Here are the results of key issues on the agenda for last night’s regular meeting.
1. Council unanimously agreed to tie the mayor’s salary to a consumer price index (CPI) as is done for councilmembers’ salaries.
2. The consent agenda (several items that council committees recommend being approved without discussion) was unanimously approved. In it were: 1) an ordinance to reduce the speed limit on Portal Way between Brown Road and Enterprise Road due to the deteriorated road surface. It appears the intent was to immediately reduce the speed limit to 35mph but the ordinance is unclear about the timing. More on this after getting clarification from City staff. 2) authorization of approximately $50,000 for an engineering contract to prepare plans, specifications and estimates to construct a compact roundabout on Portal Way at the northbound I-5 on- and off-ramps.
3. Council considered purchasing the house next to the vacant lot (which the City purchased) on the northeast corner of Washington Street and Vista Drive. City staff is recommending purchasing the house and property to make room for building a roundabout at the intersection. If purchased, the house may be able to the rented or leased until time comes to build the roundabout. Councilmembers expressed concern about potential surprises such as were encountered when demolishing the house next door to this one (asbestos and other unforeseen concerns). They unanimously approved entering into a sale agreement as long as it was contingent on satisfactory structural and asbestos inspections.
4. The City recently hired lobbyist Brian Enslow to represent the City’s concerns in Olympia. He was introduced and spoke to the council. A “legislative agenda” was laid out that defended current funding (e.g. Thornton Street overpass), sought tax exemptions for multi-family developments in Ferndale and pursued potential funding for
- water treatment plant expansion
- an interchange at W Smith Road and I-5
- acquiring the Riverside Golf Course property and building a pedestrian bridge between it and VanderYacht Park.
This agenda was unanimously approved by the council.