Notes from Shoreline council meeting September 14, 2020

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
September 14, 2020
Notes by Pam Cross

The meeting was held online using the Zoom platform.

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

Councilmember Robertson was excused for personal reasons.

Proclamation

Mayor Hall, on behalf of the City Council, proclaimed September 19, 2020 as Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry and urged all citizens to generously support local food banks. The pandemic has exacerbated the problem of food insecurity.

Report of the City Manager’s Office, Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 Update

Please continue to take prevention measures seriously:

Face coverings are required in all indoor public places, and outdoors when you may be unable to maintain six feet of distance from others. Businesses are required to enforce the use of face coverings for all customers and visitors. Masks are also required in common spaces like elevators and public hallways, even when you are alone in those spaces.

Practice physical distancing of six feet or more, minimize contact with those outside of your home, wash and sanitize your hands frequently, and avoid large gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces. The safest thing you can do is to stay home if at all possible.

Get tested at the first sign of illness.

Air Quality Alerts

Unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke Issues continues. Follow air quality alerts from the WA Department of Ecology:

Stay indoors as much as possible, limit intense outdoor activity, close windows and doors as much as possible, and use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter if possible.

Remote Learning Camps

Registration is open for full-day camp opportunities for kids and teens that support Shoreline Schools District’s remote learning. Free for qualifying families. The camps started Sept 14, but there is still room available. More information is available at shorelinewa.gov/registernow or by calling 206-801-2600.

Climate Change Champions Series

This free series will take place over 7 weeks. You can attend any or all parts. The City of Shoreline is partnering with Washington State University to offer this educational and action series.

Climate Change 101 was offered Sept 15 covering climate change basics and solutions. Most seminars with have two speakers and last up to two hours with opportunity for online discussion.

For more information: shorelinewa.gov/climate

Community Organizing 101

Saturday Sept 19, from 2:00-3:00pm. You must RSVP for Zoom Link at stolton@shorelinewa.gov

As part of Welcoming Week, this free webinar on Community Organizing will be an opportunity to learn about how to build solidarity, be inclusive, and challenges to avoid. It will be presented by trainer Courtney Wooten.

Public Reminders

PlanningCommission will meet remotely Sept 17 at 7:00pm. Visit shorelinewa.gov/calendar to participate

Council Reports

none

Public Comment

Due to the number of speakers, time was limited to 2 minutes each. Complete comments can be listened to in the video of the meeting available on the Shoreline website. Written comments are also available.

The following speakers expressed concerns about the effect on the neighborhood from the location of a low barrier shelter at NW 163rd and Aurora Ave.

Mithuna Srinivasan, Shoreline
Margaret Willson, Shoreline
Yuanyuan Tang, Shoreline
Barbara Twadell, Shoreline
Janet Covarrubias, Shoreline
Chris Brown, Shoreline
Vinay Venkatesh, Shoreline
Joanne Godmintz, Shoreline
Dicky Leonardo, Shoreline
Diane Pfeil, Shoreline

Joyce Jones, Seattle (former Shoreline resident for 30 years) wants to see more pickle ball courts in our parks.

Rebecca Jones, Shoreline, Save Shoreline Trees, spoke about the importance of maintaining Shoreline’s large urban forest

Cathy Assata, Lynnwood, Substance Use Dept. Director at Center for Human Services in Shoreline thanked the Council for Shoreline’s continued financial support.

Enhanced public shelter

Following public comments, Mayor Hall asked City Manager Debbie Tarry, to provide information for getting involved in the discussion of the enhanced shelter.

The City Website has FAQ and other information. Visit shorelinewa.gov/NKCEnhancedShelter for more information. FAQs for the North King County Enhanced Shelter
  • Sept 22, 2020 next Tuesday, Community Meeting (held remotely), information available on website. Representatives from Lake City Partners (will operate shelter) and King County will also be in attendance.
  • Oct 12 Council meeting: will discuss interim regulations that would be necessary to allow the enhanced shelter to move forward
  • Oct 26 Council meeting: scheduled to take action on the interim regulations.

