Tacoma City Council Meeting - April 19, 2016



Ordinance No. 28354 An ordinance vacating the south 125 feet of the alley between Union Avenue and Puget Sound Avenue, north of South 40th Street, to consolidate the properties and facilitate future development.

The consent agenda was adopted without comment. The ordinance will get a final reading at a future meeting to be determined.



April 22, 2016 was proclaimed as Earth Day in the City of Tacoma. The proclamation celebrates Tacoma’s ongoing commitment to improving the health of the Puget Sound, and the livability and sustainability of the city; and a collective recognition of the importance of the importance of environmental stewardship locally, regionally, and globally. 2016 is also the 10th anniversary of the Thea Foss Waterway clean-up. Everyone is encouraged to take action through volunteer efforts around the region this weekend

April 29, 2016 was proclaimed as Save KPLU Day in the City of Tacoma. Founded in 1966, Tacoma-based KPLU 88.5 has served the region as a public radio station for 50 years from its home at PLU. The Save KPLU effort wants to continue to provide that same high-quality news, jazz, and blues programming service by becoming an independent, community-owned radio station. In order to do that, the Friends of 88.5 FM community group’s Save KPLU campaign needs to raise $7 million by June 30 in order to purchase the broadcast license from PLU. They’re at $4 million right now, and looking for a bit more support from the community to push them to their goal.

If you want to support KPLU’s efforts to continue as a community-owned radio station, go to kplu.org.



No comment.




Resolution No. 39422 A resolution appointing individuals to the City Events and Recognitions Committee.

The CER serves as a citizen advisory and action committee for City-hosted events and recognitions. Thanks to those who were appointed for volunteering to serve.



Resolution No. 39423 A resolution awarding a contract to Sargent Engineers, Inc., in the amount of $289,218.60, sales tax not applicable, budgeted from the Transportation Capital Fund, for inspection, repair and design services for various bridges.

Adopted without comment.

Resolution No. 39424 A resolution awarding a contract to Office Depot, in the amount of $1,000,000, plus sales tax, budgeted from various departmental funds, for office supplies on an as-needed basis from May 1, 2016, to February 28, 2018.

Deputy Mayor Mello noted the cost savings and other sustainability benefits represented in this resolution, including items using less packaging and more recycled content, and the opportunity for the City to participate in a customer loyalty program that will lead to additional cost savings.

Resolution No. 39425 A resolution awarding a contract to W. W. Grainger, Inc., in the amount of $1,800,000, plus sales tax, budgeted from various departmental funds, for maintenance, repair and operations supplies on an as-needed basis, for a contract period of three years, through December 31, 2019.

Adopted without comment.



Resolution No. 39426 A resolution declaring surplus and authorizing the execution of a Quit Claim Deed to convey vacant, undeveloped lands at the intersection of Portland Avenue and Wright Avenue, to Spotted Cow Coffee Company, LLC, for the amount of $148,000.

The unimproved property in question was acquired by the City back in 1985 for the Portland Avenue expansion project, with this portion remaining after the project was completed. The property will be sold to the adjoining property owner for the market value as established in-house, with rights for easements and right-of-way reserved.


Resolution No. 39427 A resolution adopting the 2016 Environmental Action Plan which centralizes existing City goals and policies, establishes prioritized strategies and actions for improving environmental quality, and implements five-year indicator targets.

The EAP, put together by City staff as well as partner agencies, identifies City policies and goals related to environmental quality, contained in other documents, including Tacoma’s Comprehensive Plan, Tacoma 2025, the City’s Climate Action Plan, and others. The EAP gathers those goals and policies in one document, and associates specific actions with them. Various Tacoma citizens and groups were involved in developing the plan.

Actions listed in the plan are broken down into 6 categories: natural systems, transportation, air and food, materials, buildings and energy, climate resilience. The plan, conceived to be updated on an annual basis, establishes 5-year estimated targets to set general direction, while allowing for some flexibility for budgetary and other restrictions. Some items are funded or don’t come with a price tag, while others still will need to be funded, which will happen through the regular budget process. Read more previously from Exit133 on Tacoma's Environmental Action Plan and other climate change work here.

