CITY OF UNIVERSITY PLACE
Regular Meeting of the City Council
Monday, December 2, 2013
City Hall, Windmill Village
1. CALL REGULAR MEETING TO ORDER – MAYOR
Mayor Grassi called the Regular Meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.
2. ROLL CALL AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Roll call was taken by the City Clerk as follows:
Councilmember Belleci Present
Councilmember Choiniere Present
Councilmember Figueroa Present
Mayor Grassi Present
Councilmember Keel Present
Mayor Pro Tem McCluskey Present
Councilmember Nye Present
Staff Present: City Manager Sugg, Executive Director/ACM Faison, City Attorney Victor, Executive Director/ACM Craig, Police Chief Blair, Public Safety Manager Hales, Parks, Recreation and Public Works Director Cooper, and City Clerk Genetia.
Public Safety Commission: Michael Smith, Ed Wood and Melody Williams
Economic Development Commission: Ronald Kent
Councilmember Belleci led the pledge of allegiance.
Mayor Grassi called for a moment of silence in remembrance of Zach Davis.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MOTION: By Councilmember Choiniere, seconded by Councilmember Figueroa, to approve the minutes of November 4, 2013, November 12, 2013 and November 18, 2013 as submitted.
The motion carried.
4. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
MOTION: By Councilmember Belleci, seconded by Councilmember Choiniere, to approve the agenda.
The motion carried.
5. PUBLIC COMMENT – The following individuals provided comments: Helen Hein and Debbie Klosowski, UP for Arts.
6. COUNCIL COMMENTS/REPORTS
Councilmember Keel encouraged the public to participate and provide input on three upcoming City issues that deal with the City’s overall finances.
Councilmember Figueroa requested that UP for Arts’ “Destination Art” fundraising information be included in the City newsletter. He also expanded on Councilmember Keel’s comment.
7. CITY MANAGER’S REPORT – City Manager Sugg reported that the City has been awarded a grant from the State Transportation Improvement Board in the amount of $1.2 million for the construction of sidewalks, bike lanes, and street lighting on both sides of 27th Street between Bridgeport Way West and Regents Boulevard. In addition, the project will include $380,000 in Surface Water Management funds to pay for storm drainage improvements. Mr. Sugg also provided Council an update on the Kobayashi remodel/picnic shelter conversion project.
8A-8B. CONSENT AGENDA
Councilmember Figueroa requested that Item 8B be pulled for separate consideration.
MOTION: By Councilmember Belleci, seconded by Councilmember Choiniere, to approve the amended Consent Agenda as follows:
A. Receive and File: Payroll for the period ending 11/15/13, signed and dated 11/25/13, check nos. 317741 through 317759, and wires in the total amount of One Hundred Ninety-Eight Thousand Five Hundred Sixty-Nine and 94/100 Dollars ($198,569.94); Claims dated 11/27/13, signed 11/25/13, check nos. 49500 through 49567, check no. 49408 replaced with check no. 49503, in the total amount of Four Hundred Thirty-Three Thousand Two Hundred Ninety and 57/100 Dollars ($433,290.57).
B. Adopt a resolution directing the Parks and Recreation Commission to examine funding and service level options for parks, recreation and senior services. (Pulled for separate consideration.)
The motion carried.
After clarification on the resolution’s intent, MOTION: By Councilmember Choiniere, seconded by Councilmember Belleci, to adopt a resolution directing the Parks and Recreation Commission to examine funding and service level options for parks, recreation and senior services.
The motion carried. (RESOLUTION NO. 740)
9 - 10. PUBLIC HEARING: TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT
Staff Report – Executive Director Faison conveyed the City’s economic circumstances and challenges that led to the decision to adopt a local Transportation Benefit District (TBD). Based on previous Council discussions and its goal to address the City’s future financial insufficiency, he presented a proposed ordinance that would create a local Transportation Benefit District (TBD) and establish an annual vehicle license fee of $20.00. The creation of a TBD is vital to fund necessary maintenance and preservation of existing service levels for streets.
Councilmembers acknowledged that, although necessary, implementation of the authorized amount of a twenty dollar annual vehicle license fee will generate insufficient revenue to provide adequate street maintenance for the City. Discussion continued, focused on attaining a comprehensive solution to address the overall City needs and methods to inform the residents of these critical issues.
