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

ferndale city council meeting audience 2018-09-17
Ferndale City Council meeting audience (September 17, 2018). Photo: My Ferndale News

The following letter to Ferndale City Councilmembers is provided courtesy of Ferndale City Administrator Greg Young. 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, October 15th plus a workshop before the meeting.

Greetings All

A wonderful October has greeted us and hopefully all of you have had the opportunity to get tasks done that were delayed by the heat and smoke that marked our summer. On Monday evening we will begin at 5PM for our next 2019 Budget Study Session. If you remember, we covered the Current Expense Fund at our prior Study Session and this time we will go over the other Funds.

While some of the Funds are rather mundane (debt service funds), we will also discuss our upcoming capital projects anticipated in 2019 and beyond for both the Street Fund and the Water/Sewer/Storm Funds. One aspect of the 2019 budget that you may notice is the somewhat healthy REET, TBD and Transportation Impact Fee balances. This is due to a couple of factors – first, we had the vision to set our impact fees at a reasonable (comparatively high) amount years ago and secondly, the rebounding economy has enriched these revenue streams.

With the upcoming Thornton Overpass Project, we anticipate using some of these funds to augment the State grant monies we were fortunate enough to be awarded through the Connecting Washington Program. Someday I can perhaps go through the circumstances through which little Ferndale got $19 million dollars for Thornton in addition to the $21 million eventually going to DOT for Slater.

After the Study Session, we will briefly turn our attention to the Consent Agenda which only contains the regular items including minutes, payroll and claims.

Once we conclude the Consent Agenda, we will turn our attention to honoring our retiring municipal court judge, Terry Lewis. Judge Lewis has served the citizens of Ferndale for 17 years, dispensing justice and undoubtedly changing the course of some of our people’s lives for the better. We all tend to realize that we have a municipal court but in most cases, they do their business week after week without much fanfare or notoriety. Monday night will be an opportunity to call out Judge Lewis’ contribution to Ferndale.

On a side note, Judge Lewis will continue to serve as our municipal court judge until the first of the year. We are currently setting up interviews for his replacement and once chosen, we will introduce the new judge to the Council and public.

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The next item is a proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is fitting that we will turn our attention to highlighting the issue of domestic violence on the same night we honor our judge. We all hope that domestic violence continues to decrease and this effort to increase awareness is one small step in this direction.

Following this proclamation, we will hear from the Community Development Department on a few private developments occurring in our fair city. As is the case with these monthly updates, we hope to bring to your attention some selected projects that are currently underway so that you are both aware of development activity in the city and may be in a position to answer any questions that your fellow citizens may pose.

The last item is a Public Hearing covering our suggested modifications to our sign code following rather murky guidance from a Supreme Court case that called into question sign codes that restricted certain signs not on their size or placement but rather, their content. As we have discussed previously, we have attempted to comply with the Supreme Court case and we hope our modifications move our sign code in a better direction. As is the case with sign codes, they are very difficult to successfully craft and undoubtedly, we will need to review them again in the future – hopefully not to soon however.

Well, that is all for now – I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend – see you at 5PM 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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