Council Meeting Summary for Nov. 18th, 2019

Council agenda materials can be found here

                                                                                      City Council Agenda Follow-Up November 18, 2019  
5:00 p.m. Budget Workshop INFO ONLY
APPROVAL OF AGENDA Councilmember Bersch moved, and Councilmember Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda as presented. MOTION CARRIED 7-0. APPROVED
PUBLIC COMMENT INFO ONLY
CONSENT AGENDA Councilmember Jensen moved, and Councilmember Hansen seconded, to approve the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.    APPROVED
PRESENTATION: North Whatcom Poverty Task Force The North Whatcom Poverty Task Force was formed in February 2019 in order to address impacts of rising housing prices, income inequality, homelessness and food insecurity in Ferndale. The focus of the task force is to conduct a needs analysis for the community, examining the full scope of impacts on social services, the business community, health care access, food and transportation system. Recommendations for both short-term and long-term strategies for addressing the issue will be presented to the City Council prior to December 31, 2020, after which the task force will be disbanded. Owen Cool and Jim Carr presented an update on the work of the North Whatcom Poverty Task Force, the progress they have made, and the next steps for the group.         INFO ONLY  
CAPITAL PROJECTS UPDATE Public Works Project Manager Katy Radder presented updates on the following capital projects: 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.                 INFO ONLY
ORDINANCE: 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 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 4, 2019.   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.                                   APPROVED AS AMENDED
PUBLIC HEARING: 2020 Budget State 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.   The public hearing was opened at 7:08 p.m.   No members of the public spoke.   The public hearing was closed at 7:09 p.m.         PUBLIC HEARING
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING CONTRACT: Thornton Overpass When 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 Compass Point. Councilmember Jensen moved, and Councilmember Taylor seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.               APPROVED
INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT: Wayfinding Program The 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.  
MAYOR REPORTS/COMMENTS Information only. COUNCIL REPORTS/COMMENTS Information only. DEPARTMENT REPORTS Information only.       INFO ONLY
ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 7:31 p.m.  

Now Hiring – Public Works Inspector

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The City of Ferndale is now hiring a Public Works Inspector. This position functions as the primary inspector on private civil improvements and assigned City capital projects.  Under the direction of the Engineering Services Supervisor, inspects construction projects for conformance with plans and specifications, completes reports, resolves problems, and coordinates work activities.  The person in this position provides assistance to citizens and staff with regards to general engineering and development review; including responding to complaints, conducting investigations, and recommending stop work orders, reviewing civil plans and other documents, and record maintenance and research.  

For a complete job description, click here. For an application, click here. The position is open until December 6, 2019.

Black Friday Auction!

Just in time for your Holiday shopping! You will find items for auction at www.Govdeals.com. 

Make sure to pre-register in order to participate in the auction.  Auction starts on Friday, November 29th!  We have hand and power tools, jewelry, household items, watches, radios, Apple products and even a snowboard!

Crew Continues Smoke Test of 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.

Public Hearing Notice – 2020 Budget

Notice is hereby given that the City of Ferndale’s 2020 Preliminary Budget has been filed with the City Clerk. A copy thereof will be furnished to any taxpayer who requests it by contacting the City Clerk. Ferndale City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, November 18, 2019 to consider the final budget for 2020.

The hearing will be held at the City Hall Annex Building located at 5694 Second Avenue, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Any taxpayers may appear thereat and be heard for or against any part of the budget. Documents may be viewed at www.cityofferndale.org.

Potential Quorum Notice – State Auditor’s Exit Conference

Notice is hereby given that one or more members of the Ferndale City Council may attend the following meeting:

State Auditor’s Exit Conference

Monday, November 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Ferndale City Hall, Main Conference Room

2095 Main Street  Ferndale, WA

The purpose of this meeting is to allow state auditors to share their preliminary results of their audit of the City of Ferndale for the financial fiscal year 2018. This is an open public meeting as outlined by the Open Public Meetings Act, and members of the public are invited to attend and observe.

          Susan Duncan, CMC

          City Clerk, City of Ferndale

         

      

       

        

       

Planning Commission & Arts Commission Seeking Volunteers

The City has a number of Boards and Commissions that work to advise the council on a broad array of subjects. These are volunteer positions but absolutely essential to providing quality input to the city decision making process.

There is currently a vacancy on the Planning Commission, as well as two vacancies on the Arts Commission. To apply for one of these positions, please fill out this application and email it to City Clerk Susan Duncan at susanduncan@cityofferndale.org.



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.


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