WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL by 8P6Cqm4

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									 1                               WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL
 2                                Regular County Council
 3
 4                                     November 13, 2001
 5
 6
 7         The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Council Chair L. Ward
 8   Nelson in the Council Chambers, 311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, Washington.
 9
10                Also Present:                            Absent:
11                Dan McShane                              None
12                Marlene Dawson
13                Connie Hoag
14                Barbara Brenner
15                Sam Crawford
16                Robert Imhof
17
18
19   ANNOUNCEMENTS
20
21         Nelson welcomed the three newly-elected councilmembers.
22
23         Brenner announced that the minutes have been withdrawn.
24
25         Nelson announced that there was discussion with Senior Deputy
26   Prosecutor David Grant regarding potential litigation (AB2001-018) in
27   executive session during the Committee of the Whole meeting.
28
29          McShane moved to intervene in the Sandy Point tidelands issue, and the
30   intervention is limited only to the definition of the ordinary high water mark, if it
31   comes up in the case.
32
33         Motion carried unanimously.
34
35
36   APPROVAL OF MINUTES
37
38         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE FOR OCTOBER 23, 2001; REGULAR
39         COUNTY COUNCIL FOR OCTOBER 9 AND 23, 2001; WATER
40         RESOURCES WORK SESSION FOR OCTOBER 16, 2001
41
42         See "Announcements."
43
44
45   OPEN SESSION
46
47         The following people spoke:
48
49


                           Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 1
 1          Elaine McRory, 1781 Northshore Road, stated she is concerned about the
 2   water quality in Lake Whatcom. She was a member of the Lake Whatcom Citizens
 3   Advisory Committee. During that year, they listened to many experts and learned
 4   many things. They learned that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
 5   It is more cost-effective to prevent problems than to fix the problems. Another
 6   thing they learned is that development is the greatest threat to water quality. The
 7   third thing they learned is that the most cost-effective and fairest way to help this
 8   problem is public acquisition of land in the critical areas in the watershed. Look at
 9   the longest-term good.
10
11          Brenner asked if the committee looked at Sudden Valley's program of
12   working with the County to purchase foreclosed properties. McRory stated they
13   looked at all things that keep density down in the watershed. She encourages lot
14   consolidation. In an ideal situation with perfectly educated people who are willing
15   to do the right things on their property, it would help. They seem to be their own
16   worst enemy. It is difficult to manage a density of people. The experts said they
17   should leave an area natural, with the native vegetation and cover to prevent
18   erosion. Also, do not have roads and other sources of pollution that go directly into
19   the lake. Preventing development of a sensitive watershed is the best thing they
20   can do to prevent water quality degradation. It is also the cheapest. Retrofitting is
21   very expensive, and doesn't always work well.
22
23          Myron Walsnick, 4215 E. Oregon, Bellingham, stated he was a member of the
24   Silver Beach Task Force for the Bellingham City Council. They looked at problems
25   associated with the city's portion of the lake. The neighborhood association met
26   with the City Council on November 1 to discuss some of the issues involved with the
27   Silver Beach ordinance that weren't working. The primary issue is enforcement.
28   They are going to spend some time with the City Council to get them to enforce the
29   ordinance.
30
31           The health of Lake Whatcom and the economic value of a clean and healthy
32   lake were a focal point of the recent election. There are hundreds of actions that
33   contribute to the degradation of the lake. Some are very individual, such as two-
34   stroke engines. Others are more complex, such as stormwater runoff and road
35   construction. Even Mother Nature contributes to the degradation of the lake.
36   Some activities contribute more than others, but the health of the lake is impacted
37   by each item singularly and then all collectively. Almost all of the actions and
38   activities are within the County's span of control. No single action will cure all the
39   problems and preserve the lake. Some bristle at the suggestions that limit their
40   particular use of the lake. Meaningful solutions will impact everyone. No one has a
41   right to contaminate the drinking water supply, no matter how great or how small
42   the contamination. They've taken many preliminary steps in the past two years.
43   Now it is time to make some hard decisions. The result of the recent election
44   demonstrates that there is strong support for these hard decisions in the general
45   public. Begin now.
46
47         Nate Kronenberg, 2351 E. Pole Road, Everson, stated he would address the
48   Comprehensive Plan mineral resource action item 11 (AB2001-353). He is a rural
49   resident and taxpayer, and has made a contribution to the $15,000 that is


                           Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 2
 1   earmarked for the mineral resources study. He is concerned about how this money
 2   will be spent. Those concerns relate to the quality of the study and to the degree
 3   that the study implements the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, addressing both
 4   industry and environment. He attended the State Department of Natural Resources
 5   (DNR) presentation to the Surface Mining Advisory Committee regarding the
 6   construction aggregate study in the Bellingham quadrangle, in which he heard that
 7   the idea of the inventory was to create an objective assessment of resources with
 8   no consideration of land use or environmental impacts. This hardly represents a
 9   balanced study. For their $15,000, they should expect more. He also heard that
10   there are conflicts with agricultural land, and they are stripping away huge areas of
11   the county to get at a relatively small bit of rock resource. The Council should pay
12   attention to the negative impacts to rural lands and initiate better planning. In
13   addressing the desired thickness of gravel deposits, the DNR geologist looked for a
14   minimum thickness of 25 feet for gravel deposits. To that end, the geologist said
15   he had considerable consultation with the gravel industry and environmental voices.
16   However, he does not see or hear any evidence of those environmental voices. He
17   is worried that the same situation will occur with this proposed study. The
18   geologist also said they are tossing out deposits that aren't 25 feet thick or 160
19   acres. There are smaller and more readily available gravel deposits in this county.
20   A number of mining operators were consulted and provided more up-to-date
21   information on volume and reserves. This Council should hire an impartial geologist
22   with local knowledge, such as Dr. Easterbrook, and delay the study for six months
23   to adequately collect the necessary data for a comprehensive aggregate study that
24   addresses need, accurate mapping, careful geologic identification, and attention to
25   untapped areas outside of residential and agricultural areas, regardless of cost to
26   the industry. These costs can be passed along.
27
28         Ben Hinkle, 2582 Northshore Road, stated he is involved in an effort to bring
29   about the sanity to government and the sovereignty of their country. Many people
30   around the nation are involved in this effort. Local government entities have
31   adopted a United Nations free zone, which means the United Nations cannot
32   operate within the limits of that jurisdiction. He supplied information (on file) to
33   Councilmember Brenner and the Public Works Committee.
34
35          Crawford questioned what the United Nations is currently doing in Whatcom
36   County. Hinkle stated the United Nations is stripping American citizens of their
37   rights. Citizens who enter military service are under control of the United Nations.
38   They are being forced to wear United Nations uniforms.
39
40          Crawford asked what changes if Whatcom County becomes a United Nations
41   free zone. Hinkle stated the United Nations would not be able to fly their flag or do
42   business in Whatcom County.
43
44          Art Thomas, 2620 Island View, Lummi Island, stated there is a possibility
45   that there has been a gift of government funds regarding the Gooseberry Point
46   ferry dock on the mainland side. The property he is concerned about connects the
47   dock to Lummi Shore Road. According to current County records, Whatcom County
48   holds title to it. A 1982 consent decree involving the Lummi Nation and Whatcom
49   County shows the tidelands as being state-owned tidelands. There is also a 1988


