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Meeting Minutes: Regular Council Meeting Minutes

Meeting Type

Regular Council Meeting Minutes 

Meeting Date





Regular Meeting of the City Council

Monday, October 5, 2020

(Remote Participation)






Mayor Belleci called the Regular Meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.


2.         ROLL CALL


Roll call was taken by the City Clerk as follows:


Councilmember Figueroa


Present (arrived 7:02 p.m./left 9:03 p.m.)

Councilmember Keel



Councilmember Pro Tem Lee



Councilmember McCluskey



Councilmember Flemming



Mayor Pro Tem Worthington



Mayor Belleci




Staff Present:  City Manager Sugg, City Attorney Kaser, Executive Director/ACM Craig, Engineering and Capital Projects Director Ecklund, Police Chief Premo, Executive Director/ACM Faison, Finance Director Blaisdell, Public Safety Administrator Hales and City Clerk Genetia.




Councilmember McCluskey led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.




MOTION:  By Mayor Pro Tem Worthington, seconded by Councilmember Keel to approve the agenda.


The motion carried unanimously.


5.         PUBLIC COMMENTS – None.




City Manager Sugg provided an update on the CARES Act funding program and distribution process.  He indicated that as of the end September, the City has distributed $859,617 consisting of the following: $346,000 in grants to 65 University Place businesses; $48,617 to rental and utility assistance to approximately 30 households through Families Unlimited Network; and $465,000 for City COVID-related expenses. 


Councilmember Keel reported that the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Board has completed and adopted its legislative priorities – report to be shared with Councilmembers later.  He also noted that AWC has issued a challenge with regard to accomplishing the goal of completing the City’s credentials.


Councilmember Flemming reported that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has selected University Place for their Truck to Trunk Pierce County Coronavirus Food Relief program distribution site. The agency will be distributing food for the next four Mondays to the community.


Mayor Belleci shared that she attended the Cities and Towns virtual meeting where the Pierce County Auditor provided an update on the current election cycle.




MOTION:  By Mayor Pro Tem Worthington, seconded by Councilmember Keel, to approve the Consent Agenda as follows:

A.   Approve the minutes of the September 21, 2020 Council meeting as submitted.

B.   Adopt a Resolution authorizing the use of electronic technology and establishing a method and process for the use of electronic signature technology. (RESOLUTION NO. 932)

C.   Adopt a resolution approving an Amendment to an Interagency Agreement for Coronavirus Relief Fund for Local Governments and setting forth supplemental guidelines for the distribution of Coronavirus Relief Funds to the University Place community. (RESOLUTION NO. 933)


The motion carried unanimously.






Staff Report - Engineering and Capital Projects Director Ecklund provided a general overview on the proposed Development Agreement for the construction of the 35th Street Court West roadway improvement project.   Under the Development Agreement, Chambers Bay Professional Center would convey the needed roadway, utility, and pedestrian easements to the City for the construction of Larson Lane.  In turn, the City would transfer a portion of the two adjacent City parcels to Chambers Bay Professional Center to accommodate additional parking.  In addition, the City would construct the parking improvement on the conveyed property.  The values of the properties being transferred and work to be performed has been evaluated and determined to be of an equal aggregate value. 


Public Comment – None.


Council ConsiderationMOTION:  By Mayor Pro Tem Worthington, seconded by Councilmember Keel, to adopt a resolution approving a Development Agreement between the City of University Place and Chambers Bay Professional Center, LLC to complete the Larson Lane project.


The motion carried. (RESOLUTION NO. 934)






Staff Report – Police Chief Premo presented the proposed changes to the City’s alarm code and permit fee schedule ($40 annual permit fee; $100 per false alarm response; and $150 per false robbery/panic alarm) that would streamline the process and recover resources necessary to provide the high level of public safety the citizens have come to expect. The projected income for this new alarm permit program will go to the public safety fund to support the cost of the alarm permit system, officer response, and additional public safety initiatives.


Public Comment – None.


Council ConsiderationMOTION:  By Councilmember Keel, seconded by Councilmember Figueroa, to amend the false alarm fee to reflect the actual calculated cost of this service instead of the proposed $100 fee.


The motion failed 3 to 4.  (Councilmember Pro Tem Lee, Councilmember McCluskey, Councilmember Flemming and Mayor Belleci voted no.)


