The regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Monday, April 6, 2020 will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams, with staff and Councilmembers accessing the meeting from individual locations. This complies with Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay at Home Order, which states, in part, that people should refrain from all public gatherings, including civic activities.
This is still an open public meeting as defined by
the Open Public Meetings Act. The City will be using Microsoft Teams to
livestream the council meeting. Members of the public do not need to download
anything to view the proceedings. The meeting can be viewed by clicking this
link :Join live eventat
6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 6.
The public comment session at the opening of the meeting has
been cancelled until further notice. Members of the public are encouraged to
submit written comments to City Clerk Susan Duncan by emailing email@example.com.
Comments received prior to 5:00 p.m. Monday, April 6 will be included in the
Governor’s proclamation deems nearly all construction as nonessential
The City of Ferndale announced today clarifications to Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” statewide stay-at-home order as it pertains to construction, identifying nearly all construction as nonessential. This means most construction activities are required to stop during the order.
All construction activities allowed to continue under exemptions must comply with social distancing including appropriate health and worker protection measures before proceeding.
“We know this is hard,” said Mayor Greg Hansen, “But these necessary steps can literally save lives.”
According to the memo issued by the governor’s office, the exceptions are construction related to essential activities like health care, transportation, energy, defense and critical manufacturing; construction “to further a public purpose related to a public entity,” including publicly financed low-income housing; and emergency repairs.
The City will defer to the governor’s order as to the list of essential businesses and subsequent letters from the governor’s office identifying specific businesses or construction projects as essential.
City inspectors shall have the authority to determine what is allowable to prevent spoliation. In their discretion the installation of a roof, roofing materials, doors, windows, or structural elements necessary to prevent the degradation or failure of building elements.
Projects that have determined that they qualify as essential infrastructure and businesses as described below may request inspections:
Healthcare and Public Health facilities.
Emergency Service facilities.
Food and Agriculture facilities which manufacture or distribute and currently under construction.
Utility facilities related to transportation, communication, electric, water, wastewater.
Critical manufacturing facilities including hazardous or chemical materials.
Residential construction projects that are currently under construction can continue to a point to prevent spoliation, damage or unsafe conditions. Projects shall be brought to a point of securing the structure to prevent personal and environmental damage of exterior and/or interior building elements and to negate unsafe conditions. This will be construed narrowly.
Residential construction related to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity or the health and safety of occupants.
“The City continues to review, and process permit applications. Recognizing that construction is vital to our community, our goal is to keep all permits in various review stages, moving full speed ahead so that construction can commence as soon as the emergency order ends. We thank our local applicants, builders and contractors for the collaborative effort during this time.” Haylie Miller, Community Development Director.
If projects are continuing construction that is not deemed “essential by the Governor’s Order” , the City will cease inspections and may proceed with enforcement (as necessary) to gain compliance.
With the uptick in cleaning and sanitation, many of you are flushing wipes down into our sewer system. Please stop. There is no such thing as a flushable wipe, these materials do not break down and will clog our pump stations, causing serious damage to our utilities.
For more information or questions, please contact Ferndale Public Works at 360-384-4006.
Mayor Greg Hansen shares some of the City’s actions to protect our community from COVID-19 and offers three ways you can help. For more information and resources available during this difficult time check out cityofferndale.org/covid19 or the Whatcom County page at whatcomcovid.com.
Spanish language version available below with Councilmember Herb Porter.
My name is
Greg Hansen, and I’m the Mayor of Ferndale. Today, I am going to share with you
some of the things we are working on as a City to keep all of us safe during
this pandemic and what you can do to help.
other communities around the world, we have closed public spaces to help slow
the spread of this disease. This includes closing City Hall, the Police
Station, our municipal court and our playgrounds. For the safety of our staff
and others, we’ve empowered city employees to work remotely whenever possible. Despite
the crisis, the work of the City continues and we are reachable by phone, email
or through our website.
As you know,
the state and county have enacted measures to close schools, bars, restaurants,
libraries and other public places, and yesterday, the Governor issued an order
to shelter in place.We know this is hard but these necessary steps that
could save literally thousands of lives.
For those of
you worried about your utility bills, rest assured, we are not doing shutoffs
or charging late fees for the Feb. 28th bill. The next utility bill
does not go out until April 30th and we are working to see what
solutions are available then. We understand that people are struggling, and
this is what we are able to do right now to help.
and businesses needing economic support, there is an ever-growing list of
resources available. We have linked it in the description of this video.
For those of
you worried about your building permit deadlines, please contact our community
development staff who are ready to provide you the flexibility needed during
The City is
working closely with our neighboring communities. The County has established a
Unified Command at the County Emergency Operations Center so that all first
responders, medical professionals and public information officers in our area
can work together seamlessly. We are proud to be part of this dedicated team
working around the clock to protect our community.
always met challenges head on. When
there’s a big crisis, we always rise to meet it because that is what we do. We
are Ferndale, and we look out for each other. That’s why we need your help. Here
are the three things we need everyone in Ferndale to do.
the spread. That means staying home if you are sick, avoiding gathering in
groups, limit trips to the grocery store and wash your hands with hot water and
soap. This will help stop the spread of the disease.
