Police cameras back on the Richland council agenda, Randy’s Rundown Sept. 06

Richland City Council meetings are back to remote.

The Richland City Council meeting will be conducted remotely. Information on how to view the meeting and comment during hearings or during the public comment section of the meeting appears at the top of the agenda.

The page numbers below correspond to the pages in the packet.

On Tuesday night, Chief John Bruce will discuss amending the 2021 city budget to match the $235,259 in one-time funding received from the state for police cameras.

At the June 15, 2021, meeting, Chief John Bruce asked the council to approve joining other local jurisdictions in applying for a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for a grant. The Observer does not know the status of this grant proposal.

1.Mayor Ryan Lukson will read a proclamation “Recognizing Constitution Week.” Pg. 4-5

2. Allied Arts Association’s 70th Anniversary of Art in the Park will also be recognized with a proclamation. Pg. 6-7

3. New hires and retirements will be recognized. Pg. 8

Public Hearings

4.The city proposes relinquishing a utility easement at 1311 Winslow to the homeowner as the easement is no longer needed.  According to a real estate listing for the property earlier this year that appeared on the website Zillow, this could possibly give the homeowners the ability to divide the property into two lots. Pg. 104-107

5.The proposed amendment would create off-street parking requirements for a new classification of uses referred to as “specialized athletic training facilities.”  Wave Design Group wants to lower the parking from one spot for every 350 sq. ft. of floor space to one per 150 sq. ft. of floor space. The staff proposed cutting the difference and making it 1 per 250 sq. ft. of floor space. The council will debate.

Take this opportunity to read our almost one hundred pages of codes on parking. By the way, two parking places in tandem only count as one. Pg. 174-282.

Public Comments

6. Approving the minutes of the Aug. 17 meeting and the Aug. 24 workshop. Please note that on Aug. 17 when Councilmember Terry Christensen proposed reinstituting pre-meetings, there was no second to his motion.  Pg. 11-21

7. Police Chief John Bruce proposes adding appropriations from the city general fund to the 2021 budget to match the $235,259 grant received from the state for police cameras. Pg. 22-24

8. The Firefighter’s Pension Board membership is largely directed by the state. The fund is required to have a city treasurer. The city’s ordinances had named the Administrative Services Director to be the treasurer, but the city no longer has someone with that title. Therefore, the City’s Finance Director will be designated the treasurer instead. Pg. 25-27

9. See item above. Same thing with the Police Pension Board. Pg. 28-30

10. The annexed property at Zinsli, Allenwhite and Badger Mountain Winery had solid waste service with Waste Management of Washington. This is a transition contract with those companies. Pg. 31-58

11. This is another solid waste transition contract with Basin Disposal, Inc. and Ed’s Disposal, Inc. connected to the annexations mentioned above. Pg. 59-86

12. This solid waste transition contract is connected to the Lorayne J. Annexation. Pg. 87-103

13. See Item 4. Pg. 104-107

14. This approves the final plat of Westcliffe Heights – Phase 4. It will have 62.7 acres with 48 houses and 7 tracts. Pg. 108-163.

15. This authorizes an agreement with Kennewick, Pasco and West Richland for a stormwater effectiveness study and water quality stormwater grant application.  Let’s hope we have some stormwater to control, and soon! Pg. 164-169.

16. Approving up to $5000 in relocation expenses for our new library manager.

17. Let’s call this the humoring Christensen resolution. It opposes local income tax on the residents and businesses of the city of Richland. It would have no effect on a state-wide income tax. There are about 17 states with cities that have some kind of income tax. Eight of them are in the liberal bastions of Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and Ohio.

18. See Item 5. Pg.  174-182.

Interim City Manager and city council members BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

Before they go into executive session to discuss current or potential litigation.

Fantasy taxes, resurrection of the pre-meeting, school children vs. developers – Randy’s Rundown on the Richland Council’s August 17 meeting

Update Tue. morning: Interim City Manager Jon Amundson confirms that the city will retain a 30′ easement on the Davenport Road extension property as a pedestrian path that can be improved in the future.

Councilmember Terry Christensen hasn’t worried about ignoring the city charter on ethics committees, city manager’s place of residence and other issues. Now he’s ready to re-write the whole thing to address his fantasy problem. According to Christensen, IF the Washington State Supreme Court decides that city income taxes are constitutional and IF Richland decides to have an income tax, it would be bad for business.

While the IF, IF, IF thing is giving him nightmares, he has sweet dreams about resurrecting the pre-meeting that most residents thought was a private, councilmembers only affair before it was axed almost two years ago. Because, gosh, if you don’t read your packet, you need that meeting to have the agenda explained to you.

These two Christensen initiatives will be discussed at the end of the city council meeting. Try to stay awake until then.

The promised 30-foot easement that children who live near Wellsian Way use to walk to school may be on the chopping block. No mention is made of it in the notice for a public hearing to approve the giveaway of the unused Davenport Road right-of-way, Item 8.

To be one step ahead of Christensen, read the packet. Page numbers following the items below correspond to the pages in the packet. Instructions for commenting are at the top of the agenda.

1.Richland Police Chief John Bruce will explain that now that the Washington State Legislature has banned chokeholds and high speed chase he had no choice but to hire an officer with experience firing 27 times at a fleeing vehicle.

2. Picking up where former City Manager Cindy Reents left off, Interim City Manager Jon Amundson will give a COVID-19 update.

PUBLIC HEARING If you follow the rules on the agenda you can comment on Item 3.

