Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at March 7, 2023 Meeting
Shall the council:
56. Authorize the executive to accept a $396,000 state grant to provide disaster case management and housing assistance to households impacted by the December 2022 storms? Services will be available for households affected by storm damage sustained from December 18 to 28, 2022. The expiration date is 6/30/2023. (AB2023-147) Authorized 7-0
57. Authorize the executive to sign a $62,969 contract (amendment #1) with the City of Bellingham to support staffing and implementation of the Alternative Response Team pilot program? The original two-year contract for $427,127 was approved at the 4/26/2022 meeting, vote #116. The program coordinates responses among law enforcement, emergency medical response, human services, and other community responders working with heavy users of public services. The total amended contract is $490,096; it expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2023-153) Authorized 7-0
58. Authorize the executive to sign a $157,120 contract (amendment #2) with the Opportunity Council to support the Housing and Essential Needs program? The original contract for $2,530,727 was approved at the 6/21/2022 meeting, vote #161. The HEN program provides rent and utility assistance, essential needs items, and case management for eligible low-income participants. This amendment will add funding and update outcome and reporting requirements. The total amended contract is $2,811,264; it expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2023-154) Authorized 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
59. Authorize the executive to sign a $360,000 contract with the Whatcom Long Term Recovery Group of Everson to provide disaster case management for households impacted by storms? Housing support, appliance and home repair will be available for households affected by storm damage sustained from December 18 to 28, 2022. The contract expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2023-161) Authorized 7-0
60. Authorize the executive to sign a $172,111 contract (amendment #8) with Lydia Place of Bellingham to provide funding for motel rooms for families with children who would otherwise experience unsheltered homelessness? The original contract for $114,172 was approved at the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #252. The purpose of the amendment is to add funding to meet increased motel stay costs and extended durations of stay. The total amended contract is $1,635,125; it expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2023-170) Authorized 7-0
61. Authorize the executive to sign a $1,344,000 contract (amendment #11) with the Opportunity Council to operate the Whatcom Homeless Service Center? The original $769,701 contract was approved at the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #151; it expired on 6/30/2021. The purpose of this amendment is to add funding for eviction prevention services. The total amended contract is $9,033,021; it expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2023-175) Authorized 5-2, Tyler Byrd and Ben Elenbaas opposed.
62. Authorize the executive to sign a $310,000 contract (amendment #3) with Lifeline Connections of Vancouver, Wash. to provide behavioral health services in the Whatcom County jail and work center? The original contract for $64,440 ran from 11/01/2021 to 12/31/2021. This amendment adds three full-time positions at the jail to provide behavioral health and reentry case management services. The total amended contract is $1,580,586; it expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2023-176) Authorized 7-0
63. Authorize the executive to sign a $66,750 contract (amendment #3) with Crossroads Consulting of Deming to provide facilitation and consulting services related to a public outreach and scoping campaign for a proposed new jail facility? The original $39,950 contract to provide consulting services for the Stakeholder Advisory Committee was dated 3/17/2022 and amended at the 9/13/2022 meeting, vote #218. This amendment will add funding to expand the scope of the work to include the development of a public outreach campaign, project coordination services, and the drafting of a final report. The total amended contract is $217,700; it expires on 8/31/2023. (AB2023-184) Authorized 7-0
