Notes from Shoreline council meeting June 14, 2021

Friday, June 18, 2021

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
June 14, 2021

Notes by Pam Cross

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

Approval of the Agenda
Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager presented by John Norris, Assistant City Manager

COVID-19

King County case rates and hospitalizations continue to improve as more residents get vaccinated.

UPDATE since this meeting: Governor Inslee has announced that with 70% of King County residents vaccinated, the mask mandate will be rescinded on June 29.

We encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The North King County vaccine site at 18560 1st Ave NE is open to everyone 12 and older. The hours are Monday through Friday 7:30am to 6:00pm. The site is now closed on Saturday. Drop-ins are welcome, or you can make an appointment by calling 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Translation help is available. For additional information go to uwmedicine.org/coronavirus/vaccine

HAPPY JUNETEENTH this Saturday, July 19, 2021.


A celebration of Juneteenth by artists Myron Curry and Cynncear Easley is being painted on the wall of the Shoreline Secure Storage property (owned by the City) on Midvale Avenue.

Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and read General Orders, Number 3 informing the people of Texas that all slaves were free.

Virtual exhibition: In recognition of Juneteenth and its importance for all Americans, Shoreline Public Art is curating a gathering of voices celebrating the holiday and exploring its significance. To learn more, visit the Shoreline Juneteenth Exhibition curated by Shoreline Public Art which began in 2020.

FARMERS MARKET

The Farmers Market had record attendance and sales for the start of this season.

It is open Saturdays from 10am to 2pm through October 2 at N 155th and Westminster Way.

SHORELINE WALKS

UPDATE since this meeting: Shoreline Area News reported that, unfortunately, the Shoreline Walk scheduled for this Saturday around Twin Ponds and Parkwood has been cancelled. The walk has been rescheduled and will now take place on Saturday, July 31, 2021.

PUBLIC REMINDERS

The Planning Commission will hold a remote meeting Thursday, June 17 at 7:00pm. It will be a Public Hearing regarding Subdivision Vacation Development Code Amendments

Council Reports

Councilmember Chang attended an extra meeting of the Regional Transit Committee. It was a workshop concerning updating documents that deal with how Metro allocates resources. There are some concerns that with the focus on equity, other reasons why an area might need transit are being overlooked. We worked with north, south and east side cities to develop some guiding principles. When finalized, we will forward them to the Puget Sound Regional Council Public Issues Committee (PSRC/PIC) for approval.

Councilmember Robertson attended a meeting of the North King County Shelter Task Force which includes elected officials from Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Bothell, Woodinville and Kenmore. We had a presentation from Jason Johnson from KCHA (King County Housing Authority) and an update on their work which, right now, is focused on creating a regional action framework. A lot of the data they have is region-wide so they are now looking at sub-region planning to determine what resources are currently in place, what do those resources buy, how many individuals are served and what are the gaps.

Councilmember Roberts met with the Sound Cities Association. They provided a snapshot of affordable housing. CM Roberts provided detailed information in a packet to Council.

Public Comment

The following individuals spoke in favor of adding Parks to the November ballot (Ordinance 932)
  • Kate Perez-Lopez, Shoreline
  • Katie Schielke, Shoreline, President of Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation
  • John Ramsdell, Shoreline, would also like to include an appropriate level of funds for the two new parks, the Edwin Pratt Memorial Park and Westminster Park.
Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
Spoke regarding the neighborhood oversight for the Enhanced Shelter

Approval of the Consent Calendar
Consent Calendar approved unanimously by a vote of 7-0.

8(a) Discussing Ordinance No. 932 - Authorizing the Placement of a Ballot Measure on the 2021 November General Election Ballot to Authorize a Property Tax Bond Measure for Park Improvements and Park Land Acquisition

Presented by Christina Arcidy, Management Analyst

The Parks Ballot failed to validate when put before the voters in April 2021 because of an insufficient number of voters. Council will discuss whether to bring this $38.5M bond proposal back to the voters in the November 2021 General Election when historically more people vote.

Staff is not proposing any change to the proposed ballot title as put before voters in April 2021.


DISCUSSION

All Councilmembers expressed enthusiastic support for this proposal.

Voters were reminded that by voting against this measure, they are not hurting the Council or its individual members, but are depriving themselves and other park users of maintenance to their parks.

There is tremendous incentive to have it the same or very similar to the previous measure. Council and supporters worked really hard putting this together the first time. Going back now and saying that was pretty good but this is better could be confusing or frustrating to the voters. This measure effectively passed with 72% of the voters and failed only because not enough people voted. So to say this appears to be what the voters want but now we’re going back and adding some other things, sounds a little backwards. It could end up sounding like a “bait and switch.”

Have the costs for these parks been updated since 2019?

Reply: The costs were updated in late 2020. We also looked specifically at the property acquisitions. This piece was updated in May 2021.

What changes have been suggested to the plan for James Keogh Park?

Reply: the multi-sport court was removed, the children's garden was also removed, we reduced the number of benches and tables, and we replaced the play area with a play spot (which is smaller). There was some removal of trees and plantings that was significant and brought the cost down. Trees and plantings do not act as sound barriers - something we’ve learned from working with Sound Transit. Sound barriers were never part of the plan.