UPDATED: Download a pdf of the Environmental Action Plan as adopted with this resolution here.



Ordinance No. 28353 An ordinance imposing the local sales and use tax to be credited against the state sales tax to utilize Local Revitalization Financing.

This ordinance was adopted without comment after last week's first reading.

The Local Revitalization Financing program returns a portion of state sales tax dollars raised to the municipality where they were generated. Through this program, Tacoma is allowed to keep a portion of the 6.5% sales tax paid locally that ordinarily goes to the state, up to $500,000 annually for 25 years, or $12.5 million total. The funds must be used for public infrastructure associated with an increase in private investment and employment.

The funds must be used in a 660-acre “revitalization area” downtown bounded by Tacoma Avenue and the Foss Waterway on the west and east, and the Stadium District, and essentially I-5 on the north and south (see map).

The funds must be used in the revitalization area, they must be invested in public infrastructure, they must be used in association with a private project that includes private investment and job creation in the area, and there must be a one-to-one local/federal match for the state contribution.

Unfortunately, the original requirement was that the City had to bond for the public improvements to be funded, and Tacoma’s financial situation coming out of the recession wasn’t great. So the City has had insufficient debt capacity to take advantage of the program until the State legislature amended the rules in 2015, adding flexibility that gives Tacoma a way to access the funds on either an annual basis.

Then in March the State passed new legislation putting Tacoma in a use-it-or-lose-it situation in which if we don’t use the funds, they will be forfeited and passed on to those who will. The adoption of this ordinance allows the City to access those funds.

Read more about Tacoma's participation in the Local Revitalization Financing program here.



Ordinance No. 28355 An ordinance providing for the issuance and sale of Sewer Refunding Bonds, Series 2016A and Series 2016B, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $55,000,000, to refund and defease a portion of the outstanding Sewer Revenue and Refunding Bonds, Series 2006A, and all of the outstanding TES Properties Lease Revenue Bonds, Series 2009, which financed the Center for Urban Waters facility, to pay the costs of issuing the bonds, and delegating the authority to approve the final terms of the bonds.

Ordinance No. 28356 An ordinance providing for the issuance and sale of Solid Waste Refunding Bonds, Series 2016A and Series 2016B, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $55,000,000, to refund and defease a portion of the outstanding Solid Waste Revenue Bonds, Series 2006A and Series 2006B, to pay the costs of issuing the bonds, and delegating the authority to approve the final terms of the bonds.

These two ordinances go together. The City’s Environmental Services Department is asking for permission to take advantage of the current low interest rates to reduce debt service costs to their ratepayers.  They are also asking to extend a series of solid waste bonds used largely to fund the construction of facilities at the Tacoma landfill. The department would like to align the length of those bonds with the life of the facility, as is considered a best management practice. These changes will result in a net cost savings, which will be passed along to ratepayers.



The South Puget Sound region was one of 10 communities nationwide recently recognized as a Great American Defense Community for efforts to support members of the military and their families in areas like education, employment, family support, and community appreciation.



Community Vitality and Safety Committee - Council Member Woodards reported on recent items dealt with by the committee.

  • Heard a report on human services funding
  • Conducted interviews, and made recommendations for appointment to the Human Rights Commission
  • Tacoma Housing Authority provided update on their current projects, as well as those in the works
  • Conducted interviews and made recommendations for the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority

On the agenda for the next CVSC meeting are Human Services Commission interviews, and the violence reduction taskforce.

Council Member Campbell announced 2 events this weekend in his district.

Deputy Mayor Mello reminded us that there are multiple Earth Day events planned for this week and this weekend, and encouraged everyone to find one near them to participate in. That includes Black Earth Day in the Hilltop, which will be a free, family-friendly Earth Day celebration with activities for all ages. 10 to 2 at the Peace Community Center.

Mayor Strickland was absent from this week’s council meeting.


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