Approval of the Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

The Consent Calendar adopted unanimously by roll call vote.


ACTION ITEMS

8(a) Public Hearing and Discussion on the 2021 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funding and Contingency Plan and the 2021-2022 Human Services Funding Plan

Bethany Wolbrecht-Dunn, Community Services Manager, did the presentation

The 2021-2022 Human Services Funding Plan anticipates that the City of Shoreline will have a total of $916,627 to allocate for human services in 2021 and $916,688 in 2022. For 2021, this includes $440,082 of General Fund revenues, $323,558 of Federal CDBG funds and $152,987 in restricted/dedicated revenues. This will meet the Council’s goal of allocating 1.0% of Net General Fund (GF) revenues for competitively allocated human services by the year 2022.

The largest of the City's funds, the General Fund is a source for discretionary spending and funds many of the basic municipal services such as public safety, health and human services, and public works. Primary revenue sources include local taxes such as property, sales, payroll, and other taxes.

Community Development Block Grant Funding (CDBG), a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds local community development activities with the stated goal of providing affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. This includes eviction prevention, no-interest loans for home repairs, management/administration, and minor home repairs (toilet repairs for example).

A restricted fund is a reserve account that contains money that can only be used for specific purposes. For example, Park Impact Fees collected from developers cannot be used for affordable housing.

Application/Review Process

Agencies are invited to apply. Over the two years, the City received applications for 44 programs and a little more than $1.4M in requests for funding. Staff reviewed all applications and made the recommendations that are presented today. They include 20 programs (Mary’s Place is new) which should serve about 3,000 individuals.

2021-2022 Plan Highlights include an increase to Lake City Partners for their outreach program operating in the community, the need for more family shelter resulting in Mary’s Place being added to recommendations, and an increase for Hopelink in recognition of the impact of COVID on food insecurity. There were also small increases in basic needs and seniors categories (food and transportation).

The Mayor Opened the Public Hearing

Public Testimony for this Hearing (3 minutes per speaker)

Cathy Brooks with Mary’s Place expressed her thanks for including them in the proposed budget. She went over some of the services they provide, including safe and secure housing for women and children.

In addition they send outreach and diversion workers out to the people and connect them to services. Once housing has been located, they may provide assistance with flexible funding for paying deposits or moving expenses to get them past the final barrier. The average cost is less than $2,000 per family. 100% of the money provided by Shoreline will go to this flexible funding account.

Heidi Shepherd, Shoreline, Board Chair for North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA), thanked Council for Shoreline’s continued support, even during the problems created by the pandemic. NUHSA advocates for human services in North King County on behalf of its residents and the agencies that serve them, including nonprofits, school districts, cities, and faith communities.

Abdullah Siddiqui, Hopelink Shoreline Center Manager, thanked the City for its continued support.

Hopelink provides a package of services for people in crisis through a number of different programs including housing, transportation, family development, financial assistance, employment programs, adult education, financial literacy training and its food bank. The agency’s service center helped more than 3,100 in Shoreline last year. This year’s need is far greater.

Vinay Venkatesh, Shoreline. The previous speakers talked about current needs for families, but at a recent Council meeting it was said those needs have been met. Council stated services are needed for single adults requiring a low barrier shelter. Can these conflicting statements be clarified?

Janet Covarrubias, Shoreline. Lake City Partners is included in the funding. How much funding will be going there? Is this for the winter shelters or something else?

Sudeeptha Jothiprakash, Shoreline, asked several questions about funding for Lake City Partners including what are fixed costs and ongoing costs, and how much money will come from the State, and how much is Shoreline providing. An explanation of funding for Lake City Partners is needed.

Joanne Godmintz, Shoreline, if we double the money for Lake City Partners, will it go from $48k to $100k? Why? This is a budget hearing, shouldn’t we have the answer to that?