The Park at Town Center is a small addition for some improvements and it supports our City’s sculpture art.

Maybe we can use any additional funding for pocket park acquisitions throughout the City.

I prefer no changes. People have already decided how they’re going to vote. There are always more things that people want to add and how can we say no to them? This sounds like the right sized bond. Someday we will want to move forward with a Community and Aquatic Center. We’ll probably need other sources of funding or outside help, but I don’t want the residents to balk because they feel like they already pay so much or use up all of our bond capacity leaving nothing for future Councils.

There are other sources of money for things that come along: park impact fees, grants, and real estate excise tax.

This will come back on June 28 as an Action Item in the event any Councilmember wants to add an amendment to the proposal.

8(b) Discussion of Proposed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding Allocation

Presented by Susana Villamarin, Senior Management Analyst

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. Shoreline has received ARPA funds of $7.53M.


The guiding principles to allocating these funds are:
  • assess government operations AND community needs;
  • consider the temporary nature of funds - these funds are one time only; and
  • focus on long term recovery rather than crisis response and leverage other funds where possible.

Proposed allocations for Phase 1 are
  • $511,000 - ARPA Navigators (up to 1.4 full-time employees)
  • $225,000 - Community and Youth Recovery
  • $ 93,000 - Business Recovery
  • $4 million - Infrastructure
Navigators will ensure that local investments meet the greatest needs as well as identifying the gaps in programs. They will support the community, youth and business recovery efforts.This includes understanding the program eligibility from other federal and state programs.

Infrastructure spending will focus in areas that serve economic development, projects in existing plans, and identified projects that can meet funding requirements for obligation and expenditure. Staff recommends three stormwater capital projects focused in the light rail station areas.


DISCUSSION

My concern is putting all of the infrastructure improvements in the station areas. We anticipated a long build out period for those areas and we knew about these projects going in. We talked about how these projects would be paid for, assuming they would be paid for through growth. This is supposed to be “recovery” money. It is supposed to be something to put us back on our feet. Every single person in Shoreline has had difficulties over the past two years. I would like to see a set of proposals spread around the City. I would like to see us address stormwater runoff into Puget Sound. It is one thing we can do to protect salmon.

I’m in favor of spending in the station areas. Developers are telling us that because of our rules there, projects don’t pencil out. And part of it is the infrastructure. These were former single family neighborhoods and the infrastructure isn’t designed to handle multifamily buildings. Without investment in the infrastructure, nothing is going to happen here. Spending money here will contribute to the economic development and recovery of Shoreline.

Are those the types of investments that are going to help jump-start things in the station areas? The list was very short.

Reply: Randy Witt, Public Works Director, we looked at the ARPA criteria and a lot of infrastructure projects are very large and expensive so $4M may not get you what you want. The projects were for sewer and storm drains. There was some mention of water which we considered but did not put forward. I couldn’t find a silver bullet that would help everybody (laughter).

I agree that there is a lot of focus on one or two areas of the City. There are a lot of good things in there. There is money for business support, mental health, stormwater improvements among others. But the projects do not necessarily fit in with our existing Surface Water Master Plan. We’re kind of picking and choosing from projects that are on the list, and not following a systematic or prioritized order. Additionally we haven’t had time to look at this sewer plan. I don’t have enough detailed knowledge of the city’s sewer system to know what the priorities are. Are these the top priorities for the City as a whole? There is a good list of projects in the master plan that I wish we would have followed more closely. I support the buckets but not the projects.

I also support the buckets and agree we need to rethink the contents of the buckets.

I think we all agree that talking about infrastructure isn’t sexy, but when it fails we all know it! Infrastructure is outside of the comfort zone of most of us. But this is a stimulus bill. This is an opportunity to really stimulate growth in the station areas. It’s a huge pocket of development that may or may not happen if we pay attention to what we can do with ARPA. It seems like a lot of money but any homeowner knows that sometimes the biggest expenses are for something you never “see” but is absolutely necessary. Plumbing problems or drainage issues are expensive to fix but don’t make your house more attractive. So I will defer to the staff’s recommendation because I believe it was done collaboratively amongst the directors.

This is a great discussion. I thought it would be nice to see some of these infrastructure projects passed around the City. But if we can help these station areas develop, it will not only help our economic recovery but our environment as well. And new tenants will help with our retail sales tax base. This is a tough one.

I’m not sold on the navigators. It seems like a lot of money for what it appears they’ll be doing. I’d like a little bit more information about what they will actually “do.” And I don’t see how we can have one person representing all of the City departments.

Reply: Colleen Kelly, RCCS director. Using a navigator is our attempt to get the best bang for the buck out of the local dollars that we use. The County is putting out a lot of money too. It is difficult to know what the local needs will be until we see how the County money is spent. We want the navigators to become experts on what resources are available, and then help people access those multiple resources. This will help us identify gaps that we can address.

I am also a little uncomfortable with the amount going to navigator staffing, but appreciate hearing they will help businesses and individuals maneuver through this very complicated system.