3. This amends the 2022-2027 Transportation Improvement Program to include a grants for $1,494,449. These funds will go to the Stevens Drive pavement preservation and the Vantage Highway Pathway. Pg. 52-57.

4. Approval of the minutes from the August 2 and August 9 meetings. Pg. 8-15

5. New rules for accepting gifts. This describes what the city manager will have authority to accept and what the council must approve. Pg.16-20

6. Amendments to the 2021 budget to add solid waste environmental funding (the landfill), sidewalk repair, pavement stripping truck, and repayment to a developer for a street. Pg. 21-25

7. Brad Tapani will pay $828,141 for 8.09 acres on Logan Street in the Horn Rapids Business Center. His price was based on 2018 appraisals. New appraisals are on the agenda. Pg. 26-44

8. This sets September 21, 2021 as the public hearing date for the giveaway of the Davenport right-of-way. The paperwork here makes NO mention of the promised preservation of the 30-foot easement that neighborhood school children use to walk to the crossing light to Carmichael Middle School and Richland High School. We’ll soon see if the councilmembers really care about families. Pg. 45-47

9. There’s a new price list for the city’s Horn Rapids business property, Tapani got in under the wire. Prices went up. Pg. 48-52

10. See Item 3.

11. Tri-City Development Corporation has filed a final plat approval to divide 26.2 acres into 109 residential lots in the Badger Mountain South development. Pg. 58-87

12. An agreement with WRH associates related to the Horn Rapids Landfill Gas-to-Fuel Project. The city will make $100,000 a year for the next 30 years. Pg. 88-94

13. Wendy Higgins is re-appointed to the Tri-City Regional Hotel-Motel Commission. Pg. 95-96

14. July checks. Page. 97-172.

15. Pre-meeting Pg. 173

16. Prohibition on Local Income Tax. Pg. 174-176

City Manager and City Councilmembers do more blah, blah, blah.

Richland Council to vote on reducing bus funding, Randy’s Rundown of the August 9 special meeting

The Richland City Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 9 to decide whether to support a proposal from the Benton County and Franklin County Commissions to fund new mental health services by reducing funding for Ben Franklin Transit.

Councilmember Phil Lemley represents the city on the Ben Franklin Transit Board. At the Aug. 2 council meeting Lemley asked the council to decide how they want him to vote on the issue when it comes before the board.

The agenda for the special meeting includes Ben Franklin’s 2022 budget and tax revenue projections.

The county commissions propose reducing the .6% in sales tax that the agency currently receives to .5%. The reduction would require a referendum on the November 2, 2021 ballot.

Under state law, the commissions could raise the sales tax .1% or about a penny on $10.00 without a referendum.

Opponents of the change argue that while a .1% reduction doesn’t sound like much, it represents about $7 million or approximately 17% of the $44 million budget based on 2021 figures. About $35 million of that came from the transit tax.

Opponents also argue that cutting funding for public transit hurts many of the people that the community seeks to help with improved mental health services.

The resolution on the Ben Franklin agenda for Aug. 12 is to DECLINE placing the matter on the Nov. 2 ballot.

This spring Benton County received $2.7 million from the state to study building a mental health facility on 4 acres the county already owns.

The plan to rehab the old Kennewick General Hospital for the facility collapsed when the current owner of the building, LifePoint Health, wanted non-compete restrictions on the sale. LifePoint, a for-profit corporation, owns both Trios Hospital in Kennewick and Lourdes Hospital in Pasco. Lourdes provides some mental health services. LifePoint is owned by Apollo Global Management which currently sells on the New York Stock Exchange for $61.40 a share.

The council will meet at 6:00 p.m. for the special meeting that can be viewed in person at city hall, by ZOOM, or by watching City View Channel 192.

Randy’s Rundown: the Richland council’s Aug. 2 special meeting explained

The council is having their first meeting of the month on Monday instead of Tuesday so councilmembers and staff can attend the National Night Out on Tuesday night. Since the meeting is not at the regular time, it’s considered a “special meeting.”

According to the National Night Out organization: “National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.”

Information on how to watch the meeting and how to comment for both the hearings and the public comment section are on the top of the agenda.  The page numbers below correspond to the pages in the packet that are included with the agenda.

1.Mayor Lukson will recognize the retirement of Fire & Emergency Services Captain/Paramedic Ryan Nielsen, who retired after 31 years with the City of Richland. Pg. 4

2, Newly hired employees and those retiring are invited to attend the first meeting each month to be introduced to Council. Pg. 5

Public Hearing

3. The 2021 budget will be amended to move around funding for sidewalks, the paving stripe truck, the solid waste operation, and a payback to a developer for a road. Page. 23-27

Consent Calendar

4. Approval of the minutes from the July 20 and July 27 meetings. Pg. 7-17

5. On occasion, citizens desire to make donations to the City of Richland. Donations to the City typically come in the form of cash, property, or equipment, and may be conditional or unconditional. The municipal code will be amended to allow the city manager to make decisions about small donations. The city council will still consider large donations. Pg. 18-22

6. This amends the zoning to allow the waterfront district to have parks and to increase the residential density in the waterfront district and the commercial use districts. Pg. 28-93

7. To authorize carrying over $66,774,494 of unexpended appropriations to the 2021 budget.  Page 93-99

8. This authorizes submission of grant applications to the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for the Downtown Connectivity Improvements project and the Marcus Whitman School Walking Routes Improvements project. The school project is for sidewalks.  Both grants require matching funds. The Connectivity grant requires matching funds for about $2,000,000 over two years. Public Works Director Pete Rogalsky suggested that the city might have a better chance at the grant if it doubles the match and makes it $4 million. The Marcus Whitman sidewalks match is $100,000. Pg. 100-102

9. Calvin Matson wants to buy 5 acres in North Horn Rapids next to the five he was approved to purchase at the July 27 meeting. The price is $511, 830. Matson must build something on the property within the next 18 months are the sale is null and void. 103-119

10. The council will accept a Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Grant for External Automated Defibrillators. A gift!! See Item 5.   Page 120

City manager and city council blah, blah, blah. If Bob Thompson is absent again, it will only be blah, blah.

