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Past Issues

Whatcom Watch Online
Bellingham City Council

October-November 2012

Watching Government

Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Marcia Guderian

Action Taken at August 6, 2012 Meeting

Shall the council:

156. Approve the Bellingham Pedestrian Master Plan? The 20-year plan contains 411 projects to improve pedestrian facilities to encourage walking. The plan calls for developing 77 miles of sidewalks and improving 57 street crossings. Ten programs are recommended: safe routes to school; neighborhood walking maps; traffic safety campaign; open street events; professional development courses, marketing campaigns, speed reader board loaner program; pedestrian crossing enforcement actions and walk friendly community designation. (AB19632) Approved 7-0

157. Deny the King Mountain Urban Village proposal? (Public hearing held at July 2 meeting.) Alliance Properties 2000 LLC, submitted a request to rezone approximately 130 acres in the King Mountain neighborhood to be developed into an urban village. When the area was annexed into the city, Alliance Properties agreed to submit a master plan for construction of an urban village. City Council found that the “master plan” was too vague, lacking important details and directions, and that it did not guarantee to meet with the city’s requirements for the area. In addition, the applicant has written to the council threatening to sue the city if the council should add any conditions to the proposal. AB19611 (Resolution 2012-25) Approved 4-3, Gene Knutson, Terry Bornemann and Stan Snapp opposed.

158. Establish the 2012-2013 docket of proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments? (Public hearing held at July 23 meeting.) Being placed on the docket assures that a project will eventually be reviewed by the city, although not necessarily during the same year it is docketed. There is currently a docket backlog. The public hearing reviewed eight proposals for possible inclusion on the docket. The council accepted three proposals and rejected four proposals. Accepted proposals were: update Whatcom Falls Neighborhood plan (with a rezone of recently purchased city property next to Whatcom Falls Park); Proposal #2 for the Sunnyland Neighborhood Plan and the King Mountain/Irongate Neighborhood Plan. Rejected proposals were: Edgemoor Neighborhood Plan amendment; Sunnyland Neighborhood Plan Proposals #1 and 3; the Cornwall Park Neighborhood Plan amendment and the South Neighborhood Plan. Two proposals from previous years were included: CBD Neighborhood Plan/City Center Master Plan update and Bellingham Comprehensive Plan/Economic Development Chapter. AB19633 (Res. 2012-26) Approved 4-3, Cathy Lehman, Stan Snapp and Jack Weiss opposed.

159. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the city of Lynden to allow their use of the Vector Waste Transfer Facility? The facility is used for the disposal and recycling of street sweeper and stormwater catch-basin waste. It is located at 2140 Division Street and is the only type of disposal facility within Whatcom County. The facility has adequate capacity to accept materials from Lynden which generates only small amounts of street waste. Lynden will be charged $40.52 per ton for wet disposal and $52.50 per ton for dry disposal, plus 15 percent overhead in order to reimburse Bellingham for facility operating costs. This annual amount that will be paid to Bellingham is estimated to be between $12,000 and $15,000. The facility does not accept malodorous or chemical wastes. This agreement expires on 12/31/14. Bellingham has had a similar agreement with Whatcom County since 2001. (AB19658) Approved 7-0

160. Authorize the mayor to award five low bids totaling 68,145 for water distribution accessories? The components are gate valves, tapping valves, check valves and tapping sleeves that are used on water main connections and maintenance projects. The components were divided into five groups, bids were separate for each group. HD Fowler was the lowest bidder on four groups at $40,073; HD Supply was the lowest bidder on one group at $28,072. There were 35 solicitations viewed and 16 bids were received from four companies. (AB19659) Approved 7-0

161. Authorize the mayor to award 11 low bids totaling $56,556 for water distribution accessories? The components are elbows, sleeves, tees, caps, plugs, reducers, adaptors, couplings, micro couplings, pipe restraints and grip ring accessory packs that are used on water main connections and maintenance projects. The components were divided into 11 groups, bids were separate for each group. HD Supply was low bidder for three groups at $32,733. Ferguson Waterworks was the low bidder for four groups at $18,057. HD Fowler was the lowest bidder for four groups at $5,766. There were 40 solicitations viewed and 29 bids were received from three companies. (AB19660) Approved 7-0

162. Appropriate $2,716343, for goods and services checks issued from July 13 through July 26, 2012? (AB19662/AB19663) Approved 7-0

163. Appropriate $2,552,891 for payroll checks issued from July 11 through July 25, 2012? (AB19664) Approved 7-0

164. Appropriate $393,576 to implement the terms of the collective bargaining agreement with IAFF, Local 106? The 2011-2013 labor agreement with the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 106, was approved by the council at the 12/12/2011 meeting, vote #253. The agreement did not provide a wage increase in 2011, but did include a three percent increase for 2012 and 2013. The additional funds will cover fire department costs until the end of the current budget year. AB19636 (Ordinance 2012-08-037) Approved 7-0

165. Appropriate $307,058 to implement the terms of the collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME, Local 114? The 2012-2014 labor agreement was ratified at the 3/26/2012 meeting, vote #47, the 2012 budget did not contain funds to implement the agreement. The agreement did not provide a wage increase in 2012, but members will receive a one percent cost of living increase in 2013 and a 1.75 percent increase in 2014 plus deferred compensation and incentive payments. AB19637 (Ordinance 2012-08-038) Approved 7-0

166. Appropriate $34,000 from the library gift fund to buy new items for the Bellingham Library? The fund is made up of donations from Friends of the Bellingham Public Library, other organizations and individuals. The funds will be spent for books ($16,000), digital media ($7,500), administration ($5,000) and subscriptions ($2,500). AB19645 (Ordinance 2012-08-039) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at August 13, 2012 Meeting

Shall the council:

