LYNDEN CITY COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR SESSION
I CALL TO ORDER

AUGUST 21, 2006

Mayor Louws called to order the August 21, 2006 regular session of the Lynden City Council at 7:00 P.M. at the Lynden City Hall Annex. ROLL CALL Members present: Mayor Jack Louws; Councilors Doug Adelstein, Gary Bode, Dave Burns, Ron De Valois, Gerald Kuiken, and Gary Vis. Members absent: Councilor Nick Laninga with notice. Staff present: Fire Chief Gary Baar, Administrative Assistant Rachel Byers, Finance Director Teresa Camfield, Planning Director Amy Harksell, Public Works Director Duane Huskey, Parks and Recreation Director Vern Meenderinck, and City Administrator Bill Verwolf. Also present was City Attorney Bob Carmichael. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Councilor De Valois moved and Councilor Kuiken seconded that the minutes of the August 7, 2006 regular session be approved. The motion carried. ITEMS FROM THE AUDIENCE Scheduled Whatcom County Association of Realtors – Mr. Paul Holtzheimer Mayor Louws introduced Mr. Paul Holtzheimer representing the Whatcom County Association of Realtors. Mr. Holtzheimer thanked Council for the opportunity to appear before them and he provided Council with a policy paper called The Right Size Home for developing communities that provide affordable housing. He said that studies have shown that a number of single individuals and empty nesters are looking for a non-traditional home, such as cottages. He said that owners can enjoy the lifestyle created by cottage style homes while remaining close to their families. Mayor Louws thanks Mr. Holtzheimer for his presentation. He said that a copy of the documentation provided to Council would be given to the Planning Department as the City’s zoning text is currently being reviewed. Report for the City of Lynden – Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Sponsored by the Northwest Clean Air Agency In June of 2006, the City of Lynden chose to participate in a voluntary program sponsored by the Northwest Clean Air Agency, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Council Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). The terms of the agreement were to conduct an emissions inventory, adopt an emissions reduction target, and develop a local action plan. The ultimate expectation is that the City will agree to consider submitting an application for ICLEI Membership and adopt a resolution regarding participation in the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP). Program Assistant Evan Malczyk has been working on this project for the City of Lynden. His findings and recommendations were provided to Council by Mr. Alex Ramel, Mr. Malczyk’s supervisor. Mr. Ramel asked for feedback on the draft document prior to finalizing the recommendations. Council and Mayor Louws discussed this project and the programs offered by Puget Sound Energy Councilor Adelstein moved and Councilor Kuiken seconded that the Community Development Committee and the Public Works Committee further review the action plan and other materials provided by ICLIE prior to finalizing documents for Council’s review. The motion carried.
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Mayor Louws thanked Mr. Ramel and his staff for their work and for the presentation. Citizen Concerns Regarding City Hall Proposal Mr. Kevin Pawlowski, 611 Brook Court, Lynden, appeared before Council. He requested that Council consider putting the City Hall bond issue before the voters again. He stated that he believes the Lynden voters strongly value the appearance of the City and its buildings and that the voters can be better educated on why the current City Hall does not meet the needs of the City or its citizens. Mr. Pawlowski said that if the City is willing to use councilmatic bonds the bond issue put before the voters could be reduced to $3,900,000. He stated that he believes the Council would be justified in moving to put this proposal to another vote by the people. Mr. Randy Bode, 1112 E. Front Street, Lynden, informed Council that he and his family have been in Lynden for over 50 years and he appreciates living and working in this beautiful city. He said that the citizens of Lynden have a lot of pride for their community and part of that pride comes from the investment in public facilities. Mr. Bode stated that we as a community have always used our money wisely and he urged the City Council to reconsider the purchase of modular building. He said that the community did not do enough to support the last bond issue and he would like another chance. Mr. Calvin Denhartog, 1124 E. Front Street, Lynden, appeared before Council representing the Lynden Chamber of Commerce. He read a letter to Council from Mr. Bill Chrysler, General Manager of Homestead Farms and President of the Lynden Chamber of Commerce, which stated the importance of the 3rd Street and Deport Road connection to both downtown Lynden and Homestead Resort. He noted improvements that were made by surrounding business in alignment with the Downtown Development Plan, and it stated that as a result of these changes Homestead has been directing visitors to the resort through downtown rather than along Badger Road. Mr. Chrysler requested that Council consider placing the City Hall bond issue back on the ballot one more time. He added that a new City Hall building will compliment the development already undertaken by the private sector and meet the goals of the downtown revitalization plan. Mr. Denhartog requested that Council use the same logic for a new City Hall building as they use for rebuilding the roads: the price of construction has been outpacing the cost of bonds. He said that in 10 years when the modular buildings need to be replaced, the bond may be twice as much as it is presently being proposed. Mr. Tobey Gelder, 417 British Columbia Avenue, Lynden, appeared before Council representing the 79 members of Downtown Business Association. The Association urged Council to place a City Hall bond issue on the November 15, 2006 ballot. Mr. Gelder said that the proposed location of the new City Hall, at 3rd Street and Main Street, was identified as the gateway to the downtown in the 2001 Downtown Development Project. The Association feels strongly that a City Hall which is visually consistent with the gateway area, designed with expansion in mind, and promoted by a variety of Lynden groups, will be approved by the voters. Mr. George Werkema, 1607 C Street, Lynden, read his letter to Council. Mr. Werkema stated that his forebears came to the Lynden area in 1902 and consequently he feels a sense of identity with the City. He said that a modular building is a poor investment and that the 10,000 square feet does not meet the estimated square footage needed according to City Administration. Mr. Werkema stated that from personal experiences he can attest to the inferior quality of the modular buildings, that they are ugly, and that they would be an embarrassment for the City. Mr. Werkema offered his time to help promote a favorable vote on a bond issue for the purpose of constructing a proper City Hall. Mr. Mike Leland, 131 E. Grover Street, Lynden, appeared before Council representing Faber Brothers Construction. He informed Council that the current inflation rate for building materials and costs has been at an unprecedented level for the last two years and is projected to continue for the next several years. He stated that currently the city departments are located in several different buildings which is ineffective, and to move into the modular buildings will continue that ineffectiveness. Mr. Leland also informed Council that the current open bid system that Public Works uses for projects such as this is an unfair burden put on the taxpayers. He said he would like Council to consider setting a reasonable budget and hiring a good design, build, and construction firm to complete the project.
