Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at April 14, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
54. Approve a $10,000 contact (amendment #7) with Van Ness Feldman Gordon/Derr law firm of Seattle for legal representation in a Growth Management Hearing Board case? The law firm is representing the county in the various stages of its legal defense of Ordinance No. 2012-032 before the Growth Management Hearings Board. The firm will offer additional preparation assistance to the county on an as needed basis. The original contract was approved at the 12/4/2012 meeting, vote #222. This amendment brings the total contract to $150,000; it expires on 12/14/2015. (AB2014-136B) Approved 6-1, Carl Weimer opposed.
55. Authorize the executive to sign a $148,504 contract with Siemens Industry of Issaquah for technical support at nine county buildings? The contract is for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning support services at the Courthouse, jail, Northwest annex, Lottie annex, Central Shop, jail work center, East Whatcom Regional Resource Center, Forest Street annex and Civic Center annex. The contract includes educational classes, 32 hours of annual specialist time, emergency online and telephone technical support, software support and system performance upgrades. The contract commences 4/1/2015 and expires 3/31/2020. (AB2015-127) Approved 7-0
56. Authorize the executive to approve expenditures up to $500,000 for traffic line paint? Whatcom County will obtain the paint from Sherwin Williams, Inc., (through agreement with Lewis County), Alpine Products of Auburn, the local distributor of Ennis Paint of Ennis, Texas (through agreement with Pierce County). Due to supply issues in 2010-2011, the county is sourcing paint from multiple vendors. Traffic paint is used on an as-needed basis. Expenditures in 2014 were $376,346. (AB2015-128/129) Approved 7-0
57. Approve a settlement agreement related to a Growth Management Hearings Board case? The settlement is between Whatcom County and Marco A. Boulos, Marie G. Boulos, M.B. Boulos,\ and Yanolla G. Boulos; Douglas Pullar; Futurwise (a Washington non-profit corporation); Eric Hirst, Laura Leigh Brakke, Wendy Harris and David Stalheim. It resolves and settles claims associated with Skagit County Superior Court Case #13-2-00211-9, Whatcom County Superior Court Case #s 12-2-00335-8, 13-2-00289-9 and 13-2-00286-4, as well as Growth Management Hearings Board Case #11-2-0010c. (AB2015-135) Whatcom County prevailed in Superior Court. Approved 7-0
58. Finalize a revised system of assessment for Consolidated Drainage Improvement District No. 21? The county engineer requests a revised assessment system for the purposes of revenue collection. The proposed revision to the assessment system will use a ratio formula using derived-benefits from land and its proportional acreage within the district. The system revision is being proposed to assist with improving the assessment and revenue collections process. AB2015-100 (Ordinance 2015-008) Adopted 7-0
59. Increase the Dakota Creek Bridge #500 project based budget (amendment #2) by $450,000? The Dakota Creek Bridge seismic retrofit project was adopted at the 2/11/2014 meeting, vote #36, with an estimated cost of $3,000,000. Due to on-site archaeological discoveries and environmental permitting, an additional $880,000 was added at the 11/25/2014 meeting, vote #217. The low-bid for the construction phase increased initial project estimates by $450,000. This amendment brings the total to $4,048,604. AB2015-120 (Ordinance 2015-009) Adopted 6-1, Ken Mann opposed.
