Think before you chop!! Know the facts!!

Park lovers prepare to shake in your boots when you read the agenda for Tuesday’s city council meeting. After the parks department butchered native plants and habitat for birds, bees, porcupines and other critters on the south end of Leslie Grove Park, the Parks and Recreation Commission lists as its goals “short-term maintenance plan documented and a long-term plan for undeveloped southern section of Leslie Grove Park,” the section from the Snyder boat landing to the Hains potty.

Was somebody in the city freaked out when a native Eastern Bluebird turned up near Saint Street drawing birders from all over the northwest, and the city realized, OMG, we didn’t butcher every last bit of habitat in Leslie Grove Park? Has Chainsaw Joe Schiessl become Chainsaw Laura Hester (the new director of parks and facilities)? See Item 4.

But that’s not all. Someone built a wall outside of their property and they are going to be rewarded by getting a bargain price to buy a 1344 sq. ft. piece of what is now Claybell Park. The jagged line created by the sale could tempt adjacent neighbors to do the same and a dangerous precedent will be created. Walk along Leslie Grove Park and see if you notice homeowners there stretching their yards into the park.

As usual with the city’s buy high and sell low plan, the sale price of $7,930, $5.90 sq. ft., for a piece of Claybell Park is about $1612.40 less than Benton County’s appraised value of $7.10 a sq. ft. See Item 13.

Everyone agrees that we have a problem with too little housing. The feds are giving us almost $3 million and only about one-third is going to housing. What’s wrong with that picture? See Item 7.

A consultant will be digging in the old landfill between the Columbia River, the Riverfront Hotel and the Columbia Point Golf Course. After pulling up and examining some of the discarded matter and studying the gases, the consultant will give three possible development options for the property. I can hardly wait. See Item 16

An additional consultant will be hired to advise the city on speed limits. The contract is not to exceed $59,980. Am I the only one wondering what city wants the consultant to advise them? See Item 14

The city is all in for improving the water quality at the Yakima Delta by eliminating the causeway to Bateman Island. There are worries about accessing the island for recreation, fire suppression and the effect on the marina. See Item 11.

This meeting will be broadcast live on CityView 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. (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

The numbers by the items below correspond to the pages in the packet.

1.Swearing-in Police Officer Trevor Mead, Pg. 4

2. Police Department annual update from Police Chief Brigit Clary

3. Presentation of art awards Pg. 5-17

4. 2023 Park and Recreation Commission Goals Pg. 18-36.

5. Fire and Emergency Service Annual report. Pg. 37

6. New Hires and Retirements

Public Hearing residents have three minutes to comment on the following public hearing topic:

7. Adopting the HOME Investment Partnerships American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP) allocation plan Pg. 273-366.

Public Comments residents have two minutes to comment on whatever they wish. If you have a question, ask it and request a reply ASAP.

Consent Calendar the consent calendar includes items that the staff and council has determined require no discussion and no separate vote. Councilmembers can pull an item off for discussion and a separate vote but that is extremely rare in Richland.

8. Minutes for the two meetings on Feb. 21 and the meeting on Feb. 28. Pg. 38 -49

9. Vacating a portion of Windmill Road Right-of-way and accepting a new right-of-way. Pg. 50-59

10. Authorizing a consultant agreement for a Bi-County VHF emergency radio system replacement project, not to exceed $318,720.  Pg. 60 – 108

11. Authorizing submission of comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Yakima River Delta Habitat Restoration Project. Pg. 109-111

12. Authorizing a work crew agreement with Benton County. Richland is reviving its work crew instead of jail program. Pg. 112-120

13. Authorizing the sale of 1,344 sq. ft. of property from Claybell Park. The price charged will be $5.90/sq. ft. for a total of $7,930. about $1612.40 less than the county’s appraisal. Pg. 121-136

14. Authorizing a consultant agreement with DKS associate for the speed limit setting policy study. Pg. 137-156

15. Authorizing participation in five new opioid settlement agreements negotiated by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Pg 157-247

16. Authorizing a consultant agreement with Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc. for a “characterization and visioning” for the former landfill of Tract D of the Plat of Columbia Point Pg. 248-272

Items of Business

17. Home Investment. Take a long hard look at Pg. 273. The HOME consortium anticipates receiving a one-time allocation of $2,394,949. Everyone agrees that the need is for housing but only $762,707 is going to housing. The rest seems to be for administration and operating.   WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE? Pg. 273-366

Reports and Comments

City Manager and City Council blah, blah, blah