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

PUBLIC HEARINGS

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

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

CONSENT CALENDAR

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

ITEMS OF BUSINESS

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!

Tom

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.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland Council’s April 6 agenda explained

Meeting Highlights: You can only be charged for violating certain drug possession laws if you did it “knowingly.” Five groups will have the funding they have raised for recreation projects matched by the city. Your recycle pick up charge may change. The wastewater treatment plant will be improved.

You have three minutes to comment on public hearings and two minutes to comment on anything during the public comment period. Go to the agenda and read the rules at the top.

Page numbers below correspond to the pages in the packet. Most of the items on the agenda are listed under the “Consent Calendar” and receive little discussion and one vote.

Meeting Begins

1.Ms. Celeste Blair will be honored as the first female youth in the Tri-Cities to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Pg. 4-5

PUBLIC HEARING

2. City funds will be switched around in order to fund concrete crushing services at the landfill, to fix the leaking roof at Fire Station 71, to hire seasonal park rangers and to replace failing forensic workstations at the police department. Pg. 20-23

CONSENT CALENDAR

3. Council will vote to approve its worthless minutes from the March 16 and March 23 meetings. If you really want to know what happened at these meetings go to the videos. Pg. 7-16

4. The city code on cyberstalking will be amended to eliminate “embarrass.” The Washington State Court of Appeals ruled in State v. Mireles that it was necessary to strike the term “embarrass” from RCW 9.61.260 in order to preserve the constitutionality of the statute. Pg.17-19

5. The city funding switcheroo (see the public hearing above) will be voted on along with everything else on the consent calendar. Pg. 20-23

6. The methane gas created at the Horn Rapids Landfill will be collected and sold by a contractor that will pay the city $6000 a month. If any other gas is processed by the system at the landfill, the city will receive no less than 2 percent and no more than 10 percent of the gross. Pg. 24-30

7. Richland will provide traffic signal technical services to the City of West Richland. West Richland will reimburse Richland by paying for the salary and benefits for the hours provided by the city employee. Pg. 31-37

8. This outlines the city’s responsibility for funding shortfalls for Metro, a cooperative agreement with area jurisdictions that seeks to control substance trafficking within the Tri-Cities Community. Metro is currently comprised of the cities of Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and West Richland, and the counties of Benton and Franklin. The City of Kennewick is currently the administrative jurisdiction for Metro. The City of Richland expects to use the Public Safety Sales Tax revenue to pay their share. Pg. 38-42

9. As a condition of project permits, the City is required to employ a third-party, cultural resources monitoring company to observe the work on the Columbia Park Trail improvement project. The contractors will be paid about $146,000 to look for any important archeological properties or human remains. Pg. 44-49

10. The city will cooperate with the Port of Benton to resurface roads. Doolittle Construction of Belleview, Washington submitted the lowest bid.  City costs are estimated to be $435,020 which includes construction, contingency, and construction inspection. The Port of Benton will pay $150,000. Pg. 50-57

11. The city will hire Culbert Construction Inc.  $1,438,905.94 for the construction of .33 miles of 1st Street west of Kingsgate Way.  Pg. 58-68

12. Monson Development Washington, LLC has applied for final plat approval for Phase 2 of its Goose Ridge subdivision. Located along the north boundary of the Badger Mountain South Master Planned Community, the final plat of Goose Ridge Estates – Phase 2 proposes to divide 8.18 acres into 22 residential lots and five (5) tracts. This brings the total residential lots in Goose Ridge Estates to 106. Pg. 69-96.

13. Five city organizations will receive matching grants for improvements to recreational facilities:  Back Country Horsemen of Washington will receive $5,000 for parking and horse trail improvements. Pg. 97-122; Crested Hills Homeowners’ Association will receive $2,287.15 for trees for Crested Hill Park. Pg. 123-138; Friends of Badger Mountain will receive $5,000 to develop a north face trail. Pg.139-152; Horn Rapids Motor Sports Complex will receive $5,000 to make their facility safer by building a fence around their track. Pg. 153-170; Sundance Ridge HOA-Richland will use $2,000 to add plants to Heritage Hills Park. Pg. 171-179.

14. This is the first of two improvements on the agenda for the Wastewater Treatment plant. This one is to upgrade the electrical supply and control for the plant digester. The project will cost $1,549,796. Vincent Brothers LLP submitted the winning bid. Pg. 180-183

15. Wastewater plants are required to have a backup generator. The city’s backup which was installed in 1985 failed and couldn’t be fixed. Prater Electric Inc. will replace the $10,000 a month rental backup with a new backup generator for $551,098. Pg. 184-188

ITEMS OF BUSINESS (There could be discussion for these.)

16. The city will amend its ordinances to reflect a state court decision that you can only be charged for violating certain drug possession laws if you did it “knowingly.” Pg. 188-191

17. The city’s Utility Advisory Committee reviewed a consultant’s report regarding the charges for sold waste disposal. Most of the recommended changes involved specific waste streams received and processed at the City’s landfill. The only collection service rate included in the recommended package of changes was for curbside recycling. Pg. 192

REPORTS AND COMMENTS

Blah, blah, blah

SECRET SESSION

To discuss current and potential litigation with the city attorney.

Randy’s Rundown: March 23, Richland Council Workshop Explained

Police body and dashboard cameras top the agenda.  The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. Go to the agenda to link to Zoom. Interim City Manager Jon Amundson confirms that the meeting can also be seen on Spectrum 192. When it is shown there, a tape usually becomes available the next day on Richland City View.

1.Discussion regarding Operational and Budgetary Impacts of Body Worn and Vehicle Cameras – John Bruce, Chief of Police.  We can assume that the value to public safety of the body and dashboard cameras is undisputed because the only discussion here seems to be “operational and budgetary.” Pasco Police have used the cameras for a couple of years, and they haven’t broken the bank there. 

On February 1, 2021, Richland Police Officer Christian Jabri shoot a man on a pedestrian path along the Highway 240 bypass. The Special Investigative Unit has not submitted their report to Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller and Bruce. Without cameras it will be difficult to tell what actually happened there. The police did not file any charges against the man who was shot.

