Be sure to stay tuned after the regular Richland City Council meeting for the 7:15 p.m. special meeting for a Governance Training Workshop. These usually include some discussion of ethics, something the Richland council has shown no interest in.

The electric meter issue appears on the agenda tonight. I’m sure a lot of residents will be interested in hearing why some electric bills seemed to have soared recently. See item 4.

The city bent over backwards to help a developer cram 54 townhouses on less than 10 acres. See item 10.

The process will begin for annexing 1,643 acres zoned heavy manufacturing north of the city’s new “targeted urban area” tax-break zone. See item 11.

Page numbers below correspond to the pages in the packet of information provided for the meeting.

This meeting will be broadcast live on City View Channel 192 on the City’s website and on the City’s YouTube Channel. Richland City Hall is ADA accessible. Any individual who has difficulty attending the meeting in-person may request to provide comments remotely. Some city councilmembers have attended remotely, and residents have the same option.

(Ch. 42.30 RCW) Requests for sign interpreters, audio equipment, and/or other special services must be received 48 hours prior to the meeting by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 509-942-7389.


1.Swearing-in of Richland Police Officer Eduardo Martinez

2. Benton Resource Initiative Grant – Hopefully, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce President will have more to say about the Benton Resource Initiative Grant for small businesses than was provided in the packet of info accompanying the agenda. Through the American Rescue Act funding, small businesses may be eligible to receive $3,000 to $30,000 in grant funds that will be administered in three phases. Each phase will begin with a total award target of one million dollars ($1,000,000). Grants shall be awarded in a tiered fashion, based on the businesses’ annual gross revenue. Pg. 4

3. The planning department will brag about their accomplishments in 2022. Expect no mention of the hemorrhaging of their staff.  Pg. 5-21

4. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Update – Residents all over town have been complaining about a big leap in their electric bills. It appears that Deputy City Manager Joe Schiessl will talk about it here but there is nothing included in the packet. 

Public Hearing: You have three minutes to comment on the following:

5. Vacation of a portion of the Windmill Road Right-of-Way. Pg. 225-234.

Public Comments: You have two minutes to talk about anything you wish. If you have a question, ask that someone get back to you with an answer.

Consent Calendar:  Every item here receives no discussion and there is one vote for all.

6. Approval of the February 7, 2023 minutes. Pg. 23-28

7. Authorizing the relinquishment of 10 feet of road right-of-way at 1531 Tapteal Drive to Rowe Holdings LLC in exchange for the developer installing and completing slope stabilization improvements within the Tapteal Loop right-of-way. According to the packet’s coversheet for the property, the developer, Dentist Bradley Rowe, believes that project will be best served if the city vacates 10 feet of right-a-way along his property line making it easier for him to build a new dental office.  According to the agreement, an occupancy permit will not be provided for any development until the agreed upon improvements are installed. Pg. 25-45.

8. C&E Trenching, LLC will be awarded $595,723 for the Haines Ave. and Goethals Dr. stormwater quality retrofit. The projects will clean dirty stormwater runoff before it flows into the Columbia River. The funding came from grants received from the Washington State Department of Ecology. Pg. 46-52

9. Fitch & Associates, LLC will be hired, for a sum not to exceed $59,842, as consultant for a Standards of Cover Study for the City of Richland Fire and Emergency Services.  According to the Center for Public Safety Excellence, “A Standards of Cover (SOC) is defined in Community Risk Assessment: Standards of Cover 6th Edition as “Those written policies and procedures that establish the distribution and concentration of fixed and mobile resources of an organization.” Pg. 53-71.

10. The city has done everything but stand on its head and spit wooden nickels to approve the final plat for this high-density development at Queensgate Drive and Skyline Drive adjacent to a manufactured home community. This almost 10 acres is assessed at about $230,000 and was purchased by Dennis Sawby Construction LLC in 2017.

The blue mark indicates the location of the project.

Will the 54 units be affordable? Land prices are often blamed for making homes unaffordable, and the land here will pencil out to just over $4,000 a unit.

The city has made several concessions to the developer.

According to the hearing examiner’s report, “Sprinkler systems are mandated because of the number of units in the plat and the lack of any secondary emergency vehicle access. (See Condition of Approval No. 32). These requirements are further supported by the fact that the project site experienced a wildfire event in 2018. (Staff Report, page 3, discussion of Fire Safety on page 10).”

The city is also allowing another deviation from the norm in the 500-foot entrance into the property, a 27-foot-wide roadway instead of a 34-foot-wide roadway with a 54-foot-wide right-of-way.  The report reads, “to ensure emergency access (no parking signs on south side) can avoid any potential deprivation of otherwise available development rights on the property, and protect public health, welfare and safety.”

A park is mentioned as being one mile from this development. The Observer reached out to Deputy City Manager Joe Schiessl to identify that park but has not received a response.  Pg. 72 – 104

11. Richland will authorize the circulation of a petition for annexation of 1,643 acres in the North Horn Rapids Industrial Park that will be zoned heavy industrial. In case anyone is getting confused, the map below shows where this property is in relationship to the city’s new “Targeted Urban Area” tax-break zone. Pg. 105-124

The blue mark indicates the annexation area.

12. Authorizing a sixth amendment to the consultant agreement with Shannon & Wilson for wetland monitoring. This $124,800 contract will extend until 2028, the monitoring of the Logan Street and Hagen Road wetland mitigation projects. There’s a map on pg. 136.  Pg. 125-136

13. Accepting a request for annexation from Ryan Tucker for a property at 24907 Dallas Road. A single-family home is under construction and there is already a 2,500 square-foot detached garage that is an office and storage building related to a business that is operated off-site. There’s a map on page. 139. Pg. 137-139.

14. Authorizing application and acceptance of professional development grants for library workers for up to $6,000 from the Washington State Library for a staff to attend conferences and workshops for professional development. Pg. 140-141

15. Authorizing application and acceptance of up to $1000 per year in grants from the Washington State Library to support online reading services. Pg. 142-146

16. Authorizing a consultant agreement with Obsidian Forensics for Behavioral Health Services. From the staff summary: “The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) has been allocated funding to establish a behavioral health support and suicide prevention program for law enforcement officers. The grant funds are managed by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC). The Richland Police Department has been awarded $69,600 to implement the Richland Police Department Officer Resiliency Program, which includes working directly with Dr. Chechet with Obsidian Forensics.” Pg. 147-158

17. Approving January 2023 checks. Pg. 159-224

18. Vacating a portion of Windmill Road right-of-Way and accepting a dedication deed for New Windmill Road right-of-way. A hearing was held early in the meeting but barring any compelling testimony to the contrary that may be offered at the public hearing, staff recommends approval for first reading. Pg. 225-234

19. Authorizing application for a staffing for adequate fire and emergency response (SAFER) Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The funding would be used to provide staffing for the future fire station in the Badger South community. Pg.235-236.

City Manager and City Council

Blah, blah, blah

City council Special Workshop 7:15 p.m.

Governance Training Workshop – Craig Rapp, Rapp Consulting Group