MAIN MOTION:  By Mayor Pro Tem Worthington, seconded by Councilmember Keel, to pass an ordinance amending Chapter 9.10 of the University Place Municipal Code and the City’s Fee Schedule; Relating to alarms.



The motion passed 4 to 3.  (Councilmember Figueroa, Councilmember Keel and Councilmember Flemming voted no.) (ORDINANCE NO. 734)






Mayor Pro Tem Worthington provided a PowerPoint presentation on the Community Vision Subcommittee’s work that captures the events and the group’s approach to the Imagine 2045 campaign; citizen engagement and surveys that were conducted through FlashVote; the group’s efforts and process in categorizing and ranking the data; its secondary objective to use the information to effect change; and outcomes.  He reviewed the survey results and highlighted the top comments categorized under the education, administrative and legislative issues. He indicated that the top three legislative issues – Public Safety, Housing, and Parks and Recreation - could be potential topics for the Council Goals discussion scheduled for 2021. Mayor Pro Tem Worthington indicated that the subcommittee’s work timeline was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that they were not able to complete the project (community outreach and input). The COVID-19 effect posed a challenge and a question as to whether the comments received are still relevant for the University Place community over the next 25 years and how does the City move forward with a Vision document.


Subcommittee members McCluskey and Keel shared their thoughts and suggested that the information/data be used as a foundation/basis for a time when the group can continue its work and community engagement in the near future.  A copy of the survey results and outcomes will be provided to councilmembers electronically. 




City Manager Sugg presented the proposed 2021-2022 Biennial Budget. He noted that with the current pandemic challenges, the proposed biennial budget was built on certain assumptions in an uncertain time.  He indicated that the City will continue to maintain a conservative approach and monitor revenues and expenditures closely.


Finance Director Blaisdell provided an overview of the 2021-2022 Proposed Biennial Budget broken down by fund.   The City continues to be conservative with revenue projections for the biennium. Expenditure projections include a modest level of inflation assumed for expenditures.  The 10-year financial forecast, except for the street funds, maintains a positive balance through the forecast period.


The 2021-2022 Proposed Biennial Budget is a balanced and conservative budget that assumes a continuation of the 2020 level of service to the community, meeting all contractual, legal and debt obligations, while exercising prudent cash management and maintaining the City’s strategic reserve. 


Discussion followed relating to TBD dollars and street fund projection; public safety fund; utility tax estimates; SWM fund reserves; parks CIP budget and unobligated funds available; capital expenses; department expenses; salaries and benefits expense; and revenue growth in property tax compared to growth in public safety expenses.


Public Hearings are scheduled for October 19 and November 16, 2020 with Council action to follow the Public Hearing on November 16, 2020.


At 9:14 p.m., a motion was made and was carried to extend the meeting to 9:35 p.m.


12.      UTILITY TAX


Executive Director/ACM Faison presented an option of increasing the City’s revenues, identifying one revenue source – an extension of utility tax to other utility providers, namely Tacoma utilities and Pierce County.  He indicated that currently, all the City’s utilities are charged a 6% utility tax (telephone, cable (5%), natural gas, solid waste, and storm water).  At present, the City does not charge a utility tax on two public service providers – TPU and Pierce County Sewer.  Staff proposed that the tax be extended to those
utilities (water, electric and sewer services).  Staff believes that this would be essential to the City’s long-term financial future.  He indicated that imposing the tax on water, electric and sewer would generate a little over $2 million a year.  While this tax is on the utility provider, it is expected that the utilities would extend their rates to cover the tax.  Staff estimates that would be an average of $11 per single family home.


Discussion followed regarding the impact the utility tax would have on rate payers; impact during COVID-19 economy; authority to levy tax; and timing on the levy (deferring action).


The matter will be discussed further at a date to be determined.




The meeting adjourned at 9:34 p.m.  No other action was taken. 


Submitted by,




Emy Genetia

City Clerk


Regular Council Meeting Minutes-20201005-0905 

Meeting Type / Meeting Date

44109/Regular Council Meeting Minutes 




Ordinance :734-19020103-734 


Resolution:932-19020720-932; Resolution:933-19020721-933; Resolution:934-19020722-934 
Content Type: Meeting Minutes
Created at 10/20/2020 9:05 AM  by Emelita Genetia 
Last modified at 10/20/2020 9:05 AM  by Emelita Genetia