Recently Miller came out in favor of body cameras and dashboard cameras.  “For reviewing cases involving deadly force by police officers, the use of body cameras would be beneficial not only for the integrity of the investigation but also for the decedent’s family and involved police officers,” Miller wrote in an Aug. 20 letter.

A recent Herald article reported figures obtained from the local police departments on “use of force.” The Richland Police Department used forced three times more often than Pasco.  Does that have something to do with Pasco’s cameras?

The Observer asked Interim City Manager Jon Amundson and Police Chief John Bruce to confirm the Herald’s numbers since Councilmember Bob Thompson questioned them.  So far there have been no responses.

2. Update on the Proposed Development Agreement on Tracts D & E, 22 Acres of City-Owned Property located on Bradley Boulevard – Kerwin Jensen, Development Services Director.  

The city has a grandiose plan for this area that includes a million-dollar dock built by American Cruise Lines (ACL). In case you have forgotten, the city gave ACL priority right to use the Lee Street Dock for 15 years for $45,000 the first year. The contract does not require ACL to build a new dock.  The city will maintain the Lee Street dock for 15 years and the total cost to ACL will be less than the cost of permitting and constructing a new dock and maintaining it. With that deal would you build a dock?

3. Horn Rapids Water Rights Status, West Richland Wholesale Service Expansion Request, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Irrigation Service Request – Pete Rogalsky, Public Works Director

Water, water, water…. When will the Columbia River be sucked dry?  Not a meeting goes by without a discussion about more spending on Horn Rapids.

4. 2021 Legislative Transportation Advocacy Update – Additional Project Suggestion – Pete Rogalsky, Public Works Director

The state and the federal government are planning infrastructure improvement programs. We need to get our wish list in now.  When former President Trump asked each state to submit their project priorities, SeaTac was at the top of the list along with improvements to Interstate 5.  Broadband expansion was the top project on the east side.

Randy’s Rundown: March 16 Richland Council Agenda Explained

Bike and Pedestrian Trail lovers check out Item 8. A consultant will receive $114,270 of a $125,000 federal grant to study extending trails from the Columbia River to Meadow Springs. This includes a bike/pedestrian bridge over Highway 240.

Additional information has been added about board appointments – the number of people who applied for each board. Councilmembers have claimed that they needed to eliminate term limits due to a dearth of applicants. Several of these boards did have very few.

However, 13 people applied to be on the Parks and Recreation Commission and Maria Gutierrez was reappointed for what will be 18 years at the end of this term. With Councilmember Marianne Boring’s promotion to city council, Gutierrez becomes the longest serving member of a board or commission. Boring had close to 20 years on both the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment.

The item numbers match those on the agenda and the page numbers match the pages in the packet. For information on how to make a public comment go to the agenda.

  1. Proclamation of Appreciation for serving on the Parks and Recreation Board goes to retiring Nancy Doran and Barry Richards. Doran helped start the immensely popular, parks department neighborhood walks that she continues to lead. No member of the city council has ever been on one of her walks. Shame on them!! Pg. 4-6
  2. Visit Tri-Cities annual report and request for $345,250 from the lodging tax fund. Pg. 7-34

3. Hanford Communities Executive Director David Reeploeg will give an update on the work of that organization. He gave this presentation to Pasco City Council at their last meeting so he’s making the rounds. Pg. 35

4. Joe Schiessl, Parks and Public Facilities Director will describe 2021 goals. Pg. 36

5. Approval of the March 2 meeting minutes. Pg. 37-44

6. Sheds less than 200 square feet need no permits unless they are for a business. The city code will be amended to conform with state requirements. Pg. 44-50

7. The city is selling 1.49 acres in the Horn Rapids Industrial Park at Kingsgate and Battelle Drive to R&R Property Enterprises, Bonnie J. Watson, registered agent, for $81,205. Pg.  51-67.

8. Bikers, hikers, walkers, will love this. A consultant, KPFF, Inc. will study extending the trail system and even a bike/pedestrian bridge over Highway 240.  The consultant will receive $114,270 of a federal grant of $125,000. Pg. 68-123.

9. The city will surplus 840 Northgate so that it can be sold. The Department of Energy gave the .68 acres with a 26,805 sq. ft. building to Richland in 2000 but stipulated that it must used for public, non-commercial use. The city used it as a city hall annex until everyone moved to the new city hall. Columbia Basin College has expressed interest in buying the property. Pg.124-127.

10. The city will give $6000 from the business license fund to SCORE a non-profit business counseling group. SCORE will create webinars to help local businesses with marketing. The fund will still have $16,690. Pg.128-136

11. The Academy of Children’s Theatre (ACT) will receive $15,070 for improvements to the outside of their building and their sign from the Commercial Façade Improvement Program that is funded by business license revenue. ACT will provide $25,311.  The façade program will provide $20,000 to 610 The Parkway for building façade and sign improvements. That group’s contribution will be $40,000. The business license fund will still have $81,531. Pg. 137-144.

12.Here’s where the council approves the $345,250 for Visit Tri-Cities. See item 2. Pg.145-149.

13. The city received 4 applications and appointed three people to the Arts Commission: Jet Richardson, Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity Tri-County Partners; Eboni “Raleigh” Lovell, an on-air radio personality for Mix 105.3; Emilie Cooper a student at Hanford High School. Pg. 150-151

14. Michael Simpson replaced Marianne Boring on the Board of Adjustment when she was appointed to the city council. This gives him a full term. He will also serve on the Personnel Committee until his term ends Sept.30,2022. Pg.152-153

15.The Code Enforcement Board had two applicants. Albert Edmondson and Ragan Faylor, a real estate appraiser will join the board. Pg. 154-155

16. The Parks and Recreation Committee had 13 applicants. Maria Guitierrez, a high school English teacher in Pasco, was reappointed for another term. At the end of it, she will have served 18 years on that committee. Meghan Brooks a HAPO Community Credit Union employee; Isaac Arnquist, who works at PNNL; and student representatives William Henry and Annabella Aldous were also chosen. Pg. 156-157

Expenditures: Checks written in February came to $26 million. Pg. 158-235

Blah, Blah, Blah, interim city manager and councilmembers give reports and comments.