60. Increase the Slater Road intersections project based budget (amendment #1) by $990,000? The project is located between the Imhoff and Ferndale roads. The project-based budget was adopted at the 2/11/2014 meeting, vote #37, at an estimated cost of $2,740,000. The county was awarded a federal grant of $990,000 for the project. Due to federal funding requirements, the grant cannot be applied to the Slater Road intersections project because of the Lummi Nation’s “preferred bidder” status. Adding local funding of $990,000 will allow the total budget to remain $2,740,000. The federal grant will be applied to the Birch Bay Drive and pedestrian facility project. AB2015-121 (Ordinance 2015-010) Approved 7-0
61. Amend the Whatcom County Purchasing System? These amendments will provide public greater transparency in county expenditures by limiting the power of the county executive to amend and execute capital improvement projects without council approval. Contracts for professional services exceeding $20,000, bids exceeding $50,0000 and all real property leases must be submitted to the County Council for approval. AB2015-042 (Ordinance 2015-011) Substitute adopted 7-0
62. Amend the 2015 budget (request #4) in the amount of $1,464,000? Appropriate: $20,000 for outside legal counsel related to county cases before the Growth Management Hearings Board; $4,000 for the Parks & Recreation’s youth shooting program; $990,000 to fund the Slater Road intersections project; $450,000 to fund the Dakota Creek Bridge No. 500 project; $71,988 for a community programs coordinator in the Superior Court Administration. AB2015-119 (Ordinance 2015-012) Approved 7-0
63. Repeal the 1994 Eliza Island plan and amend provisions in the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code relating to the plan? The revised subarea plan complies with the Growth Management Act. The plan was adopted in 1994 prior to the first Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan adopted under the Growth Management Act. The 1994 plan did not address urban growth areas, contained different land use designations, was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan’s rural element and had a different planning period. AB2014-196 (Ordinance 2015-013) Approved 7-0
64. Repeal the 1991 South Fork Valley subarea plan and amend provisions in the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan relating to subarea plans? The revised subarea plan complies with the Growth Management Act. The plan was adopted in 1991, prior to the first Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan adopted under the Growth Management Act. The 1991 plan did not address urban growth areas, contained different land use designations, was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan’s rural element and had a different planning period. AB2014-197 (Ordinance 2015-014) Approved 7-0
65. Repeal the 1982 Lake Whatcom subarea plan and amend provisions in the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan relating to subarea plans? The revised subarea plan complies with the Growth Management Act. The plan was adopted in 1982, prior to the first Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan adopted under the Growth Management Act. The 1982 plan did not address urban growth areas, contained different land use designations, was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan’s rural element and had a different planning period. AB2014-198 (Ordinance 2015-015) Approved 7-0
66. Amend the Comprehensive Plan regarding surface mine permitting, the mineral resource lands designation process, and mineral resource lands designation criteria? Proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments include: changes to general mineral extraction policies related to adverse impacts, mineral resource land designation and mineral resource land designation criteria. Proposed zoning code amendments include: shifting from administrative approval to conditional use permitting; increasing distance and permitting requirements for surface mining associated with forestry, rural and residential zones; increasing noxious weed control requirements; establishing limits on the area of active mineral extraction; requiring environmental assessment in the initial stage of designating mineral resource lands instead of having that requirement at the second stage when someone applies for a permit; and requiring compliance with permits and regulations for neighboring mines of common beneficial ownership. AB2014-344 (Ordinance 2015-016) Approved 7-0
Action Taken at April 28, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
67. Delay the implementation of amendments to the Whatcom County Purchasing System? At the 4/14/2015 meeting, vote #61, the council voted 7-0 to provide the public with greater transparency in county expenditures by limiting the power of the Whatcom County Executive to amend and execute capital improvement projects without council approval. Whatcom County Executive John Louws and Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor Daniel Gibson convinced the council majority to delay the implementation of the amendments (Ordinance 2015-011) until 10/1/2015. (AB2015-042) Approved 5-2, Barbara Brenner1 and Ken Mann opposed.
68. Fill two vacancies on the the Sumas/Everson/Nooksack Flood Subzone? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) There were three applicants: Jerry Juergens, Larry Mades, and Thomas Swartwood. The four-year term expires 1/31/2019. (AB2015-089) Jerry Juergens and Larry Mades were appointed.
