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May 9, 2022 City Council Meeting Overview

council-overview-Seats Brown-902x450The City Council held a meeting on Monday, May 9, 2022. The following is an overview of the meeting and votes of the City Council.

The City Council voted unanimously to excuse Councilmember Eric Noble from the Regular City Council Meeting. 

As you know the Regular City Council Meeting intended to take place on April 25, 2022 was canceled. The City has listened to the City Council as it pertains to bringing items in there completed form. With that being said, at the time the Agenda Review Committee Meeting, the City had items in the works but nothing that would have had all pertinent documentation ready to be presented to the City Council. In addition, the Ad Hoc Committee, which was appointed by Mayor Pro Tem, Peterson was still fine tuning what they wanted to bring to the City Council as a recommendation on the LTAC topic. We took the approach similar to when the City or City Council wants to schedule a special meeting and the City Clerk reached out to all 7 councilmembers to obtain their individual okay to cancel the meeting. The City and City Council are diligently working on a variety of projects together and have been very productive in doing so. Furthermore, the City Clerk is not a voting party of the governing body and did not share or disseminate the individual intentions of each Councilmember. I completely understand that this is a City Council Meeting. In the future if the City Council would like to structure a different process  myself and City Staff would be more than happy to accommodate.

I requested a Moment of Silence for the loss of Jennifer Hugo and Steve Ensley. 

Jennifer Hugo was the Municipal Court Clerk for 16 years she diligently worked with judges, attorneys, law enforcement officers and defendants. Her dedication to our community was impactful. Jennifer will be greatly missed, and we are sending our healing thoughts to her husband Bob. 

Steve Ensley was an influential part of our community serving as the City’s Finance Director for 5 years. In his time employed with the City he was influential to keeping the City of Ocean Shores afloat during a nationwide economic downturn. After Steve retired, he became a well-respected Councilmember dedicated to the viability of the City. I will personally miss Steve as my friend and colleague. Carol our thoughts are with you. 

Approval of Meeting Agenda: 
The City Council voted unanimously to approve the Agenda as presented. 

Upcoming Board and Committee Meetings: 
Planning Commission – May 10, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. 
Library Board of Trustees – May 11, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. 
Parks Board – May 11, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.

Mayor’s Report: 

Finance Committee
March 2022 Financial Statements:
Everything is trending well.  We are still monitoring Building Permits since they were down again in March by 30%.  Other notable amounts, Property Tax up 5%; Sales Tax up 17%; Utility Tax up 17%; Hotel/Motel Tax up 6%; REET up 16% and Gas Tax up 10%

Utility Aging Reports:
Accounts over 120 days totaled $76,513 in April.  This is 34% less than when we started tracking it back in February 2021.  This is due to resuming shutoffs in January.

Low-Income Program for Utilities:
We noted issues with the “Adjusted Gross Income” language in our City Code. The City Council discussed this item under New Council Business.

Police Station Bond Process:
We were asked to bring bond information for a new Police Station to the Council.  We have been working with our Financial Advisor and Bond Attorney on the Ballot Resolution.  We would like to get it on the November 2022 ballot.  We will bring the Resolution and bond specifics to Council at the May 23rd Council Meeting.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) update:
Grants Coordinator, Sarah Bisson gave an ARPA update at the Finance Committee Meeting and then gave an overview under Staff Reports at the Regular City Council Meeting.

Quarterly Grant Update:
Grants Coordinator, Sarah Bisson gave a quarterly grant update. Those reference documents have been posted online.

Southern Coastal Erosion Analysis:
We discussed the request for the South Coastal Erosion Analysis that was presented under New Council Business.  This project is fully funded by a FEMA grant.

Six Year Transportation Improvement Plan Summary (STIP):
City Engineer, Robert Lund gave an update on the upcoming STIP.  The reference documents have been posted online. The City will be bringing this item forward to Council. Deadline to submit it is June 30th.