Randy’s Rundown, Richland City Council Mar.2 agenda explained

Once again Richland City Council ignores the city’s charter. The new contract for the interim city manager (Item 12) allows for three months severance when the charter specifies two. Several provisions including the ethics committee have fallen by the wayside. The charter requires that city managers live in the city but it was never clear where former City Manager Cindy Reents lived. Sometimes councilmembers take the oath of office as required after they’re elected, sometimes they don’t.

The council regularly amends ordinances to “conform to current practice” but changes to the charter require a vote of the people. That’s why the council ignores the charter rather than amending it.

The agenda

The following item numbers correspond to the agenda. The page numbers will take you to the page in the packet that describes the item. Both the agenda and the packet appear here. The agenda also includes the rules for public comments. There are no public hearings scheduled for this meeting.

  1. 2020 Fire and Emergency Services Annual report from Fire and Emergency Services Director Tom Huntington. You can get a head start on this report by reading this.  Pg. 4

2. Bob Thompson emailed that he had food poisoning that’s why he never showed his face or said a word during the Zoom meeting Feb. 23. He was counted as “in attendance.” Also, up for approval are the minutes for the February 16, 2021 meeting. Pg. 6-15.

3. The municipal code will be updated to match the state requirements for permitting. No permits are required for residential accessory structures (think sheds) that are 200 sq. ft. or less but business accessory structures must be less than 120 sq. ft. to avoid having to file for a permit. Pg. 16-21

4. Rezoning 3.1 acres in Clearwater Creek at the intersection of Steptoe and Center Pkwy from agricultural to commercial. Pg. 22-35

5. This amends parking rules to allow for bike lanes on certain streets. Check the list if you didn’t after it appeared on the Feb. 16 agenda. Pg. 36-47

6. The rules for sign permits are outlined. As noted in the Feb.16 Rundown, Council wants the hearing examiner to hear appeals instead of the city council. Pg. 48-53

7. Firehouse Subs doesn’t want to lose customers to heart attacks so their foundation will give a grant for automated external defibrillators. Pg. 54-56

8. The homeowners at 1061, 1063, 1065, 1043 and 1049 Allenwhite Drive have applied for membership in the exclusive City of Richland Country Club. They are willing to pay the yearly fees. The date for a hearing on their membership application will be held on May 4, 2021. (This is also known as an annexation request). Pg. 56-59

9. Setting the date for the Tiegs annexation. Look at this as a corporate application for membership in the City of Richland Country Club. Badger Mt. Vineyard has 76.54 acres at 1106 N. Jurupa Road. They will meet with the membership committee on the same day that the Allenwhite folks have their meeting, May 4, 2021. Pg. 60-65

10. The city will pay Parametrix, Inc. $96.701 for monitoring ground water and landfill gases at the Horn Rapids landfill. Pg. 66-85

 11. A single bid from Vincent Bros LLP for the wastewater treatment plant digester improvements and replacement generator project came in at $500,000 over the estimate. The bid has been rejected and the city is back to the drawing board revising its bid solicitation. Pg. 86-89

12. Rest in Peace Richland City Charter. According to Section 4.02 of the charter, if the city manager is terminated, they “shall be paid any balance of his salary then due or accrued and an additional amount equal to two months’ salary.” Former City Manager Cindy Reents had six-months’ severance pay in her contract; Interim City Manager Jon Amundson has three-months’ severance in the contract described here. The council negotiates around the charter in the contracts with this clause (Pg. 95): “If City elects to terminate Amundson’s employment for any reason other than for “cause” as defined below, Amundson shall receive a lump sum payment equal to three (3) months salary as severance, rather than the two months provided for in the Richland City Charter.” Pg. 90-97

13. Approving a site-specific rezone on 2.9 acres located at 1769 Leslie Road from C-LB to C-3. Bless her heart, Marianne Boring is probably the only person on the council who reads the packet. Plus, after almost 20 years serving on the Planning Commission and 20 years on the Board of Adjustment, she knows her zoning. She had this item pulled from the Feb.16 consent calendar so that it could be amended to prohibit new development that wasn’t neighborhood friendly. You will not be attending a drive-in movie here. There’s a long list of approved and unapproved uses listed.  Pg. 98-120

Blah, blah, blah from the city manager and the city councilmembers

Then there will be a Secret Meeting with the interim city manager to discuss labor negotiations.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland City Council Feb. 23 Workshop Explained

This meeting will not be on television, nor will it be taped.  You can join the party at 6:00 p.m. by going to the agenda and clicking on Zoom.

  1. Police Chief John Bruce will explain the process for investigating the recent Richland police shooting.  To get a head start on this discussion read WAC 139-12, the new state law governing the police investing police investigations.
  • City Attorney Heather Kintzley and Public Works Director Pete Rogalsky will discuss the use of wheeled all terrain vehicles on city streets.  An all-terrain vehicle ( ATV ), also known as a quad, quad bike, three-wheeler, four-track, four-wheeler or quadricycle as defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a vehicle that travels on low-pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars. It is NOT a snowmobile or a golf cart (darn). Pg. 3-9
  • Director of Parks and Public Facilities Joe Schiessl will discuss speed limits on city shared-use paths.  Electric bicycles and scooters and scooter sharing programs have inspired this discussion Pg. 9

Randy’s Rundown: Richland City Council Feb.16 agenda explained

Randy has simplified the Rundown.

Go to the city council agenda and packet for details on the city council agenda.  The item numbers below correspond with the item numbers in the agenda. Page numbers following the item correspond to the pages in the packet.

