Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Sunny Beaver
Action Taken at June 9, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
95. Fill one vacancy on the Whatcom County Planning Commission? There were two applicants for the District 3 vacancy: Michael Bersch and Kelvin Barton. Michael Bersch is a resident of Ferndale and an attorney. Kelvin Barton is a resident of Birch Bay and has 34 years experience in land use planning and project management. He assisted in writing and updating the comprehensive plan for the city of Everett. He is also a member of the Birch Bay Advisory Committee. The partial term expires on 1/31/2018. Michael Bersch withdrew his name from consideration a day before the vote. (AB2015-168) Kelvin Barton was appointed.
96. Grant a one-year extension to the Lincoln Road long subdivision? (Public hearing held) At the 5/12/2009 meeting, vote #109, the County Council approved the construction of 22 single-family homes on Lincoln Road in the Blaine Urban Growth Area. The approval included improvements to Lincoln Road, which was part of the six-year transportation improvement plan. Due to the subsequent removal of Lincoln Road from the transportation improvement plan, and other changing project conditions, the applicant was granted site modifications to the planned unit development, the long subdivision, and a one-year extension. (AB2015-172) Approved 7-0
97. Authorize the executive to sign cooperation agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for repair of the left and right bank of Bertrand Creek? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The total cost of the left bank repair is $377,200, the county’s share is 20 percent or $75,440. The total cost of the right bank repair is $89,700 with the county’s share 20 percent or $17,940. Several winter high water events damaged 450 linear feet of the left bank levee and 575 linear feet of the right bank levee. Repairs consist of removing sod and topsoil and replacing the underlying spall layer, placing erosion-resistant geogrid, and installing riprap armor rock layers. (AB2015-178/179) Approved 7-0
98. Authorize the executive to sign a $149,000 contract with Watershed Science & Engineering of Seattle to provide final designs for the High Creek sediment management plan? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The purpose of the contract is to support project construction in 2016 and to address the chronic sediment accumulation in the lower reach of High Creek. The sediment build-up has resulted in flooding of nearby private residences, SR-542, and the Mount Baker Highway. The contract commenced on 5/7/2015 and expires on 12/31/2016. (AB2015-180) Approved 7-0
99. Authorize the executive to sign a $63,762 contract with GeoEngineers of Bellingham for design assistance of the Birch Point collaborative drainage system repair project? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) The contract is for design services that address the conveyance of stormwater from a discharge point along Semiahmoo Drive to the beach. The contract commenced on 5/29/2015 and expires on 12/31/2016. (AB2015-181) Approved 7-0
100. Approve the application by the sheriff’s office for a $14,655 federal grant? The application is for protective ballistic vests. (AB2015-182) Approved 7-0
101. Authorize the executive to sign a $231,383 contract with Catholic Community Services to provide resident support services? Catholic Community Services built a forty-two unit apartment complex in downtown Bellingham to supply affordable permanent housing to homeless individuals suffering from behavioral health problems and other homeless individuals who require supportive services in order to remain housed. The contract money will provide continuous facility-based staffing to ensure a safe, supportive living environment conducive to housing stability and to foster a positive relationship with neighbors and businesses. The contract commenced on 5/26/2015 and expires on 6/30/2016. (AB2015-184) Approved 7-0
102. Authorize the executive to award low bid of $75,000 to Herron Valley, Inc. (dba Bayside Services) of Bellingham for street sweeping and cleaning services in the Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish watersheds? The work includes twice a month cleaning of certain roads in the Lake Whatcom watershed during October and November. The bid allows for three renewals at the same annual amount. The work was advertised and three bids were received. (AB2015-185)
103. Approve the 2015 Whatcom County Integrated Vegetation Management Plan and discuss Geneva Consulting’s report on no-spray or restricted spray roadside vegetation management programs? The Integrated Vegetation Management Plan defines public works policies and procedures for maintenance of roadside vegetation. Long-term goals include improving the effectiveness and efficiency of controlling weeds, reducing road maintenance costs, limiting herbicide use, and creating a naturally sustainable plant community. (AB2015-187)
104. Support the National Stepping Up Initiative designed to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jail? The Stepping Up Initiative is a public and private partnership of various local, state, and national entities acting with the intention of identifying and implementing alternatives to incarceration for those with mental illness. The County Council supports the executive’s commitment to that outcome. AB2015-047L (Resolution 2015-021) Approved 7-0
105. Authorize the jail facility use agreement with Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack, and Sumas and include a commitment to enhance mental health and substance abuse programs to reduce jail population and recidivism including the establishment of a Criminal Justice Diversion Task Force? The agreement provides guidelines on how funds from incorporated cities will be used to finance the construction and operations of the proposed county jail. The agreement goes into effect when all parties have signed on and authorizes the proposed ballot measure for a two tenth of one percent sales tax. AB2015-047G (Resolution 2015-022)
Approved 6-1, Ken Mann opposed.
