Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at September 23, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
163. Authorize the mayor to sign a mutual aid agreement with the Washington [state] Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network? Emergencies may require aid or assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, and supplies from outside the area of impact. This mutual aid agreement will allow the city to provide or accept aid from other state of Washington utility agencies in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. This mutual aid agreement has no direct fiscal impact. (AB22431) Approved 7-0

164. Appropriate $2,958,415 for goods and services checks issued from August 31, 2019 through September 13, 2019? (AB22432/22433) Approved 7-0

165. Authorize the mayor to sign a document relinquishing a portion of a utility easement located on Laurel Street? (Public hearing held.) The owner, the Bellingham Housing Authority, has requested the partial relinquishment to develop the property formerly occupied by the Aloha Motel. The easement area, located in the vacated 10-foot portions of the Otis, Laurel, and Pasco Street’ rights-of-way, is surplus to the city’s needs and is not required for providing continued public utility services. Surplus utility easements are typically relinquished at no cost to the property owner. AB22425 (Resolution 2019-26) Approved 7-0

166. Authorize the mayor to sign a document relinquishing a portion of the surplus utility easement located within vacated Taylor Avenue? (Public hearing held.) The easement width is 10-feet and runs along the northern property line for property located at 2300 Taylor Avenue. The owner, Eric Heilborn, has requested the relinquishment in order to develop the property. The property has been determined not to be needed for utility service. AB22426 (Resolution 2019-27) Approved 7-0

167. Amend city code to allow on-premise accessory and incidental alcohol service at eating establishments? (Public hearing held at July 9 meeting.) This amendment alters various applicable sections of the land use development code. Businesses and other community members have requested the city ease restrictions on accessory and incidental alcohol service at eating establishments. Recent amendments to the commercial code in 2018 did reduce restrictions on accessory alcohol service, but only for eating establishments in commercial neighborhood areas. This amendment includes updated eating establishment and drinking establishment definitions, modified conditional use permit requirements, and other related amendments for consistency throughout. AB22414 (Ordinance 2019-09-028) Approved 7-0

168. Allow recycling collection and processing centers in certain industrial zones and modify special requirements for such uses by amending various sections of the land use development code? (Public hearing held at July 9 meeting.) At the 2/11/2019 meeting, vote #29, the council authorized the mayor to sign into a development agreement with Parberry to move its recycling operations, Northwest Recycling, out of its current location in Old Town where it is operating as a nonconforming use. This ordinance to permit “recycling collection and processing centers” in industrial light, heavy, and industrial planned zones provides a refined and expanded set of standards applicable to any recycling collection and processing center, whether listed as a permitted or conditional use, and helps lessen any potential development impacts to adjacent areas through site and building design. At the 3/31/2008 meeting, vote #79, the council adopted the Old Town subarea plan. The plan created an urban village in the Old Town area. AB22415 (Ordinance 2019-09-029) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at October 10, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
169. Authorize the city of Bellingham to employ the law firm of Kissinger and Fellman of Denver, Colorado, to provide legal counsel, advice and representation in an appeal of the FCC cable franchise fee order? The FCC said local cable franchising authorities cannot regulate a cable operator’s broadband service and that in-kind services or equipment they require those cable operators to provide must count toward the FCC’s 5 percent cap on franchise fees. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0

170. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Bellingham School District for a police officer to be assigned to the school district? Under the terms of the district resource officer program, the Bellingham School District will contribute $55,000 toward the officer’s salary and benefits, and the city will pay the rest. This program once included several officers in multiple schools, but, due to funding issues, the school district can only afford one officer for the schools. The district resource officer program is responsible for on-campus law enforcement and protection of lives and property. In addition, the officer will: assist school officials with regulations regarding student conduct; provide security for school functions; respond to major disruptions; investigate and report criminal offenses; cooperate with police investigations; and provide traffic control. The program will be an educational resource concerning the law and law enforcement agencies and will counsel students when requested to do so by the parents or school principal. (AB22440) Approved 7-0

171. Appropriate $7,266,436 for payroll checks issued from August 16, 2019 through September 15, 2019? (AB22448/22449) Approved 7-0

172. Appropriate $4,499,273 for goods and services checks issued from September 14 through September 27, 2019? (AB22450/22451) Approved 7-0

