the development on Thornton Street. The contract expires on 12/31/2028. (AB2022-445) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
205. Authorize the executive to award seven bids for the rental of heavy or specialized construction equipment without operators? The list of bidders awarded includes Ahern Rentals, Inc., Brent Rents; Herc Rentals, Inc; PacWest Machinery, LLC; Pape Machinery, Inc.; SE Rents; and United Rentals (North America), Inc. The award for each vendor will not to exceed $100,000; the contracts expire on 4/30/2023. (AB2022-446) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
206. Authorize the executive to sign a $282,239 contract (amendment #9) with the Opportunity Council for the operation of the Whatcom Homeless Service Center? At the 10/9/2007 meeting, vote 205, the county received a $1,398,638 state grant to create a homeless service center. Amendment #8 was approved at the 2/22/2022 meeting, vote 57. The purpose of this amendment is to add funding for: street outreach engagement and transportation costs; training registrations; motel emergency shelter capacity; and participation costs for individuals with lived experience to contribute to boards and committees working on issues related to homelessness. The total amended amount is $2,507,248; it expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2022-449) Approved 4-3, Tyler Byrd, Ben Elenbaas and Kathy Kershner opposed.
207. Authorize the executive to sign a $2 million EDI grant agreement with the Port of Bellingham? The county administers the Economic Development Investment Program (EDI) program and the money comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. At the 12/10/2019 meeting,vote #152, the first grant/loan for $1,168,782 from the Community Economic Revitalization Board was approved. This additional grant will fund two projects. Project 1: $1 million of the grant will be used for approximately 47 miles of fiber to be installed north of the city of Lynden. The total project budget (design, permitting and construction) is $3 million. Project 2: The other $1 million will be used for the north Ferndale project to construct approximately 35 miles of fiber east of Lake Terrell and northwest of the city of Ferndale. The total project budget (design, permitting and construction) is $5 million. (AB2022-450) Substitute approved 7-0
208. Set October 13 for a public hearing on the sale of surplus property? State law permits the sale of property declared to be surplus and the county purchasing agent has determined it is in the best interest of the county to sell the following property: 12 trucks; seven automobiles; five vans; two excavators; two tractors; one dozer; one boat; two snow plows; and other miscellaneous equipment. AB2022-442 (Resolution 2022-035) Approved 7-0
209. Establish priorities for Whatcom County’s 2025 Comprehensive Plan update? State law requires that counties develop plans for managing population growth and development and review and update them periodically. The Comprehensive Plan was last adopted at the the 8/9/2016 meeting, vote #150. In collaboration with governments and stakeholders across the county the council proposes to establish the following priorities in the 2025 Comprehensive Plan update: equity, environmental justice, and economic security act as guiding principles; government-to-government engagement with the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe; the incorporation of strategies promoting climate change mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and greenhouse gas reduction; protection and restoration of healthy habitats, including wetlands and forests; affordable housing and economic security; analysis of future planning in relation to economic and demographic trends. The deadline for the incorporation of these priorities into the Comprehensive Plan is 6/30/2025. AB2022-422 (Resolution 2022-036) Substitute approved 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
210. Grant Cascade Natural Gas Corporation a franchise for the transportation of natural gas in Whatcom County? (Public hearing held.) The existing franchise agreement has expired and they have applied for a new franchise agreement. This seven-year agreement will allow them to access county rights-of-way to install and maintain pipeline facilities; it is currently being negotiated by Public Works. AB2022-380 (Ordinance 2022-056) Adopted 7-0
211. Amend the 2022 budget (request #11) in the amount of $250,000? Appropriated: $250,000 to provide basic-needs assistance for Ukrainian refugees residing in Whatcom County. AB2022-408 (Ordinance 2022-057) Adopted 7-0
212. Change the due date for the Phase III report of the Child and Family Well-Being Task Force? At the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #273, the council voted to establish the Child and Family Well-being Task Force to support the development of childcare, early learning programs, and interventions to support vulnerable children. To fund these initiatives, the council voted at the 6/7/2022 meeting, vote #156, to submit a 10-year property tax levy at a 11/8/2022 special election held concurrently with the general election. The outcome of the proposition will affect the details of the Phase III report; the due date is changed from 10/1/2022 to 3/30/2023, after the special election. AB2022-427 (Ordinance 2022-058) Adopted 7-0
Action Taken at September 13, 2022 Meeting
Shall the council:
213. Authorize the executive to accept a $156,293 federal grant to promote border security? This is the 14th year of the Homeland Security/Operation Stonegarden grant (the first grant was received at the 5/26/2009 meeting, vote #129). The grant coordinates measures between local, tribal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies operating in Whatcom County. Participating agencies will not enforce federal immigration law. The grant expires on 3/31/2024. (AB2022-459) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