  1. Richland Art Commission will make two awards recognizing contributions to the arts. Pg. 4

2. Arts Commission Chair Dr. Jeff Kissel will discuss the 2021 commission work plan. Pg. 5

3. TRIDEC (Tri-Cities Economic Development Council) Annual Report from Karl Dye President.  Pg. 6

4. PUBLIC HEARING —    for Traffic Signal Systemic Safety Upgrades Project. I would like to tell you what this is about, but I have no clue. In Seattle this means making the walk signals last longer so a pedestrian can safely cross the street. The city will spend around $500,000 and receive a grant.  Here’s what is written:  “Upgrades project is designed to upgrade traffic signal equipment throughout the City, providing improved functionality at signals and making travel movements more efficient and safe through a combination of enhanced visibility and electronic controls.” City hall is closed Monday. You have Tuesday until 4:00 p.m. to find out what this is about and sign up to comment. — (go to the agenda for instructions on how to provide a three-minute comment). Pg. 62-65

PUBLIC COMMENTS – go to the agenda and read the rules. You get 2 minutes to talk about whatever your heart desires.

5. Approve Council Minutes for the Feb. 2 council meeting and the Feb. 9 workshop. Pg. 8-17

6. Bike Lanes will be added to Swift, Goethals and Williams when they are repaved and parking on other streets will be limited to make way for bike lanes.  Check out the list.  Pg. 18-30

7. The city council doesn’t want to listen to you complain if your sign application was rejected so your appeal will now go to the hearing examiner rather than the city council. Pg. 31-36

8. If you are thrown off your property for a public works project, you have to follow these rules for relocation assistance.  I highly recommend good legal representation. Pg.37-41

9. Twenty-three homes will be squeezed on to 4.2 acres in the Clearwater Creek development between Clearwater and Center Parkway. Pg.42-58

 10. Order of Agenda Items for Richland City Council Meetings is modified. Before you start scratching your heads, this is a typical Richland city process. They change, then codify the change years later. Apparently, the current agenda doesn’t look like it did back in the 1990s. Pg. 59-61

11. YIKES, just YIKES. Traffic Signal Systemic Safety Upgrades. This was the subject of the public hearing, item 4. You have until 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday to figure out what it this is about and call to put your name on the list to comment.  GOOD LUCK.  Monday is a holiday. Here’s what it says: “On February 14, 2021, notice was published that a public hearing would be held on February 16, 2021 to take public testimony regarding this proposed amendment. Barring any compelling public testimony to the contrary, staff recommends adoption of Resolution No. 23-21.”😂  The project will cost almost $500K but a grant has been obtained. Pg. 62-65

12. Councilmember Bob Thompson will be appointed to the Hanford Advisory Board until the end of 2021. Thompson told his fellow councilmembers during a workshop last Tuesday that he wanted the job and the council gave it to him. Long time Richland representative Pam Larsen resigned last year. Pg.66

13. Expenditures — all checks written in January pg. 67-147

14. The city will rezone 3.1 acres at Steptoe and Center Parkway in Clearwater Creek from AG (agriculture) to C-1 (neighborhood retail). If you have anything to say about this, you’re out of luck. The case is closed.  Pg. 148-161

15. The city will rezone 2.9 acres located at 1769 Leslie Road from C-LB (limited business use district) to C-3 (general commercial) so a Goodwill resale store can be built there.  Interestingly, the Round Table Pizza Restaurant next door does not conform to the C-LB zoning and changing this area to C-3 brings it into compliance. Pg. 162-175

16. This Benton County Jail agreement will require the City to pay 7.48% of the net operating costs for the jail (based on a fiscal rolling 3-year average). This is an increase from the 2020 rate of 7.43% assuming net operating costs and bed days remain constant, this jail contract will cost the City approximately $1,300,000. Pg. 176-191

17. The City Council will discuss the terms of Interim City Manager Jon Amundson’s Contract. Pg. 192

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH This is when the mayor and council get to talk for as long as they want about whatever.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland City Council Feb.2 agenda explained

Feb.1 — Item 9 has been edited to clarify that the city owes Viking Builders $266,250,06 for improvements to Gage Blvd.

Cindy Reent’s finalized separation agreement and Phil Lemley’s proposed ethics committee do not appear on this agenda

Go here for the agenda and the packet of information that accompanies it.  The pages following the items below correspond to the pages in the packet.

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

Welcome and Roll Call

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda

Presentations:

  1. LIGO ( Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Month

2. Annual Development Service Update – Kerwin Jensen, Development Services Director

Public Hearings: If there were any hearings, you would have 3 minutes to talk about them.

Public Comments: You have 2 minutes for public comment. You can phone and make your comment (instructions on the top of the agenda) or you can submit them to be read by a city staff member in a flat, boring, emotionless voice. In any case, questions are forbidden. Councilmembers will sit there with a straight face and appear to be listening.

Consent Calendar: This is where they put things like 15-year leases on city docks. No one will say a word and there will be one vote on all at the end.

3. Minutes: Jan.19 and Jan.26 city council meeting minutes will be approved. Pg.8-15 These minutes tell you next to nothing about what happened at the city council meeting. But this exciting news is recorded:  January 19 Councilmember Marianne Boring moved to take a land sale contract off the consent calendar because of “naming inconsistencies between the purchase and sale agreement and the proposed resolution and asked that the inconsistencies be remedied before execution of the documents.” Wonders never cease at Richland City Council. Somebody asked to remove something from the consent calendar for discussion.

Ordinances – First Reading

4. This ordinance outlines restrictions for relocation assistance for people who are evicted from their property after an eminent domain proceeding takes it for a public project. All the many deadlines for appealing decisions have been listed. I hope anyone whose property is taken has a good attorney. This deserves a discussion but fat chance of that.  Pg.16-20.

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage

Nothing here.