Randy’s Rundown: proposal to surplus and sell Thayer property and two other items will be the subject of July 27 Richland council workshop

Bush family 2.02 acres outlined in orange. Proposed surplus property outlined in blue.

The Tuesday Richland City Council workshop agenda includes three items. The packet includes just the bare bones information. The Observer emailed Interim City Manager Jon Amundson and he provided more information on the Thayer Property.

Here is the information provided by Amundson:

Notice the first paragraph after the summary: “Staff has received developer interest in several parcels of City-owned property off of the south end of Thayer Drive.” Bargain price sale of city-owned properties always starts out this way.

Also up for discussion:

North Horn Rapids Transmission Planning & Scheduling – Clint Whitney, Energy Services Director

Transportation Grant Opportunities – Pete Rogalsky, Public Works Director   Rogalsky works hard for transportation grants.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland council’s July 20 meeting explained. Council goes live.

In January 2020, the council chamber had a full house. Photo by the Observer

The Observer apologizes for failing to notice when she wrote the last Rundown that the Richland City Council has moved into hybrid-live meetings. Last week, Councilmembers Terry Christensen and Bob Thompson participated via Zoom and the rest of the councilmembers were in the council chamber. Some residents made comments in person, some on the phone and some had their comments read by the city clerk.

The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. You can go to city hall or check the agenda for Information on how to watch the meeting from home.

The page numbers beside the items below correspond to the page numbers in the packet that is included with the agenda.

1. Staff members will discuss reports from two appraisers regarding the current value of land in the Horn Rapids Industrial Park. Pg. 4

2. Board Chair Kurt Maier will present the Richland Public Library Board of Trustees’ annual report to City Council.  Pg. 5

Public Hearings – residents have 3 minutes to comment on these items. Either come to city hall personally or follow the instructions at the top of the agenda.

3. This item approves carryovers from the 2020 budget to the 2021 budget. A full list of items is provided. Pg. 82-80

4. The Richland Players will pay $1,531 for 625 sq. ft. of city property behind their theater. A storage unit was mistakenly built partially on city property in 1993. Pg. 183-188

5. The city will relinquish a public utility easement to the homeowner at 1349 Haupt. The easement is no longer needed because it was replaced with another that better accommodated the electrical lines. Pg. 196-199

Public Comments – residents have 2 minutes to comment on anything. Either come to city hall at 6:00 p.m. or follow the instructions at the top of the agenda.

6. The council will approve the minutes of their last meeting pg. 10-16

7. Council will approve an increase in density from 1 unit per 1,500 square feet to 1 unit per 1,000 sq. ft. for both the Waterfront District and the Commercial Use District. In addition, the Waterfront District will be amended to allow for parks. Pg. 82-88.

8. Calvin Matson of Logan Properties will purchase 5 acres in the Horn Rapids Business Center for $511,830. Pg. 89-104

9. NorAm Investments LLC asks approval to build 48 Badger View Villas on 5.3 acres. The five acres would be divided into 12 residential lots with a 4-plex on each. Pg. 105-142

10. For one dollar the city will sell 840 Northgate to Columbia Basin College. The property was given to the city by the Department of Energy on condition that it only be used for public non-commercial purposes. The land is valued at $250,000 but the 81-year-old building will cost $348,000 to demolish. Pg. 143-160.

11. Shannon and Wilson, Inc.  monitors the petroleum contamination at Goethals and Mansfield. Five tests have come up clean so the firm will be paid $4785 to work with the Department of Ecology to remove the property’s deed restriction. Pg. 161-168

12. This agreement authorizes up to $500,000 in consulting fees on debt and bonds for PFM Financial Advisors LLC. Pg. 169-181

13. The 606 Jadwin surplus property. See Item 4 under the public hearings.

14. NorAm Investments LLC will receive $1,337,980.70 for a Latecomer agreement for Bella Cola Lane. Sometimes the city repays developers with development fees after they’ve built a road. Pg. 189-195

15. Haupt surplus property. See Item 5 under public hearings.

16. The law firm of Bell, Brown and Rio provides prosecution services in Benton County District Court for all Richland misdemeanor/gross misdemeanor criminal cases. The Benton County prosecutor handles felony cases. The law firm is asking for $6600 more in fees for 2021 because of the extra time it takes them to handle Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO).  Under a law passed in the 2017 legislature, an ERPO allows family/household members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove a person’s access to firearms when there is evidence that individual is likely to harm themselves or others. Pg. 200-204

18.. Expenditures for the month of June 2021. Page. 205-279

19. The 2021 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program Interlocal Agreement is between Kennewick, Richland, and Benton County. The JAG program is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions The City of Kennewick has agreed to be the applicant and fiscal agent for the JAG Program funding and has been awarded $31,870. The City of Richland’s share of the JAG Program funding is $7,968, which will be used for bicycles for patrol and non-ballistic helmet visors for crowd control helmets.  Pg. 280-285

20.. The Department of Energy wants the city to annex 300 acres near the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. City Councilmembers will discuss that proposal. Pg. 286-300.