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Mayor Louws asked Mr. Leland what he would estimate the increase in construction costs have been over the last two years. Mr. Leland stated that most national commentators agree that the construction costs have increase 20-25% over the last two years. Mrs. Renee Reimer, 8593 Benson Road, read two letters to Council. The first was from Cal and Peg Moseid which stated that they moved to Lynden 13 years ago and they are proud of the improvements that have been made to the schools, library, ball fields, council chambers, and the courtroom. They encouraged Council to consider once again submitting a bond issue to build a City Hall structure worthy of the community; one that everyone can be proud of. The second letter Mrs. Reimer read was from Mr. Richard Decima which stated that many of the citizens who voted no on the $4,900,000 bond issue last November did so due to the amount of the bond and may not have understood that voting against the bond would result in a modular building for City Hall. He wrote that there is no question that something has to be done, as the existing building is woefully inadequate to meet the existing and future needs of the community and that the City Hall issue should be considered again in the upcoming November election. Speaking on behalf of Mr. Paul Kenner, Mrs. Renee Reimer said it was felt that there were three main reasons why the bond issue failed last year: no one told the voters to say yes; there was no real design for the structure; and that the voters may not have believed that the City would go ahead with the modular building. She requested the opportunity to put together a campaign including flyers, letters, and maybe a City Hall open house. She stated that Mr. Kenner was the only person putting out signs and flyers during the last election and she wished they would have done more last year to support the issue. Mrs. Renee Reimer, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, informed Council that Lynden’s appearance has a tremendous economic impact on our community. The people who choose to live here do so largely on the way Lynden looks and we need to call upon those citizens to keep the tradition going. She said it would be difficult to direct developers or potential business owners to the Planning Department to review Lynden’s design criteria when the modular City Hall does not meet those standards. She recognized Council’s decision to put this issue on the ballot last year was the right thing to do and she regrets they did not support the issue stronger. She said that if Council is willing to put the issue on the ballot for this November they will do everything they can to support it. Mr. Troy Luginbill, 215 Bender Road, informed Council that the uniqueness of the current City Hall is atypical of the time period it was built. It was designed to be the focus of the City and he encouraged Council to continue the tradition of uniqueness when constructing the new City Hall. Mr. Luginbill informed Council that his impression is that the Lynden community is sorry it did not pay attention to the issue last year and would like another chance to approve it. Mr. Mike Lewis, 932 E. Front Street, Lynden, stated that he is very excited to be a part of the group who is willing to promote this cause. He said that if the City is willing to commit the money they planned to use on a modular building to offset the City Hall bond issue there is a great shot that the bond would be approved. Mayor Louws thanked everyone who addressed Council for speaking and he thanked everyone in the audience for attending. He recognized Mr. Jim Sinclair for his involvement in bringing people together to discuss this issue and thanked him for his efforts. Mayor Louws stated that he is supportive of putting the City Hall bond issue back on the ballot this November. He said that if a $3,900,000 bond did not cover all the costs for building a City Hall that funds for road project could be used, even though that would slow down the road projects. Mayor Louws encouraged Council to put this issue back on the ballot. Councilor Bode stated that if this was brought before the voters again this November the voters would need to be better informed on what the building will be and what it will look like in order for it to be approved, adding the more information the better. Councilor Bode said that the picture of a modular building that was shown in the paper was not a fair representation and that Council would not have approved such a structure. He said that the modular building would meet all the international building codes. Councilor Adelstein stated he felt that the cost of the bond surprised people who were not familiar with current construction costs. He also said that the lack of designs hurt the process last year. He stated that Lynden is not a community that values temporary fixes and that if the bond issue was to go back before the voters it would need to be below the $4,000,000 mark. Councilor Adelstein said
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that other than delaying the movement of staff out of the current building, he does not think Council has anything to lose by putting a City Hall bond issue on the ballot this November. He added that he is strongly in favor of working with the community to put together a new package. City Administrator Bill Verwolf read a letter from Councilor Laninga who was not able to attend the meeting. The letter stated that the modular buildings may be perceived by the public as an act of spite due to the failure of the bond issue last year and that they need to make it clear to the public that that is not true. He wrote that the modular buildings will meet the City’s needs for several years and he recommended that additional money be spent on a roof and exterior facades. Councilor Laninga stated in this letter that he is opposed to placing another City Hall bond issue on the ballot this soon. Mayor Louws stated, in response to Councilman Laninga’s letter, that the building could be spruced up with all the upgrades but that those upgrades would cost more money. He said that the modular buildings would need to be paid out of general government funds and that it would not be prudent to indebt those funds any further than $1,300,000. Mayor Louws stated that if $1,000,000 was added to the cost of the modular they could be made to look very nice, but due to the road projects the city has undertaken the majority councilmatic debt has been used, which is why the modular building would be simple and low key. Mayor Louws added that approval of a bond will leave the general government money untouched and allows the city to operate the programs as it has been. Councilor Vis stated that if Council went ahead with the modular buildings it would be foolish not to use them for the life span of the investment, 10 years. He also said that if a new City Hall was built it would be unwise to build it any smaller than the size requirements projected for 20 years from now. Councilor Vis said that if the city waited 10 years to build the City Hall the cost could be $13,000,000 due to increases in construction costs. Council discussed the cost ($15,000) to put a City Hall bond issue on the November ballot; what the cutoff date is for filing with the auditors office; and what types of designs could be done, and by who, as the process moves forward. City Attorney Bob Carmichael informed Council that they have the ability to support the bond issue and to work with the committee campaigning for a yes vote but city resources cannot be used in order to support the issue, such as making phone calls from city phones or using city copiers for photocopying. Councilor Vis moved and Councilor De Valois seconded that staff prepare the proper documentation for presenting a ballot measure to the voters for the approval of the issuance of bonds for the construction for a new City Hall in the amount of $3,900,000. The motion carried. Councilor De Valois stated that the need for a new City Hall is real and that Council’s commitment to vacating the current City Hall indicates that something must be done. He said that he would hate to spend money of a temporary City Hall and would rather do it right the first time. Mayor Louws thanked everyone for coming to the meeting. Unscheduled - None II CONSENT AGENDA