Resolutions – Adoption

5. The Council will distribute $145,000 from the Business License Reserve Fund — $25,000 for the business recovery and resiliency program, $14,000 for stage-2 businesses looking to expand, $6,000 for the Uptown Business District alley art program and $100,000 for the commercial façade improvement program.  This leaves $22,690 left in the fund. Pg. 21-23

6. The Port of Benton will pay the city $300,000 to be included in the city’s slurry seal road preservation project. The city will put the slurry seal program up for bid.  The approved Richland 2021 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has authorized $2,230,000 for the 2021 Pavement Preservation Program. If you read Randy’s Rundown for Jan. 19, you should be up to speed now on pavement preservation. Pg. 24-29

7. This authorizes an agreement with TRIDEC for Marketing and Representation Services. TRIDEC maintains a list of city properties on its website.  You can read 16 pages about what TRIDEC is doing to promote the Tri-Cities. Pg. 30-46

8. Oops, another city boo-boo. This corrects the city’s compensation plan for unaffiliated employees to include an inflation adjustment that was omitted when it was approved on November 17, 2020. As an example, look at the first person on the list, “Accountant.” In November, the minimum hourly wage was $32.26 but with the 1.3 percent adjustment, the minimum is now $32.68.  The item first appeared on the no questions asked consent calendar just like this one does. Pg. 47-52.

9. The city is responsible for building major roads and one way they pay for that is via development impact fees charged to home buyers. Viking Builders completed road improvements on Gage and the cost exceeded the impact fees from their development, The Reserve at Summerview Terrace. Since it was the responsibility of the city to pay for the road, Viking will receive the overage $266,250.06 in installments from impact fees collected elsewhere. The first installment is $50,000 and Viking will be paid the remainder quarterly as fees become available. Pg.53-60.

10. Intermountain Materials Testing & Geotechnical will be awarded a 5-year contract not to exceed $75,000 a year for materials testing services. The company will test cement, asphalt and other materials to assure that it meets applicable standards. Four companies submitted bids.  Intermountain was founded by Marianne Boring and her husband. This could be a conflict of interest for Boring. By definition a conflict of interest occurs when a party has competing interests or loyalties. A conflict of interest does not just apply to a “financial” conflict.

 11. The city has agreed to a settlement regarding sewer and water service to Jolene and Michael Grimes who purchased their property at 1061 Allenwhite Drive in 2008. Somehow, the city limits went around a few acres there, possibly because development occurred around an older existing home. In 2002 the city agreed to extend water and sewer to that home. After the Grimes purchased the home in 2008 and divided the lot into 1061 and 1063, they asked the city to extend the water and sewer to the second lot. The city said the 2002 agreement only applied to one lot and advised the Grimes to apply for annexation. They have applied. While annexation is going through the process the city is providing the water and sewer to the second lot at the expense of the owner.  Pg. 77-82

Items – Approval

None

Expenditures – Approval

None

Items of Business:

None

Reports and Comments:

blah, blah, blah  

At the end of the Jan. 19 meeting Thompson pitched ivermectin as a drug for treatment and prevention of COVID. Ivermectin is an ingredient in canine heartworm medicine and in head lice remedies. This drug along with every other drug on the planet is being STUDIED for use against COVID but Bob is ready to prescribe it to the masses. I just hope he doesn’t have a dog.

Executive Session:  Secret session to evaluate qualifications of an applicant or to review the performance of an employee (60 minutes).

Is this about the terms of Cindy Reent’s termination agreement???  The council meeting minutes for the December 15, 2020 meeting says: “City of Richland and City Manager Reents have mutually agreed to enter into a separation agreement, although the terms of the agreement have yet to be finalized.” The finalized agreement must be approved in open session.

Randy’s Rundown: Richland City Council Jan. 19, agenda explained

Comprehensive plans and zoning are merely suggestions in Richland. See items 11 and 12.

Correction: Item 4, the City of Richland is selling the property not buying the property.

Page numbers given below correspond to the page numbers of the packet items. To make a public comment see instructions on the agenda which is on the first page of the packet.

City Council Workshop – 5:00 p.m. via Zoom

  1. Executive Session to Evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment (55 minutes). If this is a new city manager, the council certainly didn’t waste any time finding a replacement for Cindy Reents.

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

Welcome and Roll Call

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda

Presentations:

None Listed.

Public Hearing: Residents would be allowed 3 minutes to comment on public hearing items, but none are listed.

Public Comments: Residents can have 2 minutes to comment about anything. See directions at the top of the agenda, link above. However, residents are warned that the council will not “directly respond.”

Consent Calendar: These items receive little if any discussion and they will be approved with one vote. One councilmember can pull an item off the Consent Calendar for discussion and a separate vote, but they rarely do.

Minutes:

  2. The council will approve the minutes from its last brief meeting. Pg. 4-9

Ordinances – First Reading

None listed.

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage:

None listed.

Resolutions – Adoption

3. A $174.705 consulting fee will be paid to H.W. Lochner for phase 1 of a three-phase project to make traffic move faster down George Washington Way.  The three phases include evaluating the S. George Washington Way/Columbia Point Intersection for improvements, selecting a preferred alternative, completing the design of the preferred alternative, preparing plans, specifications, and estimate (PS&E) package to be advertised for construction, and assisting with the construction administration/management. North Richland residents who want to see the traffic diverted from GWay to the bypass to facilitate better downtown development have vigorously opposed this plan, particularly the alternative that would take the ballet studio. Page.10-79

4. The city is amending its purchase agreement with Kamal Singh (owner of AK’s Investments, LLC) to sell 3 acres instead of 2.56 acres at the northeast corner of Kingsgate Way and Clubhouse Lane. The AK investment will pay $436,621 for the purchase of 3 acres, up from the previous purchase price of $336,501 for the original 2.56 acres. The acreage will be used for commercial development near the traffic circle into the new Horn Rapids Commercial Plaza.