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 3
 1   lease agreement between the County and the Lummi Nation to lease these two
 2   pieces of land. It appears there is a gift of government funds since the County
 3   holds the title to the land and the tidelands are owned by the state. He chooses to
 4   live on Lummi Island and understands that inconveniences are associated with that
 5   choice. The loss of ingress and egress is beyond any acceptable inconvenience.
 6   The County still holds title of the uplands. They can resolve the issue of the
 7   tidelands through intervention on the Sandy Point bulkheads. He asked for help in
 8   understanding who the legal owner is for these two pieces of property, and why the
 9   County leases it if it owns it.
10
11         Brenner said that she would like to discuss this in the Public Works
12   Committee. She questioned whether the County Executive could negotiate
13   something like that without Council approval. The land was gifted to the County.
14   She questioned whether the County can, or has, given the gift away.
15
16         Randy Watts, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, stated he believed the Council
17   was involved many years ago.
18
19         Dawson stated she turned this over to the State Auditor already.
20
21         Nelson stated they should get the answers from the Prosecutor’s Office first,
22   and then see if it is necessary to be scheduled in committee.
23
24          Crawford stated he looked at Council minutes from 1988. The only record he
25   could find from that year was from a meeting in April or May. Then-County
26   Executive Shirley Van Zanten announced to the Council that she had signed a lease.
27   There was no Council approval that he could find.
28
29          Roger Ellingson, representing the City of Sumas, spoke regarding the
30   Comprehensive Plan mineral resources action item 11, the study of mineral
31   resources. He endorses the Council moving forward on this issue, but they need to
32   consider several issues. First, reconsider studying the Mount Baker quadrangle.
33   Hard rock mining is the resource of the future for Whatcom County, because so
34   much of the remaining resource is in prime farmland soils. Second, the State
35   Department of Natural Resources (DNR) study only designates resources of 150
36   acres in size or larger. They have the information down to the 20-acre threshold
37   size that the Comprehensive Plan recognizes. Any scoping work should include that
38   information on the GIS maps. It is very important that the Council have more
39   information on the Columbia Valley, which is a resource that was caught on the
40   outskirts of the DNR study. The DNR recognizes the significance of the Columbia
41   Valley resource. The important factor about the Columbia Valley is that it is not in
42   agricultural lands, and it is huge. DNR said it is so large they didn't even attempt
43   to try to determine how big it is and how long the resource will last. It does meet
44   construction quality standards. Finally, it would be important to bring on another
45   geologist. He recommended Dr. Scott Babcock for the scoping committee. They
46   should not open the plan for an amendment just to extend the deadline. The
47   Council, as long as it acts in good faith in pursuing this study, no one will file any
48   lawsuits to get them to do it sooner. There is nothing in the Comprehensive Plan
49   that is going to give them any basis to do so.


                           Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 4
 1
 2          Brenner questioned whether the DNR already has information on sites down
 3   to 20-acres in size, so the County would not have to gather that information.
 4   Ellingson stated that is his understanding.
 5
 6          Kerri Chappell, 1121 Roland Street, questioned whether the Planned
 7   Parenthood lease had been brought before the Council. She also questioned when
 8   it would be brought before the Council if it has not been.
 9
10         Nelson stated the contract is done. It didn't have to go before the County
11   Council.
12
13         Pete Kremen, County Executive, stated the Council already authorized it.
14
15
16   CONSENT AGENDA
17
18         Imhof reported for the Finance and Administrative Services Committee and
19   moved approval of Consent Agenda items one through twelve. (Clerk's Note: Item
20   twelve was inadvertently numbered item 14 on the Council's agenda.)
21
22         Hoag withdrew item nine.
23
24          Motion to approve items one through eight and ten through twelve (fourteen)
25   carried unanimously.
26
27   1.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO AWARD BID #01-
28         113 TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER, ALLWEST
29         UNDERGROUND, INC. FOR A VACTOR TRUCK WITH A JET RODDER, IN
30         THE AMOUNT OF $230,943.23 (AB2001-354)
31
32   2.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO AWARD BID #01-
33         116 TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER, AUTOMOTIVE PARTS
34         SERVICE, FOR THE ANNUAL SUPPLY OF AUTO PARTS, IN THE
35         ANTICIPATED AMOUNT OF $60,000 PER YEAR (AB2001-355)
36
37   3.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO AWARD BID #01-
38         121 TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER, MCTAR PETROLEUM
39         COMPANY FOR THE ANNUAL SUPPLY OF ROAD SALT IN THE AMOUNT
40         OF $40,000 (AB2001-356)
41
42   4.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO AWARD BID #01-
43         123 TO THE ONLY BIDDER, ZUMAR INDUSTRIES, FOR THE ANNUAL
44         SUPPLY OF TRAFFIC SIGNS, IN THE ANTICIPATED AMOUNT OF
45         $125,000 PER YEAR (AB2001-357)
46
47   5.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO A
48         GRANT AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
49         AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 5
 1         FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WHATCOM COUNTY ADULT DRUG
 2         COURT, IN THE AMOUNT OF $500,000 OVER THREE YEARS (AB2001-
 3         358)
 4
 5   6.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO A
 6         GRANT AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
 7         AND THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES /
 8         DIVISION OF ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE FOR THE BYRNE
 9         DRUG COURT GRANT, WHICH PROVIDES MOST OF THE WHATCOM
10         COUNTY DRUG COURT CLIENT TREATMENT AND URINALYSIS
11         SERVICES, IN THE AMOUNT OF $110,000 PER YEAR (AB2001-359)
12
13   7.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO A
14         PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY
15         HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL-
16         RECOVERY CENTER TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR OUTPATIENT
17         SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES FOR LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS WHO
18         HAVE SUBSTANCE ABUSE OR CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY PROBLEMS, IN
19         THE AMOUNT OF $988,364 (AB2001-360)
20
21   8.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO A
22         CONTRACT AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY PUBLIC
23         WORKS AND BEK ENGINEERING ENVIRONMENTAL, INC. TO PROVIDE
24         FUNDING FOR MONITORING SERVICES FOR THE CEDARVILLE
25         LANDFILL AND RE-EVALUATION OF THE GAS FLARE SYSTEM, IN THE
26         AMOUNT OF $24,606.95 (AB2001-361)
27
28   9.    REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO AN
29         INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN WHATCOM COUNTY AND THE
30         PORT OF BELLINGHAM FOR THE PURPOSE OF ECONOMIC
31         DEVELOPMENT PLANNING FOR THE GREATER WHATCOM COUNTY
32         AREA, INCLUDING THE CITIES WITHIN WHATCOM COUNTY (AB2001-
33         362)
34
35         Nelson restated Councilmember Imhof's motion for approval.
36
37         Hoag questioned the $90,000 in rural sales tax funding. She questioned
38   where that comes from, and if that money gets pulled from something else.
39
40           Imhof stated it is a pot of money that the County began receiving from the
41   State a year or so ago. It is one-tenth or two-tenths of one percent to go into a
42   specific fund for specific purposes. This is one of the purposes it can go to. It is
43   strictly for economic development in the rural areas. It does not pull the money
44   from anywhere else.
45
46   10.   REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO
47         AMENDMENT #6 OF AN INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN
48         WHATCOM COUNTY AND THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM FOR THE
49         ANNEXATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF APPROXIMATELY EIGHT ACRES


                           Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 6
 1         IN THE VICINITY OF THE BELLINGHAM TECHNICAL COLLEGE
 2         (AB2001-363)
 3
 4   11.   REQUEST AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO ENTER INTO
 5         AMENDMENT #7 OF AN INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN
 6         WHATCOM COUNTY AND THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM FOR THE
 7         ANNEXATION OF APPROXIMATELY 75 ACRES IN THE VICINITY OF
 8         DEEMER ROAD AND SPRING CREEK (AB2001-364)
 9
10   12.   RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ADDITIONAL COUNTY ROAD
11         CONSTRUCTION FUND AUTHORIZATION FOR COUNTY ROAD PROJECT
12         NO. 900911, ALDERSON ROAD STRUCTURAL OVERLAY (AB2001-365)
13
14
15   OTHER ITEMS
16
17   1.    REPORT ON COMMITTEE DISCUSSION REGARDING THE ORDINANCE
18         AMENDING THE WHATCOM COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
19         RELATING TO THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES (AB2001-
20         310A)
21
22          McShane reported for the Natural Resources Committee and stated this was
23   held in committee and will be scheduled again on November 27.
24
25   2.    WHATCOM COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN MINERAL RESOURCES
26         ACTION ITEM #11, STUDYING MINERAL RESOURCES (AB2001-353)
27
28          McShane reported for the Natural Resources Committee and stated the
29   committee moved to set aside the $15,000 to do the critical assessment study of
30   the Bellingham quadrangle. However, they would like to work on a scope for that
31   assessment. He proposed as part of the motion that a group would bring forward a
32   scope to the Council. The group would consist of him, Doug Goldthorp, John
33   Thompson, Matt Aamot, a representative from the mining industry and a citizen
34   representative. The idea is that they would have a view that is broader than just
35   the critical assessment of the Bellingham quadrangle. Look at it mostly from a
36   geologic perspective at this point. He needs to discuss this more with the
37   administration regarding this. It was not an idea that had come up before, and he
38   hadn't had a chance to discuss this with the administration. He so moved.
39
40           Brenner offered a friendly amendment. She would like to study the Mount
41   Baker quadrangle as much as possible, as Mr. Ellingson recommended. She would
42   also like to use the sites that DNR has already done, down to 20 acres. At some
43   point in the future, it may be necessary to determine what all is out there.
44
45          McShane agreed to the friendly amendment. Councilmember Hoag also
46   made suggestions about what should be included in the scope. He agreed with Mr.
47   Ellingson's recommendations, also. Councilmember Hoag recommended they study
48   the information on the smaller size deposits, which is very important in Whatcom
49   County. Also, study other land use issues including the quality of the deposit, and