Approval of Claims Manual Warrants No. through Voucher Warrants No. through Total Ordinance No. 1273 – A 2006 Budget Amendment Ordinance No. 1268 Amending Ordinance No. 1251 – Correction of City Officer List Councilor De Valois moved and Councilor Kuiken seconded that the items on the Consent Agenda be approved. The motion carried. $ 344,830.77 $ 2,069,840.21 $ 2,414,670.98

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III

NEW BUSINESS

Request to Change Street Name – LYNCS Drive Mayor Louws introduced Mr. Todd Williams, member of the promotional committee, to Council. Mr. Williams thanked Council, on behalf of the thousands of Lynden Christian School alumni since the school was founded in 1910, for taking the time to consider and vote on the requested street name change. The Lynden Fire Department on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Lynden Christian School requested Council’s approval to change the name of Nooksack Avenue north of the intersection of Drayton Street (into the school’s campus) to Lyncs Drive. In a letter to Council the Board of Directors of Lynden Christian School stated their belief that renaming the street would be an encouragement to their school community, and recognition of the long history Lynden Christian School has within the City of Lynden. Councilor Vis moved and Councilor Burns seconded that the request to change the name of Nooksack Avenue north of the Drayton Street intersection to Lyncs Drive be approved. The motion carried. Mayor Louws thanked Mr. Todd Williams for representing the promotions committee and attending the meeting. New Interlocal Agreement for Jail Services City Administrator Bill Verwolf requested that this item be removed from the agenda at this time to allow for further review. He said this item will be brought before Council on September 18, 2006. Request for Street Closure – Lynde 500 The Lynden Pioneer Museum will be holding the Lynde 500 once again this year. The event will be held on Labor Day (September 4, 2006) and is in its 3rd year. Mr. Troy Luginbill, Director and Curator of the Lynden Pioneer Museum, stated that the street closures will be the same as last year: 4th Street from Front to Grover Street; the 4th Street parking lot; and the alley behind Dunny’s Café. Councilor Burns moved and Councilor Kuiken seconded that requested street closure on September 4, 2006 for the Lynde 500, as requested by the Lynden Pioneer Museum, be approved. The motion carried. Other Councilor Vis stated his appreciation and thanks to the Northwest Washington Fair Board for putting on another spectacular event. He also recognized the Lynden Fire Department and the Lynden Police Department and thanked them for their hard work and professionalism. Mayor Louws concurred with Councilor Vis’ comments. V VI EXECUTIVE SESSION - Cancelled ADJOURNMENT

The August 21, 2006 regular session of the Lynden City Council adjourned at 7:46 P.M.

________________________________ Rachel Byers, Administrative Assistant

________________________________ Jack Louws, Mayor

Lynden City Council Minutes August 21, 2006 Page 5 of 5

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