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RECORD OF PROCEEDING OF CITY COUNCIL

CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL
Monday, November 05, 2012, 07:00 PM
Book: 66, Page: 1


REGULAR MEETING


Called To Order The meeting was called to order by Council President Terry Bornemann who led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call
Present:
    Jack Weiss, Council Member, First Ward
    Gene Knutson, Council Member, Second Ward
    Cathy Lehman, Council Member, Third Ward
    Stan Snapp, Council Member, Fourth Ward
    Terry Bornemann, Council Member, Fifth Ward
    Michael Lilliquist, Council Member, Sixth Ward
    Seth Fleetwood, Council Member, At Large

Excused:

ANNOUNCEMENT(S)
    On Monday, November 5, @ 3:15 - 5:00 PM in the Mayor's Board Room, there will be a worksession to discuss the 2013 Budget regarding the Municipal Court, Fire and Police Departments.
    On Tuesday, November 13, @ 12:00 - 2:00 PM in the Mayor's Board Room, there may be a worksession to discuss the 2013 Budget if this time is needed. Details will be provided by public notice.
    On Monday, November 19, @ 3:00 - 5:00 PM in the Mayor's Board Room, there will be a worksession to discuss the 2013 Budget regarding the Public Development Authority and Capital Facilities.
    On Monday, November 19, @ 7:00 PM in City Council Chambers there will be a Public Hearing regarding the 2013 Preliminary Budget and a Public Hearing regarding the Water, Sewer & Stormwater Utility Rates.

Bellingham City Council meets all requirements of the State of Washington Open Meetings Act


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

No minutes submitted.


15 - MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Leonard Lindstrom discussed social issues.

Stephanie Metcalf, representative, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 21. Ms. Metcalf expressed concerns about a new discount grocer coming to Bellingham. She said the new store will not increase dollars available in the regional economy or number of jobs but merely redistributes existing consumer spending. A new discount grocer will have a net negative impact on the community and there is no reason to think WinCo will not have a similar affect in Bellingham. She asked, “what are you going to do to help us when people in this community lose jobs with great wages and great benefits?”

Susan Richardson has worked in a local grocery chain for 25 years where she can support her family and health needs. She does not want to see Bellingham just become a block in the chain of total commercialism from Portland, OR to the border. She is also concerned about the traffic on Guide Meridian and hopes the city will address that.

Patrick McKee addressed the Resolution declaring surplus property [AB 19710]. He has not been able to find who owns those properties. He said it appears that the city doesn't own the properties listed in this resolution and asked the council to look into this.

Doug Karlberg representing Commercial Fisherman’s Association of Whatcom County. He alerted the council to an idea that the Association is looking into. The idea is in the exploratory stage and consists of a Salmon Hatchery program, which would require a pipeline to lake/waterfront. Alaska has two facilities that are in urban environments and described the facilities in Juneau. The Association is hosting a former hatchery manager from Valdez for an information session in early December and will send invitations to the City Council members.

Amber Hagel, Board Member, Northwest Youth Services. Ms. Hagel explained the need for youth at risk and reviewed recent statistics. Recently, the Community Development Advisory Board recommended no money be allocated for Northwest Youth Services PAD (Positive Adolescent Development) Project for 2013. This is the only emergency and short stay housing for minors in the community. She urged the city to support the PAD Project.

Paul Schissler said, both local and federal funding for human services has been shrinking these past few years. If there is an opportunity, he encouraged the council to add to the budget for human services from the General Fund. He added that it would be nice to see that those contracts are not reduced further.


PRESENTATION(S)

AB19514 1. Utility Rate Study Update

Ted Carlson, Public Works Director presented the 2012 Utility Rate Study report, which includes studies on the Water, Sewer and Storm and Surface Water Rate structures.

Current challenges affecting this study are:
    more stringent permitting and regulatory requirements;
    increasing operation and maintenance needs;
    growing need for capital improvements and reinvestment in aging infrastructure;
    predictability in rates; and
    creating greater equity amongst users.

The study is also following council policy direction as included in the 2012 Capital Facilities Task Force report and Resolution #2010-17 adopting Financial Management Guidelines, and several council worksessions and workshops held throughout the year.

He explained that the study includes the basis for the structure revisions and recommended rates for each area. Generally, the rate increases would range from 6% to 8%.

Staff recommends adoption of an ordinance for the proposed Water, Sewer and Storm and Surface Water Rates and increasing the low income credit threshold to $35,000 per year to match that of Whatcom County creating efficiencies in determining low income households. The staff does not recommend monthly billings at this time.