But we also
need to stop the spreading of misinformation.
In a crisis, bad information can make a challenging situation even
worse. Please be prudent about what you share. Whatcom County has established a
single website for all COVID related information, it is whatcomcovid.com. For
Ferndale-specific details, please go to www.cityofferndale.org/covid19.
support your Ferndale businesses. Whenever possible, shop Ferndale. We’ve
assembled a list of restaurants providing takeout in our city at www.cityofferndale.org/takeout.
Pick up some food and tip well, it really does help. A number of other local businesses are
modifying their operation to facilitate convenient pick up and deserve our
look after each other. Call your elderly relatives, keep active as best you can
and make sure that your neighbors have the help they need. I know that when we
work together and take care of each other, we are stronger than any virus.
we are here to help. If you have questions or need help, don’t hesitate to call
or email. Thank you.
Hansen Declares State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19
Mayor Greg Hansen issued a proclamation effective
immediately declaring a state of emergency related to the COVID-19 virus
outbreak. This proclamation allows the
City of Ferndale to modify policies and procedures so that the City can move
quickly and efficiently to address the issues arising from this virus
“We have been operating under a state of emergency
at various levels for over two weeks.
Issuing this proclamation now is really an administrative step to allow
the City to be more responsive and effective at meeting this crisis,” said
Hansen. “This declaration will allow the City to expedite the purchase of
needed supplies, change rules related to the use of sick leave, utilize online
options for public meetings, change hours of operation at City Hall, or
institute flexible work schedules for employees who need it.”
This action matches the recent declarations of emergency
at the County, State and Federal level. “Our priority is to maintain the City operations
and services throughout this situation. Ferndale is a fierce community and we
will meet this head on,” said Hansen.
“While declaring a state of emergency is alarming to many, we are in unprecedented times,” said Hansen. “This is not just a public health crisis but a community-wide challenge. These will be difficult times for everybody in Ferndale, but I am especially concerned for our small businesses who are taking-on a particularly significant burden as they help our community combat this health emergency.”
The Mayor urges the public to take the following
steps to help support each other during this outbreak.
on your neighbors
in a safe and responsible way. Are they getting the resources, childcare and
support they need? Utilizing video chat is also a great option for connecting
with friends and family
supplies have hit emergency levels due to COVID-19 concerns.
a meal and support your Ferndale restaurants by grabbing take-out or delivery outside in the sunshine.
The city is working on a directory of Ferndale restaurants that will be available
a gift certificate from a Ferndale business. With less foot traffic, Ferndale businesses could use the
the parks and trails throughout Ferndale. Activity is essential to your mental
and physical health.
the most of the time. Learn
a new skill or pick up a hobby, maintain a routine, do art or reconnect with
your loved ones.
Force to Deliver Final Report to City Council Monday
After a year of studying poverty and income inequality, the
North Whatcom Poverty Task Force will deliver their recommendations to the
Ferndale City Council at their next council meeting, Monday, March 2nd
at 6pm in the City Annex (5964 Second Avenue).
The North Whatcom Poverty Task Force was created by the Ferndale City Council in February of last year to examine the impacts of poverty and income inequality. Over the last year, the group met with representatives from social services, businesses, law enforcement, real estate, employment specialists and those who had experienced poverty firsthand.
“I’m really proud of the work the Poverty Task Force has
done over the last year,” said Councilmember Kate Bishop who spearheaded the
creation of the task force. “Ferndale is becoming a leader when it comes to tackling
the complex problems facing our most vulnerable residents. This is about smart
planning and making sure those who call Ferndale home have access to the resources
they need to remain a part of our community.”
The final report details over forty different
recommendations that the City of Ferndale can enact in the short- and long-term
covering topics such as housing, transportation, hunger, youth in crisis and
homelessness. The central recommendation of the report is an affordable housing
levy to be placed on the ballot for November 2020. This recommendation will be
discussed at the following council meeting on March 16th.
Over the weekend, Star Park and Cedar Creek Park were both tagged with graffiti. The Ferndale Police Department is investigating and if you have any information about this incident, please reach out to Officer Steven Gamage at 360-384-3390 x5864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thankfully, our Public Works crew was able to remove the damage however we do need your help making sure Star Park stays clean.
Star Park is an incredible facility. Over 2,000 volunteers and 300 organizations donated thousands of dollars and hours to bring it to life. It was designed by Ferndale children and built by this community.
We are small town and it is likely that whomever did this is local. Please talk to your children, neighbors and friends about how important Star Park is to our city – you never know whose mind you might change.
The City is planning a Star Park Renewal day in Spring of 2020 where we will conduct minor repairs, repaint the park and add some additional art to the equipment. If you are interested in volunteering for this, please email Recreation Coordinator Riley Sweeney at email@example.com.
