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CITY OF SOUTH BEND - COUNCIL MEETING - May 30, 2018

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1-2. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The council meeting was called to order by Mayor Struck at 5:30 pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Members present: Councilor Buchanan, Councilor Williams, Councilor Neve, Councilor Davis, Councilor Little, Police Chief Eastham, City Supervisor Houk, and Clerk/Treasurer Roberts.

3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA, CONSENT AGENDA, AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Prior to the approval of the Agenda Mayor Struck requested that Item #7 – Items from the Public be moved to Item #4A. A motion was made by Councilor Neve to approve the amended Agenda, Consent Agenda and the minutes of the May 14, 2018 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilor Williams. Vote: Ayes-5, Noes-0, Absent-0

Vendors – Check #44105 thru Check #44140 - $257,415.82 (Check #44104 Voided)

4. CORRESPONDENCE

None

4A. ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC
  • Citizen Gary Buchanan – 900 W First Street – asked about the parking situation in front of his house – parallel vs. diagonal parking. City Supervisor Houk advised that he would look at it and address the issue.

  • Citizen Alan Ekrem – 323 Pacific Avenue – addressed the council again regarding speeding on Pacific. (See November 27, 2017 and March 26, 2018 Council Minutes) Mr. Ekrem was quite passionate about what he perceives as speeding cars Pacific Avenue as well as dead animals caused by those speeding cars. Mayor Struck explained that the situation has been looked at and that there is data that doesn’t support an issue on Pacific if he would like to review that information with Police Chief Eastham. Mr. Ekrem declined and left the meeting.

  • Citizen Reggie Phillips located – 513 W. First Street – thanked the city for the gravel that was dumped around the recycle bins that are located near Highway 101 and Summit Street. It was noted that Pacific County maintains the area where the recycle bins are located not the city so any kudos should be directed to the County. Ms. Phillips also thanked Councilor Buchanan for facilitating it.

  • Citizen Bob Hall from 309 N. Harrison provided the council and staff with a brief history on how camping at the boat launch came about. He then provided the revenue that was generated in 2017: 68 RV’s @ $10 and 62 Tents @ $5.00 for a total of $990.00. (Note: Mr. Hall oversees the boat launch for the City as a volunteer)

    Mr. Hall provided the council and staff with two pictures of derelict boats that are partially submerged at high tide. He feels these boats could be a liability to the city.

    Mr. Hall asked that the city do some updating to their website – including removing a picture that is obsolete. Clerk/Treasurer Roberts advised she would look into when she had some free time.

    Mr. Hall inquired about Cheney Park and the new baseball field. Mayor Struck explained that the field will not be used this year. The planting was done too late last fall. Next year – 2019 – will be the first season. It was noted that the field should be a great shape by this fall.

5. UTILITY EXCISE TAX INCREASE DISCUSSION

Mayor Struck began the discussion by reading a letter she wrote to the council in an attempt to explain where the city has been and how the city has gotten to where they are regarding the shortfall in current expense. After reading the letter she suggested that the council present their thoughts and then the citizens that were in attendance would have an opportunity to weigh in with their thoughts and concerns.

Councilor Davis asked about the difference in the B & O tax rates for the processors and others. Mayor Struck explained that this is a common practice in most if not all cities since processors tend to pay more than other businesses. Councilor Davis asked how they will feel about paying the additional excise tax and Mayor Struck advised that they will pay it just like everyone else.

General discussion followed

Councilor Davis asked about the duties of the court clerk and Councilor Neve noted that she doesn’t see how that job could be absorbed by the current staff. Clerk/Treasurer Roberts advised it could be done, it has been done, but there would be changes at city hall – including days when city hall would be closed if someone was sick or there was vacations because there would not be enough staff to keep it open without that additional part time person. Councilor Neve explained that she has went through the budget, line by line, and just didn’t see where anymore could be cut to make up the shortfall. She thanked Mayor Struck for providing her information and answering all of her questions.

Clerk/Treasurer Roberts asked the citizens in attendance if they knew what kind of dollar amount that a 5% increase looked like. The majority said no so the council shared their worksheets that had been provided to them in their council packets. The increase would amount to approximately $9-$10 per month, per citizen.

Councilor Davis asked about an increase to the local sales tax (currently 8.1%). The staff was not sure what the answer to that would be but Clerk/Treasurer Roberts advised she would look into it and see what the city’s options would be.

General discussion followed

Councilor Williams asked that once the parks caretaker job is eliminated at the end of 2018 how will that additional work be covered? Mayor Struck explained that it will be covered by the current crew. Employee Kelly Spoor is licensed to do spraying so he will take over that portion of the job. The hope is that in 2019, with those savings, that the city can hire a person for the summer to help the crew, but that remains to be seen at this point.