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 7
 1   issues regarding extraction. Those things would be taken into account in the scope.
 2   The scope would then be brought forward to the Council for approval.
 3
 4          One of the issues that is very important is that they want industry input, but
 5   don't necessarily want them involved in the study or telling the County what the
 6   study should be. Even if the industry is right, it sets up a problem of appearance
 7   that is difficult. On a personal level, he has experience in the industry. That is
 8   something that he does as part of his job. Fortunately, he can be neutral in
 9   Whatcom County because he doesn't do that work in Whatcom County.
10
11          He restated his motion to set aside $15,000 in the budget for the critical
12   assessment study of the Bellingham quadrangle and a portion of the Mount Baker
13   quadrangle, create a scope that would be brought forward to the full Council, and
14   the scope would be created by a geology committee consisting of him, staff, one
15   industry representative, and one citizen. The industry representative and the
16   citizen would be non-voting.
17
18         Brenner questioned whether they would vote on recommendations to bring to
19   the Council.
20
21         McShane stated they would vote on the scope for the actual assessment.
22   The information from Mr. Ellingson would be considered by the committee when it
23   comes up with the scope.
24
25          Brenner offered a friendly amendment that Mr. Ellingson's suggestions be
26   included in the scope.
27
28         McShane accepted the friendly amendment to include in the scope the
29   suggestions from Mr. Ellingson, which include looking at the Mount Baker
30   quadrangle, looking at the DNR information on smaller deposits, collecting more
31   information on the Columbia Valley, and to bring one other geologist onto the
32   scoping committee.
33
34         Nelson questioned whether the scope includes the cost to do the study,
35   based on the scope.
36
37          McShane stated they will come up with a scope with those issues in mind, so
38   they can refine what they will look at. Have an assessment that is right for
39   Whatcom County, and not the DNR. The $15,000 will not be to do the scope. It
40   will be to do the actual critical assessment. There is no charge for the scope.
41
42         Nelson questioned whether $15,000 is enough to do the assessment.
43
44           Sylvia Goodwin, Planning Division Manager, stated probably not. However,
45   until they know what the scope of work is, they can't go out and get proposals from
46   consultants that might want to bid on it. This is the first step. Once the scope is
47   done, they can get proposals and find out if $15,000 is adequate.
48



                           Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 8
 1         Nelson questioned whether the two quadrangles would be a burden for an
 2   assessment. Goodwin stated that if they include the Mount Baker quadrangle, they
 3   would increase the cost considerably. They are looking at a bigger area.
 4
 5         Nelson stated he will want to know what the cost difference is.
 6
 7          McShane stated that if they did the Mount Baker quadrangle according to
 8   DNR methodology, the cost would be $30,000 for the entire quadrangle. It is not in
 9   their best interest to study the entire quadrangle.
10
11          Hoag asked to have an agricultural representative on the scope committee.
12   This study is being done to conclusively demonstrate whether or not there is a
13   shortage of commercially significant quality aggregate resources in Whatcom
14   County outside of designated agricultural areas, and whether or not there is an
15   overriding need to mine aggregate in designated agricultural areas as opposed to
16   other viable alternatives. If that is the point of the study, they should have an
17   agricultural representative on the committee.
18
19         McShane stated he did not accept the friendly amendment.
20
21          Brenner agreed with Councilmember Hoag about determining whether they
22   are going to allow the mineral resource land (MRL) designation in prime agricultural
23   areas. However, that is not what this is about. This is about determining the
24   quality and quantity of aggregate, and that is all. Once this gets to the next step,
25   she agrees that the farming community should be involved. For now, they want the
26   geology information, not the relationship to agricultural areas.
27
28         Hoag stated DNR looked only at deposits of 150 acres and greater, and
29   determined there was a shortage. It is important that the agricultural resource be
30   represented to make sure that they really are looking at where the resources are
31   and that they are mapped.
32
33         Brenner stated it is not necessary at this phase.
34
35         Hoag questioned whether the motion includes mapping deposits that are 20
36   acres or greater.
37
38         McShane stated the committee would look at areas that are smaller than
39   what the DNR looked at.
40
41         Hoag stated that is not a commitment to look at deposits that are 20 acres or
42   greater.
43
44         McShane stated he doesn't want to set a size at this time. As the committee
45   goes over the scope, it will provide a recommendation.
46
47         Nelson agreed. Otherwise, the Council might as well write the scope.
48



                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 9
 1         Hoag stated the Council is providing direction on what it wants to see in the
 2   study, which is what the staff asked for. DNR has the raw data for the smaller
 3   deposits. They just haven't done the GIS mapping. As policymakers, they look at
 4   the quantity and quality of the aggregate that is available and the siting issues if
 5   they have that map. If they don't have the map, they will have misleading
 6   information about the availability of the aggregate.
 7
 8         McShane stated he would accept the friendly amendment to create the GIS
 9   map for the smaller deposits.
10
11        Brenner stated the motion did say that would be included. That was
12   something that Mr. Ellingson stated.
13
14         Hoag suggested a friendly amendment to create a GIS map that includes
15   deposits of at least 20 acres.
16
17         McShane accepted the friendly amendment.
18
19         Nelson restated the motion:
20             Reallocate $15,000 that had previously been appropriated to the
21               Mount Baker quadrangle study to go to the critical assessment of the
22               Bellingham quadrangle,
23             Create a scope for the critical assessment study,
24             Create a scoping committee to include Councilmember Dan McShane,
25               Doug Goldthorp, Matt Aamot, John Thompson, one additional
26               geologist, a mining industry member, and a citizen, and
27
28         (Clerk's Note: End of tape one, side A.)
29
30               The scope is to include the issues brought forward by Roger Ellingson
31                at this evening's public hearing.
32
33         Motion to approve carried unanimously.
34
35   3.    ORDINANCE ORDERING THE CLOSURE OF HENRY ROAD AND
36         LONSETH ROAD WEST OF POWDER PLANT ROAD (AB2001-329)
37
38           Brenner reported for the Public Works and Capital Projects Committee and
39   stated they received useful information from BP employees. There are issues of
40   illegal shooting, including shooting of machine guns and AK-47's. One tree was
41   completely toppled by the shooting. Another issue is one of national security. The
42   committee also heard comments from the Sheriff's Office and Division of
43   Emergency Management, that both strongly support this closure. She moved to
44   adopt the ordinance.
45
46         McShane moved to amend to add another "Therefore be it ordained"
47   statement, which was approved by the Public Works Committee. The amendment
48   was to create parking spaces on Henry Road at the closure location, and put a sign



                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 10
 1   up stating that the road is open to non-motor vehicle traffic. At the east end of
 2   Henry Road at the gate.
 3
 4           Brenner stated the amendment mandates that two parking spaces will be
 5   created at the end of Henry Road to allow access for people to park there. The sign
 6   will let people know that the road is public and open to non-motor vehicle traffic.
 7
 8         Hoag stated someone mentioned that they could accomplish the same thing,
 9   except still allow public access to the beach if they just made this area a no
10   shooting zone.
11
12         Dawson stated there is no access to the beach.
13
14         Hoag stated Henry Road goes almost to the beach.
15
16         Imhof stated that is private property.
17
18           Brenner stated people are illegally shooting there now. It is easier to shoot
19   illegally when people can drive to the area. This isn't going to solve the problem,
20   but it will make those illegal weapons more visible. It will dissuade people. That
21   wouldn't happen with just signs.
22
23         Nelson suggested specific language to add, "NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT
24   ORDAINED…west of Powder Plant Road, and provide two parking spaces and a sign
25   designating non-motor vehicle access at the east end of Henry Road at the gate."
26
27         McShane accepted the specific language offered by Councilmember Nelson.
28
29         Motion to amend carried unanimously.
30
31         Motion to adopt the amended ordinance carried 6-1 with Hoag opposed.
32
33   4.    REQUEST CONFIRMATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO APPOINT EDWARD
34         ONYON TO THE RURAL LIBRARY BOARD (AB2001-366)
35
36         Imhof moved to confirm the appointment.
37
38         Motion carried unanimously.
39
40   5.    REQUEST CONFIRMATION FOR THE EXECUTIVE TO APPOINT RENEE
41         REIMER TO THE ESSENTIAL PUBLIC FACILITIES ADVISORY
42         COMMITTEE (AB2001-367)
43
44         Dawson moved to confirm the appointment.
45
46         Motion carried unanimously.
47
48   6.    RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING
49         DATES FOR 2002 (AB2001-351)