CAPITAL PROJECTS UPDATE
Works Project Manager Katy Radder presented updates on the following capital
Ferndale Terrace – 30% design will be complete
in the next few weeksNordic to Scout Water Line – 90% plan review
is complete; BNSF permit anticipated soonPump Station #19 Decommissioning – 90% plan
review underway; anticipate going out to bid in early 2020First Avenue Pedestrian Improvements – Poles
for the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) will be delivered to Puget
Sound Energy in February 2020, and installation is expected to begin in March
2020Complete Streets – ADA ramps on Alder Street,
RRFBs on Vista and Thornton; design contracts for all are expected in early
2020Thornton – Vista to Malloy – Statements of
Qualifications have been submitted and are under review; a design contract is
anticipated in early 2020Thornton Overpass – The project is out to bid
now, and the bid opening is scheduled for November 21, 2019. The bid award is
expected to come to Council for approval on December 2, 2019.
ORDINANCE: Property Tax Levy
2016, the City reduced its share of property tax due to the annexation into
Whatcom County Fire District #7. This amount has been reserved by the Whatcom
County Assessor as the City’s banked capacity. The available amount the City
is eligible to claim is $1,420,313. Council can decide to take all or part of
the banked capacity. The use of the full banked capacity would allow the City
to sustainably address community needs that have remained unmet, such as
providing adequate personnel funding for the Police Department, providing
resources for new City facilities, providing resources for deferred
maintenance of City infrastructure, and to allow adequate reserve funding in
the event of economic downturn. The required public hearing was held on November
Councilmember Bersch moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve
the agenda bill with the following amendment: Reduce the amount of banked
capacity to be taken from 100% down to 33%.Councilmember Xczar moved, and
Councilmember Jensen seconded, to amend the motion to increase the amount of
banked capacity to be taken from 33% up to 50%.ON THE AMENDMENT: Motion failed 3 – 4,
Councilmembers Xczar, Jensen and Bishop in favor.Councilmember Olson moved, and
Councilmember Bersch seconded, to amend the ordinance to include language
specifying that the first priority for the banked capacity is for Police
Department needs.ON THE AMENDMENT: Motion failed 2 – 5,
Councilmembers Olson and Bersch in favor.Councilmember Hansen moved, and
Councilmember Bersch seconded, to amend the ordinance to include language
specifying that $300,000 of the banked capacity be designated to Police
Department needs and balance be designated to funding for new City
facilities.ON THE AMENDMENT: Motion failed 2 – 5,
Councilmembers Hansen and Bersch in favor.ON THE MAIN MOTION:MOTION CARRIED 5 – 2, Councilmembers
Jensen and Olson opposed.
PUBLIC HEARING: 2020 Budget
law requires that two public hearings be held prior to the adoption of the
budget. The second public hearing will be held on December 2, 2019, and
Council will be asked to adopt the 2020 budget at that time.
public hearing was opened at 7:08 p.m.
members of the public spoke.
public hearing was closed at 7:09 p.m.
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING CONTRACT:
the City advertised for design engineering work for the Thornton Overpass
project in 2017, it included the option to add future phases of work,
including construction engineering, construction management, inspection, and materials testing. Staff has
been working with Reichhardt and Ebe to put together a multi-discipline team
of highly qualified and experienced professionals needed to administer the
project This includes utilization of several subconsultant firms with the
expertise and skills needed to oversee and facilitate construction activities
to ensure the project moves forward within available budget and on schedule, while
also adhering to the standards of quality for a long-lasting product. This
contract is designed to complement the efforts of the City’s existing capital
project staff members by providing the manpower and technical knowledge
needed to administer a contract of this nature. In addition to the civil
engineering, inspection and contract administration assistance to be provided
by Reichhardt and Ebe as the prime consultant, this contract includes
structural engineering oversight by KPFF, bridge inspection and construction
engineering services from KBA, geotechnical engineering oversight by PanGeo,
materials testing services by Geo Test, as well as ancillary survey work by
Councilmember Jensen moved, and Councilmember
Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.
INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT: Wayfinding
interlocal agreement with Whatcom County and the other Whatcom County cities
will facilitate a coordinated rollout of a comprehensive regional wayfinding
signage system. As per the terms of the interlocal agreement Whatcom County
would compensate the City for half the cost of the vehicular signage within
the City, with the County’s share estimated to be approximately $93,000. The
City has included $100,000 in the 2020 budget to represent the City’s
share. Finance & Administration
Committee members discussed the issue at length during the November 13, 2019
meeting; and specifically wondered if the City would be obligated to initiate
the project or to complete the full scope of work described in the interlocal
if City funding was not available. Whatcom County personnel have confirmed
that the interlocal provides pro-rata funding only for the actual vehicular
sign costs. This means that if the City does not put up a sign, it is not
obligated to do so. The County also confirmed that, although it is not
specified in the interlocal, it has been generally agreed upon that the
County would consider a low or no-interest loan to assist jurisdictions that
are unable to complete the full scope of work.
Councilmember Taylor moved, and
Councilmember Bersch seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 5-2,
Councilmembers Olson and Bersch opposed.
meeting was adjourned at 7:31 p.m.