214. Authorize the executive to accept a $126,251 state grant to support emergency communications? The funds will pass through the City of Bellingham to Whatcom County and provide reimbursement for equipment costs at the What-Comm Communications Center; the grant expires on 8/15/2023. (AB2022-460) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
215. Authorize the executive to accept a $2,213,000 state grant for a pilot program to respond to 911 calls? The pilot program will establish an alternative response team to respond to calls that are related to behavioral health concerns but do not require law enforcement or emergency medical service responses. The grant expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2022-461) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
216. Authorize the executive to accept a $180,291 state grant (amendment #1) to expand medication-assisted treatment for opioid disorder in the jail? At the 5/24/2022 meeting, vote #137, the initial Washington State Health Care grant for $149,839 was approved. This amendment will add funding for: one nursing position; medications including methadone; supplies; and deputy overtime. The total amended contract is $330,130; it expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2022-466) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
217. Authorize the executive to sign a $209,250 contract with Mercy Housing Northwest of Bellingham? The contract will provide funding for operations of Trailview Apartments, a 16-unit permanent supportive housing facility for families with children experiencing homelessness. The contract expires on 12/31/2024. (AB2022-472) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
218. Authorize the executive to sign a $111,000 contract (amendment #1) with Crossroads Consulting of Deming? The contract will provide consultation, facilitation, and research services for the justice facility (jail) needs assessment. The purpose of the amendment is to expand the term, scope and compensation of the original contact. The total amended contract is $150,950; it expires on 8/31/2023. (AB2022-475) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
219. Authorize the executive to sign a $286,016 contract with S. S. Papadopulos & Associates of Boulder, Colo.? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The contract supports refinements and improvements to the Whatcom County groundwater model. The goal of the groundwater modeling project is to develop a model which will adequately assess the impacts to surface water flow from groundwater pumping and to inform the development of a water management plan that balances the needs of salmon and other aquatic resources with out-of-stream water needs. The contract expires on 4/30/2023. (AB2022-476) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
220. Authorize the executive to sign a $231,551 contract (amendment #1) with Tetra Tech of Bothell? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The contract will provide ongoing technical consulting services for the preparation of benefit cost analyses and grant application submittals under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s hazard mitigation assistance suite of grant programs for the County Flood Control Zone District. The total amended contract is $271,551; it expires on 12/31/2024. (AB2022-477) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
221. Authorize the executive to sign a $199,6724 contract with the federal government? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The contract with the United States Geological Survey will continue joint funding of six stream gaging stations on the Nooksack River, and add an additional three gages and other system upgrades. The contract expires on 9/30/2023. (AB2022-479) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
222. Authorize the executive to accept a $500,000 state grant for the purposes of flood control? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The funding will provide technical development of flood mitigation alternatives and long-term local solutions in the Everson-Sumas overflow corridor. The grant expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2022-480) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
223. Authorize the executive to sign a 2023-2025 collective bargaining agreement with the Whatcom County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild? The agreement covers employees in the bureau of corrections, deputies and sergeants. The agreement runs from 1/1/2023 to 12/31/2025 and includes: a 6 percent wage increase for 2023, 4 percent increase for 2024, and a 3 percent increase for 2025; $2,000 retention bonuses in November of 2023, 2024, and 2025; education and longevity incentives; changes to vacation accrual rates; the addition of Juneteenth as an official holiday; and changes to the work schedule. (AB2022-483) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
224. Authorize the executive to sign a $606,500 contract (amendment #5) with Herrera Environmental Consultants of Seattle? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The contract will provide continuing support for the floodplain integrated planning process for the lower Nooksack Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan. The original contract was approved at the 3/19/2018 meeting and amended to change the scope of work at 9/11/2018 meeting, vote #130 and 10/22/2019 meeting, vote #226. This amendment will extend the contract and increase the scope of work. The total amended contract is $1,199,700; it expires on 12/31/2024. (AB2022-484) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