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 11
 1
 2         Dawson moved to approve.
 3
 4         Brenner stated she wanted to change the February schedule so there is no
 5   Council meeting during the week the schools schedule their mid-winter break.
 6
 7          Dewey Desler, Deputy Administrator, stated many of the school districts are
 8   off during the week of February 17 through February 21, 2002. There is no Council
 9   meeting scheduled for that date.
10
11         Motion carried 6-1 with Imhof opposed.
12
13
14   PUBLIC HEARING
15
16   1.    ORDINANCE ADOPTING THE 2002 WHATCOM COUNTY UNIFIED FEE
17         SCHEDULE (AB2001-346)
18
19        Nelson turned the meeting over to the chair of the Finance and
20   Administrative Services Committee.
21
22         Imhof stated Council received changes to the proposed unified fee schedule
23   from Dewey Desler in a memo dated November 13, 2001.
24
25         Imhof opened the public hearing and hearing no one, closed the public
26   hearing.
27
28         Dawson moved to approve the unified fee schedule.
29
30         Hoag stated Superior Court proposes to charge $3 per each fax in addition to
31   the cost of making the copy. He asked for a clarification to determine whether the
32   fee would be $3 per document or per page. She also questioned why they would
33   add the cost of copies to it, because the originals can be faxed. The previous fee is
34   on Council packet page 324. It is clearer. It charges $3 for the first page of a
35   faxed document, and $1 for each additional page. Because this isn't clear, she
36   asked for clarification. She asked to leave the fee the way it is now.
37
38          Dewey Desler, Deputy Administrator, stated he was not able to reach anyone
39   in Superior Court. The administration is okay with holding that item until they can
40   get clarification. They can strike that item.
41
42         Imhof moved to strike that item.
43
44         Motion carried unanimously.
45
46         Brenner questioned what is considered a group picnic. She sees people in
47   groups go to Hovander Park and have a picnic.
48



                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 12
 1         Roger DeSpain, Parks and Recreation Director, stated that fee is for people
 2   who register to use the shelter. A group usually consists of 25 people or more.
 3
 4         Hoag questioned the amount that was charged previously. DeSpain stated
 5   they were charging $100.
 6
 7           Crawford stated they are instituting a new booking fee of $10 per booking.
 8   It is the second item from the top of Council packet page 296. They are also
 9   increasing the jail per diem cost from $50 to $61. He questioned whether that is
10   what the County charges the cities and Nooksack Tribe to jail their people. He also
11   asked the fiscal impact.
12
13           Brad Bennett, Finance Division Manager, stated there is currently a $10 fee
14   that is charged to the inmate when he is booked. That is a State law, and $10 is
15   the maximum amount the County can charge. There is also a booking fee that is
16   charged to the entity that brings the inmate in. That is the per diem charge that is
17   increasing. The per diem fee is a contractual fee that is calculated based on the
18   jail's budget.
19
20         Crawford questioned the ramifications of the increases. Bennett stated it is
21   very difficult to calculate what it means to Whatcom County. Depending on the
22   nature of the offense, felony prisoners are charged to the County, whereas gross
23   misdemeanor offenders are the responsibility of the cities. The revenue depends on
24   the composition of the jail.
25
26          Brenner asked if the fee is charged to the County when a Sheriff deputy
27   brings someone in. Bennett stated it is not.
28
29          Brenner moved to amend the ordinance to add a $25 fee for frivolous call-
30   outs to the Sheriff’s Office. She witnessed someone call the Sheriff on an
31   emergency call, and then took off. This is a terrible thing when they have few
32   deputies.
33
34         Dawson asked how they determine what is frivolous.
35
36         Brenner stated it would apply when it is obvious.
37
38         Dawson asked if the Sheriff supports something like this.
39
40         Nelson asked if the Sheriff requested this.
41
42         Brenner stated no.
43
44         Motion to amend failed 2-5 with Brenner and Hoag in favor.
45
46         Motion to adopt carried unanimously.
47
48   2.    ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE LEVY OF TAXES FOR COUNTY AND
49         STATE PURPOSES IN WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON, FOR THE


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 13
 1         YEAR OF 2002 PURSUANT TO HOME RULE CHARTER SECTION 6.10
 2         (AB2001-347)
 3
 4         Imhof opened the public hearing
 5
 6          Imhof stated it has been many years since they have not increased the
 7   property tax. It has been six years in a row that the Council has not increased the
 8   property tax. In addition, the Council has not increased property taxes for seven
 9   out of the last eight years.
10
11         Imhof, hearing no one, closed the public hearing.
12
13        Hoag moved to amend Council packet page 327, paragraph (C), "(C) The
14   Whatcom County Council does approve $706,530…."
15
16         Imhof stated it is a typo, and does not need a motion.
17
18         Nelson moved to adopt the ordinance.
19
20         Motion carried unanimously.
21
22   3.    ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE LEVY OF TAXES FOR WHATCOM
23         COUNTY CONSERVATION FUTURES PURPOSES FOR 2002 (AB2001-
24         349)
25
26         Imhof opened the public hearing, and hearing no one, closed the public
27   hearing.
28
29         Nelson moved to adopt the ordinance.
30
31         Motion carried unanimously.
32
33   4.    ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE LEVY OF TAXES FOR COUNTY ROAD
34         PURPOSES FOR 2002 (AB2001-350)
35
36         Imhof opened the public hearing, and hearing no one, closed the public
37   hearing.
38
39         Nelson moved to adopt the ordinance.
40
41         Motion carried unanimously.
42
43   5.    ORDINANCE ADOPTING THE FINAL 2002 WHATCOM COUNTY BUDGET
44         AND RESTRICTING THE EXPENDITURE OF CERTAIN FUNDS THEREIN
45         (AB2001-348)
46
47         Imhof opened the public hearing and the following people spoke:
48



                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 14
 1           Al Marshall, 2781 West Shore Drive, Lummi Island, asked the Council to
 2   adequately fund the update of the Lummi Island subarea plan. The current plan
 3   was prepared over 20 years ago. The islanders support it, but it needs to be
 4   updated. Under the current zoning, a lower density of development is allowed
 5   within aquifer recharge areas. This is because they recognize the need to protect
 6   the groundwater. It belies the fact that the aquifer recharge areas are not well
 7   identified at this point. The County's wetland map for Lummi Island is woefully
 8   inadequate. Other critical areas are important to identify so they can all receive the
 9   protection that current law provides. These are some of the many areas that the
10   revised subarea plan needs to address. The Planning and Development Services
11   did not pad their estimate to do this when they requested $35,000. The amount
12   has been cut to $30,000. He is concerned there won't be enough money to do the
13   job properly.
14
15          Lummi Island is a different place from the mainland. All of the island's
16   freshwater comes from the rain. An undetermined amount of that water is lost
17   through leakage to the saltwater. Some of the wells suffer from saltwater
18   intrusion. Other wells are at risk of this. There is a report for ferry planning that
19   cost the County $41,000. According to the Growth Management Act, land use
20   planning is supposed to dictate what goes on for infrastructure planning. At this
21   point, they are doing things in the reverse order. The County residents appreciate
22   and enjoy visiting Lummi Island. Properly fund the subarea plan revision, and keep
23   the island a special place.
24
25          Steve Schneider, 2455 Tuttle Lane, Lummi Island, stated he would address
26   the appropriation of $30,000 to prepare the Lummi Island subarea plan. He is a
27   member of a group that has met for a year to prepare to assist the County in
28   preparing the subarea plan. They've written a proposal and a vision statement.
29   They've also prepared and submitted a survey to the Planning Department and
30   Public Works Department. The island has special needs. Transportation issues are
31   very important. Water resources issues are also important. The present
32   Comprehensive Plan calls for further studies of the water resources and aquifers,
33   but that has not been done. They have other special needs that they may find.
34   Since Lummi Island is a very good tax base, with the most waterfront and view
35   land in the County except for Eliza Island, grant the $35,000 request and leave it
36   open for more funding in the future, if needed.
37
38          Pam Gould, 2384 Tuttle Lane, Lummi Island, stated she supported the
39   previous speakers. Support the original request of $35,000 for the Lummi Island
40   subarea plan revision. One of the most important influences on Lummi Island
41   growth and development is the limited groundwater resource. The original author
42   of the Lummi Island plan recognized this. Protecting development, wetland, and
43   water recharge areas is critical for protecting the water resource. To do this
44   adequately, the County must have accurate maps of wetland areas. The Planning
45   Department is aware that the maps they have are inadequate, and it made a bare
46   bones estimate of what it would take to revise the plan and protect Whatcom
47   County from future difficulty. There are numerous examples of homes built in wet
48   areas, but are not designated wetland or water recharge areas on County maps.
49   Those homes put the delicate balance of water on Lummi Island at risk. As the