173. Exempt the women’s winter shelter at Civic Field from state building code requirements in order to provide emergency housing? The city of Bellingham is planning to operate an interim, low-barrier shelter in the Civic Stadium locker room located at 1355 Civic Field Way. Consistent with state law, building code requirements may be waived provided that: the building provides housing to indigent persons; is preexisting; is owned by a public or a nonprofit corporation; and is found to be safe. The building official and fire marshal have determined that the building poses no threat to human life, health or safety. Additionally, all criteria established in state code authorizing cities to exempt certain shelters from state regulations have been met. The adoption of the proposed resolution will allow continued operation of the interim shelter during winter months without strict compliance with the code, while still being safe. At the 10/22/2018 meeting, vote #170, the council adopted permanent regulations addressing building encampments, tent encampments, tiny houses encampments and safe parking areas. At the 8/26/19 meeting, vote #155, the council approved an emergency ordinance to allow temporary encampments in buildings in public zoning districts through a Type II review process. AB22446 (Resolution 2019-28) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at October 21, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
174. Spend $400,000 to acquire a 26-acre piece of property owned by Jennifer R. Hamilton and located in the Lake Whatcom watershed? The purchase will be made with money from the Lake Whatcom Watershed Property Acquisition Program in order to help protect the drinking water for over 80,000 residents of Whatcom County. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

175. Approve the mayor’s reappointment of Skylar Hinkley to the Greenway Advisory Committee? The committee provides recommendations to the City Council and the Parks and Recreation Department about Greenway levy expenditures, parkland acquisitions and parks/trails/open space development projects. Appointments shall be for three-year terms, with a two-term limit. Hinkley was initially appointed to a partial term at the 8/10/2015 meeting, vote #156. He was appointed to a full term at the 11/7/2016 meeting, vote #185. Hinkly has been a resident of Bellingham since 2007. When reappointed in 2016, he was employed by Kulshan Cycles. Skylar Hinkley has a B.A. in urban planning and sustainable design, and has participated in the WWU planning program in conjunction with the city of Bellingham. His final term will expire on 10/28/2022. (AB22455) Approved 7-0

176. Approve the mayor’s appointment of Laura Weiss to a partial term on the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board? The board consists of up to 11 members appointed by the mayor for three-year terms, and a member may be reappointed. The Watershed Advisory Board advises the city regarding the protection, cleanup, and restoration of the Lake Whatcom Reservoir and the surrounding watershed; the city watershed land acquisition program; and the management, maintenance, and use of acquired property. The board also provides citizen advice concerning proposed specific land acquisitions except when not feasible. Laura Weiss is a retired environmental policy and sustainability business director, who has lived in Bellingham since 7/1/2018, and chairs the boards at Animals As Natural Therapy and the Community Food Co-Op. Her partial term will expire on 8/7/2020 at which time she may be reappointed. (AB22456) Approved 7-0

177. Authorize the mayor to award the contested bid of $15,265,950 to Walsh Construction Company of Seattle for the Nooksack River fish passage project? The engineer’s estimate was $12,998,014. This project involves removal of the city’s diversion dam to restore fish passage in the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River and the installation of a revised intake for the city municipal water supply. Following removal of the dam, the river channel will be restored to facilitate native fish species migrating upstream. This project is a collaborative partnership between the city of Bellingham, American Rivers, the Nooksack Indian Tribe, Lummi Nation, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), city of Bellingham and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have all provided funding for the project. A bid protest was received from the second-lowest bidder IMCO General Construction as non-responsive and not following the requirements of RCW 39.30.060 (“the subcontractor listing statute”), but was rejected and the bid awarded to Walsh despite the difference between the engineer’s estimate and the actual bid price. Council has supported this project with various actions since 2005. At the 7/11/2015 meeting, vote #141, the council authorizd the mayor to accept a $1.6 million state grant to improve fish passage at the diverson date. At the 5/20/2019 meeting, vote #95, the council authorized the mayor to accept a $10,560,250 state grant for the fish passage project. The total estimated cost is approximately $20.7 million, with secured funding of $16.7 million and the balance of funding anticipated from a pending federal grant. City funds to-date total $2.3 million. The city received five bids, the high bid was $22,047,200. (AB22458) Approved 7-0