5. Nasty, dirty stormwater runoff coming from the roads and other impervious surfaces around Hains Avenue will be treated by these facilities before it flows into the Columbia River. This authorizes an agreement for the state to pay ¾ of the $300,000 cost of infiltration basins in the grassy areas along the road and an infiltration basin under the road. The basin under the road will have a pre-treatment system to remove oil and other pollutants. Pg. 88-133

6. This authorizes an agreement with Energy Northwest for technical services. No cost is given but whatever it is, it will be covered with funds from the electric utility’s expert services budget. My resident expert tells me that this is probably for electrical engineering services. Pg.134-145

7. This authorizes staff to apply for state funding for pavement preservation of Stevens Dr. In case you didn’t know anything about pavement preservation, you will now. It includes chip seals, slurry seals, hot mix asphalt overlays, crack seals and other methods. According to the U.S. Park Service, “A key to successful pavement preservation is choosing the right treatment, for the right road at the right time.” For more go to www.pavementpreservation.org at the University of Michigan.  Pg. 146-147

8. John Watson, who owns an existing business that specializes in nuclear-certified piping materials, valves, instrumentation, machine components, fasteners, and engineering services, wants to purchase 1.49 acres for $81,205 to expand his business in the Horn Rapids Industrial Park at the northwest corner of Kingsgate Way and Battelle. Pg. 148-163

9. The final plat of West Village – Phase 5 proposes to divide 24.6 acres into 114 residential lots and one (1) tract on a site located in the Badger Mountain South Master Planned Community. Sprawl, sprawl, sprawl   Pg. 164-193

Items – Approval:

Nothing here.

Expenditures – Approval

December checks for $39,427,358.45   Pg. 194-255

Items of Business:

11. The comprehensive plan is only good until a developer comes along and wants to change it. This amends the comprehensive plan for 300 acres owned by developer Greg Markel located in the very northwest portion of the City along SR-240. Approximately 177 acres will be medium density residential and approximately 123 acres will be commercial (from Public Facility). On page 266 Patrick Paulson argues that approving sprawl development discourages redevelopment in the downtown.  Pg. 256-286

12.    Changing the zoning to accommodate the above. Pg. 286-293.

13, Appointing Assistant City Manager Jon Amundson to be interim city manager and giving him a 10% raise for taking the job. Pg. 293-294.

Reports and Comments:

Blah, blah, blah and probably a lecture from Bob Thompson.

Adjourn:

Randy’s Rundown: Richland City Council Dec.1 agenda explained

Perhaps to save the council from further embarrassing comments from Councilmember Bob Thompson, no COVID update appears on the agenda for the first time since March

If you want to comment on the hearing items go to the city agenda and follow the instructions.

Page numbers give below correspond to the page numbers of the packet items.

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

Welcome and Roll Call

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda: (Approved by Motion) 

Presentations:  Possibly to save itself from further embarrassing comments from Councilmember Bob Thompson, this council meeting will have no COVID update for the first time since March. At the last meeting Thompson said that it was a good thing that more people had COVID.

Public Hearing:  You can have 3 minutes to comment here.  Go to the agenda (link above) for instructions.

  1. Robert Zinsli wants the city to annex his 8.52 acres at 771 Shockley Road. The city will designate the zoning as low-density residential which allows primarily for residences but also for neighborhood amenities such as churches and restaurants. City staff assumes 24 units with 2.6 person per household (pg. 27). They have done a cost and benefit analysis that considers roads, fire department and police coverage but nothing about schools. According to Zillow, the owner tried to sell the property last year for $1.5 million.   Pg. 20-30

2. Greg Markel of Vantage Way properties asked that the city rezone his 177 acres in Horn Rapids from agricultural to medium density residential which allows for duplexes and possibly townhouses as well as single family housing. He wants the additional 123 acres rezoned from public facility to commercial. This amends the Comprehensive Plan to allow that.  In a telephone conversation earlier this year, I asked Markel if he felt that roads in the Horn Rapids area could handle the additional traffic.  He said he did and added, “I may be dead before there is development on this property.”

The City of Richland will rezone its own 30-acre property in the Horn Rapid area from industrial to commercial. Pg. 89-98

3. This Amends the Zoning Maps to reflect the changes that have been requested in the above items. Pg.99-105

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.

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.

Minutes

4. The council will approve the almost worthless minutes of the last meeting. It reads like this, “Councilmembers shared thoughts.” If you want to know what was actually said and what actually happened in the meetings go to the tape on City View

Ordinances – First Reading

5. City Council votes itself a 1.3% raise. The raise will not take effect until 2024 after everyone who voted for it would be up for re-election. City-provided health insurance and other perks more than double the compensation that some city councilmembers make.  Bob Thompson tops the list with about $37,000 in compensation in 2019.  Pg. 16-19

6. See Item 1 under Public Hearing

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage

7. This explains year-end budget reconciliation.  Money is moved around to make it all balance out in the end.  For instance, a police crime van was budgeted in the general fund for $275,000 but state and federal grants paid for it.That $275,000 can be used to cover a shortage somewhere else. At the last council meeting the city manager announced that $500,000 had been found in the budget to use for building a new the animal shelter.  Pg. 31-34.

Resolutions – Adoptions

8. The Richland Police Department has received a $45,000 grant from federal and state funding for investigation and prosecution of internet crimes against children. The funds will help cover the costs of forensic hardware and software. Pg. 31-39

9. David Pandzhakidze owner of D&I Investments LLC wants to purchase 10 acres of the city’s property in the Horn Rapids Industrial Park for $400,000. The city has a repurchase right if a building plan is not submitted within 8 months of closing and if building has not begun in 18 months. Pandzhakidze writes to the city council that he already has his first client, Avallax LLC, that will lease at least a 6000 square foot building and bring two good paying jobs.  Avallax LLC also belongs to Pandzhakidze. Pg. 40-57

10. This will extend the city’s contract with DGR Grant Construction in the amount of $119,278 for design and construction assistance for the two new fire stations, also known as “Public Safety Response Stations nos. 73&75.” Page 58-72.

Items – Approval

Nothing

Expenditures – Approval

Nothing

Items of Business

11. This proposed revision of the Richland Municipal Code would allow the city council to appoint a replacement for the city manager while they look to permanently fill the position when a city manager is absent for 60 days due to illness, disability or any other reason. Reents recommended increasing the current 14-day limit. When the councilmembers discussed this at the last meeting, Reents assured them that she felt fine and was not sick.

