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Past Issues

Whatcom Watch Online
Bellingham City Council

March 2015

Watching Government

Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer

Action Taken at January 12, 2015 Meeting

Shall the council:

1. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $2,457,265 to Tiger Construction of Bellingham for the Federal Building renovation project? The building was acquired from the federal government for $1 at the 3/15/2004 meeting, vote #51. This is the second phase of a multi-year $18 million historic preservation project at the Federal Building which will provide seismic upgrades, electrical and mechanical improvements, and construction of city government office space throughout the first floor of the building. The first phase of the project was for $1,489,000 and was approved by the council at the 4/14/2008 meeting, vote #89. There were 109 bid solicitations and four bids were received. (AB20691) Approved 7-0

2. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $110,765 to Hytech Roofing of Lynden for the Whatcom Museum roof replacement? The roof on the Whatcom Museum Syre Center has reached the end of its useful life and requires replacement. Minor repair can no longer fix leaks, resulting in water damage. There were 49 bid solicitations and four bids were received. (AB20694) Approved 7-0

3. Authorize the mayor to sign a renewal agreement with the Bellingham Housing Authority for police services? The housing authority will pay the city $100,987 and provide office space for a drug and crime prevention officer to work directly with staff and residents of housing authority properties and surrounding neighborhoods. The officer will provide both law enforcement and crime prevention services such as setting up block watch meetings, coordinating with the police department crime prevention units in targeted neighborhoods, working to locate drug dealers and providing counseling to juveniles at risk of drug involvement, doing a weekly inspection of multi-family developments and filing monthly reports with the housing authority and an annual report with the city. The officer will be available to residents and staff Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This agreement runs from 1/14/2015 through 1/13/2016, it continues an ongoing program and may be extended if both parties agree. (AB20696) Approved 7-0

4. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreements with Whatcom County and the city of Lynden for continued use of Bellingham’s Vactor Waste transfer facility? The facility, located at 2140 Division Street, handles street wastes from roadway and storm drainage systems in compliance with federal, state and local environmental regulations. Currently, the city’s Vactor Waste transfer facility is the only facility in Whatcom County that is an approved solid waste transfer facility for roadway and storm drain solid waste. Each user pays for the transfer costs as well as a proportionate share of all operation and maintenance costs for the facility. The agreements terminate on 12/31/2015. (AB20695/20697) Approved 7-0

5. Authorize the mayor to sign an amendment to the jail services agreement with Whatcom County? The county has proposed extend the terms of the agreement for one year, until 12/31/2015, to allow the parties time to negotiate a successor agreement. (AB20698) Approved 7-0

6. Appropriate $5,633,760 for city goods and services checks issued from December 5, 2014 through January 1, 2015? (AB20699/20700/20701) Approved 7-0

7. Appropriate $5,505053 for payroll checks issued from November 26 through December 24, 2014? (AB20702/20703) Approved 7-0

8. Amend the design review process for new and existing development? (Public hearing held at December 15 meeting.) The work involves amending the review process by which existing adopted design standards are applied to new development and alterations of existing development. The amendments will implement Lean process recommendations that will streamline and standardize the design review process. These amendments will eliminate unnecessary or redundant steps, making the design review process faster, less complex, more understandable, less expensive and of greater benefit to the city. There are no changes to design standards proposed. AB20677 (Ordinance 2015-01-001) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at the January 26, 2015 Meeting

Shall the council:

9. Authorize the mayor to sign a $25,000 settlement agreement in the litigation matter between the city of Bellingham v. Daniel Bennett and the Department of Labor and Industries? Daniel Bennett holds the position of police officer with the city of Bellingham. The city acknowledges that he has a catagory 2 low back impairment and will dismiss its pending appeal of an industrial insurance claim. Mr. Bennett will resign from his position and waive all claims against the city. (Discussed in Executive Session) Approved 7-0

10. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $293,263 to Stremler Gravel of Lynden for the McLeod Road culvert replacement project? The culvert will allow fish passage at Baker Creek. Work includes construction of an aluminum bottomless box culvert, footings, headwalls, wingwalls, backfill, paving, asphalt, curb, gutters, sidewalk, utility protection, erosion control, traffic control, detour, stream restoration and other work. (AB20705) Approved 7-0

