Notes from Shoreline Council meeting Apr 20

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Shoreline City Council Meeting
April 20, 2020

Notes by Pam Cross

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm
All Councilmembers were present. City Councilmembers participated remotely.

Proclamation

April 22, 2020 was proclaimed Earth Day in the City of Shoreline.

The first Earth Day took place 50 years ago on April 22, 1970, when millions of people took to the streets to protest the deterioration of the environment.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 update

Stay Home, Stay Safe order continues through May 4th. City Hall and recreation facilities remain closed. Some services can be accessed online. Go to shorelinewa.gov/covid for updated information on what’s open and what’s closed.

Stay informed: sign up for email notices at shorelinewa.gov/alerts

On April 19th the Governor provided a briefing for city and county officials. The Governor made it clear that we are only about midway through Stage 1 of response to the coronavirus, so we have a long way to go. 

Statewide we are bending the curve but we have plateaued and are not yet at the downside of the curve. In March the state had about 400 new COVID-19 cases per day. We still have about 200 new cases per day. The goal is 7-8. The percentage of positive cases is about 8-9%, down from 10-14% in March. As of April 13th, 645 individuals have been hospitalized, with 194 in ICU.

The decision whether to end or extend the May 4th deadline depends on a downward trend for at least 14 days (realistically 19-20 days) in the following: the number of new cases; percentage of positive cases; hospitalization numbers; a reproductive rate of the virus significantly below 1. Reproductive rate refers to the number of people an infected person transfers the virus to.

The decision to end or extend the deadline also depends on adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, adequate hand sanitizer, aggressive/sustained public messaging, sufficient healthcare workers, testing with results available within 24-48 hours for anyone with symptoms, contact tracing and case management, available isolation and quarantine facilities, and rapid response teams in place that can respond to cluster outbreaks. We can expect these same requirements for at least the next year or until a vaccine is developed.

For anyone needing assistance with living expenses:
  • Hopelink Food Bank and Supplemental Weekend Food support
  • Statewide moratorium on evictions
  • Utilities will remain on
  • Unemployment benefits have been expanded
  • Health Benefits Exchange is enrolling
  • For other resources call 2-1-1 or go to shorelinewa.gov/covid

N 148th Street Bridge Electronic Open House is going on now. 

Council Reports

Deputy Mayor Scully attended the All Home Coordinating Board work committee where they hope to finalize selection of three experienced board members who are now homeless or have experienced homelessness.

They also discussed how to address the COVID-19 crisis for the homeless community. Most of the individuals don’t have a place to be isolated for two weeks. Congregate housing for the homeless (one large room housing many) is being replaced by multi-room facilities like a county owned motel. COVID-19 has not yet plateaued in the homeless community making it important to address the homeless community now.

Councilmember Roberts reported the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board finalized authorization of $538M emergency transit funding allocations with $166M going to Sound Transit and $242M going to Metro.

Public Comment (remotely)

Kathleen Russell, Shoreline resident, Save Shoreline Trees, spoke regarding Earth Day and reminded everyone not to forget the value of trees.

The agenda was approved unanimously.

The Consent Calendar was adopted unanimously.

Action Item 8(a)

Approval of Grant Requests from the Dale Turner YMCA in the Amount of $15,000 and from the Shoreline PTA Council in the Amount of $15,000 from the COVID-19 Community Emergency Response Grant Program

Colleen Kelly, Community Services Manager, gave the presentation

Grant applicants must be in or near Shoreline, funds must support emergency response services, and funds must predominantly support Shoreline residents.

Applications for the grant program were made available on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 1, 2020. 
  • Total Number of Applications Submitted: 20
  • Total Funding Requested to Date: $177,000
  • Total Funding Approved to Date: $113,500
  • Requests Pending Council Consideration: $30,000
  • Seven ineligible based on Council criteria
Beginning March 23rd, the Dale Turner YMCA has been providing no-cost childcare/camp for youth (5-12 years) whose parents are first responders and low-cost childcare/camp for other children. The grant application requests funding to support that effort. Youth are served a breakfast, lunch, and snacks while attending the childcare program. There is capacity to serve 72 children. They also supply sack lunches to various organizations.

The Shoreline PTA Council mobilized quickly after the school closure announcement in an effort to provide needed resources to struggling families. As the closure has continued, so has the need for this assistance. Working through each school’s Family Advocate(s) ensures that those families most in need are prioritized for this flexible financial assistance. The City Manager already approved a request for $5,000 for this purpose.