Mayor Grassi opened the public hearing at 8:03 p.m.
Public Comment – The following individuals provided comments on the issue: Anthony Paulson, 9201 65th Street West; and Debbie Klosowski, 6834 Chambers Creek Road West.
There being no other comment, the public hearing was closed at 8:08 p.m.
Council Consideration - MOTION: By Councilmember Choiniere, seconded by Councilmember Belleci, to pass an ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 562 and reenacting Chapter 4.70 of the University Place Municipal Code establishing the University Place Transportation Benefit District, specifying the boundaries for the Transportation Benefit District, specifying the maintenance and preservation of existing transportation improvements, authorizing the Transportation Benefit District Board to establish an annual vehicle license fee; establishing an effective date, and providing for severability.
AMENDED MOTION: By Councilmember Belleci, seconded by Councilmember Figueroa, to add the language “or until supplanted by other funds with the same restrictions in a future City Council budget” under Chapter 4.70.050 of the ordinance.
Roll call vote as follows:
Mayor Pro Tem McCluskey
The amended motion passed 5 to 2.
The main motion passed 5 to 2. Mayor Grassi and Councilmember Nye voted no. (ORDINANCE NO. 634)
11. MAYOR’S REPORT – Mayor Grassi announced that the last meeting of the Council is on December 16. In addition, he invited the public to attend the official lighting of the menorah and the Christmas Tree Lighting event.
At 8:22 p.m., MOTION: By Councilmember Choiniere, seconded by Councilmember Belleci, to adjourn the business meeting of the City Council and recess to Study Session.
The motion carried.
Council took a five minute break. The meeting reconvened at 8:32 p.m.
12. PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSION REPORT
Public Safety Commission Chair Smith, along with Police Chief Blair and Public Safety Manager Hales, presented the Public Safety Commission’s findings and recommendations on the long-term needs and funding options for Public Safety. With the City dedicating its property tax revenue to fund Public Safety services, financial forecast indicates that the City’s current police staff level is unsustainable based on the current trends. The Commission evaluated various options including:
§ An increase in the City’s property tax rate from $1.43 per $1,000 in assessed value to the statutory limit of $1.60.
§ To increase utility tax by three and a half percent (3.5%). This would add $1.75 to a $50.00 utility bill (garbage, electric, gas, telephone, cell phone and cable bill).
§ To collect B&O tax or excise tax.
After much discussion, the Public Safety Commission recommended the 3.5% utility tax increase. This would allow the City to hire three commissioned officers to the University Place Police Department. The need for additional officers is in response to anticipated population growth. It will also address the department’s ability to respond to calls for service. Staff and the Public Safety Commission seek Council directive to begin its public outreach.
Discussion on the proposal, public outreach, communications strategy and how to quantify success of this undertaking followed.
At 9:05 p.m., 9:32 p.m., and 10:03 p.m. motions were made and were carried to extend the meeting to 9:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and 10:20 p.m. respectively.
13. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REPORT – SPORTS TOURISM
Executive Director Craig provided background information on Council’s directive to the Economic Development Commission with regard to studying the feasibility and desirability of promoting University Place as a sports and recreational destination. She indicated that while the Economic Development Commission awaits further direction from Council regarding its first recommendation, the Commission was able to review specific details about the sports and recreation aspect of the resolution, pursuing the sports tourism model, defined as the attraction and recruitment of regional sports leagues to facilities in University Place to bolster the local economy. The Commission presented its findings from the submitted report that show:
§ Public and private sports facilities are limited; and
§ Facilities are close to full capacity.
Economic Development Commissioner Kent explained that because of these factors, the Commission believes that the City’s does not have the ability to support a sports tourism model of economic development. He said, however, that the City is fortunate to be located along the waters of Puget Sound and have natural landscapes and trails that can attract those who wish to enjoy nature’s beauty, surrounding habitat and passive recreation opportunities. Commissioner Kent indicated that although the recreation assets of the City are significant, there has not been enough study to really make the right recommendation for or against developing this interest. A more complete study should be undertaken before deciding whether these assets alone can comprise a destination brand. Should the City decide to look at this broad spectrum of opportunity, it needs to target certain aspects that have the economic impact the City is seeking for.
The meeting adjourned at 10:18 p.m. No other action was taken.