The following letter to Ferndale City Councilmembers is provided courtesy of Ferndale City Administrator Jori Burnett. It provides summaries, and background in some cases, of the items on the meeting agenda for the regular City Council meeting scheduled for 6pm, Monday, March 4th.
Our Monday agenda includes the following:
Item B: Consent Agenda. – Approval of Council minutes, authorization of payroll, approval of claims.
Design Contract: Nordic to Scout Water Main – the Public Works Committee has placed a contract authorizing Reichardt and Ebe Engineering, Inc. to design a watermain extension between Nordic Way and Scout Place, in order to augment fire flow. The contract, including contingency, is for $143,283.89. The overall project, which is included in the City’s Comprehensive Water Plan, would create a “looped” system between Nordic Way and Scout Place. Such a system will serve to better-regulate the line velocity of the system through this area. The improvements, once designed and constructed, will help to facilitate additional growth in the area. As noted in the staff report, developments in this area over the last several years have been tasked with completing the development’s share of these improvements, with the design contract intended to capture the City’s share.
Appointment: Parks, Recreation, and Trails Advisory Board – Paul Bulanov, a local business owner and father, is seeking membership on the PRTAB. This will be Mr. Bulanov’s first experience on a City board or commission.
Item C: Ordinance: Development Standards Modification/ Land Disturbance – Modifications to Ferndale Municipal Code Chapter 19.65 (Land Alteration, Clearing, and Grading) are proposed. No public hearing is required. This chapter of the City’s Development Standards was originally developed with a focus on development proposals, providing only a basic description of the requirements for “weekend warriors” and property owners wishing to complete minor improvements on their property. City staff have found that some of the existing regulations could inadvertently put property owners in violation of the code and/or are inconsistent with other City regulations. The proposed changes are intended to exempt certain minor tree removing activities from permit review, updating activity thresholds and fill placement requirements, as well as adding or modifying sections in order to better-reflect the City’s Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit.
Item D: Shop Well #2 Pilot Study – The City Council is requested to approve a contract not to exceed $52,649 (including a 10% contingency) authorizing Harn R/O (Reverse Osmosis) Systems, Inc. to evaluate the performance of a 100% reverse osmosis system on City water. Currently, City water is a blended mix where 40% of the water is treated to remove manganese, and the remainder treated by RO to remove hardness. The pilot study would investigate a 100% RO treatment, with a remineralization step added to reduce water softness. The pilot study will be used to determine whether the approach as proposed (or refined) could be scaled up to provide full-scale treatment.
Item E: Department of Ecology State Revolving Loan (Wastewater Treatment Plant/WWTP) – The City Council is requested to adopt a resolution accepting a low interest loan in the amount of $14,542,784 from the Washington State Department of Ecology. The loan would partially fund the City’s WWTP expansion, which is estimated to cost approximately $25 million.
A low interest loan has long been considered a necessary component of the plant expansion. The City Council has stressed the importance of identifying funding sources and approaches that are both reasonable and responsible – and Staff believes that the low interest loan fits these expectations. The loan will be repaid through City revenues, and the City continues to explore all funding options that are available, at all levels of government.
Item F: Public Notification Procedures – The Council is asked to adopt modifications to Chapter 14.15 of the Ferndale Municipal Code, amending the City’s public noticing requirements. No public hearing is required. The proposal seeks to balance the City’s desire to inform the public as early in the development or code modification process as possible, without creating a process through which the public is over-saturated with notices that have no direct impact on their lives, but miss those notices that are potentially impactful. This is a delicate balance that all jurisdictions must constantly monitor. As proposed the draft changes would require public notification for text changes that are considered “substantial or material,” such as modifications that increase or decrease densities or add or delete land uses. As compared to, for instance, code changes that amend public notification procedures.
Item G: Council Rules of Procedure – Over the past twelve months-plus, the Finance Committee has crafted updated Council Rules of Procedure. These rules inform the manner in which the Ferndale City Council operates, in addition to those rules dictated by Washington State. Many of the proposed changes reflect advancements in technology and communications, the manner and tone in which councilmembers should address themselves and others, committee membership, relationship between the mayor and Council, and more. The Council did not amend the Ethics Handbook, which is attached as an appendix to the Rules, at this time.
Item H-K: Mayor, Council, and Department Reports and Comments; Committee Minutes
Item M: Executive Session: RCW 42.30.110(i) – An Executive Session to discuss “with legal counsel representing the agency matters relating to agency enforcement actions, or to discuss with legal counsel representing the agency litigation or potential litigation to which the agency, the governing body, or a member acting in an official capacity is, or is likely to become, a party, when public knowledge regarding the discussion is likely to result in an adverse legal or financial consequence to the agency.”
We should have some good discussions on Monday. Please contact Department Heads prior to the meeting with any questions you may have, in order to provide them time to do research necessary to answer. Have a great weekend!
The public is encouraged to attend City Council meetings. They are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month (the Tuesday following in case of a holiday) at 6pm in the City Hall Annex in the Council Chambers at 5694 2nd Avenue.