No other speakers. Hearing closed.


DISCUSSION

Why is there such a large increase in the amount for Lake City Partners (LCP)? Will some of it go to the proposed shelter?

Reply: The shelter had not been proposed when LCP put in their request. LCP wanted more for their winter rotating shelter and for additional hours for their outreach worker.

If the shelter is approved, the plan is to close the rotating winter shelters and move those people to the new shelter. Will that money follow them?

Reply: if the shelter is approved, yes. If not approved, it will continue as winter rotating shelters. The money is needed for winter shelter and outreach. That will not change whether or not the shelter is approved.

As long as two years ago, Council was being asked why the City wasn’t doing more to keep people from camping in parks, sleeping on benches, leaving needles in public bathrooms and so forth. Council decided that they wanted to do something more without throwing money away. In order to do this they looked at different systems that are out there and where providing a little extra money might make a difference. We used partner organizations who can do the work without requiring our hiring someone new. That is how staff came up with these recommendations. We shouldn’t lose this funding over the proposed shelter.

Although we’re not talking about the enhanced shelter tonight, there are a lot of line items here and it’s our job to ask questions mostly for clarification and one area that needed clarification was possible cross-over funding.

Who is Lake City Partners?

Reply: LCP is a nonprofit built out of a coalition of churches. They have great outreach services.

There is significant human need in Shoreline. Emergency food was provided to 5% of Shoreline residents, and 3% of our population contacted the crisis help line.

Why were some applicants awarded amounts greater than requested?

Reply: The figures shown in the spreadsheet are incorrect and show 2019 amounts. Actually the funding is flat.

CBDG funding has been declining over the last several years. What is the status of it this year?

Reply: the program appears stable and we expect it to be flat this year.

No one want to see people with drug problems in shelters, on streets, or in their own houses. Human services funding helps us to get to the root causes. These are basic human services to help them achieve their potential. We want to provide assistance with housing as well as a wide range of other needs within the community. Federal, State and County funding has been going down over the last several years. This is Shoreline’s effort to continue to support our residents.

Any amendments? Does anyone want to suggest any changes? No decisions on this funding will be construed as a decision for or against the enhanced shelter.

Item has been placed on the Consent Calendar.


STUDY ITEMS

9(a) Discussing Ordinance No. 899 - Authorizing Acquisition of Certain Real Property Located at 709 N 150th Street, Tax Parcel 182604- 9211, for Public Park Purposes by Negotiated Voluntary Purchase, Under Threat of Condemnation, or by Condemnation

Nathan Daum, Economic Development Program Manager, did the presentation

The Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan Strategic Action Initiative #7 called for ensuring adequate park land for future generations and set a target of adding five acres of new park land by 2023. While the PROS Plan originally identified improvements to the Westminster Triangle Park as a solution to inadequate park facilities in the neighborhood, it was later determined that the public safety issues of locating active park uses so close to busy streets necessitated finding other locations for park improvements in the neighborhood.

The City was approached in late 2019 by the owner of this property who expressed interest in selling the 18,000-square-foot lot to the City for a community park. The City subsequently presented an offer to the property owner, subject to Council approval, to purchase the property at the fair market value of $620,000 identified by independent certified appraisers. The seller responded with a willingness to sell at this price under threat of condemnation.

Council will be discussing funding options available for this purchase. No action is required at this time.

DISCUSSION

Passing this ordinance will preserve all options available. While it is hoped the seller will agree to the City’s purchase price since the seller first contacted the City, the option to proceed with Condemnation is available.

The recommendation is to use park impact fees. There’s enough money there. Funding options will actually come back later. This is just to preserve the option of Condemnation.

Coming back to Council on Consent.


