Shoreline City Council Meeting April 6, 2020

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Mike Remarcke


Shoreline City Council Meeting 
April 6, 2020
Notes by Pam Cross

Pursuant to Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the City Council’s Regular Meetings scheduled March 24 through April 23 will take place online and the public will not be allowed to attend in-person. Opportunities for public comment by submitting written comment or calling into the meeting to provide oral testimony.

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm

All Councilmembers were present. City Councilmembers participated in the meeting remotely.

There was a moment of silence for the 18 members of the Shoreline Community who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Please stay home and stay safe, and practice physical distancing.

PROCLAMATION

Mayor Hall, on behalf of the City Council, proclaimed the week of April 19 through April 25, 2020 as National Volunteer Appreciation Week in the City of Shoreline. Through the sharing of their personal time, energy, and expertise, volunteers help maintain a quality of life that a city our size could not otherwise afford to sustain.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 UPDATE

Stay home, stay safe has been extended to May 4th by Governor Inslee. Limit trips for groceries, gas and other essentials. City Hall and recreation facilities are closed. Some services can be accessed online. All meetings and events have been cancelled at least through May 4, 2020.

Go to shorelinewa.gov/covid for updated information on what’s open and what’s closed.

With the Stay Home Order in place, playgrounds, sports courts, picnic shelters and ball fields are closed. Gatherings, games, and group picnics are prohibited. Parks, trails and natural areas will remain open only if physical distancing is maintained. The Richmond Beach Saltwater Park parking lots are closed, and there is no public beach access from Apple Tree Lane.

If you need help:
  • Hopelink Food Bank providing food
  • Statewide moratorium on evictions
  • Utilities will remain on
  • Expanded rules for unemployment
  • Health Benefits Exchange is enrolling
  • Call 2-1-1 for other resources
Shoreline’s Community Emergency Response Grant Program has awarded $20,000 as of April 6, 2020. $5,000 grants were awarded to
  • Turning Point for grocery gift cards, 
  • Hunger Intervention Program for weekend food packs, 
  • Shoreline Community Care for gas, groceries, and utility assistance and 
  • Seattle Mongolian Youth Center for face masks and a multi-lingual tutorial.
Sign up for up-to-date alerts at shorelinewa.gov/alert

Council Reports

Councilmember McConnell stated she and Councilmember McGlashan were pleased to see two large Shoreline projects moving forward on the federal funding of the PSRC Regional Grant Program.

Deputy Mayor Scully said the Regional Homelessness Authority is still working to complete the new executive board with individuals willing to sit on the board who are currently or have previously experienced housing instability.

Mayor Hall had a conference call with several mayors from King County. About 1/3 had already laid off staff. Shoreline has a healthy reserve available and has been working to retain staff.

Public Comment (by telephone)

Public comment on the two Action items below will follow the applicable staff report.

Melonie Fosmore, chair of Save Shoreline Trees, spoke about saving significant trees.

Approval of the Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

The Consent Calendar adopted unanimously by roll call vote.

Action Items

8(a) Approval of Grant Requests from Sound Generations in the Amount of $50,000 and from the Center for Human Services in the Amount of $20,000 from the COVID-19 Community Emergency Response Grant Program

Fund established 3/30/2020

Grants to these two entities were briefly discussed at last week’s Council meeting. It was decided to wait until the grant applications were submitted. Applications have been received and a staff report completed.

Staff Report by Colleen Kelly, Community Services Manager

Applicants for the grants must be in or near Shoreline and support emergency response services for predominantly Shoreline residents.

There have been 13 applications so far:
  • 2 are being discussed in this action item
  • 3 were ineligible because they did not meet the above criteria
  • 4 have been approved by the City Manager $5k each
  • 4 pending additional information (these are also $5k requests)

Sound Generations submitted a request on behalf of the Shoreline/LFP Senior Center for $50k to cover projected lost revenue.

They are still providing meals (now via delivery), twice weekly outreach calls to each of their 600 members to make sure someone is checking in on them, and continuing wellness and other communications utilizing social media.

The Center for Human Services, that has lost income from multiple fundraisers, and fee based services, requested $20k in general support to assist providing current services including food, hygiene items and diapers, laptops for telehealth efforts and smart phones for connecting with clients as well as new IT expenses related to these services. They did receive $50k from the Seattle Foundation but estimated expenses for March-May to equal $67.5M.

Public Comment

Beratta Gomillion, Executive Director, Center for Human Services, lives in Shoreline. The behavioral health needs in Shoreline are being taken care of. Therapists are still working, answering phones, and providing emergency services by phone,

Joanne Donohue, Chief Operations Officer of Sound Generations, is available by telephone to answer any questions.

Motion and second to approved the two requests.

Discussion

Can we remove laptops and smartphones from this grant? Reply is yes. This was just a way to show that the money requested would be used to pay for outreach and emergency services.

People need to stay socially connected even while practicing physical distancing, so these social services have an important role during this pandemic.

The senior center has no income. How is $50k going to be spent when there is a much larger need? Reply from Ms. Donohue: They have $95k from the City annually, $80k from King County, and hope to start getting revenue in June. $600k is the annual need, $50k represents March through May loss of income. What will the funds will be used for? Reply: Majority of the expense is staff. Some is spent on food for weekend emergency groceries, chefs to prepare the delivered meals, and staff that keeps the center operating. Most of the volunteers fall within the high risk category so they are staying at home.

Motion to approve two requests as presented passes unanimously by roll call vote.

COVID-19 Community Emergency Response Grant Program will be depleted by these requests and the $5k requests, even though the amounts are modest compared to the needs.

Motion to Amend agenda to add an action to agenda and discuss tonight or delay discussion until next meeting. No objection so by unanimous consent agreed to add to agenda.