The code will also be amended to allow the city manager to pick an assistant city manager.  The city hired Reents as assistant city manager in 2003.

12. See Item 2 under Public Hearing

13. See Item 3 under Public Hearing

Reports and Comments

Blah, blah, blah, curse, curse, curse.

Executive Session

A secret meeting to discuss lawsuits.

Randy Notes: the rundown on the November 17 Richland City Council agenda

Daisy, Photo by Jan Taylor

Funding Found for the Animal Shelter

November 15, 2020

Randy Notes translates the gobbledygook of the Richland City Council agenda for you.

If you want to comment on the hearing items go to the city agenda and follow the instructions.

Page numbers given below correspond to the page numbers of the packet items.  

City Council Workshop – 5:00 p.m.

  1. Council members receive training in city social media policy.

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

Welcome and Roll Call

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda: (Approved by Motion)

Presentations

2. Covid update from City Manager Cindy Reents

Public Hearing:  You can have 3 minutes to comment here.  Go to the agenda (link above) for instructions. The city attorney reads the rules. Questions are not allowed. The rules normally include prohibitions about clapping and other citizen misbehavior that could result in expulsion. However, since she can’t have you kicked out of a virtual meeting, you are free to clap and boo to your heart’s content.

3. Money found for the animal shelter. Each of the three Tri-Cities’ jurisdictions have responsibility for the area animal shelter. Richland had budgeted $!.5 million for its one-third share of the cost. However, the city needed to find an extra $500,000 for its share when construction estimates came in for a higher amount. Since the Washington State Supreme Court decided that Richland and other cities can keep charging the car tab, $500,000 became available for the extra funding. Look at Pg. 29 “General Fund.” This and other amendments to the 2020 budget can be found on Pg. 25-29.

4. In 2021, the city will receive $305,207 dollars in Community Block Grant Funding. Recipients include Elijah Family Homes and Meals on Wheels. For others go to Page 63. The Tri-Cities HOME consortium will receive $700,367 for down payment assistance, pg.64.  Details on the two programs are on pg. 60-107.

5. The city has received an additional $310,301 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It will be distributed as follows: Microenterprise Business Assistance $161,030; Public Service $118,241; Administration $31,030. Pg. 107-112

6. An update of the city employee compensation plan. Pg. 151-156

7. Relinquishment of a utility easement at 2209 Humphreys Street.  Pg.157-160

8. The Port of Benton has requested a portion of easement north and east of Robertson Drive. Pg. 161-164

Public Comments:  You have 2 minutes to talk about anything. Same rules as for the public hearings. No questions allowed.

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.

Minutes

9. Approval of the November 3, 2020 minutes

Ordinances – First Reading

10. See Item 3 under the Public Hearing section. These are the amendments to the 2020 budget which include the new animal shelter. Pg. 25-29.

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage

11. Proposed 2021 budget and 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan.  The budget proposal is online.  

12. Amending Chapter 2.04 of the Richland Municipal Code. This eliminates the position of deputy city manager and eliminates the assistant city manager as someone who is hired and instead makes the position someone who is chosen by and directed by the city manager. It also makes the descriptions of the city manager gender neutral. It changes the names of several city committees and departments to reflect their current responsibilities.  For instance, Parks and Recreation becomes Parks and Public Facilities. Pg. 30-45

Resolutions – Adoptions

13. Columbia Center Parkway will eventually go through between Gage and Tapteal.  This approves the $400,000 funding from the Port of Kennewick. Pg.46-52

14. The Port of Benton will contribute $50,000 for the same Gage to Tapteal project above. Pg.52-59

15. CDBG funding was the subject of the Item 4 hearing under the Public Hearing section. Pg. 60-107

16. CARES Act funding was the subject of the Item 5 hearing under the Public Hearing section. Pg. 107-112

17. This authorizes the circulation of a petition for residents to approve the annexation of Badger Mountain Vineyards at 1106 N. Jurupa Road.  The land would be zoned low density.

18. Apollo Inc. of Kennewick submitted the lowest bid, $4,405,295.72, for improvements to about a mile of Columbia Park Trail East.  The packet provides details.  Pg. 123-145

19. The city has hired a new civil engineer but until that person is up to speed, the city will pay RGW Enterprises a consulting fee for services regarding the new Horn Rapids and North Richland development projects. This will add about $93,000 to the original contract.  Pg. 146-150

20. Item 6 from the Public Hearing section, the compensation plan for city employees. Pg. 151-156

21. Item 7 from the Public Hearing section, relinquishment of the easement at 2209 Humphreys Street. Pag. 157-160

22. Item 8 from the Public Hearing section, relinquishment of an easement to the Port of Benton. Pg.161-164.

23. The owners of 4 homes on Allenwhite Drive live on a little island of land in the middle of the city. See for yourself on this map of Richland.   The paperwork doesn’t include an explanation as to how this happened, but the annexation petitions reads, “petitioners pray that the City Council of the City of Richland, Washington entertain this petition.” Pg. 165-171.

Items – Approval

24. Lizzy Ridley will be appointed to the Planning Commission. Ridley is a land use planner at J-U-B Engineers. The firm advertises as working in “Transportation, Water Resources and Land Development.”  Pg. 175-176.

Expenditures – Approval

25. All checks written in October.  Pg. 177-212

Items of Business

Nothing

Reports and Comments

City Manager, Council and Mayor – blah, blah, blah

Secret Executive Session

26. The council estimates 30 minutes for this secret meeting.  You can keep your television or computer engaged to see when Mayor Ryan Lukson comes out to declare it completed.  Taxpayers are paying for “retained legal counsel” for current or potential litigation.

Randy’s Notes: a rundown on the Nov. 3 Richland City Council agenda

Budget and Taxes

If you want to comment on the hearings or during the public comment period, go to the city agenda and follow the instructions.

Page numbers given below correspond to the page numbers of the packet items.