A Public Hearing is scheduled for November 19, 2012 with consideration of the proposed ordinance on December 3, 2012.

If approved, system development charge revisions would go into effect during the 2nd quarter, 2013.

Council Member Snapp expressed concern about the huge increase in reserves from 5% to 16% and feels a discussion on the reserve policy in the Financial Management Guidelines is in order.

Mr. Carlson said, 5% is the minimum recommended reserve and staff has made an effort to put together a reserve that is in line with the Financial Management Guidelines.

Council Member Snapp asked that staff prepare information indicating what percentage of the rate increases are targeted for the increased reserves.

In response to further discussions, staff explained:
    With regard to reassigning allocations within the budgets there will be a 2013 Budget Worksession regarding Capital Facilities on November 19th.
    At this time, all customers get a paper bill but staff is looking into bill presentment and will continue to look into this as technology changes and the city begins to have more capabilities using that technology.
    The definition of multi-family is anything other than single family or duplex.
    This proposal includes changes to the rate structure for individual structures with individual meters on one parcel; e.g., condominiums, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). Staff is proposing that these homes (previously considered non-single family) be changed to the single family rate structure.
    The proposal includes changes to reflect one meter/one account.
    The current watershed acquisition surcharge is $12.00 per month for flat rate, unmetered single family residence.

Information only.


PUBLIC HEARING(S)

AB19721 1. Ordinance for Reconsideration of the Demonstration Program for Innovative Permanently Affordable Home Ownership Projects (BMC 20.27)

AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO LAND USE AND EXTENDING THE EXPIRATION DATE OF BELLINGHAM MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 20.27, A DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM FOR INNOVATIVE PERMANENTLY AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP PROJECTS.”

Jeff Thomas, Planning & Community Development Director explained that this would be the fifth extension of this ordinance due to the lack of projects. It is the continued hope that this incentive will encourage affordable housing projects to provide experience for this demonstration program.

Council President Bornemann opened the public hearing.

Dean Fearing, Executive Director, Kulshan Community Land Trust. Mr. Fearing explained that due to the economic downturn a current project had to be substantially scaled back. However, they do hope to get this project off the ground in 2013 or early 2014.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.

WEISS / LILLIQUIST moved approval for first and second reading.

Council Member Lehman asked why this is limited to 80% AMI (Annual Median Income) and one organization.

Mr. Thomas replied that the goal was to create opportunities for permanent affordable housing and the 80% AMI is the threshold for being eligible for State and HUD money.

Ms. Lehman would like to see more opportunities for affordable housing that might include higher percentages of the annual median income.

Council Member Weiss suggested that there may be opportunities to provide incentives for the private sector and would like to work on that in the coming months.

MOTION CARRIED 7-0.



REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

Finance and Personnel
Michael Lilliquist, Chair
Cathy Lehman; Stan Snapp

AB19722 1. $5 Million line of credit offering for purchase of land within the Lake Whatcom Watershed

Council Member Lilliquist noted that there was no recommendation from committee.

KNUTSON / SNAPP moved to approve the proposal from Wells Fargo Bank and to direct staff to proceed in preparing an ordinance authorizing a $5 million line of credit. MOTION CARRIED 6-1, LILLIQUIST opposed.

Waterfront/Downtown Development:
Gene Knutson, Chair
Cathy Lehman; Michael Lilliquist; Jack Weiss

AB19710 1. Amended and Restated Resolution of the City of Bellingham Declaring Certain Real Property Surplus

KNUTSON / SNAPP moved approval of the amended and restated Resolution #2012-28. MOTION CARRIED 6-1, FLEETWOOD opposed.


Public Works / Public Safety
Stan Snapp, Chair
Seth Fleetwood; Gene Knutson

AB19723 1. Request for sewer at 1175 Mt. Baker Highway

SNAPP / KNUTSON moved to authorize the Mayor to execute a contract to provide retail sewer service to 1175 Mt. Baker Highway. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.



Planning and Community Development
Jack Weiss, Chair
Michael Lilliquist; Cathy Lehman; Seth Fleetwood

AB19724 1. Resolution adopting the 2013-2017 Consolidated Plan, including the 2013 Action Plan

“A RESOLUTION RELATING TO THE ADOPTION OF THE 2013-2017 CONSOLIDATED PLAN WITH 2013 ACTION PLAN, THE USE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) FUNDS AND HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (HOME) FUNDS, THE ALLOCATION OF FUNDS TO SUPPORT SELECTED CITY HUMAN SERVICES AGENCIES AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR TO SUBMIT THE 2013-2017 CONSOLIDATED PLAN WITH 2013 ACTION PLAN TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT.”