64. Update Whatcom County code relating to load limits and the repeal of permanent weight limitations? (Public hearing held.) State laws permits county legislative bodies to determine load limitations on county roads. The current weight limitations are outdated and not reflective of current limitations and restrictions. AB2023-122 (Ordinance 2023-008) Adopted 7-0
65. Suspend the existing Whatcom County Code related to correctional facilities operational standards? Existing county code related to correctional facilities will be suspended for 11 months and the Whatcom County sheriff’s office correctional facility standards will be temporarily adopted in their place. It was originally suspended at the 6/18/2019 meeting, vote #137, for a period of 12 months and extended at the 6/29/2021 meeting, vote #157, for 18 months. This 11 month suspension will provide time for the Whatcom County Law and Justice Committee and County Council to review correctional facility operational standards and proposals. AB2023-156 (Ordinance 2023-009) Adopted 7-0
Action Taken at March 21, 2023 Meeting
Shall the council:
66. Authorize the executive to sign a $210,640 contract (amendment #1) with S. S. Papadopulos & Associates of Boulder, Colorado, to make refinements and modifications to the Whatcom County groundwater model? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) At the 9/13/2022 meeting, vote #219, the council approved the $286,016 contract to improve the groundwater model the county uses to assess the impacts of groundwater pumping on surface flow. This amendment will implement phase two improvements to the model. The amended contract is $496,656; it expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2023-177) Authorized 7-0
67. Fill a vacancy on the Child and Family Well-Being Task Force? The task force reviews the impact of local government policies on children and families and makes recommendations for improvements in all county departments. There was one applicant. Appointed: Samantha Cruz-Mendoza. Ms. Cruz-Mendoza currently serves as an executive legislative assistant in the state House of Representatives. (AB2023-182) Carried 7-0
68. Fill six vacancies on the Wildlife Advisory Committee? The committee advises Whatcom County agencies on the value of wildlife and habitat management issues, as they relate to the comprehensive plan. There were three applicants: Erin Deinzer, Cris Gonzalez, and Anne Johnson. Appointed: Erin Deinzer is a writer and editor. Cris Gonzalez owns a 400-acre working wheat farm with river frontage. Anne Johnson is a retired attorney with land management experience. (AB2023-188) Carried 7-0
69. Authorize the executive to sign a $25,000 contract (amendment #4) with the Opportunity Council to support operations at the permanent supportive housing facility 22 North? The 22 North facility is a 40-unit apartment building that provides affordable, permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and behavioral health disorders. The original $242,648 contract was approved at the 6/21/2022 meeting. This amendment will add onsite behavioral health services to the contractor requirements and add $25,000 to fund those services. The total amended contract is $523,918; it expires on 6/30/2023. (AB2023-195) Authorized 6-1, Tyler Byrd temporarily absent.
70. Confirm the executive’s appointment of Richard Joss to the Whatcom County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee? The committee assists the county in the planning, funding, development and implementation of facilities that promote bicycle and pedestrian travel. Mr. Joss is a retired pension actuary and avid walker. (AB2023-207) Carried 7-0
71. Authorize the executive to award a $500,000 grant/loan to the City of Blaine to support the Wellfield Pump Station infrastructure project? The Economic Development Investment Board (EDI) approved the grant/loan. The county administers the Economic Development Investment Board program and the money comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. The $375,000 grant and $125,000 loan will relocate the North Harvey Road pumping station in order to meet needs resulting from increasing residential development in east Blaine. (AB2023-208) Authorized 7-0
72. Authorize the executive to sign a $138,850 contract (amendment #1) with Pyramid Communications of Seattle for Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force communications with the public? The contract for $88,800 was originally approved at the 6/21/2022 meeting. The total amended contract is $227,650; it expires on 12/31/2023. (AB2023-209) Authorized 5-2, Ben Elenbaas and Kathy Kershner opposed.
