Randy’s Notes: a rundown on Tuesday’s Richland City Council agenda

New taxes and a new animal shelter

A discussion about the proposed new Tri-Cities Animal Shelter will begin the Richland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on October 20. Note the earlier starting time. Before the coronavirus, supporters for a new shelter packed the council chamber. Information on how to watch the meeting and how to comment are at the top of the agenda. 

Page numbers after the items below correspond with the pages in the packet of information that goes with the agenda.

City Council Workshop:

  1. At 5:00 p.m. City Manager Cindy Reents will update the City Council with options for a new animal shelter. Pg. 5-21 Comments can be made during the public comment period.

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

Welcome

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda

Presentations

2. Extra Mile Day recognizes people and organizations that make positive change. Pg. 22-23

3. COVID-19 Update from City Manager Cindy Reents  pg.24

Public Hearing  Check the agenda for the instructions on how to comment for up to 3 minutes.

4. A proposal to increase the budget appropriation for new fire department radios, stormwater improvements in several locations, an emergency generator at the wastewater treatment plant and last but not least $560,000 to repurchase property from Energy Northwest will be discussed and comments heard. Pg. 36-40

5. Council will hear comments about the proposal to raise property taxes by 1%.  Pg. 45-54

6. If this proposal for a city surplus sale is approved, you can buy anything from a pickup truck to a front loader.  Pg. 144-148

Public Comments  Check the agenda for how you can have 2 minutes to comment.

Consent Calendar  These items receive little to no comment and one vote for all of them.

Minutes

7. Approval of the October 6, 2020 meeting minutes

Ordinances – First Reading

8. Increasing funding for fire department radios, stormwater facility maintenance, wastewater plant improvements and industrial development. This was discussed in the earlier public hearing, Item 4. Pg. 36-40

9. 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. 40-44

10. Property Taxes  to be increased by 1%.  Pg. 45-54

11. Property Taxes  Pg. 45-54

12. Property Taxes  Pg. 45-54

13. 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. 55-58

14. 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. 58-61

15. 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. 62-66

16. 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. 67-69

17. 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. 70-72

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage

18. This authorizes a franchise agreement with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Mobility. It doesn’t give the company a monopoly and each project must be approved.  There was a hearing and the first reading during the October 6 meeting. Pg. 73-118

19. The unused right-of-way on Robertson Drive will be given to the adjacent property owner. This was the subject of a public hearing and first reading at the October 6 meeting. Pg. 119-123

20. Streets will now have classifications that match state and federal guidelines.  You might want to see where your street falls in these descriptions. Pg. 124-128

21. Zoning of 7.4 acres of the old motel site on Columbia Point Trail near the Steptoe roundabout will be changed from C-2 Retail Business to Limited Business (C-LB).  Pg. 129-143  

 Following are the definitions of the two designations;  

A. The limited business use district (C-LB) is a zone classification designed to provide an area for the location of buildings for professional and business offices, motels, hotels, and their associated accessory uses, and other compatible uses serving as an administrative district for the enhancement of the central business districts, with regulations to afford protection for developments in this and adjacent districts and in certain instances to provide a buffer zone between residential areas and other commercial and industrial districts. This zoning classification is intended to be applied to some portions of the city that are designated either commercial or high-density residential under the city of Richland comprehensive plan.

B. The neighborhood retail business use district (C-1) is a limited retail business zone classification for areas which primarily provide retail products and services for the convenience of nearby neighborhoods with minimal impact to the surrounding residential area. This zoning classification is intended to be applied to some portions of the city that are designated commercial under the city of Richland comprehensive plan. 

Resolutions – Adoption

22. You can buy a surplus truck from the city or a front loader.  Check out the list of available surplus here.  Pg. 144-148

23. The city will spend $664,172.52 for a metal clad switchgear for a new electrical substation to serve the Horn Rapids industrial area. Pg. 149-154

24. The police have received a $27, 500 grant for overtime pay from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission for a high visibility enforcement project.  High visibility enforcement (HVE) incorporates enforcement strategies, such as enhanced patrols using visibility elements (e.g. electronic message boards, road signs, command posts, BAT mobiles, etc.) designed to make enforcement efforts obvious to the public.  The grant goes from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.  Pg. 155-175

Items – Approval

Expenditures – Approval

25. All the City expenditures from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021  for $33,279,719.14 are listed.   Pg. 175-225.

Items of Business

26. Council Assignments – The Mosquito Control Board will miss former Councilmember Brad Anderson but, alas, someone else will have to be our representative to that committee.  Now that Brad Anderson has resigned, the council assignments must be shifted around. Anderson’s other positions are now open as well.   Pg. 226-229

Reports and Comments

City Manager, City Council, Mayor – blah, blah, blah.

Executive Session

27. The council has a secret meeting for 30 minutes to discuss lawsuits.

Randy’s Notes: a rundown on Tuesday’s Richland City Council Agenda

Randy’s Picks:  Don’t miss No. 19, 21, 23, 24 and 25

Okay, folks Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. is the regularly scheduled Richland City Council meeting.  The information on how to watch the meeting and how to comment are at the top of the agenda.