WEISS / KNUTSON moved final approval of Resolution #2012-30. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


Committee Of The Whole
Terry Bornemann, Chair
Jack Weiss, Gene Knutson, Cathy Lehman, Stan Snapp, Michael Lilliquist, Seth Fleetwood

          1. Approval of City Council Committee and/or Special Meeting minutes
None submitted at evening meeting.

          2. Old/New business
None presented.
    Executive Session - Report and action only.

    1. Labor Relations Update: Staff provided an update on the ratification of the Police Guild bargaining agreement for 2011 - 2013.
      KNUTSON / FLEETWOOD moved to approve the agreement with the Police Guild with the following terms:

      Term: 3 years

      Wages: 1% January 1, 2011
      3% January 1, 2012
      3% January 1, 2013

      Additional
      Items: Increase to Education Incentive, and SWAT, K9 and HDU premiums.

      Benefits: Increase to employee premium-sharing for Regence HealthFirst plan. Addition of High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HAS) as a choice for 2013.

      MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

      2. Potential Litigation: Staff provided information on a potential litigation matter. Direction given. No action taken.

      3. Litigation: Northern Cross Collective v. City of Bellingham: Staff provided information on a litigation matter. Direction given. No action taken.

      4. Potential Property Acquisition - Cancelled.

      5. Potential Property Acquisition: Staff provided information on the acquisition of 320 acres located in the Lake Whatcom watershed for a purchase price of $2.63 million. The seller is Polygon Financial 05, LLC.

      LEHMAN / KNUTSON moved to authorize the purchase of said property at a purchase price of $2.63 million, with closing by December 14, 2012.
      WEISS / LILLIQUIST moved to postpone consideration for two weeks. MOTION FAILED 3-4, KNUTSON, LEHMAN, SNAPP, BORNEMANN opposed.
      MAIN MOTION CARRIED 4-3, LILLIQUIST, FLEETWOOD, WEISS opposed.

      6. Potential Property Acquisition: Staff provided information on the acquisition of wetland mitigation property for eventual Horton Road extension. There are 2 adjacent parcels on Northwest Drive for a combined total of 14.31 acres. Sellers of one parcel are Ron Thorpe and Jackie Sorel, and seller of the other parcel is the Bellingham United Reformed church. The combined purchase price is $489,600.

      SNAPP / KNUTSON moved to authorize the purchase of said property at a purchase price of $489,600 with closing by November 19, 2012. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.

      7. Potential Property Acquisition: Cancelled.


      MAYOR'S REPORT
              1. Standing time for briefings, updates and reports to Council by the Mayor, if needed. Information only.

      The Mayor presented a draft letter regarding Scoping Comments for the Gateway Pacific Terminal Environmental Impact Statement for council review and comment. She noted that staff had attended the October 27th EIS Scoping Meeting and another is scheduled for November 29th in Ferndale.


      CONSENT AGENDA
      All matters listed on the Consent Agenda are considered routine and/or non-controversial items and may be approved in a single motion. A member of the Council may ask that an item be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered separately.

      AB19725 1. Bid Award for Front-End Loader, Bid #55B-2012

      KNUTSON / WEISS moved to reschedule AB 19725 to the November 19, 2012 meeting. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      AB19726 2. Authorization of checks issued for pay period October 5, 2012 through October 13, 2012

      AB19727 3. Authorization of checks issued for pay period October 12, 2012 through October 20, 2012

      AB19728 4. Authorization of checks issued for pay period October 21, 2012 through October 27, 2012

      AB19729 5. Authorization of checks issued for payroll October 11, 2012 through October 25, 2012

      KNUTSON / SNAPP moved approval of items 2-5 of the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.


      FINAL CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCES

      There were no ordinances for Final Consideration.



      ADJOURNMENT
      There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

      Terry Bornemann, Council President

      ATTEST: Linda D. Anderson City Clerk Representative
      APPROVED: 11/19/2012



      This is a digital copy of an original document located at Bellingham's City Hall. The City of Bellingham specifically disclaims any responsibility or liability for the contents of this document. The City of Bellingham does not verify the correctness, accuracy, or validity of the information appearing in this document.

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