Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at March 17, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
28. Nominate and appoint a candidate to fill the District 2, Position B, vacancy on the Whatcom County Council? Sam Crawford resigned effective 3/1/2015; the council is charged with approving a replacement for the remainder of the term. Three individuals applied for the vacancy: Satpal Sidhu, Jim Cozad and Kathy Kershner. Jim Cozad received one vote1 and Satpal Sidhu received six votes. The position will appear on the 2015 primary and general election ballots. (AB2015-071) Appointed: Satpal Sidhu
29. Fill a vacancy on the Solid Waste Advisory Committee? Troy Lautenbach applied for the Waste Collection Industry position. Mr. Lautenback is the owner of T&T Recovery/Lautenbach Industries. He was a member of the committee from 1/2003 through 12/2008. The three-year term ends on 1/31/2018. (AB2015-079) Appointed 6-0
30. Authorize the executive to sign a $99,721 contract with TranTech Engineering of Bellevue to select a replacement for the Jordan Creek/Slater Road culvert? The culvert is seven-feet high by 10-feet wide and 140 feet long. It is 800 feet west of the Slater Road and Elder Road intersection. The corrugated metal culvert has deteriorated beyond repair and acts as barrier to the movement of fish. The contract covers preliminary engineering work and analysis for the selection of a permanent alternative. The contract expires on 12/31/2015. (AB2015-093) Approved 6-0
31. Authorize the executive to approve the spending of up to $500,000 from Alpine Products of Auburn for waterborne traffic line paint? The purchase is on an as-needed basis and will use the Washington State Contract list. The state contract was awarded to Ennis Paint of Ennis, Texas. The subcontract for political subdivisions is Alpine Products. The 2014 expenditures for traffic-line paint was $376,346. The contract expires on 11/30/2015. (AB2015-094) Approved 6-0
32. Authorize the executive to approve the spending of up to $100,000 for reflective glass-beads from Alpine Products of Auburn? The reflective glass material will be added to traffic paint and purchased as needed using the Washington State contract list. The average expenditure over the past four years is $60,679. The contract expires on 12/31/2015. (AB2015-095) Approved 6-0
33. Request the executive enter into a discussion with BSNF Railway to determine the establishment of a railroad quiet zone? Residents near the Yacht Club Road appealed to the council that a quite zone be designed at the nearby railroad crossing. The residents are interested in funding a significant portion. The conversation will determine the necessary safety improvements and generate a preliminary cost estimate for developing a quite zone at the Yacht Club Road railroad crossing. (AB2015-088) Approved 6-0
34. Authorize the executive to apply for a Community Development Block Grant for $123,078? (Public hearing held) The public hearing involves two matters. The first covers an application of $123,078 for a 2015 Public Services Grant to provide services to individuals with low and moderate incomes in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. The Opportunity Council will administer this grant and oversee the distribution of services. The Opportunity Council is required to apply through Whatcom County for the grant. The second was a block grant of $750,000 to the Bellingham Food Bank. AB2015-087 (Resolution 2015-006) Approved 6-0
35. Set March 31 as the public hearing date to authorize the sale of county tax title property by negotiation? TR2015-01 is located near the Mosquito Lake Road and was acquired by the county on 12/14/1963. The physical nature of the land and/or legal restrictions make development of the property impractical. The property cannot be sold for less than principal taxes, interest, penalties, title search, and foreclosure costs of $750. AB2015-091 (Resolution 2015-007) Approved 6-0
36. Set March 31 as the public hearing date to authorize the sale of county tax title property by negotiation? TR2015-02 is located in the Deming township and was acquired by the county on 12/15/1994. The physical nature of the land and/or legal restrictions make development of the property impractical. The property cannot be sold for less than principal taxes, interest, penalties, title search, and foreclosure costs of $917. AB2015-092 (Resolution 2015-008) Approved 6-0
37. Approve a change in the color of road signs? Since the early 80s, county road sign colors have been black on yellow. County road signs will be changed to black letters on a white background in order to comply with changes required by the Federal Highway Administration. AB2015-096 (Resolution 2015-009) Approved 6-0