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 15
 1   water resource is abused, saltwater intrusion will increase, damaging wells on the
 2   high value shoreline properties first. The groundwater study done on Lummi Island
 3   from 1989 to 1994 showed that some of the most stable and large aquifers on the
 4   island are under and around the wetland areas that need to be protected. The
 5   Planning Department realizes all the dangers of these inadequate maps, and
 6   recommended $35,00 as the minimum amount needed.
 7
 8         Dana Kershner, 3899 Centerview Road, Lummi Island, stated he is the
 9   president of Lummi Island Heritage Trust, which is a land conservation organization
10   on Lummi Island that is supported by over 300 households. The Heritage Trust
11   urged the Council to support this subarea plan process and ensure that adequate
12   resources are available. He also asked for Council support of the Curry project.
13
14         Brenner stated she would bring up Mr. Kershner's letter later in the meeting.
15
16          Ian O'Callaghan, 2284 North Nugent Road, stated he is currently serving as
17   vice-president of the Lummi Island Community Club, chair of the Lummi Island
18   Planning Committee, and secretary of the Sunrise Rotary of Bellingham. The
19   island's planning committee has been meeting monthly for the last 11 months.
20   During this time, they drafted a vision statement and developed a comprehensive
21   survey, which they forwarded to Hal Hart and Sylvia Goodwin. The committee is
22   presently developing educational information regarding the planning process and
23   topic issues that it will disseminate to all islanders. They hope this material will
24   educate and also stir the people to participate in the planning process. He urged
25   the Council to approve the funding request for the Lummi Island subarea plan.
26   There has been a tremendous amount of growth in Whatcom County in the 25
27   years he's lived here. The 1990 census counted 610 fulltime residents of the
28   island. The 2000 census counted 842 fulltime residents. This is an increase of 30
29   percent. The number only represents fulltime residents, not weekend or summer
30   crowds that double the population. The growth has put a tremendous strain on the
31   island's infrastructure and natural resources. By approving this funding request,
32   the Council will give the islanders the tools to shape their future. The residents
33   agree that it is important to maintain the rural character of the island. The rural
34   character is what attracted each resident, and keeps the residents there. In today's
35   economy, dollars are scarce. He wants to see a solid plan developed with a high
36   level of island participation. Projecting a budget for such a project is difficult. If
37   the Council decides to fund the project for $30,000, then keep open to the need for
38   additional funding at a future date.
39
40          Cindy Maxwell, Northwest Care Advocates, stated her organization provides
41   mental health services for the intensive case coordination project. The children are
42   aged 12 to 18 who have had two or more arrests or detentions, at least four
43   months remaining on their probation contract, and a history of a mental illness
44   and/or a co-occurring disorder, which is a combined addiction to drugs and alcohol.
45   These are very tough kids. They developed the program because the kids deserve
46   special services, for the community's safety. These kids often don't show up at
47   community mental health centers, for their chemical dependency treatment, or at
48   their other providers. They assist these kids, establish a relationship with the kids
49   and their families, work with the probation officers, and get them triaged for mental


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 16
 1   health screening and treatment planning. They network with school counselors and
 2   community providers. Most of the time, they escort the children to their psychiatric
 3   or mental health counseling appointments. They go to the childrens' homes. It is
 4   an important program. She asked that it be funded for next year.
 5
 6           Kathleen Covetter, Northwest Care Advocates, spoke on the emergency
 7   services funding for juvenile detention. The program has been in place for several
 8   years. They provide coverage 24 hours per day, seven days per week to juvenile
 9   detention. During that time, they average 100 calls per year for emergency
10   services from children who are in crisis in the juvenile detention facilities. These
11   children include kids who bang their heads against the walls, engage in self-
12   mutilation, attack staff, and attack other children. Her agency responds within 30
13   minutes of receiving the call. These services are not duplicated through the
14   emergency response system. Most of the youth do not meet civil commitment
15   criteria, which means they are in imminent danger because they are housed in the
16   juvenile detention facility. That doesn't mean the children don't need services. It
17   doesn't mean the children haven't had an impact on the system. In the first six
18   months of this program, the incident reports went down by 30 percent in that
19   timeframe. The program is also a cost-saving device for the County. She urged
20   the Council to fund the $15,000 for the next year.
21
22         Hearing no one else, Imhof closed the public hearing.
23
24         Nelson moved to adopt the substitute ordinance.
25
26          Dewey Desler, Deputy Administrator, stated the substitute ordinance is the
27   correct document. He sent a memo to the Council about some technical corrections
28   that the Finance Committee requested during the work session. A number of
29   people spoke on the Lummi Island subarea plan. The Executive would be very
30   interested in seeing that program take place. The amount budgeted is a
31   placeholder. They want to work with the Lummi Island community to determine
32   the proper scope of work for that effort. The administration would come back to
33   the Council with the plan of action for that work. If it takes more than $30,000, the
34   administration would seek the Council's approval for a one-time appropriation. This
35   has been a priority for the administration. The cost depends upon the scope of
36   work.
37
38         Imhof stated the scope needs to be developed before they put a budget
39   together. They will do a budget amendment at the first part of 2002 to get that
40   together.
41
42          Dawson moved to add $40,000 to the Juvenile Court Administration to add
43   an additional six months for the mental health case coordination project and
44   emergency juvenile detention center mental health services. There is one-time
45   funding that came in late. That will cover the cost. By giving the program six
46   additional months, they will have a program that they can evaluate. Hopefully they
47   can get some grant funding that will carry the program on. It will give the Juvenile
48   Court Administration a total budget of $3,316,702.
49


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 17
 1          Desler stated the administration supports the effort. They will work closely
 2   with the mental health community to find other appropriate resources to support
 3   this effort throughout the community.
 4
 5         Brenner stated the additional $40,000 isn't enough. There are two
 6   programs. One program is the critical case program and one is the intensive case
 7   program.
 8
 9         Imhof stated one of them is already funded for $15,000.
10
11         Brenner stated it is not already funded. It is listed under the unapproved
12   items. There is $95,000 total for the two programs.
13
14         (Clerk's Note: End of tape one, side B.)
15
16         Dave Wareing, Interim Criminal Justice Coordinator, stated he verified that
17   the mental health part of the program costs $80,000. Six months of the program
18   would cost $40,000, which is what Councilmember Dawson moved to approve.
19   They would need an additional $7,500 to do the other program for six months.
20
21         Imhof stated the Finance Committee was told that $15,000 for one of the
22   programs was approved.
23
24          Steve Paus, Juvenile Court Administrator, stated the budget for 2002
25   includes an amount of $22,000 for the detention portion of the program, for an
26   entire year.
27
28          Brenner asked if the Mental Health contractual services program is approved.
29   Paus stated that is included. It is in cost center 1970, which is detention. It is in
30   that program. The additional $15,000 is not approved.
31
32          Imhof stated that for that program, the Juvenile Court Administration asked
33   for an additional $15,000, and $22,000 was already approved.
34
35        Brenner questioned whether the $22,000 in cost center 1970 is for the
36   mental health contractual services program. Paus stated it is for that program.
37
38         Brenner asked if this is something that happened after the budget was put
39   together. Paus stated it was not. It has been in the budget since 2000.
40
41         Brenner asked if the County will have the exact same intensity of service for
42   the next six months that they've had over the last six months, given the amount
43   approved. Paus stated they will not.
44
45         Imhof asked what has changed. Paus stated they will not have the 24-hour,
46   $3 per hour beeper service.
47
48          Imhof asked the dollar value in 2001 for the mental health contractual
49   services program. Paus stated the cost in 2001 was $37,000.


