This week’s Richland City Council begins at 5:15 p.m. with a secret executive session regarding litigation and ends with an Ethics and Administration Committee discussion.

The usual approval of a year-end performance review and salary increase for City Manager Cindy Reents is missing from the middle.

The council has been looking for a consultant to assistant with the review.  The Observer asked Mayor Ryan Lukson in an email Thursday if the council had hired a consultant and he responded, “We have not.”

In some good news for area out-door enthusiasts, agenda Item 9 includes easements for a new portion of the Rivers to Ridges trail system.

The agenda with the accompanying packet of information includes instructions for making public comments.  The items described below can be found on the packet pages listed.

City Council Workshop – 5:15 p.m.

  1. Executive Session to discuss current or potential litigation with retained legal counsel – 45 minutes

City Council Regular Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

Welcome and Roll Call

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda (Approved by Motion)


2. DECA Month Proclamation – November was Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) Month.

Public Hearing:  You would have 3 minutes to comment if there was something to comment about.

Public Comments:  You have 2 minutes to talk about anything, unlike council members who can go on and on and on and on. No questions are allowed. Go to the agenda for instructions on how to comment.

Consent Calendar: The Council lumps everything into this category. The items receive little if any discussion and only one vote so that no one can be held accountable.  A councilmember can move to have an item moved to Items of Business for deliberation and a separate vote, but they rarely do.


3. Approval of the December 1, 2020 council meeting minutes

Ordinance – First Reading:

Nothing here

Ordinance – Second Reading:

4. City Council votes itself a 1.3% raise. The raise will not take effect until 2024. City-provided health insurance more than doubles the compensation that some city councilmembers make.  Bob Thompson tops the list with about $37,000 in compensation in 2019.      Pg. 14-18

Resolutions – Adoption

5. Authorizing a consultant agreement with Jacobs Engineering Group for a project to construct a grade-separated flyover eastbound ramp and reconstruct the existing SR-240/Aaron Drive intersection. The $169,998 planned for this phase of work will be funded at 86.5% by a Washington State Department of Transportation grant and 13.5% by city funds. Pg. 19-82

6. The city council will approve about $37,000 for another year of wetland monitoring by Shannon & Wilson Inc.  The consultant will monitor existing and created wetlands at Logan Road in the Horn Rapids Industrial Park.  They will assess plant survival and wildlife use in all the areas. Success in creating hydric soils in the new wetland will also be evaluated. Pg. 83-91

7. American Cruise Line (ACL) will pay the city $45,000 annually to use the Lee Boulevard dock. Plans are underway for the ACL to build its own dock at its own expense at Columbia Point. Anybody can use the Lee Boulevard dock when ACL is not using it but check with ACL first.  Pg. 91-107

8. This authorizes MacKay Sposito to perform shoreline stabilization design and permitting for the city. Rivers naturally meander but we have developed the shoreline; therefore, ours must be “managed”.   Hopefully, they will not just throw a bunch of boulders along the river (rip rap) to armor the shoreline. Pg 108-167

9. The city will approve the final plat of The Reserve at Summerview Terrace, Phase 2.  The development is near Gage Blvd., Sicily Ln., and Meadow Springs Drive. There will be 34 lots on 13 acres.  On page 174, the agreement includes an easement for a trail to become part of the Rivers to Ridges trail system. Pg. 168-201

10. This authorizes a grant agreement for a stormwater project on Goethals. The Department of Ecology grant provides 75 percent of the cost, $342,088, and the city provides the other 25 percent, $85,522. The city may use several different techniques to improve water quality including infiltration ditches and a Contech CDS which uses a swirling vortex of water to spin out solid pollutants. I can’t wait to see that.  Pg. 202-248

11. This extends until June 30, 2021 the waiver that allows businesses to use city property for outside activities during COVID indoor restrictions. Pg.249-251

12. Richland will piggyback on a Benton County project to chip seal roads in the Lorayne J. neighborhood that was annexed in 2018. The roads were torn up to lay water lines to the community.  Benton County will chip seal Reata Road and Twin Bridges Road and will throw Richland into the deal for about $100,000.  The contract says that Benton County must discuss with Richland if the price exceeds the $100,000. Pg. 252-263

13. This approves a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct wildlife damage management at the Horn Rapids Landfill.  According to the agreement: “The specific goal is to conduct a wildlife damage management program to protect buildings, equipment, and human health and safety. This will be accomplished primarily by reducing the presence of blackbirds, collared doves, coyotes, gulls, pigeon, ravens, and starlings.” Pg. 264-274.

14. The city will purchase software and services from Tyler Technologies for about $537,000. Pg. 275-295

15. Richland will accept a $17,000 grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission for police department overtime for seatbelt enforcement.  Pg. 296-322

16. This authorizes a $50,000 payment to the Bonneville Power Authority for preliminary engineering work for electrical service to support the 1,641 acres north of Horn Rapids that was transferred to the city of Richland from the Department of Energy.  Pg. 314-322

Items – Approval


Expenditures – Approval


Items of Business:

17. Council will discuss the Council Ethics and Administration Committee existing under RMC 2.26 after a short historical overview provided by the City Attorney. At the Dec.1 meeting Councilmember Phil Lemley requested this discussion. Concerns were raised by Lemley and Councilmember Sandra Kent about comments made to residents in emails from Councilmember Bob Thompson. Thompson has sometimes suggested that residents who do not agree with him need mental health care. Pg. 321

Reports and Comments:

Blah, blah, blah


2 thoughts on “Randy’s Rundown: Richland City Council Dec. 15 agenda explained

  1. When contracts are awarded, has there been open bidding? If so what requirements must bidders meet? Are there wage requirements? Consideration given to locals, other considerations similar to federal bidding? Curious

    1. Thanks for asking about this. When I ran for the Richland City Council last year, I supported using local contractors and local labor whenever possible in order to keep the money in the community. To me, that’s just common sense. However, I believe the state of Washington prohibits a local preference. It does allow a municipality to penalize an out-of-state contractor if that contractor’s state has a local preference. For instance if State A allows a local contractor a 5% advantage, then in Washington we can give that contractor a 5% penalty. Any project that has federal funding must use federal rules and the feds don’t allow local preference. The city maintains a list of contractors for small projects of, *I think*, less than $500,000 and I think those can be no-bid contracts. Most of the contracts on the agenda this week are less than $500k. I know I haven’t answered all of your questions because I don’t have all of the answers. The subject would probably make a good article!

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