167. Spend $350,000 to purchase 1.71 acres in the Lake Whatcom watershed? The undeveloped, forested property includes 400 feet of lakefront and is located within the 3000 block of North Shore Drive near the intersection with Homestead Way. The county assessed the property at $45,000 more than the purchase price. The purchase is part of the city’s effort to protect the Lake Whatcom water quality. The property is being purchased from Alice Crabtree of Lynden. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

168. Authorize the mayor award the low bid of $390,016 to Lynden Precast for water system meter boxes? The city must convert from flat rate water billing to a metered system in order to comply with the state’s mandatory metering program. There were 68 solicitations viewed and four bids were received. (AB19668) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

169. Amend the Central Waterfront agreed order with the state of Washington and the Port of Bellingham? The council initially approved the agreed order at the 4/3/2006 meeting, vote #86. The Port of Bellingham is managing the cleanup project under an agreement with the city. The agreed order provides for the investigation and study to clean up the 55 acre site west of Roeder Ave between I&J Waterway and Whatcom Waterway. In February 2012, it was discovered that, during high tides, a failing bulkhead at the south end of C Street was leaking contamination from petroleum saturated soil and sediment. This amendment will allow an interim action to be performed early in 2013, in order to stop the releases of petroleum. The action involves the removal of 800 cubic yards of petroleum contaminated material from a 5,000 sq.ft. area, followed by rebuilding the shoreline and installing a barrier behind the excavated area to prevent contamination from further inland. The project is expected to cost the city and port about $500,000. The site falls under the Model Toxics Control Act so the state will reimburse up to half of the cost. (AB19670) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

170. Authorize the mayor to reappoint Dawn Sturwold as Bellingham Hearing Examiner? The council approved Dawn Sturwold as Bellingham’s first hearing examiner at the 6/12/2000 meeting, vote #71. The new two-year term expires on 8/24/2014. (AB19672) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

171. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $121,215 to Long Painting of Kent to reline the College Way reservoir? The interior of the approximately 8,000 square foot concrete tank will be sealed with a polyurea coating and lining system. The city has the option of having the outside of the concrete lid coated. There were 81 solicitations viewed and three bids were received. The low bid was also nearly $30,000 under the city engineer’s estimate. (AB19675) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

172. Appropriate $800,588 for goods and services checks issued from July 27 through August 2, 2012? (AB19676) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

173. Add a chapter on the environment to the 2006 Bellingham Comprehensive Plan? (Public hearing held at the May 14 meeting.) Chapter 9 – Environmental Elements will consolidate documents related to environmental issues so they will be easier to find. Since the adoption of the 2006 plan, eight new goals and 10 new policies have been developed to address environmental issues. The new chapter will update the plan, incorporate Shoreline Master Plan goals/policies and maintain compliance with GMA goals to safeguard the environment. AB19574 (Ordinance 2012-08-040) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

174. Repeal the Fairhaven Neighborhood Plan and replace it with the Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan? (Public hearing held at the June 4 meeting.) Two amendments were approved at first and second readings on August 6. 1. Reduce height limit for the area west of 13th Street from McKenzie to Larrabee from 56 to 42 feet? Amendment approved 4-3, Terry Bornemann, Cathy Lehman and Jack Weiss opposed. 2. Permit hotel/motel use in the area south of Harris Avenue between the waterfront and 8th Street? The area is north of Larrabee Avenue. Amendment approved 6-1, Terry Bornemann opposed. AB19590 (Ordinance 2012-08-041) Amended and approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

175. Authorize the mayor to accept an $800.00 federal grant to purchase portable breath testing machines? The Alcohol Traffic Safety and Drunk Driving Prevention grant will be used by the police department to purchase two Alco-Sensor FST portable breath testers. The goal of the program is to prevent impaired driving by youths. AB19656 (Ordinance 2012-08-042) Approved 6-0, Michael Lilliquist excused.

Action Taken at September 10, 2012 Meeting

Shall the council:

176. Authorize the sale of the property located at 2404 Meridian Street for $180,500? At the 4/16/2012 meeting, vote #74, the council voted to accept property from Allyn C. Deets. Mr. Deets willed his interest in four pieces of property to the city on the condition that proceeds from the sale of the property be used for Fountain Plaza Park; the park is bounded by Meridian, Broadway and Monroe Street. At the 5/7/2012 meeting, vote #86, the council voted to sell the four pieces of property and proceeds from the sale be used to start a maintenance/operations fund for the park. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 5-2, Jack Weiss and Stan Snapp opposed.

177. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $2,684,819 to Interwest Construction of Burlington for the central basin pilot project? This inflow and infiltration project is an experiment to see if restoring the old storm and sewer systems is a better way to contain peak wet-weather water flows than efforts to contain them or expand treatment facilities to deal with them. It includes rehabilitation and reduction techniques such as downspout and catch basin connection removal and restoration of mains, manholes and private sewer lateral lines. The project area lies between Kentucky on the south and E. Illinois on the north, between Dean on the west and Franklin on the east, with about 80 percent of the properties participating. The low bid was $1,119,132 below the engineer’s estimate. There were 124 solicitations viewed and eight bids were received. (AB19678 ) Approved 7-0

178. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $45.02 per lid to Mohawk Metal of Eugene, OR for meter box lids? The lids are to be used for the mandatory water metering program. In 2012, the city expects to purchase 1,500 lids, so the total cost would be $67,530. The state has mandated that all water service be metered by 2017. There were 42 solicitations viewed and five bids were received. (AB19681) Approved 7-0

179. Appropriate $4,796,139 for goods and services checks issued from August 3 through August 23, 2012? (AB19682/19683/19684) Approved 7-0

180. Appropriate $5,223,711 for payroll checks issued from July 26 through August 24, 2012? (AB19685/19686) Approved 7-0

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