City Council 13 Jan 2021

Gorst Coalition, New WA Building Codes To Be Adopted, $165 million in 2021 to jail people, but less than expected due to mental health counselors, should pursue more funding for that. Younger and Simpson want to discuss best bang for the buck in giving grant money assistance to renters, Lobbyists are Evil! Evil and Useless! per Simpson. Sullivan speaks up for light rail.

A. BRIEFINGS ON AGENDA ITEMS

1. Contract Modification Agreement No. 2 with Parametrix, Inc. for the Complete Streets – Downtown Bremerton Bicycle/Pedestrian Circulation Improvements Project

Discussion on upgrading and installing bike lane through NAD, along shoreline. Design (to at least 90%) and cost estimate to be done by Parametrix after consultation with Public Works on status of gate and establishing fixed agreement with the Navy — commanders agree, then 2 years later they’re gone, and a new agreement has to be hammered out. Cost $20,745. To be paid for by TIB funding which must be used by end of 2021. Will move to Consent Agenda.

2. Confirm Reappointment of Bob Moore to the Bremerton-Kitsap (BKAT) Access Television Citizens Advisory Committee

3. Confirm Reappointment of Jay Montgomery to the Bremerton-Kitsap (BKAT) Access Television Citizens Advisory Committee

4. Confirm Reappointment of Sheldon Parr to the Bremerton-Kitsap (BKAT) Access Television Citizens Advisory Committee

All confirmed.

5. Purchase of 2021 Property Insurance bound with Hartford Fire Insurance Company

Melisa Folmer (City) and Kim Wilson (of Ron Brown, insurance brokerage) appeared with Roger Lubovich to present. Premium $466K — $78K (16-20%) higher than last. year but best we can get after research. Since 2017, property and liability rates have soared. Councilmember Daugs asked about percentage increase. Simpson got on his lobbyist hobby horse to ask how our lobbyists could get us better rates. Wilson stuttered as he replied, courteously, that he had no idea what a lobbyist could possibly do. Simpson went on about how good it would be for lobbyist to get lower rates. Wilson intimated that state of WA has paid out big $$ for corporate liability and law enforcement suits. Simpson nods sympathetically. Moved to Consent Agenda.

6. Interagency Agreement between the Administrative Office of the Courts and Bremerton Municipal Court for Interpreter Grant Funding

Court Administrator Dawn Williams presents. Same Agreement that she presents every year, it simply reimburses money we’d already spend. Last year $3300, this year we get $5800. Daugs asks if bilingual individuals are used, as Google translate, etc., are problematic. Williams says yes, there would be a live bilingual translator. In 2020, we spent $13,500, $3300 rebate from state. Simpson asks how 2020 compares to previous years; Williams says it usually ranges about $10K-$12K. Moved to Consent Agenda.

7. Amendment No. 3 to the Agreement with Kitsap County for the Incarceration of City Prisoners

Capt Tom Wolf presents. County is raising daily jail rate to $157 ($41 more). Home monitors etc. are used to reduce jail time. Simpson asks if we can bill hourly instead of daily, because people are booked, then released in a few hours. Wolf says costs are driven by incarceration, not “booked” arrestees. Simpson wants us to use hourly rate, he repeats, to save money. Younger agrees this is a great idea, asks if we still have agreement with Forks for longer-term stays. Wolf says because of Covid, very limited opportunities for transferring prisoners. $1,2 million in 2020; $1.65 million anticipated in 2021. To save money, we can restrict our current “very liberal” booking policy. 80 people take up 70% of the budget, that is, 80 repeat offenders. Younger discusses how new mental health professionals could limit arrests and subsequent incarceration. Younger seems very attracted by saving 70% of 1.65 million. Wolf mentions that most of this is driven by Municipal Court which punishes people who ignore 1-2 day sentences, for example, until Court is exasperated and tosses them 30 days and County Court. In 2018, 17K bed days; in 2020, 15K. Dave Boynton says that mental health professionals’ involvement is reducing overall jail time. No further discussion. Moved to Consent Agenda.