69. Authorize the executive to sign a lease agreement with Percy Hoekema, dba Evernook Dairy of Everson, for property located at 7435 Emmerson Road, Everson? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) This agreement extends a $1,016 per year lease agreement that will allow tenants to continue using 6.35 acres of property for agricultural purposes. The agreement expires on 5/1/2020. (AB2015-139) Approved 7-0
70. Authorize the executive to sign a $30,000 contract with Veda Environmental of Bellingham to provide facilitation services for the WRIA 1 planning unit meetings? (Council acting as the Flood Control District Board of Supervisors) The contract will provide the county with: facilitation and preparation of materials for nine WRIA planning meetings, 16 interviews with planning unit members with a summary report, updates of the work plan and technical drafting and review of documents. The contract expires on 2/29/2016. (AB2015-140) Approved 7-0
71. Authorize the executive to accept a $47,247 state grant (amendment #1) for solid waste compliance management and littering and illegal dumping enforcement activities? State grants have helped fund solid waste management programs since 1996. The 2013-2015 grant was authorized at the 10/8/2013 meeting, vote #170, included $154,740 in state funds and $51,580 in required local matching funds. The two-year amendment brings total state funding to $201,987, with total local matching funds of $67,329. The grant expires on 6/30/2015. (AB2015-141) Approved 7-0
72. Authorize the executive to sign a $50,000 contract (amendment #1) with Bellingham Whatcom Tourism to amend the scope and compensation for the professional marketing assessment? At the 12/9/2014 meeting, vote #249, the council authorized $250,000 for the marketing assessment. This amendment increases the scope of the project to include a community assessment, to be conducted by Roger Brooks International, of Peoria, AZ. This amendment brings the total contract to $300,000. AB2015-142) Approved 7-0
73. Authorize the executive to sign a $38,634 contract (amendment #2) with Catholic Community Services to provide support services for chronically homeless individuals? The original contract was approved at the 11/26/2013 meeting, vote #211. A 2014 count showed 553 persons were homeless in Whatcom County. This amendment will add a case manager who receive housing vouchers funded by the City of Bellingham for 77 individuals or households. This amendment brings the total contract to $326,736 and it expires on 12/31/2015. (AB2015-143) Approved 7-0
74. Authorize the executive to sign a $67,500 contract with Edge Analytical Labs of Bellingham for water quality analytical testing services? The county monitors approximately 90 county coastal drainage sites. This contract is for surface water samples to be analyzed for fecal coliform bacteria and E. Coli at between 25 and 45 sites and 10 sites in the Drayton Harbor area. The contract expires on 12/31/2015. (AB2015-144) Approved 7-0
75. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $173,755 to Blythe Plumbing & Heating of Bellingham for an upgrade to the Central Shop vehicle exhaust system? The contract includes complete repair and installation of 10 exhaust hose-equipped vehicle bays at the south end of the Central Shop. The work was advertised and two bids were received. (AB2015-145) Approved 7-0
76. Approve the draft public participation plan for amendments to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulation? The Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulation Amendments are required by the state under the Growth Management Act. The county is currently updating the plan, which requires ongoing public input. The county undertook public outreach efforts in March 2015 through email and newspaper notices, and a public hearing on 4/9/2015. The Public Participation Plan will continue to guide public input for the process. (AB2015-149) Approved 7-0
77. Amend the 2015 flood control district budget (request #1) in the amount of $80,000? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The county entered into a dispute resolution process with the state of Washington related to conditions contained within the Water Quality Improvement Report and Implementation Strategy for Lake Whatcom. This amendment will provide funding for ongoing legal and technical assistance. AB2015-133 (Resolution 2015-016) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner 2 opposed.
78. Grant a non-exclusive franchise to Sound Internet Services of Bellingham to provide telecommunication services? (Public hearing held) The new franchise agreement will allow Sound Internet Services a 25-year non-exclusive franchise to access and use county rights-of-way to provide telecommunications services. AB2014-201A (Ordinance 2015-017) Adopted 7-0
79. Establish parking restriction on Bennett Drive? (Public hearing held) The county sheriff’s office requested that a “no parking anytime” zone be established on the west side of Bennett Drive, from Airport Drive to Cherrywood Avenue, due to unsafe parking practices. A county engineer’s office study demonstrated that parked cars impose visibility restrictions on local residents backing out of their driveways. AB2015-118 (Ordinance 2015-018) Adopted 7-0
80. Amend the 2015 budget (request #5) in the amount of $136,500? Appropriate: $6,500 for clean air equipment; $80,000 for Lake Whatcom Total Maximum Daily Load legal and technical assistance. Reappropriate: $50,000 for a tourism-related community assessment project. AB2015-132 (Ordinance 2015-019) Adopted 7-0