Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at May 8, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
83. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $17,545,977 to IMCO of Ferndale for the Roeder lift station? The engineer’s estimate was $18,047,679. The lift station, located near the industrial area along the Bellingham waterfront, serves much of the north part of the city and UGA. It is currently over capacity, as the third (redundant) pump currently comes on during peak storm flows. The new lift station is being relocated west of the existing lift station due to the proximity to the BNSF railroad tracks and to maintain operations during the course of construction. The city received four bids; the high bid was $21,082,501. (AB23707) Approved 7-0

84. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement expanding the use of Whatcom County Fire District No. 4 facilities located at 4142 Britton Loop Rd for city firefighter training? The Bellingham Fire Department has been using the facility since an agreement approved at the 4/16/2012 meeting, vote #66. It is used for the fire department’s recruitment academy, paramedic training program, and ongoing training of firefighters. This updated agreement expands the use of the facility and allows for the consolidation of fire department training staff into one location where the majority of its training occurs. This is the only dedicated fire training facility available in Whatcom County. (AB23711) Approved 7-0

85. Authorize the sale of four police motorcycles to the Skagit County sheriff? The Bellingham Police Department has determined that the motorcycles are not currently needed to meet operational needs. The city was contacted by the Skagit County Sheriff Department who provided an offer to purchase four motorcycles at $15,000 per motorcycle for a total bid of $60,000 plus sales tax. City code requires city council approval for the disposition of surplus property of a value of $20,000 or more. These motorcycles have not been in use since 2020. (AB23715) Approved 7-0

86. Appropriate $ 4,440,730 for payroll checks issued from April 1 through April 15, 2023? (AB23716) Approved 7-0

87. Appropriate $4,443,479 for goods and services checks issued from April 14 through April 27, 2023? (AB23717/23718) Approved 7-0

88. Relinquish a surplus utility easement encumbering 622 11th Street? At the 5/6/2019 meeting, vote #87, the council voted to vacate 25-feet of easterly South State Street (now known as 10th Street) and a 10-foot wide by 25-foot portion of Easton Avenue abutting the aforementioned portion of South State Street. The city retained an easement for potential future public utility needs within the vacated street segment. At the 4/26/2021 meeting, vote #75, the council voted to relinquish a 10-foot section along the north side of Eason Avenue. The owner of 622 11th Street has plans to improve and redevelop the site but needs the added area encumbered by the city’s retained utility easement to properly complete the design and meet current regulations. Public Works has reviewed the request and determined that the portion of the easement that encumbers the subject property is not needed for utility service. AB23706 (Resolution #2023-04) Approved 7-0 

89. Adopt the Broadband Advisory Workgroup findings? At the 8/24/2020 meeting, vote #151, the council created the workgroup to study and recommend options for use of the city’s fiber optic system.  At the 9/26/2022 standing committee meeting, members of the Broadband Advisory Workgroup committee presented their recommendations and a draft resolution for council consideration. Since the presentation last September, staff in the Public Works Department and the Bellingham library have been working on recommendations outlined in the draft resolution including the issuance of a request for proposal for a fiber optic network comprehensive plan and coordination with regional partners on digital literacy and equity. Key points of the resolution include securing broadband speeds for residents of at least 150/150 Mbps with a minimum target of 1 Gpbs symmetrical service by 2028, cost-competitive service with reasonable rates, the need to address barriers faced by underserved members of the community, and expansion of the city’s free publicly-available wifi hotspots. AB23708 (Resolution 2023-05) Amended and approved 7-0 

90. Adopt the 2023-2027 Consolidated Plan and the 2023 Action Plan? (Public hearing held at March 9 meeting.) The 2023-2027 Consolidated Plan (7/1/2023 – June 30, 2027) is required by the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) which identifies community needs and priorities to be funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerhsip Program (HOME) over a five-year period. The city uses this planning process to identify priorities for its local housing levy, affordable housing sales tax and general fund expenditures. Staff recommended not funding a new application from DISH foundation for vocational training and services to support those with developmental disabilities, and no longer funding childcare subsidies for the Bellingham Childcare and Early Learning Center, recommending instead fully funding all food security-related requests and domestic violence programs. The annual action plan funding is typically $9.5 million, made up of funds from HUD block grant ($1 million), HUD HOME ($750,000), affordable housing sales tax ($3 million), housing levy ($4 million), and general fund ($500,000). AB23650 (Resolution #2023-06) Approved 7-0 

91. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget to reconcile differences between estimated 2023 beginning reserve balances and 2023 actual balances? During the budget development process, the finance department estimates beginning reserve balances based on anticipated expenditures and revenues for the year in which the budget is developed. Pursuant to city financial policy, at the beginning of each biennium the city must update the biennial budget with actual beginning reserves and estimate new ending reserves for the biennium. The finance department undertakes this process in tandem with the reappropriations process to ensure the various funds’ reserves are expected to remain in balance at the end of the biennium. The reappropriations process brings budget forward from the previous biennium for programs and projects authorized, but not completed in the previous biennium. This is a housekeeping vote; net change to beginning reserves across all city funds is $1,778,731. AB23696 (Ordinance 2023-05-011) Approved 7-0

92. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget to increase appropriation authority in various funds paying for goods and services authorized in the previous biennium? Reappropriate unused budget authority totaling $39,543,597 from the 2021-2022 biennium. At the end of each biennium, all remaining budget authority lapses, even if it is under contract for a project, program or product. To pay those contracts and continue projects authorized in the previous biennium, the City Council must reappropriate the funds. This is a housekeeping vote. AB23697 (Ordinance 2023-05-012) Approved 7-0

93. Amend the 2023-2024 biennial budget (amendment #3)? The 2023-2024 biennial budget is amended to add staffing and adjust appropriation authority to provide positive estimated ending 2024 reserve balances for all city funds. Revenues and expenditures are added across departments and funds to address city needs and ensure a balanced budget as detailed in the attached budget modification requests, totaling $2,478,768. This is a housekeeping vote, part of vote #91 and #92 to reconcile fund reserve balances and reappropriate the budget from the previous biennium. AB23698 (Ordinance 2023-05-013) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at May 22, 2023 Meeting

Shall the council:
94. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $4,477,913 to Strider Construction of Bellingham for the Valencia Street watermain replacement project? The engineer’s estimate was $4,421,062. The project was started in response to a water main break on Valencia Street. It was determined that it was an opportune time to replace the sewer main which was constructed in 1938. Daylighting Fever Creek in this residential transportation corridor was not an option, so a 48” diameter storm system was designed to be fish passable and incorporates a new outfall where Fever Creek connects to Whatcom Creek. Missing sidewalk connections along Valencia between Alabama and Fraser will be constructed, ADA curb ramps installed, and the entire roadway will be paved at the end of the project. Four hundred training (apprenticeship) hours are a requirement of the contract. The city received eight bids; the high bid was $6,278,171. (AB23721) Approved 7-0

95. Appropriate $5,240,640 for goods and services checks issued from April 28 through May 11, 2023? (AB23727/23728) Approved 7-0

96. Authorize the mayor to accept a $148,044 state grant for a study to define the most effective maintenance practices for stormwater facilities in the Lake Whatcom Watershed? Lake Whatcom is the drinking water source for over 100,000 Whatcom County residents. Current annual phosphorus loading into Lake Whatcom, through stormwater runoff, is estimated to exceed the capacity of the lake by more than 700 percent. This project will describe, define, and investigate the connections between municipal operations and maintenance activities and the transport of phosphorus and bacteria into nearby waterbodies. Findings will be used to develop watershed-scale operations and maintenance procedures that 1) limit phosphorus and bacteria sources of pollution and 2) optimize the function of existing stormwater facilities. The outcomes of this project will determine ways to restore water quality. The grant requires a 25 percent city match of $49,348 for a total project cost of $197,392. The Public Works Department will conduct a literature review of existing studies done on discharge of phosphorus and bacteria and develop a phosphorus and bacteria enhanced maintenance plan. (AB23731) Approved 7-0

97. Set June 28 at 6:00 p.m. for a public hearing before the Bellingham Hearing Examiner for consideration of a street vacation petition for the western 10-feet of 10th Street between Douglas and Taylor avenues? The street vacation petition does not include 10th Street where it intersects with Fillmore Avenue. 10th Street is 100-feet wide in this location. 23730 (Resolution 2023-07) Approved 7-0

98. Set July 12 at 6:00 p.m. for a public hearing before the Bellingham Hearing Examiner for consideration of a street vacation petition for the platted alley within Block 299 of the supplemental map of the town of Whatcom? The Bellingham School District desires to clear the title on the alley prior to the redesign of Columbia Elementary School, currently encumbered by the subject right-of-way. 23729 (Resolution 2023-08) Approved 7-0  

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