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 18
 1
 2         Imhof stated the program has been cut by $15,000. Paus stated that is
 3   correct.
 4
 5         Dawson amended her motion to include $7,500 for the mental health
 6   contractual services in addition to the $40,000 for the intensive mental health case
 7   coordination. The two programs would be fully funded for six months.
 8
 9          Brenner stated she spoke to Mr. Desler about the program. Mr. Desler told
10   her that if this is a high priority in six months, the administration will do whatever it
11   needs to do to make sure it gets funded. This is not just for regular services. This
12   funding is for intensive crisis management for dangerous mentally ill juvenile
13   offenders in the detention facility. This program has already prevented injuries in
14   the last six months it has been operating. They cannot afford to be without this
15   program.
16
17         Imhof stated Mr. Paus would do his best to find grant funding to continue the
18   program. They will review the program in May or June.
19
20          Hoag questioned whether they will provide the same level of service over the
21   next six months that they have the past six months, with this additional funding.
22   Paus stated that is correct.
23
24         Motion to amend carried unanimously.
25
26          Hoag stated the issue of courthouse security has been discussed before. The
27   Council approved some plans to increase security in the courthouse. It hasn't
28   happened. There is a greater need now than ever. The employees have brought to
29   her attention the desire to have some security to prevent guns and knives from
30   coming into the courthouse. Also, the courts have asked to have increased
31   security. She proposed that the south entrance be used for courthouse employees
32   only and that one has to have a badge to get in, that the rotunda entrance be used
33   for the public, and to install a metal detector and a security guard at the rotunda
34   entrance. She moved to add $100,000 to the budget. Fifty thousand would be for
35   a 1.5 fulltime equivalent (FTE) employee. Fifty thousand would be for equipment.
36   They do have two portable metal detectors at this time. They can begin with those.
37   They need to have a level of increased security for the employees. They need to
38   put health and safety first.
39
40         Brenner asked the cost if they don't invest in a permanent mental detector,
41   and just use the portable metal detectors that the County already owns.
42
43          Hoag stated that if they just use what is there, they would only have the cost
44   of the FTE.
45
46          Brenner stated there is already someone here in the evenings. Hoag stated
47   that security person is only present for the County Council's evening meetings. The
48   security is not here for other night meetings or covering vacation for the position
49   that would be full time. They may be able to get away with a 1.25 FTE.


                           Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 19
 1
 2        Brenner suggested a friendly amendment to add the cost of one FTE to the
 3   budget. They do have the person already who works in the evening.
 4
 5         Hoag stated they still need someone who covers vacations.
 6
 7          Brenner stated she would vote for the concept of the security personnel, but
 8   not for buying a new machine.
 9
10         Crawford asked what they are protecting themselves from.
11
12          Hoag stated it would be protection from guns and knives. It is something
13   that the employees and courts requested. The Council approved the plan. Her
14   proposal would provide the bare minimum of protection.
15
16           Pete Kremen, County Executive, stated the suggestion that they have
17   heightened security has merit. He discussed this with Councilmember Hoag earlier.
18   Ms. Hoag suggested the possibility of closing the south entrance and having only
19   the rotunda entrance open to the public. Upon further consideration, the south
20   entrance is their disabled access to the building. It would cost the County a lot to
21   refurbish the rotunda. Also, the FTE has a wide range of costs associated with it. A
22   lot of it would depend on whether they opted to hire a security guard or a Whatcom
23   County Sheriff's Deputy. There is a huge difference in the cost. They would get a
24   more professional and secure presence with a Sheriff deputy. Take all this into
25   consideration.
26
27          Brenner asked if anyone has talked to the local security companies about
28   this. She would like to have a motion to explore this issue, and have the
29   administration come back to the Council after reviewing the options of private or
30   public security personnel.
31
32          Hoag stated that if they don't close the south entrance, they could put one of
33   the portable metal detectors at that entrance. They would have to have another
34   guard.
35
36          Kremen stated the administration would work with the Council to have
37   security that is as good as they can afford at this time.
38
39          Hoag amended her motion to request the administration to bring forward a
40   plan to keep knives and guns out of the courthouse. That is what the employees
41   and courts have requested.
42
43         Motion failed 3-4 with Hoag, Brenner, and McShane in favor.
44
45          Hoag moved to add $12,000 to the Sheriff's budget for remote stations.
46   They need to reduce the Sheriff deputy response times. They spend a lot of time
47   just driving to and from Bellingham. The deputies who cover her part of the county
48   spend two hours of every shift just driving back and forth to Bellingham. That puts
49   a considerable amount of wear and tear on the vehicles. It also leaves the district


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 20
 1   without protection during that time. It wastes the deputies time when they could
 2   be doing more productive things. She proposed a pilot program to put computer
 3   stations in fire stations and other locations. That money was not spent. She would
 4   like the $12,000 put in the budget again to run a pilot program to see if they can
 5   get a better response time. Sheriff deputies have called her about this and support
 6   it. The residents of the Blaine, Birch Bay, and Foothills areas have also requested
 7   it. She suggested putting it in the Nooksack/Everson area, and in the Enterprise
 8   Road area. It would also help to respond to issues at the BP plant and other heavy
 9   industries in that area.
10
11         Imhof stated the Finance Committee heard that the Sheriff is not excited
12   about doing that, so he would vote against it.
13
14         Dawson stated the Sheriff's Office is an independent department. The
15   County Council can't force a program on a department administrator that doesn't
16   support it. The union is also a concern on this issue.
17
18         Imhof stated it is not an easy fix to a difficult problem.
19
20         Brenner stated she supported the concept, but there aren't any cuts to
21   compensate for it. The money isn't there. She suggested that Councilmember
22   Hoag withdraw her motion until later in the discussion to see if any budget cuts
23   would cover the cost.
24
25         Hoag withdrew her motion. She stated she had cuts that she would propose,
26   and bring this back. She discussed this with the consultants who were hired to do
27   the Law and Justice study. Those consultants strongly supported the idea.
28   Everyone except the Sheriff has been very supportive.
29
30         Hoag stated she wanted to see the Lummi Island subarea plan funded at a
31   minimum of $35,000, and more if necessary. The issues that have been brought
32   forward regarding wetlands and saltwater intrusion are very important. She is
33   concerned that it cannot be done for $30,000.
34
35          Brenner stated she spoke to the folks on Lummi Island, who asked for more
36   than $30,000 if needed. Mr. Desler and Executive Kremen promised that would
37   happen. The residents are concerned that the County will cut corners. Mr. Desler,
38   Executive Kremen, and the administration assured them that no corners would be
39   cut. She is comfortable leaving it at $30,000. If they need a supplemental, they
40   will come back with it.
41
42          Hoag moved to delete $15,000 from Bellingham Economic Development
43   Council (EDC). Their last bulletin announced that the EDC used taxpayer funds to
44   help Nesco, the company that is proposing to put in Sumas Energy 2, to contact its
45   members to help build support for their power plant in Sumas. That is not a good
46   use of taxpayer's money.
47
48          Brenner stated she supported the motion. The City of Ferndale has pulled
49   out of the EDC.


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 21
 1
 2         Dawson stated they are not going to agree on everything regarding economic
 3   development. The EDC provides a valuable resource. She wouldn't support the
 4   motion.
 5
 6         Motion failed 3-4 with Brenner, McShane, and Hoag in favor.
 7
 8         Hoag moved to delete $14,188 the Council of Government's legislative
 9   specialist. Health and safety for the courthouse come before the lobbyists position.
10   The Washington Association of Counties and the Councilmembers do lobbying. This
11   money would be better spent on juvenile services and some of the other additions.
12
13          Imhof stated this position has done an admirable job for the County in
14   getting funding that wouldn't have otherwise been forthcoming. He would not
15   support the cut.
16
17          Brenner stated she would support the cut. They cannot afford another
18   lobbyist. They need to do that themselves.
19
20         Crawford stated the $14,000 is just a portion of the cost for the lobbyist. He
21   questioned the number of dollars this person has brought into the county just for
22   roads and transportation.
23
24          Imhof stated the amount of money that has been brought in is in the
25   millions.
26
27          Kremen stated the person doing the legislative liaison work in Olympia is
28   named Tom Parker. The County had the most productive year for transportation
29   funding than any other year in the history of Whatcom County. For the first time in
30   a long time, the County is now a recipient county instead of a donor county.
31
32         Hoag stated the road fund is not hurting at all. They have to cut and trim
33   from the general fund, not from the places that this gentleman brings in money.
34
35         Kremen stated the funds are for state roads, not local roads.
36
37         Imhof stated the economic development that these bring in are the reason
38   they can fund the other programs.
39
40         Hoag stated the County already pays the Council of Governments (COG)
41   $34,662. In addition to that, the County pays COG $14,188 for the lobbyist.
42
43         Motion failed 2-5 with Brenner and Hoag in favor.
44
45          Hoag moved to delete $20,000 from non-departmental for a performance
46   measurement. It would bring in a professional to help prepare outcome-based
47   strategic plan and budget development. The cost includes training and consultation
48   for department heads, elected officials, and key department personnel and to
49   develop the capacity to generate department-level strategic plans. This is