Staff recommends approval of both funding requests.

At this time, staff does not recommend adding funds to this grant program, currently approved at $150,000. It appears that the Council has achieved its desired goals of providing both rapid and flexible funding support to meet the most urgent needs related to the COVID-19 crisis. Applications have fallen off to just one or two. Future requests will come before Council for consideration.

Public Comment:

Courtney Whitaker of Lake Forest Park and Associate Vice President, Youth Development at YMCA of Greater Seattle, spoke in favor of the Dale Turner Family YMCA.

Motion and second to approve funding for both.

Council expressed their appreciation to the YMCA for quickly responding to support the families of first responders, and to the PTA that stepped up to address the additional needs of schoolchildren during this unexpected school closure.

Grant requests approved unanimously by roll call vote.


Study Item 9(a)

Discussing the 2019 Year-End Financial Report

Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director did presentation
Rick Kirkwood, Budget and Tax Manager is available to answer questions

This is meant to be a high level overview of the 2019 Year End Financial Report. Full details are available online in the staff report.

Revenues came in at 106.4% of budget, operating and capital expenditures were lower than budgeted. Both were higher than 2018. Revenue compared to 2018 budget shows property tax as neutral and other sources well over the budget and 2018. The only exception is utility tax where we continue to see declining telecommunications taxes.

Expenditures are close to budget. This is due to budgeting for contingencies that we don’t anticipate spending.

2020 impacts due to COVID-19. These are unprecedented times so we are looking at three contingencies:
  • Little “V” where rebound is swift but not easy. Short term, quick fixes could bridge the gap to recovery.
  • Big “V” where the downturn is deeper, but the bounce back is rapid. Short term bridge strategies apply.
  • “L” where recovery is stalled by deeper economic woes. Long term transformation strategies are needed as soon as possible.
The above recovery scenarios were developed with current data, comments and analysis by local government colleagues and economists, and anecdotal evidence available at this time. Staff will continue to evaluate data as it becomes available from various sources (e.g., revenue collections, economic forecasts), monitor for trends that may develop, and modify projections as necessary.

Each revenue stream is affected differently so each one has to be measured separately. In the end, what we are looking at is a potential revenue decrease anywhere from $2.5M to $5.6M. We won’t see actual data for a couple of months. At that time we will update the forecast shortfall.

We know Shoreline is well positioned with strong financial policies/reserves, strong performance in 2019, and opportunities for one-time savings. One-time savings may come from project delays. This will need continued discussion in the coming months.

Discussion

Sales tax shows reduction under both Little “V” and Big “V” models. Is the economy expected to further decline in 2021-2022?

Rick Kirkwood responds that they are trying to forecast future impacts and trying to predict how consumers will respond. Will consumers believe a vaccine may be available but not for 18 months? If so they may hold their money closer. Or will people go back to their pre virus spending activity?

We’ll know more in the next few months when we can see how consumers are reacting. We are trying to illustrate the shape the recovery may take.

The biggest change in sales tax should be retail instead of construction. We get more tax from construction historically. The forecast is conservative because we don’t know what construction will occur in any given year. There is so much activity in the pipeline, that even with the shut-down we should still exceed the amount budgeted.

I-976 is not considered in the figures so results may be more dire. It’s always at the back of our minds - once we know how the decision goes, we will adjust the budget.

This is preliminary information and changes are recognized as necessary. lIt is helpful to know it’s being watched everyday.


Study Item 9(b)

Discussing Ordinance No. 886 - Amending the 2019-2020 Biennial Budget (Ordinance Nos. 841, 852, 854, 855, 861, 872 & 883)

Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director did presentation
Rick Kirkwood, Budget and Tax Manager available for questions

This is the typical spring adjustment but since this is the City's first biennial budget, all of the references to ordinances is required. The staff report is very detailed and was not summarized at the meeting.

During the first quarter of 2020, staff identified several operating programs and capital projects that require additional funding due to unanticipated needs that were unknown in November 2019 when the 2019-2020 mid-biennial review was conducted and the mid-biennium budget modification was adopted by the City Council. Staff is requesting that the 2019-2020 biennial budget be amended to provide funding for these programs and project.s

The total impact is a net increase to the budget of almost $3M making our amended 2019-2020 budget $220.4M.

Brought forward on consent May 4, 2020

Meeting adjourned.



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