Newly added by above motion

8(b) Discussing the possible increase of the amount in the Emergency Response Fund by $50k to be drawn from general fund as previous funds were.

Motion and second to increase amount allotted by $50k.

Discussion

Should we wait until we see how many more requests come in rather than add $50k to just take care of current applications? It was broadly agreed $100k would not be enough, but we wanted to see the number of applications and amounts requested. Are we going to have to do this again next week? The City Manager needs to have the ability to move quickly on small amounts. On the other hand, if we increase by $100k, Council will need another staff report because that’s a big jump and we will need to see the effect on the total city budget.

Motion to add $50k to the fund passes unanimously by roll call vote.

8(c) Terminating Temporary Public Health Emergency Order No. 5 of the City Manager for Suspension of the Prohibition on Plastic Retail Carryout Bags During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
On March 31, 2020, the City Manager issued Temporary Public Health Emergency Order No. 5 which suspends the prohibition on carryout plastic bags at retail establishments in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Council will determine if the order was not necessary to preserve and maintain the public life, health, welfare, or peace. Staff does not recommend termination.

Staff Report by Autumn Salamack, Environmental Services Coordinator

A local grocery store requested this suspension due to worry that bags brought in by shoppers might spread COVID-19 to grocery checkers. There have been no specific studies about this type of contagion. Some jurisdictions have suspended the plastic bag ban and/or are not enforcing existing bans. This includes suspending the 5 cent pass through charges for paper bags.

Staff does not recommend terminating this emergency order due to current unknowns about the virus transmittal, and in order to provide flexibility and consistency for stores operating in multiple sites.

Public Comment
There were two written comments.
No one signed up to speak.

Motion and second to suspend the emergency order.

Discussion

This order is not necessary at this time. The science the staff report relies on does not show that fabric bags are any worse than paper or plastic. So preference for plastic bags is not supported by the science surrounding COVID-19. However, many stores already prohibit shoppers from bringing their own reusable bags. If plastic is prohibited, we are left with paper bags. That could possibly result in a supply shortage.

Rather than suspending the entire thing, a more minimal change is just to delete the paper bag fee right now. Customers could bag their own groceries. Everything is touched by the customer when taking goods off the shelf and adding it to their basket. The concern is the health of the store employees who must touch the purchases to skan them, and again to bag them. There is a concern should a grocery employee contract the virus, resulting in a temporary closing of the store and quarantine of all employees. What if we actually made it worse due to our lack of scientific data? If paper bags will do, why do we need to add plastic bags? Do we want more plastic in the environment? Why did only one Shoreline retailer ask for the suspension? This is a difficult time and we all want to do the right thing. The focus must be on the employees.

Vote on the motion to suspend the Prohibition on Plastic Retail Carryout Bags Fails 4 to 3

No: Mayor Hall, Councilmembers McGlashan, McConnell and Robertson

Yes: Deputy Mayor Scully, Councilmembers Chang and Roberts


Study Item

9(a) Discussion of the 2021-2026 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)

In accordance with RCW 35.77.010, cities in Washington State are required to prepare and adopt a comprehensive six-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). The six- year TIP should include transportation projects, such as road and bridge improvements, as well as new or enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Council will discuss proposed updates to the TIP. The TIP will be brought back to Council on June 1, 2020 for a Public Hearing to receive public feedback on the proposed updates and for potential Adoption of the TIP. Draft of the TIP and staff report available online.

Nytasha Walters, Transportation Services Manager, presented the staff report

The projects identified in the Transportation Improvement Plan include funded, partially funded, and unfunded. Listing projects makes them eligible for grants as part of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan.

Very few projects are completely funded in the next six years and many are unfunded. Several of the partially funded projects are segments of large, corridor-wide improvement projects that will require a considerable amount of grant funding to complete. The grant award process is extremely competitive and the amount of grant funds available has shrunk.

The TIP is prepared and presented to Council in advance of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The policy direction provided through adoption of the TIP is used to identify transportation projects for inclusion in the CIP.

The City is proposing to complete the most strategic projects, or segments of these projects, in the near term.
  • 145th Street Projects
  • 175th Street Corridor Project
  • The 185th Street Corridor Strategy
  • Trail Along the Rail
  • 148th Street Non-Motorized Bridge
Added Projects: No new projects have been added

There are multiple projects that have been re-organized or removed from this year’s TIP.

The potential effects of I-976 are discussed as they greatly impact two of the City’s programs due to the loss of the Vehicle License Fees: The Sidewalk Rehabilitation Program (Repair and Maintenance), and the Annual Road Surface Maintenance Program. New sidewalk construction is not affected by I-976.

Staff recommends that the sidewalk rehabilitation program for repair and maintenance be restored to approximately $152,000/year and that the road surface maintenance program be restored to approximately $530,000/year.

The draft of the 54 page 2021-2026 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) is available online. It is attachment A of the staff report.

Grants and other sources of funding are being considered.

Discussion

SR523 and 145th are the two new projects that Councilmember McConnell alluded to in council reports. These are two projects that are implementing our preferred design concept for the 145th corridor. This is one of those examples of looking towards federal funds and we’re pursuing construction funds for the I-5 and 145th interchange as well as 145th between the interchange and 1st. We are very excited that we have been selected by the King County Project Evaluation Committee to proceed to a regional competition for funds. We are going for two different grant competitions where our project is considered with those of Snohomish and Pierce Counties, and a more King County focused process if we’re not successful there. These projects have been identified as regionally important.

What happens in June when we have a hearing scheduled but we are still having remote meetings? We can ask the Governor about extending the date or to waive some requirements. Such changes would apply to all jurisdictions. It is scheduled for action the same night as the public hearing but Council can always move the action to a later date.

Meeting adjourned.



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