Councilor Williams pointed out that this is not an easy decision for anyone. The council now needs to look at that 5% increase and really decide if it needs to be raised that much or if a lesser amount would be sufficient.

Clerk/Treasurer Roberts explained that she didn’t take this tax increase lightly or consider it the easy way out. When she began looking at the excise tax increase she started at 2% and began increasing it incrementally until she got to 5%. At that point she felt that the city could possibly get where they needed to be and have a small amount in reserves.

Councilor Williams noted that the Fire and Police Departments are funded by current expense and those departments cost a lot of money – OSHA sees to that.

Clerk/Treasurer Roberts will draft an ordinance increasing the utility excise tax by 5% for the council to review. The first reading date will be July 9, 2018. This will give the council plenty of time to review and discussion this as well as other options.

Citizen Shawn Clevenger – 711 Minnesota – why not have our own identify? Why do we have to mimic Raymond? We all know in two years you will just raise it again.

Citizen Chris Thompson – 211 S Jackson – The city needs to make some deep cuts. The department heads need to have to do it. Major cuts.

Citizen Stephanie Serrano – 316 Willapa – Instead of putting the burden on the citizens why not go to a 32 hour work week. She advised that she understood that the union would be involved but she felt putting the burden on the citizens and losing residents is more critical than employees. Ms. Serrano then suggested that the city consider fundraising instead of tax increases. Some discussion about fundraising and what that might look like followed.

6. ROYAL HEIGHTS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Mayor Struck requested council approval to sign the Memorandum of Understanding – Adjusted Rate to the Royal Heights Transfer Station Agreement. Councilor Williams made a motion authorizing Mayor Struck to sign the Memorandum of Understanding as presented. The motion was seconded by Councilor Neve.
Vote: Ayes-5, Noes-0, Absent-0

7. ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC

MOVED TO ITEM 4A

8. DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
  • City Supervisor Houk advised that the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin the Highway 101 overlay project in South Bend. They plan to start June 11th. This will be through the majority of South Bend so plan your trips through town accordingly.

  • City Supervisor Houk noted that the crew has been busy mowing, brushing and spraying. They have been working around Cheney Park in conjunction with the South Bend School as well.

9. MAYOR’S REPORT

Mayor Struck reported that she had received high praise from a citizen regarding Officer Gonzalez. He was very courteous, respectful and took care of the situation.

10. COUNCIL COMMENTS
  • Councilor Davis asked how the city would fund the $30,000 match for the lighting at the Cheney Ballfield. Mayor Struck explained that if the city receives the funding there has been a commitment from a private donor to cover the city’s match.

  • Councilor Davis explained that the whole Cheney Ballfield really rubs her the wrong way. She doesn’t like the fact that people can use the park, but not the ballfield and that you have to get permission from the school to use it. Mayor Struck explained that there is an Interlocal agreement between the school and the city regarding the ballfield which might help answer or address some of her concerns. Clerk/Treasurer Roberts will email her the agreement.

  • Councilor Davis asked if she could put together a committee to come up with some ideas for a 150th Anniversary Celebration at Pioneer Park for the City of South Bend in 2019. Everyone agreed that would be a great idea!

  • Councilor Neve asked if anything had been done with the derelict buildings around town. City Supervisor Houk advised that yes, there has been a lot done but there is not much more the city can do after all of steps that are set within the derelict building ordinance have been exhausted and the property issues are still not rectified. The city does not have the funds to abate the houses. Even if the city does abate them rarely if ever is the city able to recoup any of the expense of the abatement. Councilor Neve asked what the status of the building at 1110 W. Robert Bush Drive. City Supervisor Houk explained that the owner is currently just doing outside cosmetic work because he can’t get a building permit until he pays off some outstanding debt that he has with the city.

  • Councilor Buchanan noted that he doesn’t like the city’s website. It doesn’t have good information and he was not able to find the comprehensive plan.

  • Councilor Buchanan explained that he didn’t speak during the discussion of the excise tax but he is not happy about raising taxes. The city has too big of a police force. The city is putting the burden on the backs of the citizens just to prevent losing an employee or two.

11. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 PM to meet again at 5:30 PM on Monday, June 11, 2018 for the next regularly scheduled meeting at South Bend City Hall.

CITY OF SOUTH BEND - COUNCIL MEETING - May 14, 2018

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1-2. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The council meeting was called to order by Mayor Struck at 5:30 pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Members present: Councilor Buchanan, Councilor Williams, Councilor Neve, Councilor Davis, Councilor Little, Police Chief Eastham, City Supervisor Houk, Assistant Fire Chief McGee and Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Porter.