225. Authorize the executive to sign a $121,545 contract (amendment #2) with Stryker Corporation of Kalamazoo, Michigan to increase the annual payments for purchase and maintenance of advanced life support equipment? The original contract was signed at the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #262, and amended at the 2/22/22 meeting, vote #53. This amendment will increase annual payments from $523,636 to $645,181 and add additional power-lift equipment to the annual maintenance program for the remaining eight years of the agreement. The equipment will be used by a new paramedic unit based in Lynden. (AB2022-486) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
226. Authorize the executive to sign a $284,800 contract with Coastal Geologic Services of Bellingham? The contract will provide long-term coastal monitoring services for the berm and beach monitoring and maintenance plan at Birch Bay Drive for the next five years. The contract expires on 12/31/2026. (AB2022-488) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
227. Authorize the executive to sign a $107,000 contract (amendment #6) with Lydia Place to provide emergency housing for families experiencing unsheltered homelessness? The original contract to provide year-round funding for four motel rooms used for emergency family housing ran from 10/1/2020 to 12/30/2021. This amendment increases the funding for additional motel stays and extends the timeline for using the emergency shelter services from 30 to 45 days. The total amended contract is $1,061,996; it expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2022-491) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
228. Authorize the executive to sign a $500,000 contract with the Bellingham Food Bank? The contract money is from American Rescue Plan Act. It will provide for the purchase from and distribution of food for Whatcom County residents accessing services at the following food banks: Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Deming (Foothills Food Bank), Everson Nooksack, Lynden (Project Hope), Lummi Nation, Nooksack Tribal, Point Roberts, and the Salvation Army. (AB2022-494) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
229. Authorize the executive to sign a $146,984 contract (amendment #1) with The Vida Agency of Edmonds? The contract is for phase two of the public communication efforts for the development and planning process for a justice facility (jail). The original $38,923 contract funded phase one to create a public engagement plan. This amendment will add funding to implement the public engagement plan. The total amended contract is $186,907; it expires on 12/31/2022. (AB2022-495) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
230. Authorize the executive to sign a $1,052,686 grant agreement (amendment #7) with the Washington State Department of Health for the delivery and funding of various public health services? Amendment #7 decreases by $1,052,686 the amount for existing health programs and funding allocations. The total amended agreement is $8,377,968; it expires on 12/31/2024. (AB2022-496) Approved 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
231. Vacate an unnamed alley within the plat of Lummi Park on Lummi Island? (Public hearing held.) On 8/8/2021, Patrick and Marcia McEvoy submitted a petition to vacate 1,680 feet of an unnamed alley. At the 12/7/2021 meeting, vote #325, the council directed the county engineer to investigate the petition and issue a report. The county engineer’s report favored the vacation. The petitioners will pay the fair market value of $2,100 accompanied by a penal sum of $790. AB2022-431 (Resolution 2022-037) Approved 7-0
232. Authorize the sale of surplus property? (Public hearing held.) State law permits the sale of property declared to be surplus and the county purchasing agent has determined it is in the best interest of the county to sell the following property: thirteen trucks; six automobiles; five vans; two excavators; two tractors; two rollers; one sweeper truck; two boats/motors/trailers; three retired police dogs (“Elliot,” “Jag” and “Hyde”); and other miscellaneous equipment either already worn, obsolete, broken or beyond repair. AB2022-443 (Resolution 2022-038) Approved 7-0
233. Amend the 2022 Flood Control Zone District and Subzones budget (request #5) in the amount of $78,598? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) Appropriated: $74,708 to fund 2022 wage settlements for Public Works River and Flood and Natural Resource division employees; $3,890 to fund 2022 wage settlements for Birch Bay Aquatic Resources Management employees. AB2022-434 (Resolution 2022-039) Approved 7-0
234. Amend the 2022 budget (request #12) in the amount of $4,068,703? Appropriated: $1,800,173 from general fund to fund 2022 wage settlements; $126,251 to fund What-Comm E911 emergency communication services; $460,573 from the road fund to fund 2022 wage settlements; $453,478 from the jail fund to fund 2022 wage settlements; $500,000 in federal grant funds to support food purchases for Whatcom County food banks; $291,700 from the administrative services fund to fund 2022 wage settlements. AB2022-435 (Ordinance 2022-059) Adopted 7-0
235. Amend Whatcom County Code related to emergency medical services (EMS) and ambulance franchises? The amendment Chapter 5.04 will support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on the EMS Oversight Board and Technical Advisory Committee, as well as defining the process and elements of an EMS levy service plan. AB2022-451 (Ordinance 2022-060) Approved 7-0