Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at January 9, 2023  Meeting

Shall the council:
1. Authorize the mayor to sign a $325,000 settlement agreement with Bornstein Seafoods for resolution of remediation costs at the I&J Waterway cleanup site? In 1995, contamination was identified at the three-acre site located between Hilton Avenue and Bellwether Way. In 2004, the state of Washington identified the Port of Bellingham and Bornstein Seafoods as potentially liable parties. Since 2005, a series of investigations have addressed contamination. In 2019, the state finalized a cleanup plan with an estimated cost of $20,300,000. In 2021, the port filed lawsuit against Bornstein to recover costs associated with the cleanup, and an amended lawsuit was filed by Bornstein against the City of Bellingham to recover costs associated with the cleanup. Rather than pursue litigation, the port, Bornstein  Seafoods and City of Bellingham have negotiated settlements. This settlement agreement includes a $325,000 payment to Bornstein Seafood by the City of Bellingham. At the 1/10/2023 meeting, vote #8, the port commission approved a settlement agreement with Bornstein and the city. In that agreement, Bornstein will pay the port $9,500,000. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0

2. Ratify the 2023–2024 collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 231? Effective 1/1/2023 — a 3 percent cost of living increase with an additional 4 percent increase in 2024 for a total of 7 percent. Increased standby pay to $20.00 per day. Increased deferred compensation match to 2.5 percent. Add Juneteenth as a holiday. Medical Insurance: For 2023, maintain current language to increase the city’s contribution to medical health care by 5 percent. All other aspects of the agreement remain unchanged. Duration: 1/1/2023 through 12/31/2023. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0

3. Ratify the 2023–2024 collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME 114L? Effective 1/1/2023 — a 3 percent cost of living increase with an additional 2 percent market adjustment for a total wage increase of 5 percent, and, in 2024, a 3 percent cost of living increase (match E-Team and/or Teamsters 231 if either receives greater than 3 percent increase including both cost of living increase and any market adjustment). A one-time recognition bonus of $1,000. Added longevity premiums of 1 percent at 10 years and 2 percent at 20 years. Eliminate overtime pay and the perfect attendance bonus and increased compensatory time banks. Add Juneteenth as a holiday. Medical Insurance: For 2023, increase contribution to medical health care by 5 percent and for 2024 by 6 percent. All other aspects of the agreement remain unchanged. Duration: 1/1/2023 through 12/31/2024. (Discussed in Executive Session.) Approved 7-0

4. Approve the mayor’s reappointment of Mike Estes to the Planning and Development Commission? He was initially appointed to a partial term at the 2/27/2017 meeting, vote #32; and a four-year term at the 1/7/19 meeting, vote #7. Mr. Estes is a 21-year resident of Bellingham. He is an engineering manager at Flock Safety in Bellingham. He has served on various political boards, campaign teams, and committees, including chairing the Whatcom Democrats from 2012-2014 and serving on the Whatcom County Redistricting Committee in 2016. This will be his final term, which will expire on 1/1/2027. (AB23585) Approved 7-0

5. Approve the reappointment of Sharon Rice as the Bellingham Hearing Examiner? At the 6/23/2014 meeting, vote #124, the council approved her appointment as a temporary hearing examiner. When first appointed hearing examiner, she provided hearing examiner services for eight cities and three counties. The mayor decided it would save money to keep Sharon Rice as the hearing examiner rather appoint a full-time hearing examiner — two-year terms were approved at the 1/26/2015 meeting, vote #11; 12/12/2016 meeting, vote 218; 1/7/2019 meeting, vote #1 and 12/7/2021 meeting, vote #230. Her new term expires on 1/27/2025. (AB23587) Approved 7-0

6. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $932,099 to Colacurcio Brothers of Blaine for Bellingham Police Department security upgrades? The engineer’s estimate was $875,000. This project will replace the existing 6-foot tall, perimeter chain-link fence with a eight-foot tall, mini-mesh chain-link fence, replace the existing six-foot tall courtyard stucco wall with a eight-foot tall, corrugated metal panel wall, and install new automated gates, roller guards and concertina wire. At the 9/12/2022 meeting, vote #164, all bids were rejected for security upgrades. The engineer’s estimate was $575,000, the budget was $350,000 and the the low bid of $825,439 was submitted by the Colacurcio Brothers of Blaine. The city received three rebids on 11/29/2022, the high bid was $1,024,515. (AB23588) Approved 7-0