3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA, CONSENT AGENDA, AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion was made by Councilor Neve to approve the Agenda, Consent Agenda and the minutes of the April 23, 2018 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilor Davis. Vote: Ayes-5, Noes-0, Absent-0

Vendors – Check #44050 thru Check #44103 - $89,729.24

Payroll - Check #24427 thru Check #24440 - $94,673.89 including Direct Deposit

4. CORRESPONDENCE

None

5. PUBLIC HEARING @ 5:31 PM – COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) FUNDING FOR 4TH STREET RECONSTRUCTION

Mayor Struck opened the public hearing at 5:31 pm. Mayor Struck explained that the funding request is to reconstruct 4th Street from Pacific Avenue to Willapa Avenue with a new sidewalk along with replacing the water main. Mayor Struck noted that there were CDBG handouts in the back of the room – in English and Spanish. There was also a Spanish interpreter available if needed for the public hearing. There were no public comments and the public hearing was closed at 5:32 pm.

6. RESOLUTION WITH CERTIFICATIONS OF COMPLIANCE (ACTION)

Mayor Struck explained that this allows her to sign the necessary paperwork to apply for the CDBG grant for up to $750,000 with zero match for the 4th Street Reconstruction Project. Councilor Williams made a motion allowing Mayor Struck to sign the necessary paperwork as needed to apply for the CDGB grant. The motion was seconded by Councilor Neve. Vote: Ayes-5, Noes-0, Absent-0

7. ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC

None

8. ORDINANCE #1532 – AMENDING, REPEALING AND ADDING PORTIONS OF TITLE 15 UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT CODE AND TITLE 16 ZONING OF THE SOUTH BEND MUNICIPAL CODE (SECOND READING)

Councilor Neve made a motion to accept Ordinance #1532 – Amending, Repealing and adding potions of Title 15 Unified Development Code and Title 16 Zoning of the South Bend Municipal Code. The motion was seconded by Councilor Little.

During discussion Councilor Buchanan advised that he would like to postpone until he can look into going from 9 classifications to only 3. Mayor Struck and City Supervisor Houk explained that the Planning Commission has been working on this ordinance for almost a year. They have had numerous meetings and public hearings.
Vote: Ayes-4, Noes-1, Absent-0

9. DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS

Police Chief Eastham apologized for running late. He was dealing with a public nuisance.

10. MAYOR’S REPORT
  • Mayor Struck advised that City Hall and Fire Hall had to have some repair work done on the weathered side of the buildings costing approximately $14,000.
  • Mayor Struck informed the council that the city will be 150 years old next year, to start thinking of some ideas that the city could do.
11. COUNCIL COMMENTS
  • Councilor Buchanan advised that he had gotten some complaints about the mess at the recycle bins and went to the County. The County put gravel around the bins and cleaned it up.
  • Councilor Buchanan advised that the public restroom floors located at Summit has chips in the floor.
  • Councilor Williams told Kim “Happy Birthday”.
  • Councilor Neve told Kim “Happy Birthday”.
  • Councilor Neve asked if any letters have been sent out regarding derelict buildings. She was advised that none have been.
  • Councilor Neve advised that she had been approached about taxes and what can be done.
  • Councilor Davis asked when we start the budget. Mayor Struck advised in September.
  • Councilor Davis told Kim “Happy Birthday”.
12. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 5:51 PM to meet again at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 for the next regularly scheduled meeting at South Bend City Hall.

CITY OF SOUTH BEND - COUNCIL MEETING - May 22, 2017
1-2. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The council meeting was called to order by Mayor Struck at 5:30 pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Members present: Councilor Kuiken, Councilor Neve, Councilor Hall, Police Chief Eastham, City Supervisor Houk and Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Porter. Councilor Williams and Councilor Webber were absent. (Excused)

3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA, CONSENT AGENDA, AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion was made by Councilor Neve to approve the Agenda, Consent Agenda and the minutes of the May 8, 2017 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilor Hall. Vote: Ayes-3, Noes-0, Absent-2

Vendors - Check #43022 thru Check #43056 - $247,425.05

4. CORRESPONDENCE

None

5. PUBLIC HEARING @ 5:31 PM – POTENTIAL CDBG FOR SOUTH BEND WATER TREATMENT PLANT UPGRADES

Mayor Struck opened the public hearing at 5:31 pm and pointed out that there were Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program handouts in the back of the room in English and Spanish. She also noted that there was a Spanish interpreter present if anyone in the audience needed assistance. The public hearing was part of the requirements for a Community Development Block Grant which the city is pursuing for South Bend Water Treatment Plant upgrades. The public hearing was closed at 5:31 pm.

6. ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC

Citizen Daryle Buchanan announced that he was running for city council. He’s happy with what’s going on in the city. Mayor Struck welcomed him and the other candidate’s to the race.

7. DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
  • Police Chief Eastham noted that there has been a few domestic violence calls. One was an assault towards an officer.
  • Police Chief Eastham noted that Patrick Jo will be graduating from Police Academy on June 28th.
  • Police Chief Eastham advised citizens to be aware of phone scams going on. Don’t give out any information and hang up the phones. Don’t carry on a conversation with them.
  • City Supervisor Houk reported that Light Creek Dam is back on line and everything went well. (See March 17th and 27th Council Minutes)
  • City Supervisor Houk reported that the slide at Martin Creek had been cleaned up as well.
  • City Supervisor Houk announced that the city had been awarded a Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) grant in the amount of $39,000 to fix pot holes. He advised that Eric Noah from Gray & Osborne, Inc helped with the grant process. Mayor Struck gave City Supervisor Houk kudos for all his hard work.
8. MAYOR’S REPORT
  • Mayor Struck noted that Clerk/Treasurer Roberts is out of the office in Montreal, Canada at a IIMC Conference. This is part of Washington Municipal Clerks Association.
  • Mayor Struck also noted that she had met with people from South Bend Timberland Library to look at the building to see what all needs to be done/repaired. She also met with a gentleman today that helped Hoquiam Library get a grant to do there repairs.
9. COUNCIL COMMENTS
  • Councilor Kuiken noted to enjoy the sunshine while we have it.
  • Councilor Neve thanked City Supervisor Houk and the city crew for staying on top of fixing all the pot holes.
  • Councilor Neve noted to expect lots of traffic this upcoming Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.
  • Councilor Neve asked how Pioneer Park was coming along with the bricks. Mayor Struck advised that it was on hold for now. The city is on the RCO unfunded list at the moment.
  • Councilor Neve asked how the Carnival games were going for Labor Day. Mayor Struck advised that there are quite a few different school/organizations that have signed up. There will be no rides this year.
  • Councilor Hall asked if anything was going on with the homeless project located on Broadway. The grass is starting to get really over grown.
  • Councilor Hall asked if the City, Fire Department or Police Department has access to the gate located on the 2000 line. He was advised that they do not.
  • Councilor Hall noted that it was nice to see the candidates in attendance. Encourages all candidates to attend the meetings.
10. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 5:55 PM to meet again at 5:30 PM on Monday, June 12, 2017 for the next regularly scheduled meeting at South Bend City Hall.

CITY OF SOUTH BEND - COUNCIL MEETING - May 8, 2017
1-2. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The council meeting was called to order by Mayor Struck at 5:30 pm followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Members present: Councilor Kuiken, Councilor Neve, Councilor Webber, Councilor Hall, Police Chief Eastham, City Supervisor Houk and Clerk/Treasurer Roberts. Councilor Williams was absent. (Excused)

3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA, CONSENT AGENDA, AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion was made by Councilor Neve to approve the Agenda, Consent Agenda and the minutes of the April 24, 2017 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilor Kuiken. Vote: Ayes-4, Noes-0, Absent-1

Vendors - Check #42977 thru Check #43021 - $113,347.58

Payroll - Check #24245 thru Check #24259 - $91,445.09 Including Direct Deposit

4. CORRESPONDENCE

Clerk/Treasurer Roberts explained that the family of Mel & Fran Gibbons recently donated some property to the city that is located near Cheney Park. The value of the property according to the county accessor is approximately $16,500. The family has respectfully requested that the city place a bench near the park in their parent’s memory. The cost of the bench will be around $500-$700 depending on the cost of the lettering. City Supervisor Houk advised that there is a spot near the gazebo with a concrete slab where the bench can be placed. Councilor Hall made a motion authorizing the purchase and placement of a bench near Cheney Park in memory of Mel & Fran Gibbons. The motion was seconded by Councilor Webber. Vote: Ayes-4, Noes-0, Absent-1

5. ORDINANCE #1523 – 2017 BUDGET AMENDMENTS (ONE READING ONLY)

Clerk/Treasurer Roberts presented Ordinance #1523 – 2017 Budget Amendments. She briefly explained that Fund 630 is a new fund as requested by the state auditors and was not budgeted for and that Fund 701 revenues needed to be amended due to an additional interfund loan payment that was not budgeted. Clerk/Treasurer Roberts also requested it pass with one reading only. Councilor Neve made a motion to accept Ordinance #1523 – 2017 Budget Amendments as presented with one reading only. The motion was seconded by Councilor Webber.Vote: Ayes-4, Noes-0, Absent-1