I’m generally supportive but would like to see more funds for business recovery and stabilization.

I don’t understand why we are spending so much money on studying. Don’t we already know what the businesses need? I would like to see some of it being used for grants for tenant improvements and rents. It is difficult for a small business to start up.

Reply: Nathan Daum, Economic Development Program Manager, what we are doing is beef up our outreach and being really intentional about it. There are so many businesses we still haven’t reached. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the City to connect and work with our businesses at a time when they’re really interested in talking to us. The funding is intended to do this. $93k is a small amount of what we have targeted for business support.

I don’t think $93k for business recovery is enough.

Please clarify what the allocation to business is. The (slide of the proposed allocations) in the staff report shows $500k and then later $93k. What do these numbers represent?

Reply: The $93k is double the contract we’re going to have with the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce to analyze the needs of businesses. Then we will use the $500k to satisfy those needs.

I would also like to mention that there are strict guidelines about what does or does not qualify for these funds and when staff analyzed the projects we made sure they actually qualified and fit the requirements of the funding. (Noted by Council: these funds cannot be used for parks). Spending ARPA money frees up money in our Surface Water Fund for other infrastructure projects.

I support infrastructure spending because part of that is not just funding infrastructure but the idea is to stimulate future economic recovery. Investing some money that has a multiplier effect is a good strategy. If we do an infrastructure project, then that gets other projects moving in the private sector and gets more money moving through the economy. I don’t see the need to spread it around the entire community. I don’t think we need to spread each form of funding. However, when we look at the Master Plan and consider all forms of funding, it’s very important to spread it citywide. $4.5M isn’t enough to cover several projects.

What are the next steps? When will you bring this back to Council and what will it look like?

Reply: John Norris. We looked at how we brought back the CARES funding. This is a little different because we’re actually receiving direct funding from the Department of the Treasury. At this point we’re looking for feedback from Council. Are we headed in the right direction? How is the phasing? How about Phase 1 recommendations? I’ve heard some concerns about Phase 1.

I was wondering that too. Wish this would have come to us much earlier so we could have had more input into the general direction. I want to vote before it becomes a budget amendment. I prefer that this comes back to us. There’s consensus on most of it, but some details need addressing.

This is an allocation so there’s no grant agreement or anything Council needs to do to get these funds. What City fund will the money come into?

Reply: It comes into the operating fund. 50% this year and 50% a year later.

The navigator position doesn’t require Council agreement because it's a term position, correct?

Reply: With direction from Council we can begin the hiring process. It will be brought as a budget amendment once selection has been decided.

Staff can only spend money once approved by Council, and the sooner we give direction the better. Once it moves too far down the road, it’s more difficult to change course. For any of the capital projects, Council has to approve transfer from the operating fund to the capital fund and also for the expenditure for the project. None of these is scheduled for construction in 2021, correct?

Reply: Correct. Nothing is set for spending in 2021. But we have to stay aware of the timeline.

This isn’t an Action item so we won’t be voting. Let’s get a feel of how we are.

Phase 1 includes allocating 1.4 FTE for Navigators. Any strong objections?

(Heads shaking no)

What about $225k to fund community and youth recovery? Any strong objections?

(Heads shaking no)

$93k for outreach services to businesses with the Chamber of Commerce? Any strong objections?

(Heads shaking no)

That leaves us with the capital projects question - how about we have staff come back on just this? I would like to see some of the other alternatives. We have some time on this because none of the projects is scheduled for this year.

Reply: John Norris - We’ve heard your direction loud and clear. We can bring back more about the capital projects hopefully sometime this summer.

When I first heard about this ARPA money I thought we’d get $12 instead of $7, and I do hope our delegation and our cities will continue to fight for the difference.

8(c) Discussion of Ordinance No. 933 - Authorizing the Use of Eminent Domain for Acquisition of Certain Real Properties to Construct the NW Innis Arden Way Culvert Replacement Project

Tricia Juhnke, City Engineer

The Hidden Lake Dam Removal and NW Innis Arden Way Projects are currently in the right-of-way acquisition phase of the project. Easements have been obtained for the Phase 1 portion of the work (Dam Removal). Easement offers have been presented to property owners for the Phase 2 (NW Innis Arden Way Culvert Replacement) portion of the work, and negotiations are still underway. Eminent domain is a power granted to political subdivisions, such as the City of Shoreline, through RCW 8.12 to acquire private property for public use.



This project requires only easements from three property owners. There are no whole or partial acquisitions. All property owners have been contacted and we continue to negotiate with them. We will not use eminent domain until all negotiation efforts are exhausted.

DISCUSSION

I support this project. We spent a lot of time on this and we’re not taking away anyone’s property. This will allow us to complete the project and maintain it.

No further discussion.

This will come back as an Action item for transparency and public input. No staff report will be required.

MEETING ADJOURNED



1 comments:

Leor Maizel,  June 20, 2021 at 10:28 PM  

Can we allocate some of the ARPA infrastructure funding to build more sidewalks please? A more walkable city is a healthier and more vibrant city that attracts more residents and businesses.

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