Blah, blah, blah, city manager and city councilmembers.

Randy’s Rundown: July 6 Richland Council agenda explained – city to annex 300 DoE acres, boards to go live but not council, trouble with permits at Amon Creek

DoE property proposed for annexation.

The Richland City Council will start the process for annexing 300 acres along the Columbia River north of the current Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL). The city will supply infrastructure to the site to enable future development there. Item 7.

The council will also discuss restarting live boards and commissions meetings. What about the city council? Item 17.

An ordinance update that protects aquifer recharge is also on the agenda. Then, a mere two items later, they will be surprised to learn about permitting hurdles with the road over the Amon Creek Nature Preserve. Who’d have thought. Item 5

The numbers after the items correspond to pages in the packet. Information on public comments appear at the top of the agenda.

1.The Trifecta of Chief of Police John Bruce, Fire Chief Tom Huntington and Parks and Public Facilities Director Joe Schiessl will give a July 4 update. Nobody died and only a few things burned to the ground so I guess the day will be rated a success. Pg. 4 😃

Consent Calendar

2. Approving the June 15 and June 22 city council meeting and workshop minutes Pg. 5-15

3. Changing the municipal code to protect aquifer recharge areas Pg. 16-79

4. Amending the process for approving minor variances. Pg. 80-88.

5. Approving $110,805 to RH2 Engineering to address the unexpected permitting complexities regarding the road over the Amon Creek Nature Preserve. Pg. 88-115

6. Approving the final plat for 24 residential lots and 3 tracts on 68 acres in Westcliffe Heights. Pg. 116-182

7. Beginning the process for the annexation of 300 Department of Energy (DoE) acres so that city services can be extended there. An unofficial source told the Observer that DoE and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) have had problems with the mix of ownership of land and buildings on their campus. Any expansion of PNNL onto DoE property would eliminate that complication. Pg.183-195.

8. Authorizing Silverbow Roofing to be a contractor for the Weatherwise Program Pg. 196-220.

9. Paying Murrysmith , Inc. $249,618 to complete the retrofit analysis and design for the waterwater treatment plant’s aeration basin facilities. Pg. 221-234

10. Authorizing a service agreement with Benton-Franklin Health District for a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic.  The cost to the city was unavailable Friday when the agenda was published. Pg. 235-245

11. Renting more space to Frost Me Sweet that will double the size of its outdoor dining. The restaurant will increase the monthly amount it now pays the city to $420.89 for outside space on Carol Woodruff Plaza. P. 246-252.

12. Paying expenses for Mayor Ryan Lukson and Councilmember Bob Thompson to travel to Alexandria, Virginia on September 8-10 for an Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) National Cleanup Workshop. It will cost $5,048 but most of that will be reimbursed by the ECA. Pg. 253-257.

13. Appointing Justin Raffa to the Board of Adjustment. This is the board that Councilmember Marianne Boring served on for almost 20 years. Most of the work this board did in the past was transferred to a hearing examiner. The board now considers applications for carports and other smaller projects. Pg. 258.

14. Creating an all-male Utility Board Committee. The one woman on the committee resigned. There were six applicants, but the city decided to reappoint Dave Larkin who had dropped off the committee after serving 15 years.  Last year he wrote to the Observer for an article about the five longest serving members of the Richland boards and commissions:

15. Awarding a bid to Sierra Electric for traffic signal systemic safety upgrades. A map of the intersections is provided.  P. 262-278.

16. Accepting a request from annexation for 8 homes at Badger Mt. Estates. They have well water. Pg. 268-277,

17. Discussing in-person meetings for boards, commissions, and committees. Maybe the council is afraid to go in-person because Councilmember Terry Christensen declared some months ago that he didn’t intend to be vaccinated.

Blah, Blah Blah, the interim city manager and the city council talk.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland council’s June 22 workshop explained – wheeled all-terrain vehicles, e-scooters and the budget

The Richland City Council will discuss all-terrain vehicles, e-scooters and the budget. You can learn how to watch the meeting and about a sentence more on the subject matter by going to the agenda and packet. Residents will not have the ability to comment on these items until they appear on a city council agenda for a vote.

Washington State allows the all-terrain vehicles on streets if approved by the local jurisdiction.

All-terrain vehicles already illegally speed loudly down the Observer’s residential street. The council will consider legalizing them like Kennewick and West Richland have done.

The council will also discuss e-scooters. For fun let’s discuss those first.

E-scooters have come up in past meetings. Some city council members have mentioned that rental scooters might be popular with cruise passengers if placed near the docks.

Considering the demographic of the typical cruise passenger, you need to imagine the Observer and her friends Councilmembers Terry Christensen, Phil Lemley and Bob Thompson disembarking from a cruise ship and jumping on an e-scooter to cruise around town 😂🤣😂 Instead, let’s imagine a young person zipping along a sidewalk weaving in and out of the cruise passengers.

So back to the all-terrain vehicles…

According to state law:

(19) “Wheeled allterrain vehicle” means (a) any motorized nonhighway vehicle with handlebars that is fifty inches or less in width, has a seat height of at least twenty inches, weighs less than one thousand five hundred pounds, and has four tires having a diameter of thirty inches or less, or (b) a utility-type vehicle designed for and capable of travel over designated roads that travels on four or more low-pressure tires of twenty psi or less, has a maximum width less than seventy-four inches, has a maximum weight less than two thousand pounds, has a wheelbase of one hundred ten inches or less, and satisfies at least one of the following: (i) Has a minimum width of fifty inches; (ii) has a minimum weight of at least nine hundred pounds; or (iii) has a wheelbase of over sixty-one inches.

