Crews Set to Smoke Test Sewer Lines this week

Public Works crews are set to smoke test sanitary sewer lines this week in the neighborhoods identified above.

 These tests help the City identify how and where water (and other material) enters and leaves our sewer system, allowing us to locate defective connections and spots in need of repairs.

During smoke testing, field crews blow air and smoke into the sewer system from the street and then monitor where it comes out. The smoke under pressure will fill the main line as well as any connections and then follow the path of any leak to the ground surface, quickly revealing the source of the problem.

For instance, if smoke permeates up through a yard, it indicates breaks in the sewer line. The smoke is gently pushed to overcome atmospheric pressure and  should escape from building roof vents.

The smoke itself is actually not smoke, but a non-toxic, non-staining odorless vapor.

Smoke testing is a harmless, cost-effective way to identify areas of our sewer system that need improvement.

Below are some common questions and answers about this testing, if you have any further questions, please call the Public Works Department at (360) 384-4006.


Flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Chief Michael Knapp

Proclamation on the Death of Former Police Chief Michael Knapp

As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Michael Knapp, former police chief of the City of Ferndale who was fatally injured in the line of duty while serving the City of Lynden, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the City of Ferndale and the laws of the United States of America, that until the date of his internment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at city hall and all public buildings and grounds.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of November, in the year two thousand nineteen.

Mayor Jon Mutchler, City of Ferndale

UPDATE: Prior to issuing this proclamation, the City sought, and received, authorization from the Governor for this action. It was granted on the condition the mayor make a proclamation.

Council Meeting Summary for Nov. 4th, 2019

City Council Agenda Follow-Up November 4, 2019  
5:00 p.m. Budget Workshop INFO ONLY
APPROVAL OF AGENDA Councilmember Taylor moved, and Councilmember Jensen seconded, to approve the agenda as presented. MOTION CARRIED 7-0. APPROVED
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember Hansen moved, and Councilmember Bersch seconded, to approve the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.    APPROVED
PRIVATE DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE Assistant Planner Jesse Ashbaugh presented an update on the following private development projects:             INFO ONLY  
PRESENTATION: Mark Kaiman, Municipal Court Judge Municipal Court Judge Mark Kaiman presented information about the current state of the Court/Council Chambers, and the dire need for updated facilities. The judge views it as an ongoing and serious crisis, and he has been trying to call attention to the deplorable state of the facility ever since he took office in January. The facility doesn’t meet the security standards as defined in GR 36. (General Rules for Trial Court Security as defined by Washington Courts) Security deficiencies noted include: No video camerasNo duress alarms (panic buttons)No emergency notification processLimited weapons screening (conducted by volunteer SCOPE officers) The facility is also lacking in several other areas, including: Jury box, jury room for deliberationsAttorney meeting rooms so they can meet with their clientsJudge’s chambers in a secured areaSecure workspace for court clerkSeparate entrance for court staff & secured entrance for in-custody defendantsTechnology is lacking & unreliable   Kaiman explained that if the City wants people to respect the justice system, court must be held in a room that engenders respect. He pleaded with Council to consider building a purpose-built municipal building that will serve the City now and into the future as well.                     INFO ONLY
PUBLIC HEARING: 2020 Property Tax Levy In 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:   Provide adequate personnel funding for the Ferndale Police Department to retain the current workforce while expanding in strategic areas to ensure that two officers are on shift at all times.Provide resources for new City facilities, with the goal of reducing interest payments for those facilities, resulting in 20-year cost savings of approximately $1.2 million.Provide resources for deferred maintenance of City infrastructure as well as partial funding for road and park-related projects.Maintain adequate reserve funding in advance of economic downturn.   The public hearing was held, and citizens had an opportunity to speak about the proposed 2020 property tax increase. The City is required to notify the Whatcom County Assessor of their intent to use or decline the use of banked capacity prior to November 30 of each calendar year. Staff will bring an ordinance setting the proposed property tax rate for 2020 to the November 18, 2019 meeting.                     PUBLIC HEARING
MAYOR REPORTS/COMMENTS Information only. COUNCIL REPORTS/COMMENTS Information only. DEPARTMENT REPORTS Information only.       INFO ONLY
ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 7:34  p.m.  
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