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, January 7th.
Happy New Year! You will meet as a group for the first time on January 7th, and is typical for the first meeting of the year, the agenda is fairly light.
Item B. Consent Agenda.
The various committees have placed a number of items on the consent agenda. In addition to approving the December meeting minutes, payroll, resolving to surplus old computer equipment, and the November 2018 claims, you will be asked to consider the following items:
AT&T Ground Lease. Approve an extension to an existing ground lease with AT&T at the Reservoir One Tank adjacent to Bender Park. AT&T uses the facility for an existing cellular phone tower at the site. The proposed extension would be for five years.
Stormwater Decant Facility Design Contract. Street sweepings, vactor waste, and stormwater facility maintenance materials do not simply disappear into nothingness when they are swept up or removed. In fact, these materials may contain above-normal concentrations of contaminants, which left untreated could pose an environmental risk. A decant facility allows sediment and fluids to properly settle and then dry, allowing for their permanent removal offsite. The existing decant facility is under-sized and uncovered, and a new covered/expanded facility is necessary. The Council’s approval of a $98,500 design contract with Gray & Osborne will result in plans for such a facility. A grant from the Department of Ecology will partially fund this contract.
Floodplain Management Text Amendment. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Ecology have provided City Staff with a number of minor recommended changes to the City’s floodplain regulations that are tied to modifications to FEMA’s revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) that will be adopted later this month. Though no change to the maps are proposed in Ferndale, the City must adopt the minor changes to the regulations that have been identified in order to remain in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Special Events Updates. Staff from multiple departments have worked together to craft revised special events policies, procedures, and applications. The resulting document puts all information in one place, which is expected to assist applicants and reviewers.
Planning Commission appointment. The mayor has nominated Dustin Sasken for the Ferndale Planning Commission. The Planning Commission nomination process was quite competitive, and the mayor sought input from the Planning Commission chair, the City Administrator, and the Community Development Director.
Item C: Presentation from Department of Ecology. It is relatively rare for cities to have a near annual presentation for outstanding performance, but Ferndale’s Mike Olinger and his team are again presented with the Waste Water Treatment Plant Operators Outstanding Performance award. We do not, and should not, take this continued excellence for granted.
Item D: Presentation from Lummi Nation. This year, the Lummi Nation will be hosting canoes from Coast Salish tribes and bands from throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, and representatives of the Lummi Nation will present to the Council on this important, unique event.
Item E. Our Public Works Project Manager Katy Radder will provide her monthly capital projects update.
Item F. The Council will consider the 2018 comprehensive plan amendments. The Council closed the public hearing in December, but requested that City staff prepare a development agreement that could be considered together with the proposed Thornton land use modification. On Thursday, January 3rd the property owner of the Thornton modification notified City staff of her intent to withdraw her proposal for a land use change. As a result, the requested action of the City Council may be more straight-forward.
Item K. Please note that we have scheduled an Executive Session per RCW 42.30.110 (b), to follow the regular agenda.
Lastly – our collective New Year’s resolution, from Staff to Council: communication. We can always improve, and we want to improve. Our community is increasingly diverse and busy, and sometimes the only way to communicate seems to be through soundbites or memes which are increasingly harsh, polarized, or lacking information. It does not need to be this way in Ferndale. Let’s all work together this year to find ways to improve.
See you Monday – Jori
The public is encouraged to attend City Council meetings. They are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 6pm in the City Hall Annex in the Council Chambers at 5694 2nd Avenue.