Action Taken at March 31, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
38. Appoint Chuck Gelwicks to fill a vacancy on the Sumas/Everson/Nooksack Flood Subzone? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) Mr. Gelwicks of Everson is employed in the logging industry. The four-year term expires 1/31/2019. Three of the five positions on the Sumas/Everson/Nooksack Flood Subzone are currently vacant. (AB2015-089) Appointed 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
39. Confirm the executive’s appointment of Jon Hutchings as Public Works Director? Mr. Hutchings served as the Whatcom County Assistant Public Works Director from 2007-2012. Since 2012, he has been employed as assistant public works director for the city of Bellingham. He has also served as the executive director for Central Nevada Regional Water Authority and the natural resources manager for Eureka County, Nevada. He holds a B.S. and PhD in soil science, and a M.S. in hydrogeology. The appointment is effective 4/27/2015. (AB2015-102) Confirmed 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
40. Authorize the executive to sign a $9,622 contract (amendment #2) with Foster Pepper PLLC of Seattle to provide legal services related to phosphorus and bacteria in Lake Whatcom? The county entered into the original contract on 8/28/2013. The state Department of Ecology recently released a Water Quality Improvement Report and Implementation Strategy for Lake Whatcom. The report contains conditions that are of concern to Whatcom County. The County Council is currently in dispute resolution with the state. At the 1/13/2015 meeting, vote #6, the council authorized the executive to sign a separate contract with Foster Pepper to provide legal services to the county during the dispute resolution process. The amended amount compensates Foster Pepper for legal services provided in the dispute resolution process prior to 2015. This amendment brings the total contract to $39,122. The contract expires on 3/30/2015. (AB2015-106) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
41. Authorize the executive to accept a $332,281 federal/state grant for the acquisition of flood-prone residential properties in Marietta? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) Total funding for the acquisitions are $379,750, with $47,469 coming from the flood control district. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program allows for state and federal funds to be used to voluntarily acquire flood-prone properties and the removal of all structures upon them. After acquisition and demolition, the three residential properties in Marietta will be restricted to open space status in perpetuity. The grant agreement provides 87.5 percent reimbursement for the project cost. (AB2015-107) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
42. Authorize the executive to sign a contract with GeoTest Services of Arlington (amendment #1) to add construction field inspection services to the material testing and geotechnical services? At the 5/6/2014 meeting,vote #92, the council approved a $330,000 contract with GeoTest Services to provide material testing, inspection, and geotechnical design services for the annual construction program. Because of a substantial number of construction projects proposed for 2015 additional resources are required to supplement county inspection personnel. This amendment does not increase the amount of the original contract. The contract expires on 12/31/2015. (AB2015-108) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
43. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $1,304,681 to WRS (Western Refinery Services) of Ferndale for 2015 hot mix asphalt pre-level at various locations? This is part of annual maintenance and repair on county road projects. The proposed work is for 13,968 tons of asphalt hot mix on parts of 18 county roads and 4,440 tons on six alternate roads and includes signing and traffic control, pavement repair and seeded lawn installation for a total of 18.6 miles. A request for bid was advertised and three bids were received. (AB2015-109) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
44. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $1,120,000 to McAsphalt Industries Ltd. of Toronto, Canada, for the purchase of asphaltic emulsions for the county’s chip sealing program? This is part of annual maintenance and repair on county road projects and is provided to local governments on a reimbursable basis. Annual expenditures over the past six years: 2009–$469,935; 2010–$574,666; 2011–$632,585; 2012–$951,942; 2013–$1,061,465 and $1,034,623. A request for bid was advertised and two bids were received. (AB2015-110) Approved 5-1, Pete Kremen absent, Barbara Brenner2 opposed.