8. Goods and Services Agreement with L2 Systems, LLC for Water System SCADA Lifecycle Improvements

Cami Apfelbeck presents. This is the communication data system between and among employees and different portions of the water system. If something goes wack, an alarm goes off, 24/7. This needs to be regularly maintained, and we’ve worked with L2 for over 10 years as sole source, as justified by reports in 2018 and again in 2020, most recently. Younger asks if this system is or will be connected to internet. What security measures are we taking to protect from enemies foreign and domestic? “Dave” from City of Bremerton says, basically, system is encrypted, and has been since the beginning, no problems in past or anticipated in future. Simpson would prefer no internet in any infrastructure. Then he goes off on what he learned about The Internet while working for the federal government, and begins mansplaining it to the rest of us. Then he continues mansplaining. Moved to Consent Agenda.

9. Proposed Public Hearing on Ordinance vacating a portion of alley east of Pitt Ave and south of East 11th Street

This is a request for a public hearing to comment on this matter which was reviewed back in December. Manette TV wants to expand. Vacation will give 6′ to west side neighbors, 6′ to east side neighbors. Public hearing to be held on 20 January 2021.

10. Professional Services Agreement with Kitsap Community Resources for the City of Bremerton 2021 Weatherization and Minor Home Repair Program

Sarah Achauoui, Community Block Grant employee. Capital Fund provides the $100K to provide this service for 10-15 households established as low income. Daugs asks if she’s allowed to vote, as she sits on KCR board. Lubovich’s says no, she can’t, and  Daugs will mention that at next week’s meeting. Younger says we should discuss during retreat, as there are other programs that might better use the funding. Simpson wants to know what’s happened with this program over past years, also wants to discuss at retreat. Wheeler asks Achaoui how KCR leverages; she says it’s about dollar for dollar, but she’ll get exact figures. Moved to General Business so Daugs can vote on Consent Agenda.

11. Professional Services Agreement with Bremerton Housing Authority for the City of Bremerton 2021 Rental Assistance Program

Matching dollar for dollar BHA / City — we just got our annual automatic grant. Also funding from CARES (Covid $$). Simpson wants to know about funding, and how much taxpayers have to pay. Sara Van Cleve points out that over 100 families have kept a roof over their head via this program. Younger wants to see the numbers and wants them presented at General Meeting. Van Cleeve will provide before this item on General Business at 1/20 meeting.

12. Ordinance amending Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 17.04 entitled “City Building Code; and adopting State Building Code WAC 51 – 2018 Editions of International Building Codes and Uniform Plumbing Code

Stuart! Stuart Anderson! An actual permit inspector whom I’ve met, presents the new, more stringent IBC and UPC embodied by WAC 51. In plain English, we can reduce ceiling heights in basements (now at 7′, moving to 6’8″, or 6’4″ if there’s overhead ductwork), making more habitable square footage. Appendix Q defines codes for tiny houses, now possible from a building code perspective, as Andrea Spencer says. So tiny homes & tiny cottages, Spencer says, are the next type of housing that DCD will investigate and present upon, now that ADU permitting has been finalized by Council. Sullivan tries to figure out what she’s looking at re Appendix J; Stuart explains the old Appendix J was omitted because we are using IBC, not our own private building code, with new Appendix J. Simpson says many adjustments hark back to 1940. He’s lived in several homes, tells us each was frequently renovated — and describes those renovations, with dates — avocado carpet and orange paint, popular in the 1970s, he says … and then asks if we can change 1940 to a date 25 years ago. Simpson asks, can’t our lobbyist change these regulations for us because median house prices are rising and rising, lobbyists shouldn’t be working against the people and for more restrictions that cost ordinary people so much, and cause so much suffering. Stuart explains that 1940 comes from the State. All the regs come from the state. There’s no one for us to lobby. Simpson says yes, that’s his point, our lobbyists should change state laws and regulations to make it possible for our lobbyist to lobby someone. Younger has ?? re energy code. He understands we can’t fight it, but why does it cost so much? Stuart explains increased insulation req’ts, higher standards for heating and water heating devices, etc. Here’s the link to Appendix J, the one under discussion: https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IRC2018/appendix-j-existing-buildings-and-structures . Gorman confirms that IBC updates every three years, delayed this year because of Covid. Asks if we can save $$ by not adopting this. Stuart says no, this has to be adopted, though deadline was just extended from Feb 1st to July 2021. “There’s really not any way around it, for us,” says Stuart. Moved to General Business at Simpson’s request, so all have time to review.