11. Approve the mayor’s two-year appointment of Sharon Rice as the Bellingham Hearing Examiner? Dawn Sturwold was Bellingham’s first hearing examiner; she retired on 6/30/2014. At the 6/23/2014 meeting, vote #124, Sharon Rice was approved as a temporary hearing examiner. She provided hearing examiner services for eight cities and three counties in the state. It is anticipated that there will be significant cost savings with the appointment of a contract hearing examiner. (AB20710) Approved 7-0

12. Request Council President Knutson to sign a letter to the Washington Legislature on the council’s behalf? The letter, drafted by the mayor, supports House Bill 1472 and Senate Bill 5405, establishing clear guidelines on the regulation of toxic chemicals. (Mayor’s Report) Approved 5-2, Michael Lilliquist, Roxanne Murphy opposed.

13. Request Council President Knutson to sign a letter to Senators Murray and Cantwell on the council’s behalf? The letter, addressed and regarding the letter by the Lummi Nation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requiring a permit for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal shipping facility. The letter asks that if all mitigations listed in the letter cannot be met, then the permit should be denied. (Mayor’s Report) Approved 7-0

14. Approve the mayor’s reappointment of Jono Manion 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. Mr. Manion was first appointed to the committee at the 1/23/2012 meeting, vote #9. The second term ends on 1/23/2018. (AB20711) Approved 7-0

15, Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of $173,775 to Cowden Gravel of Bellingham for aggregate gravel materials? These materials are used daily by public works for trench backfill, pipe bedding, grading alleys, road shoulders and sand for mortar. The city must pick up and haul the materials at a cost to the city of $2.15 per ton. The bid price by Cowden Gravel was $125 per ton. The contract is for one year with an option to extend for up to five years There were 32 bid solicitations and five bids were received. (AB20713) Approved 7-0

16. Authorize the mayor to sign a two-year contract with Whatcom County, not to exceed $89,000, for jail offender work crews? Compensation will be at the rate of $340 per eight-hour or $425 per ten-hour day per offender work crew. The tasks include: sidewalk/curb sod/grass cleaning, tree well weeding, roundabout and traffic calming islands, cleanup of transient camps, stream clean up/trash removal and invasive vegetation removal. Whatcom County will furnish a crew averaging five workers with all necessary tools and equipment as well as a sheriff department supervisor. The contract runs from 1/1/2015 through 12/31/2016. (AB20715) Approved 7-0

17. Authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the Whatcom Council of Governments? The council was formed to study regional and governmental problems of mutual interest and concern and to formulate recommendations for review and action by the member counties and/or cities legislative body. This agreement amends the original agreement dated 1/13/1977. (AB20716) Approved 7-0

18. Appropriate $2,908,457 for payroll checks issued from December 25, 2014 through January 9, 2015? (AB20717) Approved 7-0

19. Appropriate $4,521,225 for goods and services checks issued from January 2 through January 15, 2015? (AB20718/20719) Approved 7-0

20. Grant final plat approval for Division 2 of the Stonecrest plat? The development contains 68 units, 46 single-family units, three duplex units and four multi units on 9.85 acres. The property was annexed into the city of Bellingham at the 12/8/2008 meeting, vote #339. Division 2 of the Stonecrest Long Plat, located in Area 6 of the King Mountain neighborhood near the intersection of Bakerview and Irongate; consists of four multifamily lots that are served by public utilities. AB20714 (Resolution 2015-01) Approved 7-0

21. Extend an emergency ordinance establishing interim zoning for the cultivation of medical marijuana for personal use and in collective gardens? (Public hearing held) At the 7/1/2013 meeting, vote #142, the council voted to passed emergency ordinance to impose a moratorium on the establishment of facilities producing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana. At the 8/12/2013 meeting, vote #176, the council adopted an emergency interim zoning ordinance to allow staff time to study the issues concerning recreational marijuana and for the state to adopt final rules. It was renewed at the 6/23/2014 meeting, vote #135, and the 12/15/2014 meeting, vote #257. The renewal will allow time for the State Legislature to resolve conflicting rules. AB20704 (Ordinance 2014-12-066) Approved 7-0

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