6. GARBAGE TRUCK FUNDING OPTIONS

Clerk/Treasurer Roberts and Mayor Struck presented the funding options available for the purchase of the city’s new garbage truck. Total loan would be for $250,000.00. Each Option (A & B) represented a local bank that had submitted a funding proposal:

Option A:
6 Years – 72 monthly payments @ $3,910.16 = $281,531.52 (Interest Rate 3.99%)
7 Years – 84 monthly payments @ $3,416.05 = $286,948.20 (Interest Rate 3.99%)
Loan Fee $1,250.00 plus $35.00 document Fee

Option B:
5 Years – 60 monthly payments @ $4,586.00 = $275,160.00 (Interest Rate 3.75%)
6 Years – 72 monthly payments @ $3,950.00 = $284,400.00 (Interest Rate 4.25%)
No Loan Fees

During discussion several of the options were discussed and what would be best for the city and how the different payments would impact the garbage fund. Ultimately it was agreed that a longer term payment would be better and as the garbage fund began to rebound the city would make larger payments to pay off the loan sooner. Clerk/Treasurer Roberts advised that there was no penalty for early payoff.

Following discussion Councilor Hall made a motion to accept Option A – 7 Years – 84 monthly payments @ $3,416.05 = $286,948.20 (Interest Rate 3.99%). The motion was seconded by Councilor Kuiken.
Vote: Ayes-4, Noes-0, Absent-1

7. ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC

None

8. DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS
  • Police Chief Eastham noted that Officer Gonzalez is doing a very nice job and is active at the South Bend High School with TAC (Teen Action Coalition). Patrick Jo will be graduating from the police academy on June 28th.
  • City Supervisor Houk reported that Light Creek Dam will be back on line this week. (See March 17th and 27th Council Minutes) The ground has finally stabilized and it should take about a ½ day of work which will be done on Wednesday, May 10th.
9. MAYOR’S REPORT
  • Mayor Struck explained that Pacific County is proposing a sales tax increase of .001% to fund criminal justice. Mayor Struck further explained that, beginning in 2012, the state legislature has diverted millions of dollars from cities and counties back into the state’s coffers which has created a huge shortfall for many cities and counties in the state. The state feels that each city or county should find their own way to resolve their financial issues and one way to do that is to increase sales tax. The .001% increase amounts to 1¢ on $10.00 and will generate about $250,000. The City of South Bend would get approximately $26,000 of that for criminal justice funding. This type of increase does not require voter approval, it can be passed by the county commissioners. Pacific County has requested this information be presented to each city and have requested support of their proposal. Councilor Hall made a motion that the City of South Bend stand in support of Pacific County’s proposed .001% sales tax increase. The motion was seconded by Councilor Neve. Vote: Ayes-4, Noes-0, Absent-1
  • Mayor Struck spoke about some of the sessions she attended at the Labor Relations Institute (LRI) – particularly Workplace rights in a time of trial: First amendment, flag burning and beyond which she said was very good. She explained that elected officials, teachers and fire & police are held to a higher standard with fewer 1st amendment rights. They are considered positons of respect and trust and it can be asked if the speech or behavior disrupts the workplace and/or does the behavior or speech criticize the public they serve. The more the position commands respect by the community the greater the employer has the right to curtail the speech of their employees. If the job is public facing it is that employee’s responsibility to foster community trust and respect.
  • Mayor Struck also noted that she attended several contract negotiation sessions that that she felt were very beneficial as well.
10. COUNCIL COMMENTS
  • Councilor Hall asked if there was a schedule established for the Cheney Park Baseball Field revamp yet. Police Chief Eastham explained that there might be some work that will start in June but the majority of the work will begin in September. Councilor Kuiken also pointed out that there might be even more money available through grants than anticipated so the project will be easily fully funded.
  • Councilor Hall noted that he had been on vacation for a couple of weeks and he didn’t have anyone check the envelopes at the boat launch while he was out of town. There were still two envelopes left when he returned on Saturday along with a nice note from a tent camper thanking the city for the great location, appreciation for the inexpensive place to camp, that they wished more cities had such a nice place and that they had a wonderful weekend.
11. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 PM to meet again at 5:30 PM on Monday, May 22, 2017 for the next regularly scheduled meeting at South Bend City Hall.