7. Authorize the mayor to sign a memorandum of understanding with North Sound Behavioral Health Administrative Services for settlement compliance? The agreement establishes the Opioid Abatement Council. The council will ensure compliance with the provisions of the settlement between the state of Washington and local jurisdictions in their lawsuits against the three largest pharmaceutical distributors of opioids in the nation. At the 9/12/2022 meeting, vote #162, the mayor was authorized to sign all documents necessary for the City of Bellingham to participate in the $518 million settlement with the three pharmaceutical distributors. (AB23596) Approved 7-0

8. Appropriate $8,827,870 for payroll checks issued from November 16, 2022 through December 1, 2022? (AB23589/23590) Approved 7-0 

9. Appropriate $11,205,814 for goods and services checks issued from December 1, 2022 through December 29, 2022? (AB23591/23592/23593/23594) Approved 7-0

10. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with Western Washington University (amendment #1) regarding parking enforcement around the university? The agreement was originally approved at the 10/24/2022 meeting, vote #196. It authorizes the university police department to enforce parking infractions around the university. The following areas are enforced: 800 block of Taylor Ave., 100-200 blocks of Highland Dr., 500-700 blocks of N. Garden St., 700 block of High St., 800 block of Billy Frank Jr St. to E. Ivy St., 700 block of 25th St., and the 100 block of Arboretum Dr. and parking lot. The agreement expires on 12/31/2023. (AB23595) Approved 7-0

11. Update the urban village design review processes? New construction and substantial redevelopment projects in urban villages are subject to a variety of design standards and guidelines. There is no clear hierarchy and applicants are often unsure of what is required versus desired. This update applies to the Downtown, Old Town, Waterfront, Fairhaven, Fountain, Samish and Barkley urban villages. It will clarify, simplify and standardize urban village design review to encourage efficiency, create predictability and support excellent design. AB23567 (Ordinance 2023-01-001) Approved 7-0

12. Accept a property donation from Susan Braman? Ms. Braman owns an undeveloped, forested parcel at the southern end of 28th St. and Cody Circle, directly northeast of Hoag’s Pond in the South neighborhood. The parcel is bordered to the west by the city’s Interurban Trail, including a conservation and public access easement over adjacent private property. The parcel lies within a key forested wildlife corridor between the large, forested lands of Chuckanut Mountain to the south and the Padden Creek corridor to the north. She would like to donate the parcel to the city via transfer on death deed with a permanent deed restriction that it remains undeveloped and used solely for park purposes. AB23573 (Ordinance 2023-01-002) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at January 23, 2023 Meeting

Councilmember Anderson remembered a beloved community member, John Ostby, who recently passed away. Mayor Fleetwood recognized the recent passing of David Warren and expressed gratitude for his work as a civil service commissioner for 27 years.

Shall the council:
13. Authorize the mayor to sign a $65,000 settlement agreement with Joshua R. Eldard? The following was obtained from a Claim for Damages filed with the city of Bellingham. On 3/14/2018, at approximately 11:30 p.m., while staying in an emergency homeless shelter, Robert Raymond Eldard exhibited signs of mental health related issues. The Bellingham Police Department was called and officers arrived. He appeared to believe he was being arrested. The officer placed Mr. Eldard on the ground and restrained him. He died while in police custody due to oxygen deprivation resulting from the use of force applied by the Bellingham Police officers. After a $1 million claim for damages was denied by the city, his son, Joshua Eldard, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Whatcom County Superior Court against the city of Bellingham and three police officers. A summary judgement was dismissed on 12/21/2022. Approved 7-0

14. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement (amendment #3) with Whatcom County and Fire District #7 for advanced life support services? At the 12/11/2017 meeting, vote #212, the city entered into an agreement with Whatcom County to provide funding for countywide advanced life support services as envisioned in the EMS levy plan. Upon the passing of a countywide Emergency Medical Services levy in November 2022, the EMS levy plan was updated to include additional compensation to the ALS providers and to add a fifth medic unit to the county system. This amendment provides for an increase in the per medic unit cost from $2.2 million in 2022 to $2.5 million, and increases the cost for the EMS supervisor from $728,991 in 2022 to $999,876 in 2023. The amendment also adds a fourth medic unit to the City of Bellingham (the fifth unit countywide). (AB23599) Approved 7-0

15. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement (amendment #1) with Whatcom County for emergency medical services? At the 12/13/2021 meeting, vote #244, the city entered into an agreement with Whatcom County to provide funding for the training of six lateral firefighter paramedics. Over the course of 2022, the department completed training for three lateral medics and started training on an additional six medics. The extension of this contract allows the city to continue billing the county, while training for those that started in 2022 is finished. The original contract was for $364,116; $251,283 was expended in 2022, $112,833 will carry over to 2023. (AB23600) Approved 7-0 

16. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement (Amendment #2) with Whatcom County for community paramedic services? At the 8/19/2019 meeting, vote #140, the city entered into an agreement with Whatcom County for the city to provide community paramedic services. At the 4/12/2021 meeting, vote #71, the contract was amended to increase the amount of funding and extend the contract through December of 2022. This current amendment again increases the amount of funding from $360,000 in 2022 to $419,450 in 2023 and extends the life of the contract to 12/31/2023. (AB23601) Approved 7-0 

17. Reauthorize the fire department to partner with Whatcom County and Bellingham Technical College for paramedic training school? The cost of this reauthorization will not exceed $1,169,600. The agreement was initially approved at the 2/25/2019 meeting, vote #37, and renewed at the 12/13/2021 meeting, vote #243. The fire department will provide an initial paramedic training program. This contract reflects the cost of providing the instructor for the class, the learning materials for the students, and wage replacement for our Fire Department’s students. The 2023 class started this month with a total of 10 students, six of them from the Bellingham Fire Department and four from outside agencies. (AB23602) Approved 7-0

18. Assign “Salish Landing” as the official name for 17 acres of waterfront property at the end of Cornwall Avenue? The property was commonly referred to as Cornwall Beach Park and the Cornwall Avenue Landfill. Contaminated sediment was dredged from the bay and covered with a multilayered cap. The dredged material will be given an additional cover and the adjacent R.G. Haley site will be included in the park. At the 9/14/2009 meeting, vote #193, the council authorized the mayor to acquire for $1.00 the approximately six-acres of the former R.G. Haley property from the Douglas Management Company. At the time, cleanup costs were estimated to be between $3 million and 9 million. The current estimate is $16 million for cleanup. Contaminants identified at the site include pentachlorophenol, diesel-end heavy oil-range hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. At the 11/10/2014 meeting, vote #226, the council approved a master plan for a waterfront park. Phase 1 engineering and permitting is underway, which includes design and installation of a new entrance sign featuring the new park name. Work is focused on underground utilities, parking, beach creation, trails, and other park amenities. Work has been coordinated with two overlapping cleanup actions: the Cornwall Avenue Landfill and R.G. Haley sites. The naming process was launched on social media and through the city’s Engage Bellingham website. Over 5,000 individuals visited the project webpage and over 500 submissions were received. (AB23598) Approved 7-0

19. Appropriate $4,473,773 for payroll checks issued from December 16 through December 31, 2022? (AB23612) Approved 7-0

20. Appropriate $5,011,727 for goods and services checks issued from December 30, 2022 through January 12, 2023? (AB23613/23614) Approved 7-0

21. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the state of Washington to relocate a water main? The City of Bellingham owns and maintains the water main on the Mount Baker Highway. The state Department of Transportation is removing the Squalicum Creek culvert on the Mount Baker Highway because it is a fish barrier. The city is responsible for the costs associated with relocation of city facilities within the state right-of-way. The city will spend $376,882 to relocate the existing water main. (AB23615) Approved 7-0  

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