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What went on at last night’s City Council meeting

Ferndale City Council meeting (February 21, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News

The Tuesday night regular meeting of the Ferndale City Council was held before a relatively large crowd given past meeting audience sizes.

There were a few things of interest to most on the meeting agenda. Here is how those items were handled at the meeting.

A representative from Puget Sound Energy spoke to the council about their response to recent weather-related outages.

Several members of the Ferndale Heritage Society were in the audience to hear their representatives recap the group’s activities as well as their support and involvement in other Ferndale organizations during 2016.

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Public Works Capital Projects Manager Katy Radder provided a summary of 2016 projects and how their actual costs compared with their budgets. In some cases, projects went over budget while others were completed under budget.

Radder also provided a quick summary of a few projects in the works for 2017.

Public Works Supervisor Bo Westford provided the council with a recap of the recent emergency response during the recent lengthy snow and ice events. In summary, Westford explained how equipment and staff were required to work at extreme levels. For instance, it wasn’t unusual for Public Works to be staffed 24 hours a day in order to keep priority roads clear and deal with other weather-related issues.

Westford thanked the council and City staff for their assistance and support of the effort needed.

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A public hearing was provided regarding a proposed 10-year franchise agreement between City of Ferndale (COF) and Kirkland-based Astound Broadband, LLC, to build and maintain a fiber-optic network using COF public right-of-way. There were no speakers during the public hearing. Astound Broadband’s representative, Fred Miller, spoke briefly to council, explaining the technology and how it would be made available to the City, public schools and non-profits at discounts while also servicing their local commercial customers.

The council voted unanimously to approve the franchise agreement.

Many in the audience had come to the meeting to speak regarding some proposed amendments to the COF Animal Control Ordinance. Notable among the changes are new regulations regarding animal enclosures in the front yard of a residence. In addition, regulations currently applied to chickens would also be applied to ducks and rabbits if the changes are adopted by the Council.

Four Ferndale neighbors spoke to the council and all appeared to agree the ordinance changes seemed out of place when compared with standards encouraged by organizations promoting the keeping these animals and with similar ordinances in place by the cities of Seattle and Bellingham.

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Council decided by consensus to send the item back to committee for further consideration.

Council then went into executive session to discuss, according to Mayor Jon Mutchler, a real estate transaction.

 

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