106. Continue the interfund loan to finance the purchase of the Central Plaza Building? At the 6/9/2009 meeting, vote #155, the council authorized the original three-year interfund loan of $1,500,000. The loan was renewed for three years at the 6/5/2012 meeting, vote #114. This ordinance provides for an $895,317 loan at 1 percent interest. Annual payments will be $124,000 including interest and principal. AB2015-173 (Ordinance 2015-023)
107. Continue the interfund loan to finance the assessor treasurer software system? At the 6/9/2009 meeting, vote #154, the council authorized the original three-year interfund loan of $1,100,000. The loan was renewed for three more years at the 6/5/2012 meeting, vote #115. This ordinance is for a $541,760 loan at 1 percent interest; it expires on 7/1/2019. Annual payments will be $129,000 including principal and interest. AB2015-174 (Ordinance 2015-024) Adopted 7-0
108. Create a Whatcom County Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force? The task force is intended to provide recommendations, oversight, and specific timeframes on the development of new or enhancement of existing programs. These are designed to provide a continuum of services that reduces incarceration of individuals affected with mental illness and chemical dependency and minimizes jail utilization by pretrial defendants. The task force includes 12 designated officials and 11 members appointed by the Whatcom County Council. The term of office shall be four years. AB2015-047K (Ordinance 2015-025)
Action Taken at June 23, 2015 Meeting
Shall the council:
109. Approve the temporary closure of Loomis Trail Road? The state of Washington and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad will add additional rail sidings in the vicinity of Loomis Trail Road and Portal Way. The estimated time of closure is 14 days in the summer of 2015. During the temporary closure, traffic will be diverted onto adjacent roads, with access maintained for local residences. (AB2015-190) Approved 7-0
110. Authorize the executive to sign a $53,561 contract with Nehalem Marine Manufacturing of Nehalem, OR, for the fabrication, transport and installation of a floodgate assembly and muted tidal regulator for the de Boer culvert replacement project? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) High water events during the past winter resulted in the failure of the levee crossing a tributary of the Nooksack River near Trigg Road. The levee provides flood protection for approximately 350 acres of farmland and the access road to the Public Utility District’s water intake. The project includes replacing the current culvert to allow fish passage. (AB2015-192) Approved 7-0
111. Authorize the executive to sign a $307,493 contract (amendment #4) with Pioneer Human Services of Seattle for the operation of detox services at the Behavioral Health Triage Center? The original contract for $545,140 was approved at the 6/17/2014 meeting, vote #118. This amendment extends the contract for nine months until 3/31/2016. The triage center has a total of 13 beds, eight of which are available for social detoxification. In 2014, 460 people were admitted to detox center. This amendment brings the total contract to $852,633. (AB2015-193) Approved 7-0
112. Authorize the executive to sign a $47,955 contract (amendment #1) with Northwest Youth Services of Bellingham to provide case management services in association with the Whatcom Homeless Service Center? The original contract for $108,054 was approved at the 5/20/2014 meeting, vote #101. The contract funds housing case management services in association with the Whatcom Homeless Service Center. In 2014, 30 youth were stably housed by Northwest Youth Services. The contract expires on 12/31/2015. This amendment brings the total contract to $156,009. (AB2015-194) Approved 7-0
113. Authorize the executive to sign a $242,235 contract with Sun Community Services of Bellingham for the operation of the Sun House emergency shelter? Sun House is an emergency shelter for mentally ill residents. The purpose of the contract is to provide operational funding for housing services. The contract will commence on 7/1/2015 and expire on 6/30/2016. (AB2015-195) Approved 7-0
114. Authorize the executive to sign a contract with the Whatcom Center for Early Learning of Bellingham to provide child development services for children with developmental disabilities and delays? The services are designed to address the developmental needs of eligible infants and toddlers and assist family in the enhancement of child development. In 2014, 145 children on average per month received services through this program. The authorized service level is $134,625 but total compensation will depend on the number of clients authorized. The contract commences on 7/1/2015 and expires on 6/30/2016. (AB2015-197) Approved 7-0
115. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $464,289 to Puglia Engineering of Bellingham for the annual dry-dock, repairs and maintenance of the Lummi Island ferry? The dry-docking for 2015 is expected to take up to two weeks between 9/10–29/2015. Four bids were received, the highest bid was $601,916. (AB2015-199) Approved 7-0
116. Approve the temporary closure of Douglas Road? Stremler Gravel of Lynden will install a concrete vault on Douglas Road between Lake Terrell Road and Elder Road. The road closure is scheduled for 7/13-17/2015. (AB2015-202) Approved 7-0
117. Amend the 2015 flood control district budget (request #3) in the amount of $25,000? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) This amendment will provide additional funding for the Aquatic Invasive Species Program at Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. AB2015-189 (Resolution 2015-023) Approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed.
118. Submit to Whatcom County voters a proposition authorizing a local sales and use tax of two-tenths of one percent for the purpose of constructing and operating a jail and other public safety purposes? This vote gives the executive the authority to move forward on Option 1 as detailed in the 6/23/2015 memo to the council. Option 1 includes submitting the sales tax levy to voters at the 2015 general election ballot. It allows the executive to continue with the current jail use agreement with or without the support of the city of Bellingham. Non-participation by the city of Bellingham may result in a scaled-back project. AB2015-047H (Resolution 2015-024) Approved 4-3, Barry Buchanan, Ken Mann and Carl Weimer opposed.
119. Add a new section on fireworks to the Whatcom County Code? (Public hearing held) Washington state law gives counties the authority to adopt firework regulations that are more restrictive than state law; 169 cities and counties are more restrictive or have bans. This amendment establishes a period of use defined as 6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. on July 3-5 and 6:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. on December 31-January 1. The new section takes effect on 7/1/2016. AB2015-191 (Ordinance 2015-026) Adopted 7-0
120. Amend the 2015 budget (request #7) in the amount of $213,400? Appropriate: $100,000 to fund the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force; $113,400 in donations from the Bellingham Rotary Club ($100,000) and Chuckanut Health Foundation ($13,400) to renovate and repair Sun House operated by Sun Community Services. AB2015-188 (Ordinance 2015-027) Adopted 7-0