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Tacoma City Council Meeting - July 30, 2013
PROCLAMATIONS, RECOGNITIONS, PRESENTATIONS, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayor Strickland read a proclamation celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Lincoln High School.
The only commenter this week, a representative from the Master Builders Association, spoke in favor of the budget changes that would allow for hiring and other upgrades to the City’s building and land use department.
Resolution No. 38701 Appointing individuals to committees that will prepare statements “For” and “Against” City of Tacoma Proposition No. 1 regarding 2% Earnings Tax on Utility Companies for Tacoma Street Improvements, which will appear in the voters’ pamphlet for the November 5, 2013 General Election. [T.C. Broadnax, City Manager]
Three individuals were named to each committee: Mark Martinez, Harold Moss, and Clare Petrich to the “For” Committee and Thomas Oldfield, Rachel Hanson, and Robert Casey to the “Against” Committee.
Resolution No. 38702 Authorizing the execution of an interest-free loan agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation for a term of ten years, in the amount of $823,227, with a required match of $280,807, budgeted from the Tacoma Rail Fund, to partially finance a track improvement project located in the vicinity of Marshall Avenue and State Route 509, and Milwaukee Way and Port of Tacoma Road, to be completed by June 30, 2015. [Alan Matheson, Chief Mechanical Officer; Dale King, Tacoma Rail Superintendent]
The resolution passed without Council comment.
Resolution No. 38703 Authorizing the execution of an interest-free loan agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation for a term of ten years, in the amount of $250,000, with a required match of $120,110, budgeted from the Tacoma Rail Fund, to partially finance the replacement of a segment of track used as the primary access point to the Tacoma Rail Yard, to be completed by June 30, 2015. [Alan Matheson, Chief Mechanical Officer; Dale King, Tacoma Rail Superintendent]
This resolution also passed without Council comment.
Resolution No. 38704 Declaring surplus approximately 2,190-square-feet of city-owned property in the area of North 21st and Proctor Streets; and authorizing the execution of purchase and sale agreements with adjacent property owners in order to cure outstanding encroachments. [Conor McCarthy, Assistant Division Manager; Kurtis Kingsolver, Interim Director, Public Works]
In the process of surveying to build a new fence around the Proctor community garden, it was discovered that the existing fence was about 20 feet short of the actual property line, and that abutting properties were encroaching on City-owned property by about eight feet. To resolve the situation, a strip of land about eight feet wide will be sold to four abutting property owners, and the new northern boundary fence will be built on that new property line. The extension of the garden space will allow for 14 new garden beds to be added.
—————— Transportation Benefit District Governing Board Special Meeting——————
At this time the regular Council meeting was put on hold for the special meeting of the TBD Governing Board.
FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. TBD 005Establishing a fund and requesting the City of Tacoma to create a new special revenue fund designated as the “Transportation Benefit District Fund,” to be managed by the City of Tacoma Finance Director, effective for the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget; accepting, depositing, and appropriating $4,098,489 from the Transportation Benefit District Fund; and transferring said sum to the Streets Special Revenue Fund to pay for costs associated with transportation improvements, bicycle/pedestrian, freight mobility, and transit enhancements. [Tadd Wille, Budget Officer; Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]
This is basically an administrative item. The creation of a special revenue fund is required for the TBD to manage the funds collected through the $20 car tab fee. The fee was enacted by the Council in 2012 and began being collected this June. The first deposits to the City from the State Department of Licensing, which collects the fee will come this August, and will go directly into the TBD special revenue fund, to be used solely for the purpose of transportation improvements. The ordinance will be sent over for a final reading on August 6.
—————- We now return you to your regularly scheduled Council meeting.————————
Resolution No. 38705 Amending the General Fund Reserve Policy to state that reserves should be maintained between 10 and 20 percent of projected annual expenditures. [Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]
This item deals with changes to the reserve fund policy for the City’s General Fund. Aside from increasing the target level to between 10% and 20% of projected annual expenditures, it tightens voting restrictions and timelines on the use of general fund reserves. The recession hit the General Fund hard, and reserves were spent down. The City is now in the process of trying to rebuild its reserves, and adjusting the rules around those reserves to make them more secure. These changes follow generally accepted accounting procedures, and will positively impact rating agency reviews of Tacoma’s reserves.
FINAL READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. 28162 Amending Chapter 1.12 of the Municipal Code, relating to the Compensation Plan, to implement rates of pay and compensation for employees represented by the United Transportation Union, Yardmasters Unit, which consists of five budgeted, full-time positions. [Joy St. Germain, Director, Human Resources]
The ordinance passed unanimously without further Council comment.
FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES
Ordinance No. 28164 Amending the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget to appropriate funds for unanticipated expenditures and other budget adjustments. [Tadd Wille, Budget Officer; Andy Cherullo, Director, Finance]
Included in this ordinance are three recommendations.
- A reduction of general fund appropriations by $4.1 million in recognition of the creation of the TBD fund in that same amount.
- An adjustment to recognize updated estimates for mental health and chemical dependency fund revenues. Revenues generated by the 0.1% sales tax were underestimated in the budget, and staff is recommending a $2.9 million increase in the budget through 2014 to align with improved revenues.
- Enhanced funding for permit services. Permitting revenues have been above projections, and are expected to continue that way due to increased permitting that goes with an uptick in construction activity. The recommendation is to use the expected increase of nearly $2 million by the end of 2013 to create 8.5 new positions and to invest in new technology, reporting, code, and capital improvements to keep up with the increased permit activity and improve department efficiency. Funds generated by increased permit activity have to be spent on improvements to the permitting process, and can’t be reallocated elsewhere in the general fund.
The ordinance will get a final reading next week.
PUBLIC HEARINGS AND APPEALSThis is the date set for a public hearing by the City Council regarding the Norma J. Sands and Lennea C. Sands open space current use assessment application for property located at 615 South 82nd Street to be classified as open space for use and property tax purposes, as recommended by the Planning Commission. [Cheri Gibbons, Associate Planner; Peter Huffman, Interim Director, Planning and Development Services]
The property in question consists of nine parcels, seven of which are eligible for the OSCUA, the other two have structures on them. The OSCUA allows owners to have property valued at the existing use, rather than the highest possible use, in this case resulting in an 80% reduction. This case is a renewal, as the property recently changed hands. There was no public comment.
REPORTS BY THE CITY MANAGER
COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee – Councilmember Woodards shared recent topics covered by the committee.
- Review of mental health and chemical dependency funding applications and recommendations for funding allocation.
- Discussion of policy direction for chronic public inebriate pilot program.
- TPD’s school resource officer and school safety programs.
- Summer youth employment pilot for youth at risk of missing on time graduation.
- TPD midyear performance report, including crime stats, calls for service, response times, and department goals.
- Foundation for Tacoma students.
- TFD midyear report and new FD Cares program, which aims to minimize the use of emergency resources for non-emergency calls.
- Fireworks prevention and enforcement efforts.
At the next meeting the committee will hear updates from the United Way, Tacoma Police Department, and the Human Rights Division.
Councilmember Boe reminded us that the Proctor Arts Fest is coming up this Saturday, August 3, starting at 10 am at North 26th and Proctor. It promises to be the biggest year yet for the fest, with four stages, a dog show, The Bite of Proctor, and of course plenty of art to see and buy.
Councilmember Woodards offered her congratulations to Bryan of Metro Parks for his success as the new lead for Ethnic Fest this year.
For more on any of the items on this week’s agenda, see our City Business Preview for the week.
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