The law includes requirements that only allow them on streets that have 35 mph speed limits.

During past discussions regarding this issue, Mayor Ryan Lukson indicated that residents of his Meadow Springs neighborhood would like to see golf carts allowed on the neighborhood streets. However, golf carts do not fall under the description of all-terrain vehicles.

A discussion of the budget process follows.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland council’s June 15 agenda explained – police body-worn cameras and the five-year transportation improvement program

Richland will apply for a federal matching fund grant to provide body-worn cameras to police officers. At the March 23 city council meeting Richland Police Chief John Bruce, who supports the use of cameras, said body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras would cost the department $1,303,951.26 for five years. The federal grant described in the information packet is only for body-worn cameras.  This discussion, Item 17, will occur near the end of the meeting.

Transportation projects planned for the next five years fill Pages 96-129. Improvements to Hwy 240 and Aaron Road remain at the top of the list. The packet includes a map on Page. 129.

The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. Go to the agenda for information on how to watch the meeting. The agenda also has instructions on how to comment on public hearing items and during the public comment period.

Pages below correspond to the pages in the packet that are included with the agenda.


1.Chancellor Sandra Haynes, Ph.D., will update the Council and the public on Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Public Hearing

2. Proposed Transportation Improvement Program. The city staff proposes completion of dozens of projects for the next five years.  Pg. 96-129.

3. Approval of the June 1 meeting minutes.

4. The code that addresses Critical Areas will be amended.  According to the summary in the packet, “This update is necessary to improve the review of Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas (CARAs), to improve permitting processes and procedures, to ensure compliance with state laws, and also to aid in reducing City risk.” Pg. 16-79.

5. This amends the city’s process for reviewing building variances, particularly minor variances (Pg. 83.)  Pg. 80-88.

6. An additional $1,216,530 in funds will be added to the budget to accommodate spending on the two new fire stations, broadband improvement and several other items.  Pg. 89-92.

7. Adding $240,000 to the design-build agreement with DGR Grant Construction for the two fire stations. COVID 19 material shortages, relocation of a water main and new technology for dispatching has added to the costs.

8. The five-year Transportation Improvement Program projects are listed on Pg. 96-129. Map on Pg. 129.

9. Approving the final plat of 46 residential lots for West Vineyard – Phase 2 in Badger Mountain South.  Pg. 130-166.

10. Awarding $7835 from the Business License Reserve Fund for soffit replacements on The Parkway. Pg. 167-171.

11. Authorizing $355,561 for a consultant agreement with Parametrix Inc. for closure of the 26 acres of Phase 2 at the Horn Rapids Landfill. We’re now working on filling the expansion area. Pg. 172-182

12. Setting July 6, 2021 as the date that the city council will meet with applicants about a proposed annexation (Badger Mountain Estates). Pg. 193-194.

13. The city will pay Magnum Power, LLC $2,955,520.22 for construction of an electric substation to serve the Horn Rapids Industrial Complex. Pg. 195-203

14. This authorizes $534,303 for replacement of electric conductors and 100 power poles. A map is included. Pg.204-214.

15. Authorizing $10,000 for Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Stevens Media Group for Live@5.

16. Checks for May.  Pg. 218-298

17. This authorizes staff to apply for a federal grant to purchase body-worn cameras and require a 1-to-1 match by the grantee. This is from the project summary: “Funds proposed, both federal and matching, may include expenses reasonably related to BWC program implementation. Besides the purchase or lease of BWCs themselves, allowable expenses include, but are not limited to, personnel to support the program, the cost of developing training on BWC use, and related technology costs such as infrastructure enhancements, redaction costs, and storage cost.” Pg. 299-300

18. This will amend the municipal code to allow dwelling units of less than 500 sq. ft. in the central business district. The council agreed to the change at the last city council meeting by a vote of 5-2. Pg. 301-348

Blah, blah, blah by interim city manager and councilmembers

End of meeting

Randy’s Rundown: May 25 Richland Council Workshop explained — results of the public art survey, dwelling unit sizes, proclamations, and public safety facilities

May 23 Update: A reader explains the dwelling unit size issue.

Except for the results of the public art survey, the Richland City Council workshop agenda skimps on details. The agenda includes information on how to view the meeting.

You can read dozens of comments on public art. The Queensgate roundabout art does not receive favorable reviews. One commenter describes it this way, “… looks like someone lost a load of lumber leaving the Home Depot.”

While the city provides no explanation of why they are discussing dwelling unit sizes, reader Alison Cable explains, “The Dwelling Unit size item is to remove the minimum dwelling unit size in the central business district. This is so that hotels can be renovated/converted to apartments and bring more residents to the central business district.”

Police Chief John Bruce and Fire Chief Tom Huntington will discuss public safety facilities.

We know the horror and consternation that occurred over the proclamation, “Infertility Awareness Week.” Therefore, Council wants to discuss how to pick proclamations that are totally innocuous and will produce no opposition or concern from anyone on planet Richland.

I’m sure everyone looks forward to these discussions.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland council’s May 18 agenda explained — homes without schools and a new utility billing system

Houses, Houses and more houses at Horn Rapids but where will the new kids go to school? On April 27 the city rezoned the school site on Hwy 240 for apartments. Item 8. In other business, the city is adopting a new system for billing customers. The program will start with 500 guinea pigs. Item 11.