Secret Executive Session – 5:45 p.m

  1. During this closed session, expected to last for 15 minutes, Council will discuss union contracts and/or negotiations.

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

Welcome and Roll Call

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda: (Approved by Motion)

Presentations

2. Covid-19 Update, Cindy Reents, City Manager.  Pg. 6

Public Hearing:  You can have 3 minutes to comment here.  Go to the agenda (link above) for instructions.

3. Proposed 2021 budget and 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan.  The budget proposal is online.    Pg. 7

4. Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Southeast Washington telecommunicators Guild. The contract is provided on Pg. 177-211.

5. Collective Bargaining Agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers. Their contract is provided on Pg. 211-266

Public Comments:  You have 2 minutes to talk about anything, but questions are not allowed. The city attorney reads the rules and the penalties for citizen misbehavior, like clapping, which seem even more ridiculous now that citizens attend the meetings remotely.

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.

Minutes

6. Approval of the Oct. 20 council meeting minutes and the Oct. 27 council workshop minutes. These tell you next to nothing. Pg. 10-21   If you’re really interested in what happened, go to City View and watch the tapes

Ordinances – First Reading

7. Approving the 2021 Budget and the 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan. In case you have forgotten already, this was the first public hearing. Pg. 22-25

8. Amending Chapter 2.04 of the Richland Municipal Code. This is mostly a cleanup.  It makes all of the descriptions of the city manager gender neutral. It changes the names of several city committees and departments to reflect their current responsibilities.  For instance, Parks and Recreation becomes Parks and Public Facilities. The job of the assistant city manager has been amended. Pg. 26-41

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage

9. Increasing funding for fire department radios, stormwater facility maintenance, wastewater plant improvements and industrial development. Pg. 42-45

10, Potable water cannot be used for irrigation where non-potable water is available. A violation could result in your potable water service being discontinued. Pg.46-50

11. If you own a $300,000 house, your taxes will go up by $7.  The rest of the numbers are on Pg. 54.

12. More on Taxes   Pg. 51-60

13. More on Taxes   Pg. 51-60

14. You’re not allowed to discharge a firearm in the city unless it’s at the airport and you’re shooting at animals that could crash an airplane. But according to the airport officials, shooting is the last resort. Pg. 61-63

15. If you want to repair your sidewalk and you fill out enough paperwork, the city will reimburse 25% of the costs.  If you don’t clear your sidewalk of snow, you could be in trouble.  Check the rules. Pg. 64-67

16. The definition of a potentially dangerous animal is amended to include an animal endangering someone “on the private property of another.” As written, the same behavior on public property would warrant declaring the animal as potentially dangerous, but no protections are afforded for the same conduct on the private property of another. Pg. 68-73

17. There’s a deficiency in the definition of Second Degree Criminal Trespass. This remedies that by defining “premises” as “any real property (fenced or unfenced), vehicle, railway car, cargo container, or other similar structure.” This definition will eliminate ambiguity between second degree criminal trespass and first degree criminal trespass, which provides that it is unlawful for any person to knowingly enter or remain, unlawfully, in a building of another Pg. 73-75

18. The lodging tax charged to hotel guests and used for tourism promotion in the Tri-Cities will be increased from $2.00 to $3.00 a night. Pg. 76-78

Resolutions – Adoptions

19. Commonstreet Consulting, LLC,  will be hired to help the city staff acquire the right-of-way for three projects — Among these are Center Parkway, the Vantage Highway Path – Phase 2, South George Washington Way Intersection Improvements, Van Giesen/Thayer Intersection Improvements, and Gage Boulevard Improvements. Pg 79-136

20. Approving the 2021 Tri-City Regional Hotel-Motel Commission budget and marketing plan. Everything you wanted to know about tourism in the Tri-Cities.  Pg. 137-166.

21. More about raising the lodging tax. Pg. 167-172

22. Updating council assignments. New Councilmember Marianne Boring will have Brad Anderson’s assignments. Welcome to the Mosquito Control Board Councilmember Boring! Councilmember Terry Christensen wanted Brad’s assignment to the Lodging Tax Board. The council voted to grant him his wish with the proviso that he recuses himself for matters involving softball. In the past Christensen has been in hot water for lobbying for his favorite sport.

23. Approving the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Southeast Washington Telecommunicators Guild. This was the subject of the earlier public hearing.  The contract is on pg. 177-211.

24. Approving the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers. This was the subject of the earlier public hearing. The contract is on pg. 211-266

25. Adopting the City of Richland’s 2021 legislative priorities. The City is leading a regional effort to improve SR240 with an Aaron Drive flyover exchange, estimated to cost $30 million. The second requested improvement is the SR240 / SR224 / Van Giesen Street Interchange, estimated to cost $45 million. Other projects include police training, environmental improvements to the area around Bateman Island, and funding for LED lights for city streets. Pg. 267-270

26. Adopting the City of Richland street light standards. The city wants to switch to LED lights. The policy for street lighting is included in these pages. Pg. 271-283 

27. Authorizing a grant agreement with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission for Pedestrian Safety Funding. Plenty of information here about the contract and funding but nothing about what the police actually plan to do about pedestrian safety.  Pg. 284-289

28. Authorizing the 5-year renewal agreement for the promotion of tourism with the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau. The City agrees to pay the Bureau fifty percent of the annual average hotel/motel tax receipts of the City collected from the first two percent levied for the five-year period immediately preceding each year of the contract period.   See Pg. 290-295

Items – Approval

Expenditures – Approval

Items of Business

Authorizing a funding agreement with Benton country for the Center Parkway North – Gage to Tapteal Project. The proposed agreement will secure $1,240,000 from the Benton County Rural County Capital Fund for this project.  Pg 296 – 304

Reports and Comments

City Manager, City Councilmembers, Mayor 

blah, blah, blah

Secret Executive Session

Yes, another one. This time the council will discuss lawsuits

Adjournment

If you want to stick around until after this secret meeting, Mayor Ryan Lukson will come out and say “meeting adjourned”.