Page numbers after the items below correspond with the pages in the packet of information that goes with the agenda.

1-2 The first item of business is the appointment and swearing in of Marianne Boring to the seat vacated by Brad Anderson. Pg. 5-8

3. Then, of course, Anderson must be thanked. Pg. 9-10

4. We can’t forget to thank David Larkin for serving on the Utility Advisory Committee since 2005 and Kim Shugart for serving on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee since 2008, and Douglas Sako for serving on the Economic Development Committee since 2006.  Pg, 11-14.  Check out the Tri-Cities Observer for responses from Larkin and Sako about their service on these committees.

5. For more information about the Tri-Cities Regional Hotel-Motel Commission Annual Budget and Marketing Plan, we are instructed to look at Resolution 139-20.   If you find that Resolution, let me know.  Pg.15

6. The City Manager Cindy Reents presents her budget.  Be sure to check out pg. 16 for the schedule for public comment.  The budget has been discussed for weeks in “Special Workshops”.  Wait until you see the minutes for those that follow on the consent calendar.  The meetings are not available on video.  Again, Pg. 16

Public Hearings – you will receive 3 minutes to comment if you follow the rules on the agenda (the link is above).

7. The City is authorizing a non-exclusive agreement with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC d/b/a AT&T Mobility to use city right-of-ways for small wireless facilities.  The company must apply for permits for each of its projects. Pg. 33-78

8. The city will turn over unused right-of-way on Robertson Drive to the adjacent property owners. According to the report, “the property owner concurs with this proposal.” The owner listed on the property map in the packet died in March. Pg. 70-83

9. The homeowner at 1375 Kensington Way wants part of the unused city utility easement for a shed. Pg. 113-116

10. The Port of Benton and Richland Storage Partners LLC want a city easement within their property at 2705 Fermi Drive to facilitate new development. Pg. 129-132

PUBLIC COMMENT – you get 2 minutes.  Go to the agenda for the rules

Consent Calendar   Everything under “Consent Calendar” receives little discussion and one vote.  A councilmember can ask to have an item removed for discussion and a separate vote.

11. Meeting minutes:  The city council had 3 workshop meetings and 1 regular meeting and 1 special meeting (to pick Boring) between Sept. 8 and September 25.  The three workshops were to discuss the budget and each of those lasted almost 2 hours.  Go see what passes as minutes in Richland.  No videos have been made available. The Observer reported on the police and fire department budget presentations.  Pg. 21-32

Ordinances – First Reading (this is part of the Consent Calendar that receives one vote)

12. The agreement with New Cingular Wireless that was subject of the public hearing. Pg. 33-78

13. The unused right-of-way on Robertson Drive to be given to the adjacent property owner which was subject of the earlier public hearing.   Pg. 70-83

14. Streets will now have classifications to match state and federal guidelines.  You might want to see where your street falls in these descriptions.  Pg. 84-88.

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage

15. Under an agreement with the county prosecutor the city can prosecute these: cyberstalking, criminal mistreatment – fourth degree, unlawful possession of a legend drug (dispensed by prescription only). It also adds a civil infraction for purchase or consumption of liquor by an intoxicated person. Pg. 89-104

16. Driveways in Industrial Districts can be this wide:  a one-way driveway can be 40 feet; a two-way driveway can be 100 feet.  They cannot exceed 40% of the property frontage.

17. Oops, when the city raised the ambulance transport fees in 2012, it did not amend the code.  This fixes that.

Resolutions – Adoption

18. This was the subject of the earlier public hearing.  The homeowner at 1375 Kensington Way wants part of the unused city utility easement for a shed.

19. It’s time for the periodic Shoreline Master Program review.  Anybody interested in this issue needs to look at the dates for public comment on Pg. 122.   Pg. 117-122

20. This establishes Dec. 1 for the public hearing for comments on annexing 8 acres on Shockley Road, the Zinsli Annexation Petition.  Pg. 123-126.

21. The waiver for using city-owned property or right-of-way, sidewalks, etc for outdoor dining is extended until December 31, 2020.

22. Giving up the easement at 2705 Fermi Drive, subject of earlier hearing.

23. $700,000 is available for utility payment relief until used up or until November 30, 2020.

Items – Approval

24. Appointment of Brad Bricker and Michael Simpson  to the Board of Adjustment.  This is the committee that Marianne Boring served on for about 20 years.  Bricker has been on the Economic Development Committee since 2013 and is currently chair.  His term there was up on Sept. 30.  Simpson has served on the Personnel Committee since 2019.  Simpson’s term on Personnel doesn’t end until 2022.  According to the information provided in the packet, 2 other people were interviewed for each of these positions.  Rather than allow other residents to participate, the city has chosen once again to let people serve on more than one committee. Pg. 136-138

Expenditures – Approval

(as of Oct. 3 no expenditures listed here)

Items of Business

25. Rezoning 7.4 acres of the old motel site on Columbia Point Trail near the Steptoe roundabout from C-2 Retail Business to Limited Business (C-LB).  Pg. 139-153 Following are the definitions of the two;  

A. The limited business use district (C-LB) is a zone classification designed to provide an area for the location of buildings for professional and business offices, motels, hotels, and their associated accessory uses, and other compatible uses serving as an administrative district for the enhancement of the central business districts, with regulations to afford protection for developments in this and adjacent districts and in certain instances to provide a buffer zone between residential areas and other commercial and industrial districts. This zoning classification is intended to be applied to some portions of the city that are designated either commercial or high-density residential under the city of Richland comprehensive plan.