Go to the packet and use the information at the for viewing the meeting and for making a comment.  Numbers below correspond to the pages in the packet.

Public Hearing

  1. The owner of 1351 Haupt would like title to the unused sewer easement on their property. The sewer was moved to another location on the property. The city will relinquish the abandoned easement in exchange for an easement for the existing sewer line. Pg. 4 and Pg. 84-92

Public Comments

Consent Calendar (no discussion, one vote)

2. May 4 meeting minutes will be approved. The minutes are brief; they aren’t intended to be a transcript. If you want to know what happened, there’s a video. This makes you realize how little we knew before video recordings. Pg. 6-11

3. The city will allow up to 25 percent of parking spaces for compact cars. Residential compact spaces will be 7 ½ feet by 15 feet and commercial ones will be 9 feet by 15 feet.  This item took 50 pages. Pg. 12-63.

4. This should be the last chapter in the saga of the donut hole that is Allenwhite Drive. The 5 houses on 3.63 acres will be annexed and zoned R-1-12 which allows a 12,000 square foot minimum lot. Pg. 63-70.

5. The 76.54 acres that will be annexed at 1106 N. Jurupa Road will also be zone R-1-12. Pg. 71-78.

6. The sewer pipes in the older section of town need inspection, rehabilitation, and replacement. So Pro-Pipe, Inc. of Irvine, California will be paid $1, 277,625 to begin the work. Pg. 79-83

Sewer system will be inspected, rehabilitated and replaced in these areas.

7. See Item 1.

The blue area was zoned for a fire station and a school. The school site was converted to apartment zoning.

8. The city will approve 63 lots and 5 tracts for Quail Ridge in Horn Rapids (outlined in red)  Paperwork from the hearing examiner in 2017 for Quail Ridge Phases 3-6 claims that a future school is just east of the site. On April 27, 2021, the city claimed the school site was no longer needed and rezoned it for apartments.  Pg. 93-145.

9. The Dovetail Joint Restaurant in the Uptown Shopping Center will receive $17,500 to improve its façade and outdoor dining space. Frank Wright Interiors, owned by Leinbeck Properties LLC, will receive $19,200 to improve their building at 1022 Lee Street. Pg. 146-148

10. The city will seek a $75,000 grant to install a remote system for the school zone traffic lights. Currently, each of them is programmed individually.  Pg. 148-151.

11. The city will adopt a new software program for utility bill collection. Here’s what the city writes about its new pre-pay system:  “MyUsage Prepay Software will provide a prepay program for the mutual benefit of the City and its customers. Customers who use prepay reduce their overall usage by an average of 10%, and the program nearly eliminates fees, penalties, and utility disconnects for those customers. The combination of these factors improves the relationship between utility customers and the City and saves the City money by requiring fewer resources to collect on unpaid balances. Staff recommends adoption of Resolution No. 57-21. Fiscal Impact: Initial configuration will cost $15,000. Energy Services plans to limit the prepay program to 500 customers, which will cost $4,200 monthly. The initial configuration cost is included in the existing budget, and ongoing software costs will be encumbered annually as a part of approved budget expenditures.”

Here’s how the software developer, Exceleron Software, LLC describes it: “MyUsage Prepay takes the guesswork out of the utility bill and helps consumers budget their daily usage. Whether they have electric, water, gas, or all-of-the-above, consumers are in control. They pay for service prior to delivery, and as they use their utilities their credit balance is reduced daily.  When their balance gets low, MyUsage alerts them with a personalized message and provides them with convenient options to pay for additional service.” Pg. 152-176.

12. The city will have a new agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for Wildland Fire Suppression. There will be a mechanism for reimbursement to the city for firefighting on or near federal land. Pg. 177-184.

13. This license agreement is a follow-up to the city’s NON-exclusive franchise agreement (October 20, 2020) with New Cingular Wireless to put small wireless facilities in city rights-of-way. Federal law limits the payments to the city for pole usage to $270 a year. Pg. 185-230.

14. Anh-Thu Mai-Windle will be appoint to the Personnel Committee. There is no information about other applicants. The appointment is to fill Michael Simpson’s seat and will expire in September 2022. Pg. 231-232

15.April Checks – Pg. 233-335

Blah, blah, blah.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland Council’s May 4 agenda explained — hotel tax funds, annexations, cruise ship buses

Tri-City Kart Club (TCKC) will receive $350,000 from the hotel/motel fund. (photo from the TCKC website)

May 3 update: Richland City Clerk Jennifer Rogers emailed me this morning and said that she would correct her error in reporting my April 20 comment.

Page number below correspond to the pages in the Council’s packet. Direction on how to sign up to comment are at the top of the first page. Residents are allowed three minutes to comment on the three public hearings but only two minutes for the public comment period.

If you’re confused about zoning, go to Pg. 51-61 for an explanation.

1.Debrief of Yakima Delta Fire by Fire Chief Tom Huntington


2. Change zoning regulations to allow for compact car spaces. Up to 25% of of parking places could be designated for compact cars. In commercial spaces the compact slots could be 9’ x 15’ and in residential development they could be 7 ½’ x 15’. John Deskins, Richland traffic engineer, expressed concerns about the change (pg. 33). Pg. 4-35 and Pg. 178-228.