178. Establish a cooperative purchasing agreement between the city of Bellingham and Snohomish County Fire District 7? The Bellingham Fire Department is requesting the city to enter into an intergovernmental cooperative purchasing agreement. This agreement will allow the Bellingham Fire Department to purchase planning and data analysis software for future planning. The fiscal impact will be $14,000 per year, and will be allocated from the existing fire department budget. (AB22465) Approved 7-0

179. Authorize the mayor to accept a $95,000 state grant to help implement the city’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit? Stormwater capacity grants are noncompetitive grants awarded to phase I and phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) municipal permits for activities and equipment necessary for implementation and management of municipal wastewater programs. (AB22466) Approved 7-0

180. Authorize the mayor to accept a $447,268 state grant for phases III and IV of the Squalicum Creek reroute project? The state of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office has awarded a grant from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Barrier Removal Board to the city of Bellingham for the replacement of an existing culvert on Squalicum Creek at Squalicum Parkway with a fish passable culvert. Replacing this culvert will allow greater access to 8.9 miles of salmon habitat, and leverages the city’s previous investments in Squalicum Creek restoration projects. This project will leverage the city’s award-winning 2015 Squalicum Creek reroute phases 1 and 2 project, the state Department of Transportation’s 2014 fish barrier removal project at Interstate 5, and the city’s 2014 fish barrier removal project at James Street to increase availability of upstream rearing, spawning, and migration habitat. The city will provide $79,732 in matching funds. (AB22467) Approved 7-0

181. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Western Washington University to study the proposed Alderwood annexation area? WWU’s Center of Economic and Business Research will conduct a statistically valid survey of residents and business owners in the proposed Alderwood annexation area. The methodology includes a mailed invitation to all 1,460 residents of the Alderwood neighborhood and 10 days later a follow-up post card. Participants without a computer may elect to complete the survey by telephone. The purpose of the survey is to collect attitudes, opinions and baseline knowledge regarding potential annexation. The results of the survey will be used to help frame the subsequent public process associated with the proposed annexation. (AB22468) Approved 7-0

182. Appropriate $3,542,622 for goods and services checks issued from September 28, 2019 through October 11, 2019? (AB22469/22470) Approved 7-0

183. Oppose Washington Initiative Measure 976 and urge Bellingham voters to vote “no”? (Public hearing held.) This measure appeared on the 11/5/2019 general election ballot. The initiative, which would limit annual motor-vehicle license fees to $30, except voter-approved charges; repeal, reduce, or remove authority to impose certain vehicle taxes and fees; and base vehicle taxes on Kelley Blue Book value. Council member April Barker explained the initiative and urged voters to vote “no.” No citizens spoke at the hearing. AB22453 (Resolution #2019-29) Approved 7-0

184. Set the times and dates for 2020 regular council meetings? Twenty-four meetings are scheduled for 2020, one less than was scheduled for 2019. Meeting time will be 7:00 p.m. Roberts Rules of Order are to be used unless otherwise provided by Charter. The finalized schedule can be found at AB22464 (Resolution 2019-30) Approved 7-0

185. Amend the 2019-2020 biennial budget by $327,000 for salary increases? At the at the 6/17/2019 meeting, vote #115, the City Council ratified the 2018-2020 contract with the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 106S. The contract included a 3.5 percent cost of living increase for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Additionally, the contract increases longevity pay (received by all employees represented by Local 106S) by 1.5 percent starting in 2018. AB22444 (Ordinance 2019-10-030) Approved 7-0

186. Amend the 2019-2020 biennial budget by $2,362,000 for salary increases? At the 8/19/2019 meeting, vote #133, the City Council ratified the 2018-2020 contract with AFSCME, Local 114. The Bellingham Police Guild agreement includes a 3.25 percent cost of living increase in 2018, 3.0 percent in 2019 and 2.75 percent in 2020. Additionally, the city will provide guild members 1 percent of base wages as an annual deferred compensation contribution beginning retroactively in 2018. This creates additional costs over the biennium of $2,362,000. The biennial budget includes a wage reserve of $2,035,269 for this purpose. The ordinance uses the $23,269 remaining in the wage reserve, so an additional $2,338,731 in additional budget authority is required. AB22445 (Ordinance 2019-10-031) Approved 7-0

Bookmark the permalink.