13. Ordinance amending Title 18 of the Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) entitled “City Fire Code”; and adopting 2018 changes to the International Fire Code

Chief McGanney and Mike Six present. It’s the Fire Dept! no one objects.

14. Gorst Coalition Memorandum of Understanding — many entities to implement WA-DOT’s 2018 Gorst study, as discussed at last week’s meeting.

This first push will probably cost toward $50K (pretty sure this is total from all stakeholders, but check me on this). Wheeler isn’t going into this without Council discussion and support — we all have to be on the same page with this for him to proceed. Younger is for it, but has questions. Overton presents, with Riley, Knuckey, Lubovich on hand. All other partners will present to their stakeholders at the same time. If we approve next week, fiduciary responsibility comes to us, but again we don’t go forward unless all the other partners do. Two milestones, says Overton: funding will come from federal, which improves our chances of state funding — that’ll take about four years, though last gas tax took 10 years to accomplish first wave — permitting, lobbying, including EIS, public hearings, etc. Then we move to second wave, install the structures, another 10 years. Simpson says it’ll cost a lot, asks why Poulsbo and Kingston are involved, since they’re not really interested in Gorst. He says he’s really troubled and really really has heartache that we are adding a layer of government, and that we’re using another lobbyist. And he really really worries about mission creep on this. (I’m not adding these “really”s. He really said them. Really.) Then he goes off into incoherence about pinning a white rose on the mayor. Then he ends. Daugs asks are the other stakeholders interested? Overton says all of them are at Council’s present state — approve in general, but haven’t yet voted. Younger: the coalition will contribute $$, lobby for more, then ask WA-DOT to go ahead and build it once there’s enough $$ collected. Amazing moment — Sullivan speaks up for light rail! Or a bridge from Bremerton to Port Orchard — why do we have to allow for cars? Knuckey says bridge is impracticable, per WADOT. He rambles on about light rail without answering that one, says we have to plan for resiliency in face of climate change, though of course climate change would be reduced if there were fewer cars. Moved to General Business.

B. GENERAL COUNCIL BUSINESS

Sullivan, Dist 1 – Likes her committee assignments.

Daugs, Dist 2 – She too likes her committees, looks forward to 1/30 retreat, REAC committee tomorrow.

Goodnow, Dist 5 – Looking forward to new year, likes his committee assignments

Simpson, Dist 6 – Thanks BKAT, public TV is important. Thanks Mayor and DPW for working on graffiti. Cuomo is considering lifting lockdowns; NY is more populous than WA. Local control is important. Addiction and mental health issues are rising, lockdowns are killing us. Lobbyists could do more different things to help the people who live here by lowering the costs of regulations. No coherent theme here.

Younger, Dist 7 – no report.

Gorman, Dist 3 — housekeeping issues. St Michael’s has issues — do we want to discuss? Younger says Certificate of Need at state level is antiquated, prohibits competition. Lobbyists should eliminate it so we can have rival hospitals. Will be discussed at next study session, or else dropped entirely, hard to tell.

Mayor interjects that public health is best at county level, not the proposed regional control.

C. ADJOURNMENT OF STUDY SESSION

Adjourned at 7:14pm

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