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, November 5th plus a study session before the meeting.

Greetings All

We will begin Monday night at 5PM for our next 2019 Budget Study Session. We are going to be turning our attention back to the General Fund as Sirke has inputted the complete payroll numbers as well as other expenditures. We will undoubtedly need to make further refinements become final passage but the document you see Monday night is beginning to take form.

After the Study Session we will begin the regular agenda with the Consent Agenda. The extra items for tonight include:

  • Ordinance Modifying Development Submissions and Vesting Thresholds – This ordinance will bring additional clarity as to what we require from individuals who wish to develop property in the City. With our migration over to electronic applications, these modifications were needed. In addition, we are clarifying when a development “vests” (fixes in time the development regulations). Over time, we have had disagreements with developers as to what set of regulations they must follow – this will establish when the clock stops and exactly what development regulations they must design to.
  • Ordinance Regarding Misdemeanor vs. Civil Penalty – This is more of a housekeeping issue – when we adopted the most recent building code regulations, we inadvertently made certain violations a misdemeanor (criminal offense). This will fix this.
  • Appointment to PRTAB – The Mayor has made a recommendation for filling this vacancy.

Turning to the regular agenda, we will begin with our monthly capital project update from Katy Radder. Many projects (most notably Washington Street) are wrapping up just in time for the fall rains to begin. As usual, Katy will bring us up to date on these projects.

After this, we will see a presentation on the County Wayfinding Analysis. This county-wide effort looked at the Whatcom County communities and has developed initial themes for new signage. We struggled to find a visual theme for Ferndale that everyone liked – for some reason, the other communities sign logos seemed to fit the City’s well. This is the first phase of this program and our hope is that eventually we will have the tools to slowly develop a city-wide system of wayfinding (directional).

Next is the first official Public Hearing on the 2019 Budget. As we will have previously gone over the General Fund during the Study Session and the other Funds last session, we hope you and the public will be able to offer thoughts on our next year’s budget.

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So you are aware, we have scheduled the Public Hearing for next year’s property tax ordinance for our next meeting (November 19th) and if all goes well, the final Public Hearing for the budget on December 3rd, where we could hopefully adopt the budget.

The final item are revisions to our Athletic and Park Rental Fees. As follow up from our Committee meeting wherein we discussed the relationship between the City and the Boys and Girls Club regarding usage (practice and games) for most of the ballfields, we did locate our Agreement with the B&G Club and it currently gives them exclusive rights to practice on these fields. Should you accept the modifications in this ordinance, we will need to readdress this issue with them as the proposed ordinance makes the practice fields first-come, first-served.

Well, that is all for now – 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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Joe is the founder of My Ferndale News. As a Ferndale resident, he hopes to empower the community with free access to news that matters and makes a difference in the day-to-day challenges faced while we work and live in the Ferndale area.