3. Accepting the proposed annexation of 3.63 Acres along Allenwhite Drive. This “donut hole” in the middle of the city has been the subject of discussion for at least a year. There are only five homes here. The zoning will be R-1-12 to match surrounding development which would allow as many as 14 homes in the same area. Pg. 36-69 and Pg. 239-236. The 12 in R-1-12 refers to 12,000 sq. ft. minimum lots or up to 5 houses per acre.

4. The owners of the Badger Mountain Wineries property at 1106 N. Jurupa Road want to have their 76.54 acres annexed. At least 43 pages of local residents oppose that. The property will be zoned R-1-12 which could accommodate as many as 382 homes. Pg. 70-167 and Pg. 237-244



5. Approval of the worthless minutes. Richland City Clerk Jennifer Rogers contacted me that she would correct her error in reporting my April 20 comment. Go to City View and watch the tapes if you really want to know what happened on April 20 and 27. The Observer also has a recap for April 20 and April 27 Pg. 168-177

6. The city will allow compact car parking spaces.  See Item 2. The city council’s public hearings are also listed on the consent calendar. Those items receive no discussion and one vote on all of the items. Does that give you any confidence that they actually consider your comments???

7. Five homes on 3.63 acres along Allenwhite Drive will be annexed.  See Item 3

8. The 76.54 acres of land located at 1106 N. Jurupa Road will be annexed. See Item 4

9. Pavement Preservation The city will pay Intermountain Slurry Seal, a Reno, NV company, $1,435,000 to resurface portions of Keene, Goethal, Swift, Knight and a couple of other streets. The Port of Benton will pay $150,000 of that total to have its street resurfaced at the same time.  Pg. 245-250.

10. The city will be upgrading the wastewater treatment plant digester. RH2 Engineering will be paid $80,000 to manage construction. Pg.251-261.

11. Sixteen organizations will receive 2021 funding from the Hotel/Motel Lodging Tax Fund. Pg. 261-263

A list of groups applying for grants from the hotel/motel fund


Cruise ship owners have complained that they can’t conveniently haul their cruise passengers out of Richland because their buses can’t get to their ships. Those darn residents keep parking their cars down there. So, from April to October parking on Lee Blvd. at the dock will be restricted. American Cruise Lines paid $45,000 a year for priority rights to use the million-dollar dock for 15 years.  Pg. 264-265.

Council will BLAH, BLAH. BLAH

Randy’s Rundown: Richland Council’s April 27 agenda explained

Developers rush to cash in on the demand for housing in the Tri-Cities. This new development is in Horn Rapids.

Correction: Two developers have asked to change their commercial zoning to residential zoning. Two others have applied to increase the number of residential units on their parcels.

At this workshop meeting the Richland City Council will discuss law, financing, development and safety. The packet of information that accompanies the agenda only has 30 pages so maybe the councilmembers will actually read it.

The first item of business will see Councilmembers, along with city attorney Heather Kintzley, moaning and groaning about the new Washington State Supreme Court decision, Washington vs. Blake. At the last meeting Kintzley described the differences in drug laws nationally as “anarchy.”

Blake, as it is known, declared the state laws on the simple possession of illegal drugs unconstitutional. It all goes back to a woman wearing someone else’s pants. People cannot be prosecuted if they “unknowingly” possess drugs.

The city must amend their drug laws to reflect the Blake decision.

The second discussion will be led by Development Services Director Kerwin Jensen who will present the 2021 Review of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. It is a draft until approved by state auditors.

The Richland City Council will consider changing the zoning on two parcels from commercial to residential, one from low density residential to high density residential, one from public use to high density residential.  Usually, developers clamor to change their residential zoning to commercial zoning but the demand for housing in the Tri-Cities has changed the equation.

C&M Nursery, the owner of a fifth parcel on Van Geisen, wants the zoning for the agricultural back part of their property changed to match the commercial front part.

The proposed changes won’t have a vote until later, after it has gone through the planning committee process. Residents will have an opportunity to comment.

A 1.82 acre parcel off of N. Bermuda Road could be rezoned from commercial to medium density residential.
This area in North Horn Rapids along Highway 240 was designated for a school and a fire station. The Richland School Board has decided that it doesn’t need the site so it could become high density zoning for apartments.
This parcel on Center Parkway at the end of Meadow Drive South could be rezoned from commercial to medium density residential.
The owner of this property on the corner of Thayer Road and Duportail Road wants this parcel rezoned from low density residential to high density residential.
This C&M Nursery property along Van Giesen Street and the Hwy 240 bypass is zoned commercial in the front and agricultural in the back.. The owners would like all of the parcel to be zoned commercial.

Fire Chief Tom Huntington will wrap up this meeting with an update on the HeartSafe Richland Community AED (Automated External Defibrillator) Program. He gave council a review of the program last September.

Richland city staff response to questions about Wellsian Way development

A Spokane developer plans to pave over the two-acre brown area for a storage unit facility. The city will donate the road right-of-way at the top to the developer. Staff provided no drawings to show the location of a stormwater pipe or where it would be moved to.
Is this part of the “pipe” that will be moved? Richland staff did not include any drawings about the location or re-location of the pipe.

Received April 19, 2021 via email

Good morning Randy,

Jon is out over the weekend, through today, and asked me to get you some information in response to your questions about the surplus process. I spoke with Pete Rogalsky on this and we have put together the following information for you:

How does a citizen know that a city property is considered “surplus?” 

Property is declared surplus by Council action as an agenda item in a regular business meeting.

I notice that ABC Wellsian Way LLC somehow knew that the right-of-way for Davenport was “no longer needed”. How was that determined?

