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Business owner Steve Martinson speaks to City Council during the public comment period of the City Council Meeting (December 4, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News

Here’s what the Ferndale City Council will be discussing at Monday’s meeting

The following is provided courtesy of Ferndale City Administrator Greg Young regarding the Ferndale City Council meeting agenda for the regular meeting scheduled for 6pm, Monday, June 18th.

Greetings All

We will begin Monday night at our regular 6PM start time. We have a few items on the Consent Agenda as follows:

• Thornton Water Pump Station Upgrade – Continuing with our program to upgrade our water infrastructure, we are proposing to remodel this water pump station to add variable speed pumps (this allows for different pump speeds at different times – lowering the electric costs and bringing greater pump efficiency). We will also be adding telemetry which is a fancy way of saying monitoring equipment that will notify us if something goes wrong.

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• Thornton Water Pump Station Construction Engineering – This will provide on call engineering services as this project unfolds.

• Indigent Defense Conflict Council Contract – Periodically our Public Defender is unavailable to defend individuals (vacation, potential prior conflicts, etc.) so this contract will allow for another law firm to take over these cases.

• LOCAL Program Refunding Ordinance – A few years ago we used these state loan funds to upgrade one of our pump stations. The funds came from long-term bonds the State issued on behalf of many municipalities that pooled together to get a better interest rate. The State now wishes to “refund” (issue new, lower interest bonds and pay off the old bonds) these bonds which will save us money. The current estimate is that we will save about $40K over the remaining life of the bonds.

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• Arts Commission Appointments – The Mayor is proposing to reup the term for two of these volunteer committee members.

Turning to the regular agenda, we will begin with our monthly capital project update from our PW Capital Projects Manager, Katy Radder. As expected, we are ramping up many projects and Katy will give you a summary of their status.

The next item is the Public Hearing for Skyview Ridge Street Vacation – A few years ago we asked the developer of this project to give property to the City so we could realign the intersection of Douglas and South Church and give the city land for sidewalks on the north side of the street. Because this realignment, there was a portion of our existing right-of-way that was no longer needed given the new configuration of this intersection. We have previously agreed to bring a right-of-way vacation request to the Council to complete this land swap.

Following this we will consider an ordinance related to eminent domain (condemnation) for the house we are proposing to purchase at 2076 Washington Street. As you are aware, we have previously purchased the two adjoining houses (one of which has been demolished) to make room for a future roundabout at this intersection. As has been the case for the other two purchases, should we not be able to purchase the home we would need to consider condemning the property. This ordinance is identical to what we passed for the other home purchases and allows the seller to forego the real estate excise tax payment which served as an inducement for him to sell the property to the city.

After this item we will hold a closed record public meeting for the Bungalows Planned Unit Development (PUD). This is considered “closed record” since this issue has already gone through the Hearings Examiner who held a hearing, took testimony, and developed the Record. As such we cannot take new testimony or submittals Monday night but rather, will only consider the records that was developed through the Hearing Examiner process. As you have previously heard, this is a PUD and therefore it does depart from a traditional subdivision code in that it has non-standard lot sizes, private roads and other unique features that are permitted through the PUD process.

The last item is a rather exciting concept that warrants thought and discussion. To spur downtown development, staff is proposing a raft of incentives (i.e. reductions in fees and other incentives to lower the cost of building) to see if we can kick-start new development in this area of our city. We hope that through this program we can encourage the construction of housing units downtown which should add some afterhours vibrancy and lead to even more residential units being constructed.

Recent history has shown that downtowns that have substantial residential units tend to be more exciting, walkable and have a rich mix of commercial development to serve this new population as well as visitors. With us not experiencing much new development downtown, we are looking forward to hearing from you what aspects of an incentive program are desirable. If agreeable, we will take your comments and craft a formal incentive program for you to consider at a future council meeting.

Well, that is all for now – see you Monday night.

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.

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