Upcoming Events:
The Clean Shores event will be this Saturday, May 14, 2022:
10:00 am.- Meet and Greet - Ocean Shores Conference Center.
11:00 am - Roll Out- Jeep Parade through Ocean Shores.
12-1:30 pm - Lunch break - Bennett's Fish Shack or other various locations of your choosing.
(Pick up your Clean Shores 2022 Hoodies or T-Shirts at Too Cool Sportswear  
1:30 pm - Meet at the convention center to roll out to the beach as one group
5:00 pm - Light the Night- Bon Fire to follow Beach Clean Up. Bring your glow sticks, lights, glow attire and music. - Shilo Inn Beach Entrance off to the right. You won't miss them. Look for the Jeeps. (Firewood is being provided)
Doughnuts and Coffee are being sponsored by Too Cool Sportswear 
Ocean Shores Garbage bags, gloves and sanitizer will be provided and passed out during the meet and greet. 
For more information contact Joe or Pam at  360-289-2468

High Dunes Trail Timeline: 
  • 2015 - Grant matching funds approved to conduct Firewise Firebreak Feasibility and Dune Trail Study by the City Council.
  • 2017 - Feasibility Study completed.
  • 2018 - Applied for WA State Recreation and Conservation Office Trail funding. Pulled deed for property from Grays Harbor Title Company to show site control for dune parcels. At this time, Mayor Dingler was under the impression that the City owned the entire property. Application was not successfully funded.
  • 2019 - Applied for Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments Transportation Alternative funding. The focus of this grant was alternative mobility and pedestrian/recreationist safety. Approved for $277k.
  • 2019 - Legislative funding (administered by the Dept. of Commerce) to assist with the trail was obtained in amount of $137k.
  • 2020 - Due to the Covid-19 shutdowns and delays, an extension to enter into contract was granted by Dept. of Commerce. Environmental components (cultural/historic, wetland analysis, etc.) must be met to enter into contract.
  • January 2020 – Began process of reducing the original scope of Damon-Pacific to Damon-Chance due to revised cost projections. Uneven terrain, wetland crossings etc. Required approval by granting agency which was completed in March 2020.
  • January 2020 – Correspondence began with BW about ownership and potential trail routes to Damon Rd. Subsequently did additional wetland delineation and pushed trail about 200’ out from the BW building. It was originally planned close to the building and lower floor guest rooms. 
  • August 2020 Local Agency Agreement with WSDOT completed. 
  • September 2020 – Entered into design agreement with Gray & Osborne.
  • 2021/2022 - Environmental analysis conducted. Mitigation bank costs will be approximately $65,000.   
  • August 2021 – Received insured title reports from Grays Harbor Title appearing to confirm BW maintained ownership of the accreted 600’ of Lot A. Confirmed by second title company and through correspondence with realty offices of WA Parks and DNR.
  • November 2021 – Entered into Right of Way contract with Epic Land Solutions under Gray & Osborne’s original design contract.
  • March 2022 – WSDOT approves ROW plans by Epic Land Solutions. 
  • April 2022 – Initial offer made to BW for trail easement. Offer had to meet WSDOT requirements such as the condemnation clause.  
  • We are seeking to enter into contract with Department of Commerce by 06/30/22. The project must be complete by 06/30/2023. Department of Commerce funding requires total site control to enter into contract.
  • May 2022 – Revised estimate indicates cost issues due to inflation, construction inspection requirements by WSDOT, wetland bank mitigation, additional wetland crossings at the BW. 
  • May 2022 –  The Short Plat of property shows a 600-foot space of accreted land from the high-water line. This space has no designated taxable value with the Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office, which gave the appearance that it was or could be the City’s Right of Way. This is what could have led Mayor Dingler to believe City had unfaultable access. 
  • Transportation Alternatives program staff indicated that additional funding may be available pending resolution of ROW. 
Old Council Business: 
Ordinance 1081 – Budget Amendment No. 4 
The City Council unanimously voted to approve an of the City Council of the City of Ocean Shores, Washington, amending the 2021-2022 Budget Ordinance No. 1063 and 2021-2022 Budget Amendment Ordinances No. 1071, No. 1072, and No. 1079.
Ordinance 1063 established an operating budget for 2021-2022 on December 14, 2020. Ordinance No. 1071 amended the operating budget for 2021-2022 on April 12, 2021.  Ordinance No. 1072 amended the operating budget for 2021-2022 on July 12, 2021.  Ordinance No. 1079 amended the operating budget for 2021-2022 on December 13, 2021.  This amendment contains adjustments that reflect revised expenditures or sources that were not anticipated in the adopted 2021-2022 budget or subsequent budget amendments.  