73. Authorize the executive to award a $2,500,000 grant/loan to the City of Blaine to support the G Street Sewer improvement project? The Economic Development Investment Board (EDI) approved the grant/loan. The county administers the EDI program and the money comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. The $1,875,000 grant and $625,000 loan will install, replace and upsize approximately 6,600 feet of sewer mains to increase flow capacity and meet future development needs. (AB2023-210) Authorized 7-0
74. Adopt the Healthy Children’s Fund implementation plan? (Public hearing held.) At the November 2022 general election, voters passed a 10-year property tax to fund early learning, care programs, and support for vulnerable children. Approximately $9.98 million will be raised each year for 10 years. This resolution requires the fund administrator to develop an implementation plan, which shall be adopted by the council and reviewed every two years. AB2023-127 (Resolution 2023-007) Substitute approved 7-0
75. Adopt the 2022 Buildable Lands Report? (Public hearing held.) In 1997, the state legislature amended the Growth Management Act to include a review and evaluation program requirement (known as “buildable lands”) in order to determine whether designated counties and cities within them: are achieving target urban population densities as contained in comprehensive plans; making sure sufficient land is available for future development; and are aligning actual and projected development patterns. Whatcom County and the five cities worked with a consultant to develop the 2022 Buildable Lands Report that addresses these state requirements. AB2022-641 (Ordinance 2023-010) Adopted 7-0
76. Authorize the county to acquire property by eminent domain? (Public hearing held.) The property is required for the construction of a multi-lane roundabout that will replace the signal at E. Smith Road and Hannegan Road. Not all property owners have been willing to negotiate with the county. The project is listed as number two on the 2022 annual construction program. AB2023-158 (Ordinance 2023-011) Adopted 6-1, Ben Elenbaas opposed.
77. Adopt amendments to county code relating to the C-PACER program? (Public hearing held.) At the 7/13/2021 meeting, vote #164, the council adopted the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACER) Program and amended it at the 4/26/2022 meeting, vote #125. The lending program is designed to incentivize non-governmental financing for property owners to develop and implement clean energy and resiliency projects for agricultural, commercial, industrial, or multi-family buildings. This amendment is designed to incentivize non-governmental financing and update program language. AB2023-172 (Ordinance 2023-012) Adopted 7-0
78. Amend the project-based budget (request #3) in the amount of $688,500 for the Academy Road Stormwater Improvements Fund? At the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #231, the council voted to establish the $1,109,000 project fund and project-based budget and amended it at the 3/23/2021 meeting, vote #78. The project was intended to treat runoff from approximately 80 acres but has not performed up to original design expectations and requires upgrades. This amendment will fund upgrades. The total amended fund and project-based budget is $1,979,335. AB2023-149 (Ordinance 2023-013) Adopted 7-0
79. Amend the 2023 budget (request #4) in the amount of $7,015,999? Appropriated: $688,500 to fund the Academy Road stormwater infrastructure project; $581,936 to fund improvements and repairs in the county parks system; $295,623 to fund courthouse security improvements and HVAC upgrades at parks department administrative offices; $396,000 for the flood assistance; $202,000 for courthouse security improvements; $1,976,259 to fund shelter/housing grant programs; $3,000,000 to fund public utilities projects in Blaine. AB2023-185 (Ordinance 2023-014) Adopted 7-0
80. Amend by $202,000 (request #4) the Courthouse Improvement Fund project-based budget? The $260,000 fund and project-based budget to replace the courthouse fire alarm system and roof over juvenile detention was established at the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #224. At the 4/18/2017 meeting, vote #75, the fund was increased by $811,907 to continue work on the fire alarm system. At the 11/22/2022 meeting, vote #290, $100,000 was added for basement office space. This amendment funds security system upgrades, including: cameras, duress alarms, proximity locks, and security doors. The total amended project-based budget is $1,823,907. AB2023-186 (Ordinance 2023-015) Adopted 6-1, Tyler Byrd temporarily absent.
81. Change the due date for the Phase III report of the Child and Family Well-Being Task Force? The task force was established at the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #273, to develop a countywide plan to support childhood development services. Phase III of the task force report was originally due on 10/1/2022. The deadline was changed at the 8/9/2022 meeting, vote #212, to 3/30/2023, but workload increases and the loss of a member will prevent the task force from meeting the deadline. The deadline is now extended to no later than 5/2/2023. AB2023-145 (Ordinance 2023-016) Adopted 7-0
82. Establish a compost procurement policy? The state Legislature in 2022 adopted House Bill 1799, encouraging cities and counties to procure more compost and finished products created from their organic material wastes in order to support the economic viability of composting and increasing the likelihood that composting and other responsible organic material management options are economically viable. This ordinance will fulfill the requirement to meet waste stream reduction efforts and adopt compost procurement legislation. AB2023-166 (Ordinance 2023-017) Adopted 7-0