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 22
 1   something they already do. In lean times, this is a spot they could easily cut. The
 2   department heads are highly qualified and do a good job on this issue.
 3
 4         Imhof stated in lean times is when they want the best from the employees.
 5   They've been talking about performance measurements for the last ten to twelve
 6   years. They are finally getting to a point to make some difference. He did not
 7   support the motion.
 8
 9         Nelson agreed. They've been pushing for this for years. They've developed
10   the countywide strategic plan. When they talk about holding the budget at a zero
11   percent increase for the past six years, it is because of these efforts. This is not
12   something that is easy for department heads to implement. Last year, during the
13   budget process, they witnessed this difficulty. This funding would help them make
14   good decisions that impact the Whatcom County and the budget.
15
16          Brenner stated she's noticed that the department managers, rightfully so,
17   have an obligation and loyalty to their department. Sometimes it helps to have an
18   objective third person to shake things up. If they can squeeze any more efficiency
19   out of the departments, it will be money well spent.
20
21         Hoag stated the consultant will not audit the departments, just train the
22   department heads.
23
24         Brenner stated the department heads will be trained on how to make the
25   department more efficient. That will be better than an audit.
26
27         Motion failed 1-6 with Hoag in favor.
28
29         Hoag moved to add $12,000 to the Sheriff's Office for remote stations.
30   Health and safety should be at the top of their priority list. What she suggested for
31   her cuts are lower priorities. The Executive's Office said they can find $12,000.
32
33        Imhof stated this was not close to a priority for the Sheriff. He is the one
34   who would have to implement it.
35
36         Brenner agreed that it has never been a priority for the Sheriff, but she's
37   disagreed with him on this item. This concept has been adopted all over the
38   country. Everywhere it has been adopted, crime rates have gone down
39   dramatically. There is data to prove it. She is sorry that the Sheriff doesn't want
40   to implement it. She voted for enough cuts to support the program, even though
41   the Council didn't approve them.
42
43         Motion failed 2-5 with Hoag and Brenner in favor.
44
45         Motion to adopt the ordinance as amended carried 6-1 with Hoag opposed.
46
47         Imhof stated they started the budget process in May. The councilmembers
48   were concerned with the state of the budget, and gave direction. The
49   administration came up with a budget that heeded what the Council asked. That is


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 23
 1   evident in the lack of amendments to it. He thanked the Finance Committee
 2   members, councilmembers, and administration for getting done with the budget at
 3   a record early hour. It used to be a fistfight to get the budget passed before the
 4   deadline. This shows the quality of the administration and the Council.
 5
 6          Kremen stated he is very pleased that the administration and Council work
 7   well together. The direction that the Council provided was taken seriously. They
 8   both face a serious financial shortfall with increasing costs, this budget is the best
 9   they could do considering the circumstances. He thanked the councilmembers, all
10   the elected officials, and all the department heads. It was a true collaborative
11   effort. He gave special recognition, praise, and thanks to Dewey Desler who is a
12   master at putting together a public budget. Mr. Desler does it with grace, ease,
13   and prowess. He also recognized Brad Bennett, Finance Manager.
14
15          Desler stated he thanked all the department heads and staff in the Finance
16   Division who were super to work with. They worked hard on this. It will be even
17   more difficult in the future. He is impressed with the wisdom, advice, and support
18   he gets from the County Council. Whatcom County citizens are fortunate to have
19   the councilmembers working on their behalf. In addition, Mr. Kremen is wonderful
20   to work with because he is always available to the Council, the departments, and
21   the people of the county.
22
23         Brenner asked to have, in the future, an asterisk noting existing programs
24   when those programs are not approved.
25         .
26
27          Hoag stated this is the first time she voted against a budget. It is not a
28   reflection of a lack of appreciation for the Executive's Office, elected officials, or
29   department heads who really trimmed their budgets tight. She is concerned they
30   are not putting enough emphasis on health and safety.
31
32         Desler also thanked Debbie Adelstein and Francine Kincaid.
33
34
35   OTHER BUSINESS
36
37       EMERGENCY ORDINANCE IMPOSING A MORATORIUM ON THE
38   ACCEPTANCE OF NEW APPLICATIONS FOR SUBDIVISIONS OF LAND INTO
39   PARCELS SMALLER THAN FIVE ACRES WITHIN THE LAKE WHATCOM
40   WATERSHED; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY (2001-377)
41
42          Pete Kremen, County Executive, requested the Council's consideration and
43   support to impose a moratorium on the acceptance of new applications for
44   subdivisions on land into parcels smaller than five acres within the Lake Whatcom
45   watershed. Lake Whatcom is a critical water resource because it is the drinking
46   water supply for almost half of the residents of Whatcom County. It is of the
47   utmost importance to preserve the resource for future generations, and develop the
48   kind of watershed management strategies that are founded on best available
49   science, watershed stewardship, and appropriate land use planning. They must


                           Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 24
 1   develop strategies that prevent harm to the water body before it is too late. As
 2   stewards of this invaluable resource, they must pause to ensure they are protecting
 3   the water quality of Lake Whatcom. They lack information that relates to the
 4   amount of pollution coming from current and future development. Through the
 5   water resource inventory area (WRIA) watershed management program, they've
 6   begun to acquire this information and apply best available science to their land use
 7   planning efforts. It is prudent to gather this information so they can weigh the
 8   impacts of future development on Lake Whatcom water quality. At the previous
 9   County Council meeting, the Council passed criteria for land preservation in the
10   Lake Whatcom watershed. Now they must apply these criteria to parcels in the
11   watershed and employ the appropriate preservation strategy. Until they know the
12   number of parcels that need to be protected and the economic implications, it is
13   prudent to not commit to high density land use activities in the interim. Recently,
14   the State Department of Ecology (DOE) released the stormwater management
15   manual for Western Washington. This manual provides a framework for local
16   governments to address stormwater issues. The County must and will evaluate this
17   manual and develop a stormwater strategy for Lake Whatcom. This strategy will
18   address current and future development, and the importance of enhanced
19   emergency spill response in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Entertain this
20   ordinance. Take their obligations as stewards of this valuable resource seriously.
21   He urged the Council to support the ordinance. Hal Hart and Bruce Roll would be
22   available to answer questions.
23
24         Imhof moved to adopt the emergency ordinance.
25
26         Brenner asked to insert "temporary moratorium…" wherever the word
27   "moratorium" exists in the ordinance.
28
29         Kremen accepted the friendly amendment to add language to the ordinance.
30
31         Hoag stated there is a typo, "WHEREAS, a moratorium on further…while the
32   county studies the affect effect of future development…"
33
34         The Council concurred.
35
36         (Clerk's Note: End of tape two, side A.)
37
38         McShane questioned whether there are applications that have been
39   submitted, and are yet to be determined to be complete.
40
41         Hal Hart, Planning and Development Services Director, stated there are.
42   Because of the previous subdivision ordinance that was in place, prior to the
43   amended one from last year, the process was left open so that subdivisions that
44   became vested by paying money are still alive in the process, even now. There are
45   about 140 acres worth of land that could be divided to the minimum amount. In
46   many cases, there could be four lots to an acre. These parcels are vested, but
47   people haven't acted.
48



                         Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 25
 1         Brenner asked if there are any that have come in that are not vested. Hart
 2   stated there are not.
 3
 4          McShane questioned whether changing the language in Section 1 from
 5   "complete" to "submitted" would have any impact. Hart stated that anything
 6   submitted previous to this action would go through, and would not be subject to
 7   this action. He agreed with changing the language. When the department accepts
 8   the application and fee, it is considered "complete."
 9
10        McShane stated there has to be a determination of completeness now, based
11   on what has been provided. Hart agreed.
12
13         McShane questioned whether there are recent applications. Hart stated
14   there has not been many applications that have come in.
15
16         McShane moved to amend Section 1, "A. A moratorium is imposed…unless
17   the applications were complete submitted, as provided in…."
18
19         Brenner questioned whether they could legally make that change.
20
21         Randy Watts, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, stated vesting occurs upon
22   submitting a completed application.
23
24          Nelson stated there is nothing illegal about specifying a date, and saying that
25   any paperwork submitted before that date would be considered. Watts stated they
26   would want to only allow a completed application to be submitted to work with
27   vesting. They wouldn't want someone to submit something that needed further
28   input to be complete.
29
30          McShane stated he is concerned about someone who may have submitted an
31   application yesterday, for example, but inadvertently left something out.
32
33           Nelson asked what happens when the applicant goes to the Planning and
34   Development Services offices. Hart stated there is a pre-application meeting. The
35   staff tells the applicant what they need to do for a complete submission. They are
36   assigned a number.
37
38         Nelson stated the applicant is assigned a number and believes he or she
39   already started the process. They have not been vested, but have begun the
40   process. The applicant would have invested in consultants or wetland checks, for
41   example, to get a completed application. The questioned is about those people.
42
43           Hart stated that Mr. Watts explained that the application is not submitted
44   until it is complete. The idea is about how sensitive they want this to be. The legal
45   definition for vesting is where he feels most comfortable.
46
47         Nelson stated that if someone has gone to the Planning and Development
48   Services Department to begin the process, that person is not vested. He
49   questioned whether there is any reason why the County cannot acknowledge those