9(b) Discussing the 2020 Second Quarter Financial Report and a Preliminary View of the 2021-2022 Biennium Budget and the 2021- 2026 Capital Improvement Plan

Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director, gave the staff presentation. Available to answer questions:
Rick Kirkwood, Budget and Tax Manager
Brad Raupp, Budget Analyst
Patricia Junke, City Engineer
Randy Witt, Public Works Director

Staff will provide the highlights of the preliminary budget for 2021-2022. The Proposed Budget will be presented to Council on October 12. There will then be five (5) additional opportunities to discuss before adoption on November 16.

This ongoing process takes into consideration Vision 2029, organization goals of delivery of public services, organization strength, and fiscal sustainability. This presentation provides a good balance of achieving our goals while maintaining fiscal sustainability.

It is projected that 2019-2020 operating budget expenditures of $101.4 million will be less than the current budgeted expenditures by $6.3 million. It is projected that operating budget revenues, excluding transfers in, of $97.975 million will be $0.9 million less than the current planned revenues. The General Fund is projected to end 2020 with $18.185 million of fund balance, which will be well above the minimum required balance of $4.135 million. The Street Fund is projected to end 2020 with $577,000, which will be well above the minimum required balance of $329,000.

Specific details are available in the staff report. It includes the 2020 Second Quarter Financial Report, City budgeted positions and FTEs (full time equivalents), 2021-2026 capital improvement Plan Fund Summaries, and proposed Changes to the Parks Recreation and Cultural Services/Tree (PRCS) Fee Schedule.


DISCUSSION

In July you predicted a $6.2M deficit for the end of 2020. What is the prediction now?

Reply: Can’t locate the specific number, but it is slightly better because revenue from sales tax has increased from construction projects. Retail numbers have not changed.

Are construction revenues sustainable or are you able to say?

Reply: We have a baseline level of construction that we use in our forecast, but in general the rest of construction is counted as one-time revenues because of its unpredictability.

Economists are saying recovery will have some people doing well (well paid office workers) and others will not (such as retail establishments and other services).

Reply: We have heard that and believe most of them are modeling that. However, we looked at each revenue source separately to be as realistic as possible. In fact we tempered the recommendations coming from the State because they seemed too optimistic. It is called the K-shaped economic recovery model.

Regarding I-976 (car tabs), do we have any idea when we can expect a ruling? Should we just cut the car tabs from our budget?

Reply: We have eliminated the car tab taxes from our budget. We assume they are gone. We are reserving the taxes we’ve already received in case we have to pay that back. If I-976 is found to be unconstitutional, we’ll have some one-time income to apply to the projects. As respects the fee, the State has decided to keep collecting it.

We have been successful with grants in the past. What’s happening there?

Reply: this is a big year (it tends to go in 2-year cycles). 2021 will be an off-year with fewer grants to apply for. Typically, the grant coordinator gets involved in a lot of special projects during that year. But grants remain important so staff will pick up some of that work. Bethany Wolbrecht-Dunn, Grants Administrator, will continue to lead the group to make sure we’re not missing something. Money is available if we need to hire consultants to help with grant writing.

Given the current environment, what happens if the Levy Lid Lift doesn’t pass?

Reply: Service reduction. We would have to prioritize services and identify what we would reduce or eliminate. I don’t think we could fill that gap by reducing operating expenditures.

Cash Flow Reserve of $3M. Is that the total we are anticipating withdrawing from the Reserve for this budget?

Reply: The $3M cash reserve is really just operating cashflow. We don’t expect to actually use that, it’s just there for when the bank account gets a little thin. We are proposing to use $1.3M to fill the ebbs and flows of tax collection in 2021 and 2022. It is just part of our financial policy.

End of discussion.

Meeting adjourned.



2 comments:

Anonymous,  September 17, 2020 at 12:21 PM  

That stellar line-up of public speakers should all run for City Council!

Cynthia September 17, 2020 at 12:37 PM  

Enormous thanks to Pam Cross for providing the invaluable service of providing these weekly reports of Shoreline City Council meetings. I so appreciate all this dedicated work!

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