B. The neighborhood retail business use district (C-1) is a limited retail business zone classification for areas which primarily provide retail products and services for the convenience of nearby neighborhoods with minimal impact to the surrounding residential area. This zoning classification is intended to be applied to some portions of the city that are designated commercial under the city of Richland comprehensive plan.

26. Hiring a consultant to evaluate City Manager Cindy Reents.

Reports and Comments:

Blah, blah, blah from mayor, council and city manager

Executive Session

The council can discuss in secret  “Lease or Purchase of Real Estate if Disclosure Would Increase Price. “  They plan to discuss this for 15 minutes and you can continue to watch and time it if you want to.  Mayor Lukson has to come out and say that the meeting has ended.

Randy’s Notes: the Rundown on Tuesday’s Richland City Council Agenda

(Disclosure: Randy Slovic, author of TriCities Observer, has applied to fill former Councilmember Brad Anderson’s seat on the Richland City Council.)

Here is the Richland City Council Agenda for September 15, 2020

The 157-page packet of information that I have summarized below.

If you want to comment, you need to click the yellow “here” on the agenda before 4:00 p.m. on September 15.

  1. City Manager Cindy Reents fills you in on COVID

PUBLIC HEARING if you clicked the yellow “here” as mentioned above before 4:00 p.m., you can comment for 3 minutes on this:

2.  The developers of Park Place Apartments at 650 George Washington Way moved the utilities and wants the city to give them the now unused utility easement for $10.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD if you clicked the yellow “here” and submitted your request before 4:00 p.m.  you have 2 minutes to say whatever you want.  However, be warned, you are NOT allowed to ask a question.

CONSENT CALENDAR – this means the council can go through these with little to no comment and vote for them all at once.

Approval of the September 1, 2020 City Council Regular Meeting Minutes

First Reading on these so they have to be voted on again at the next meeting in order to pass:

Ordinance 29-20   The City can exercise more control over misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors rather than refer them to the Benton County Prosecutor if the council amends the code to include:  cyberstalking, criminal mistreatment of children or dependent persons, unlawful possession of prescription drugs (legend drugs), purchase and consumption of alcohol by an intoxicated person.

Ordinance 30-20   Allowing industrial driveways to be 40 feet for one way and 100 feet for two ways.

Ordinance 31-20   Oops, the city did not amend the municipal code in 2012 when they raised the ambulance rates.  They will fix that with this.

Second Reading on these so they pass with this vote:

  1. Ordinance 27-20  The Richland police department receives $275,250 from the Seattle Police Department for a forensic van.  Seattle is the lead agency for the state and funding is for investigation and prosecution of internet crimes against children.
  2. Ordinance 28-20 You will need a permit to work in city Right-of-Ways.

Resolutions – Adoptions

  1. Resolution 124-20   the easement at 650 George Washington Way discussed above in No. 2 is here for a vote.
  2. Resolution 131-20   It will cost $4 million to extend the city sewer to North Horn Rapids.  To  pay for it, the City will receive $3.2 million dollars from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Covid Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  The Port of Benton will provide $400,000 and the City of Richland will provide $400,000.  City funding was budgeted in the Industrial Development Fund.
  3. Resolution 132-20   Visit Tri-Cities Signage.  Booth and Sons submitted the lowest bid for the signs, $452,888.66
  4.  Resolution 133-20   Maintenance agreement with Friends of Badger Mountain for extending the trail system onto Little Badger Mountain.

Items Approval:

  1. Appointing Steve Lorence to the Personnel Committee until 2023.  He has been on the committee since 2018
  2. Appointing Brad Bricker, Ken Spencer, Theresa Richardson, and Kim Knight to the Economic Development Committee until 2023.  Bricker has served since 2013.
  3. Appointing Lindsay Lightner to the Library Board until 2025.  Lightner has served since 2019.
  4. Appointing Deborah Titus and Michele Levenite to the Americans with Disability Citizen Review Committee until 2023. Levenite has served since 2014.
  5. Appointing Lara Watkins and Andrew Lucero-Montano to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee until 2022.  Lucero-Montano has serviced on the committee since 2018.

Expenditures – Approval

  1. $28,384,167.33 of checks for the month of August for salaries, pensions and other expenditures. The check list goes from page 90 to 132 in the packet.

ITEMS OF BUSINESS

  1. Ordinance no 21-20 to restrict parking on Hains Avenue to one side of the street.  The Council will vote on this ordinance since it is not on the consent calendar.

Councilmembers will now comment

EXECUTIVE (SECRET) SESSION

20 minutes to discuss potential litigation

60 minutes to discuss the qualifications of a candidate for appointment to elective office [60 minutes for “a” candidate out of 33 who applied].