45. Authorize the executive to award two low bids totaling $434,422 to purchase 14 vehicles? Legacy Ford of Pasco was the low bidder at $80,942 for two 1-ton trucks with 2-3 yard dump body. One truck will replace a 1999 Ford truck with 106,669 miles and one will be an additional vehicle. The vehicles were advertised and two bids were received. Blade Chevrolet of Mount Vernon was the low bidder at $353,480 for twelve ½-ton extended cab four-wheel drive pickups. They are replacing 12 ½-ton trucks with milage from 137,883 to 101,124, respectively. The vehicles were advertised and three bids were received. (AB2015-111/112) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
46. Authorize the executive to approve the spending of up to $567,924 to purchase a vactor truck (catch basin cleaner), light bars and accessories? The Washington State bid procurement list will be used to purchase a 2015 Vactor J6 Plus five axle Kenworth truck for $467,218 from Owen Equipment of Kent. The vactor truck will also be used on road maintenance projects. The Oregon State bid procurement list will be used to purchase light bars and accessories used by the sheriff’s department from the McLoughlin & Eardley Corporation of Tigard, OR, on an as needed basis up to $100,000. Annual light bars and accessories expenditures over the past three years: 2012-$5,882; 2013-$9,361 and 2014-$67,365. (AB2015-113/114) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
47. Authorize the sale of county tax title property by negotiation? (Public hearing held) TR2015-01 is located near the Mosquito Lake Road and Valley Highway (State No. 9) and was acquired by the county on 12/14/1963; the physical nature of the land and/or legal restrictions make development of the property impractical. The property cannot be sold for less than principal taxes, interest, penalties, title search, and foreclosure costs of $750. AB2015-091A (Resolution 2015-010) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
48. Authorize the sale of county tax title property by negotiation? (Public hearing held) TR2015-02 is located in the Deming Township and was acquired by the county on 12/15/1994; the physical nature of the land and/or legal restrictions make development of the property impractical. The property cannot be sold for less than principal taxes, interest, penalties, title search, and foreclosure costs of $917. AB2015-092A (Resolution 2015-11) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
49. Approve the 2015 Whatcom County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and amended appendix? At the 8/13/2002 meeting, vote #154, the council approved the first Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy but it was not updated within five years of adoption, making it invalid under U.S. Economic Development Administration rules. A valid Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is required for local governments’ eligibility to receive public works funding. In 2013, the council entered into an interlocal agreement with the Whatcom Council of Governments, which would be responsible for updating and maintaining the development strategy and associated project list. WCOG has completed the update, and County Council approval is required for its submission to the Economic Development Administration. AB2015-103 (Resolution 2015-012) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
50. Amend the 2014 resolution approving a 2015 salary schedule and policies for unrepresented Whatcom County employees? A salary schedule and policies for unrepresented county employees was adopted at the 12/9/2014 meeting, vote #260. This amendment clarifies language covering Court Commissioners and the realignment of positions. These amendments become effective 4/1/2015. AB2015-104 (Resolution 2015-013) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
51. Consider a petition to vacate a portion of Delta Line Road? On 1/28/2015, Scott/Iris Loomer and Joseph/Dorothy Massett submitted a petition to the county for a vacation of an abandoned section of Delta Line Road. Scott/Iris Loomer are owners of lands abutting the west side of abandoned Delta Line Road and Joseph/Dorothy Massett are owners of lands abutting the southeast side of abandoned Delta Line Road. The county engineer will investigate and report to the council on the proposed vacation, so that a public hearing can be held upon the matter. AB2015-115 (Resolution 2015-014) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
52. Allow marijuana production, processing and retailing as authorized by Washington State Initiative 502? (Public hearing held) At the 4/22/2014 meeting, vote #88, the council adopted interim zoning regulations for recreational marijuana uses, including retailing, processing, and production and at the 10/14/2014 meeting, vote #190, the council voted to extend the interim zoning regulations. That extension is due to expire on 4/25/2015. Presently, the county has accepted nine administrative use permits, 15 commercial building permits, and four commercial tenant improvement permits for recreational marijuana uses. This ordinance would permanently adopt current requirements outlined in the interim code approved at the 10/14/2014 meeting with several modifications: clarification on setback rules involving community centers and residential structures; requirements for “landscape buffers” for marijuana processing and production facilities within rural- and forestry-zoned districts; require indoor processing and production facilities to install odor control systems prepared by a state-licensed engineer; amend definitions of marijuana processing, production, and retail to include “facility;” and require signage to be less than 1600 inches. AB2015-099 (Ordinance 2015-006) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.
53 Amend the 2015 budget (request #3) in the amount of $304,500? Appropriate: $4,650 for an illuminated flagpole honoring veterans at Hovander Park; $119,850 for radar equipment to enforce traffic safety, vehicle auto body repair, and border security overtime related to Operation Stonegarden for the sheriff’s office, respectively; and $180,000 for additional Nooksack Water Treatment Plant upgrades. AB2015-098 (Ordinance 2015-007) Approved 6-0, Pete Kremen absent.