Resolution 821 – Amending LTAC Operating Plan and the City Use of Lodging Tax
The City Council unanimously voted to approve a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Ocean Shores, Washington, replacing all resolutions and amendments regarding LTAC, and setting forth an operating plan for the City’s use of lodging taxes.
The City currently has an LTAC Resolution that was approved in April 2019.  Since passing that resolution several concerns have been brought up relating to the process.  The City has revised the resolution and supporting documents to address issues such as emergency situations, clarification on Council LTAC awards and for-profit organizations.
At the Regular City Council Meeting on April 11, 2022 the City Council voted to have an Ad Hoc Committee organized which included Councilmember Elduen, Cline and Hartman to bring forth to the City Council a recommendation for terms and terms limits. The included text under No. “2” on the attached Resolution shows the recommendation of verbiage verbatim provided by Councilmember Cline on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee. 

New Council Business: 
Ordinance XXXX – Amending Ocean Shores Municipal Code Chapter 13.12.115
The City Council voted with 2 yes votes and 4 no votes on an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Ocean Shores, Washington, amending Ocean Shores Municipal Code Chapter 13.12.115 - Reduction in residential water rates and charges for low-income customers and waive the second reading. 
We obtained two legal opinions after a question arose about Social Security being included as income on the City’s low-income utility application.  One of the legal opinions states that our City Code currently uses adjusted gross income (AGI), which means that only a certain amount of Social Security income should be included on the low-income utility application.  Either 50 percent or 85 percent depending on whether the household has a certain amount of base income.
We were requesting an update to the City Code to remove AGI and state “total yearly household income” to correspond with the City’s low-income application and the intent of the City’s low-income program.
This Ordinance will be presented to the City Council for a second reading at a future Meeting. 

Request – Southern Coastal Erosion Analysis Award to Mott Macdonald
The City Council unanimously voted to approve a Request of the City Council of the City of Ocean Shores, Washington awarding the Southern Coastal Erosion Analysis to Mott Macdonald.
This request is to give authorization to the Mayor to enter the city into a Professional Services Agreement with Mott MacDonald in the amount of $150,000, to perform the Southern Coastal Erosion Analysis (the Project). The project is fully funded by a grant and evaluates the future extent, costs and potential mitigation measures against coastal erosion on Oyhut Bay through FEMA’s Risk Map Program.  The Request for Qualifications was advertised in the City’s legal newspaper on December 23, 2021 and January 6, 2022, in addition it appeared in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce and Builders Exchange of Washington. Public Works reviewed and scored the three Project specific Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) received on February 1, 2022. SOQs were received from Mott Macdonald, Moffatt & Nichol and Herrera Environmental with Mott MacDonald ranking highest. 
This request is for the pre-development phase of the Project only and does not include design or implementation.
This expenditure was a budgeted item in capital fund 301.001.000.544.20.41.00 and will not require a budget amendment. 

Executive Session: 
The Council, City Administrator and the City of Ocean Shores Realtor convened into Executive Session to consider the minimum price at which real estate will be offered for sale or lease when public knowledge regarding such consideration would cause a likelihood of decreased price. However, final action selling or leasing public property shall be taken in a meeting open to the public.  Under Executive Session RCW 42.30.110 (1) (c) 
Once we reconvened the Regular City Council Meeting the City Council unanimously voted to approve the Mayor to explore potential sites for the future Police Station.