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 26
 1   applications. Watts stated the applicant should submit something to the Planning
 2   and Development Services Department, such as complete application.
 3
 4         Hart stated the department has to have an application and a fee in order to
 5   begin work on something. If someone just comes in to ask the best way to
 6   subdivide, it is not considered a submission. It is the pre-approval process. Once
 7   the applicant submits and pays the fee, the application is considered vested.
 8
 9         Hoag questioned whether there are any applications in the pre-approval
10   process. Hart stated not at this time. They've only had two short-plats this year,
11   which would create lots in size less than five acres.
12
13         McShane withdrew his motion.
14
15         Motion to adopt the emergency failed 4-3 because of a lack of a super-
16   majority, with Nelson, Dawson, and Crawford opposed.
17
18          Brenner stated the Council received a request from Dane Kershner for a
19   Council letter of support for a Lummi Island grant in the amount of $25,000 from
20   the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. She moved to send a letter of support
21   for the Lummi Island Heritage Trust to support a grant to purchase 43 acres of
22   open space on Lummi Island to create a publicly-accessible community preserve.
23
24          Motion carried 6-0 with Crawford abstaining due to a potential conflict of
25   interest.
26
27
28   INTRODUCTION ITEMS
29
30         Imhof moved to accept the Introduction Items.
31
32         Motion carried unanimously.
33
34   1.    RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE WHATCOM COUNTY 2002 ANNUAL
35         ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM (AB2001-368)
36
37   2.    ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 24 OF THE WHATCOM COUNTY
38         CODE TO INCLUDE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ADEQUATE
39         WATER SUPPLY AND MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SELLER TO
40         PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE BUYER CONCERNING THE WATER
41         SOURCE WHEN SELLING DEVELOPED PROPERTY (AB2001-369)
42
43   3.    ORDINANCE AMENDING THE OFFICIAL WHATCOM COUNTY ZONING
44         ORDINANCE, SECTIONS 20.71.400 – BUILDING SETBACK/BUFFER
45         AREAS AND 20.80.210 – MINIMUM SETBACKS TO ADDRESS
46         BUILDING SETBACKS IN THE WATER RESOURCE PROTECTION
47         OVERLAY DISTRICT (AB2001-370)
48



                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 27
 1   4.    ORDINANCE AMENDING THE OFFICIAL WHATCOM COUNTY ZONING
 2         ORDINANCE TO EXCLUDE SUBMERGED AQUATIC LANDS FROM
 3         PARCEL AREA CALCULATIONS FOR IMPERVIOUS SURFACE, GROSS
 4         DENSITY, OPEN SPACE, MINIMUM LOT SIZE AND LOT COVERAGE
 5         (AB200-371)
 6
 7   5.    ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE WHATCOM COUNTY TAX REFUND
 8         FUND (AB2001-372)
 9
10   6.    ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 2000-014 TO EXTEND THE
11         PROVISIONAL SHORT TERM PLANNING AREA FOR THE DRAYTON
12         HARBOR AREA OF THE BLAINE URBAN GROWTH AREA FOR AN
13         ADDITIONAL TWO YEARS AS PROVIDED IN ORDINANCE 99-071
14         (AB2001-373)
15
16   7.    ORDINANCE AMENDING THE 2001 BUDGET, AMENDMENT #11
17         (AB2001-374)
18
19   8.    ORDINANCE AMENDING WHATCOM COUNTY CODE 2.02, COUNTY
20         COUNCIL (AB2001-352)
21
22
23   REPORTS AND OTHER ITEMS FROM COUNCILMEMBERS
24
25         Hoag stated that during the Northwest Air Pollution Authority (NWAPA) board
26   meeting, she mentioned the odor problems at Recomp. Recomp was issued three
27   notices of violation, including a violation of the conditions of their air operating
28   permit. The NWAPA Board will send a letter to the County Council to explain the
29   actions that they are taking. They are trying to get a handle on the problem.
30
31           Also, the Bellingham Herald reported that the energy crisis was a scam. A
32   California official was quoted as saying that, during the rolling brown-outs, more
33   than one-third of the available power plants were taken off line to create an
34   artificial crisis. The Governor of California said this was a monumental scam. In
35   the year 2000 and 2001, the West Coast used less energy than in 1999, yet they
36   paid $35 billion more for it. The enforcement agency would have been the Federal
37   Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
38
39           Dawson stated residents on the Lummi peninsula want to know what to do
40   regarding the lawsuit. She suggested that the residents gather a petition to send
41   to officials. She asked for support to send a letter to the Governor, the State
42   Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the State Department of Ecology (DOE),
43   and the Lummi Tribe regarding the federal suit asking the state to intervene.
44
45         Nelson stated the residents should send in the request themselves, not the
46   Council.
47
48         The Council concurred.
49


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 28
 1          Brenner stated the Public Works Committee will meet with the City of
 2   Ferndale’s Planning and Judicial Committee to discuss Recomp tomorrow at 1:00
 3   p.m. at the Ferndale City Hall. She attended a Ferndale City Council meeting a
 4   week ago. There were 30 or 40 residents who are all complaining of the same
 5   physical ailments and of emotional and mental stress from this facility. Every
 6   Ferndale council member has been out there. They've all gotten sick from the
 7   smells. Business people told the Ferndale City Council that they can't find tenants
 8   for their buildings because the stench is so bad. She attended the annual meeting
 9   of the Farm Bureau. Greg Ebe told her that he chose not to rent space near
10   Recomp because of the stench. The City of Ferndale is considering filing an
11   injunction to stop Recomp. Whatcom County should not let Ferndale do this by
12   themselves. Over a year ago, Ferndale hired a consultant to evaluate the odors,
13   and make recommendations on what to do. Recomp hasn't done any of the
14   recommendations. She questioned why the County Health Department didn't hire a
15   consultant. Ferndale has done more than its share, and the County should consider
16   going in on the injunction. Many of the residents who testified live outside the city.
17
18          Hoag stated that included in a letter from one of the residents was mention
19   of a fan that screeches. Both the stench and the noise from the fan are violations
20   of the nuisance laws, which the State has and that the County has adopted. The
21   County should do something about this. They are not. NWAPA has jurisdiction to
22   do something about the stench, but not about the noise.
23
24         Brenner stated the only thing that NWAPA can do is issue fines. NWAPA has
25   issued many fines. That hasn't stopped or slowed down the stench.
26
27         Nelson questioned whether the administration has a representative to attend
28   the meeting. Desler stated he would send someone.
29
30          Brenner stated she met with Mr. McEachran and asked him if he would be
31   willing to speak to the Ferndale city attorney. Mr. McEachran stated he would be
32   willing to speak with their attorney. The fan screeches 24 hours per day. The
33   residential area was there first. They are being woken up at 2 a.m. and cannot get
34   back to sleep. They can't have their windows open.
35
36        Crawford stated he heard someone was concerned that there would be a
37   quorum of the Council.
38
39         Brenner stated there will be a quorum of the committee. It has been
40   advertised. Even if it was a quorum of the Council, it would be allowed if they
41   advertised it.
42
43         Crawford stated he was concerned that there would be a quorum of the
44   Council that would take official action.
45
46          Brenner stated that can't happen unless they are designated to take official
47   action. This is only the committee. The committee can only make
48   recommendations.
49


                          Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 29
 1
 2   ADJOURN
 3
 4        The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
 5
 6
 7   ______________________________
 8   Jill Nixon, Minutes Transcription
 9
10        These minutes were approved by Council on _November 27_, 2001.
11
12   ATTEST:                                   WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL
13                                             WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON
14
15
16
17   ______________________________            ___________________________
18   Dana Brown-Davis, Council Clerk           L. Ward Nelson, Council Chair
19
20
21




                       Regular County Council, 11/13/2001, Page 30

								
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