ABC Wellsian Way, LLC did not know before they proposed development on their property adjacent to that right of way that the City considered the Davenport right-of-way excess to its needs.  Public Works engineering staff are the stewards of public street rights-of-way dedicated in the City, and that same group is responsible, at a staff level, to conduct analysis and planning for the street system.  The Davenport and Comstock rights-of-way between Goethals Drive and Wellsian Way were dedicated in the original plat of Richland, but never developed or improved; this is a very unusual circumstance and was brought to staff’s attention through  ABC Wellsian Way’s development proposal. The engineering staff in Public Works evaluated the connectivity needs for the area and came to the conclusion that one more connection between Wellsian Way and Goethals Drive was desirable, but two was more than needed. 

An additional consideration for this project is the proportionality standard for development impact mitigation required by RMC 12.10.  The storage project proposed for the site is not a large traffic or pedestrian generator, so obtaining improvements to two street rights-of-way from that development would not be justified.  Staff’s analysis is that the solution proposed in the agreement before Council is in the City’s best interest.  The staff analysis has been prepared and recommended to Council, however the final decisions have not been made.  There will be multiple opportunities for Council to weigh in on this recommendation, first with the consideration of this agreement and later when they are presented with the ordinance to vacate the Davenport right-of-way.    

The packet information indicates that it was a staff decision. Who is going to make sure that the stormwater conveyance that is built by the developer meets regulation requirements??  

Staff only recommends an action for vacation of right-of-way; the decision and action to do so rests solely with the City Council. Public Works regulates construction of stormwater systems for compliance with applicable regulations.  Public Works also accepts ‘donated’ stormwater infrastructure for operations and maintenance and thus has a direct and vested interest in receiving good infrastructure.  As an existing conveyance facility, the City’s recommended approach to this pipeline is a simple replacement.  Compliance with current stormwater regulations will apply to the development independently of this pipeline relocation.  The City will retain responsibility for the compliance implications of this pipeline, which are very minor.

Have a wonderful day!


RFDTom HuntingtonFire Chief625 Swift Blvd., MS-16 | Richland, WA 99352(509) 942-7703

Randy’s Rundown: Richland Council’s April 20 Agenda Explained

Residents in the Comstock, Benham and Davenport Streets neighborhood need to pay particular attention to Item 7. The city is bending over backwards to help a Spokane developer build storage units on Wellsian Way next to Goethal Park. Actions on that site could affect storm water drainage in your neighborhood. The city has washed its hands of any responsibility for flooding.

Page numbers beside the items correspond with the page numbers in the agenda Packet.

1.Proclamation Declaring April 18-24, 2021 to be National Infertility Awareness Week. Pg. 3-4

No public hearings are scheduled.

Next up is public comment. Go to the agenda (link above) and read the rules at the top.

All of the following is on the consent calendar where it receives no discussion and one vote.

2. Approving April 6, 2021 minutes. If you really want to know what’s going on, skip the minutes which describe a long discussion in a few words. Go to City View and watch the tape. Pg. 5-11

3. The cyberstalking law must be amended to eliminate “embarrassing” due to constitutional issues. Pg. 12-14

4. The city must amend its ordinances to reflect a new court decision, Washington vs. Blake, that prohibits prosecution of anyone unless they “knowingly” have possession of illegal drugs. This ruling invalidated current drug laws. Pg. 15-18

5. Money will be moved around in the budget for concrete crushing, for a leaky roof at Fire Station 71, for police forensics and hardware preventing crimes against children, and for hiring seasonal park rangers. Pg. 19-22

6. This contract will enable reimbursement from the Washington State Department of Health to the city fire department for assistance provided at the fairground vaccination site. Pg. 23-31

Stormwater conveyance in the Comstock and Davenport Streets area will be altered by new development on Wellsian Way

7. THIS ITEM DOES NOT BELONG ON THE CONSENT AGENDA. IT NEEDS DISCUSSION.  The city is bending over backwards to accommodate a Spokane developer’s plan to build a storage unit facility on his two acres on Wellsian Way. The city will GIVE the developer its street right-of-way for extending Davenport Road to Wellsian. The city will PAY the developer $20,000 to re-route a stormwater pipe that serves the area around Davenport and Comstock Streets and goes through the middle of the developer’s property.  AND, the city is washing its hands of any responsibility for flooding that might occur from the stormwater re-routing (Pg 41, Section D, Mutual Indemnification). No drawings and building plans are provided in the agenda packet for any of this. The property where the storage units will be built abuts Goethal Park and includes a low area that might require fill, further complicating the storm water issue.

Brown area will become a storage unit facility. Land at the top intended for the extension of Davenport Road to Wellsian Way will be given to the developer.

Development abuts the Goethal playground.
Stormwater pipe on Goethal Drive
Any fill dirt added to property could affect stormwater controls.

Drainage from Davenport and Comstock Streets probably ends up here.

8. The City Council tried to find a consultant to evaluate former City Manager Cindy Reents but ended up firing her instead.  Bob Thompson said, “Cindy forgot who her friends were.”  So now they plan to pay consultant Marsha Fraser, who has unknown qualifications, $200 an hour for 66-104 hours not to exceed $20,800 to evaluate the new interim city manager’s performance.  Performance goals have no definition. Her expenses will be paid if she comes over from Edmund, Washington where she is located. The contract could be amended to pay her for more work.  The Observer reached out to Fraser and asked for her resume. There has been no response.  Pg. 52-65.

9. March checks Pg. 66-143

Blah, blah, blah from council

Meeting adjourned.