JOINT LAKEWOOD, DuPONT AND
STEILACOOM CITY COUNCILS
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
January 9, 2012
Town of Steilacoom
1717 Lafayette Street
Steilacoom, WA 98388
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Lucas called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. Mayor Lucas provided a history of the Steilacoom Town Hall meeting.
Lakewood City Council
Councilmembers Present: 6 – Mayor Douglas Richardson; Deputy Mayor Don Anderson; Councilmembers Mary Moss, Jason Whalen, Marie Barth and Paul Bocchi.
Councilmember Excused: 1- Councilmember Mike Brandstetter.
Steilacoom City Council
Present: 4 – Mayor Ron Lucas, Councilmembers Nancy Henderson, Lowell Bier and Steve Stovall.
Councilmembers Excused: 2 – Councilmembers Bruce Judson and Marion Smith.
DuPont City Council
Councilmembers Present: 5 – Mayor Michael Grayum, Councilmembers John Ehrenreich, Penny Coffey, Mike Courts, and Larry Wilcox.
Councilmembers Excused: 2 – Councilmember Roger Westman and Kathleen Trotter.
Others Present: Pierce County Councilmember Dick Muri, Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz, City Administrator Dawn Maskow, Town Administrator Paul Loveless; Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Jeff Cox, County Council Attorney, Larry Hoffman, Town of Steilacoom Attorney and Heidi Wachter, City of Lakewood Attorney, and Alice Bush, Lakewood City Clerk.
The flag salute was led by Mayor Lucas.
ITEM FOR DISCUSSION:
Discussion on Flood Control Zone Policy
Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, distributed copies of the proposed Flood Control Zone District ordinance scheduled for the Pierce County Council’s action on January 31, 2012.
He referred to Section 5 of the proposed ordinance to establish a fund to assist Pierce County jurisdictions with their flood and stormwater control needs.
Councilmember Ehrenreich asked if the ordinance address how the opportunity fund would be distributed. Mr. Ziegler indicated that the proposed ordinance does not define this. Mayor Lucas described the King County Flood Control plan and the Seattle seawall project. Pierce County Councilmember Dick Muri asked for the Councils’ position on moving forward with the opportunity fund and consideration on limitations.
Mayor Richardson suggested the possibility of seeking legislative changes and to have the district boundary be the County and perhaps have subarea zones. Mayor Richardson indicated that it is the sense of the Lakewood City Council to not take money away from projects that needs to get done or increase taxes to get projects done. Mr. Ziegler indicated that the law does allow for subzones and the challenge with the boundaries are they follow water resource inventory areas (WIRAs) of which one is in Gig Harbor and three on the east side of Pierce County following geographic boundaries and not political boundaries. It creates a different set of inequities. He explained that managing 26 basins with 5 different rates in an equitable manner is an administrative and accounting challenge.
Deputy Mayor Anderson indicated that he did not contemplate dividing the district into 26 basins. He explained that there are two groups of properties that benefit – one that are properties that would receive a direct benefit and the rest who receive an indirect benefit of the whole. He explained that with a legislative fix there could be two rates, one that directly benefit properties and the other that benefit the rest of the people in the county with an indirect benefit, which could be a possible solution to explore.
Pierce County Councilmember Dick Muri spoke about concerns relative to inequities. DuPont Mayor Grayum indicating that the DuPont Council was interested in a consistent approach. That a higher rate be applied to those who directly benefit and a lower rate for the rest, and suggested that such language be presented before the County Rules Committee.
Mayor Lucas asked for Councilmembers input on seeking legislative changes relative to a tiered structure. Deputy Mayor Anderson suggested that the legislative change would allow the district to set rates by the district based on its risks. Councilmember Ehrenreich suggested that the Pierce County Council be asked to join the efforts of the three City Councils. Mayor Lucas indicated that he would bring the suggested proposal before the Pierce County Cities and Towns group. Mayor Richardson indicated that draft legislation could be drafted.
City Manager Neiditz indicated that because boundary changes for subzoning could be required by the Legislature and the Flood Control District may be opposed to sub zoning, there needs to be continuing dialogue with the County Council. Mayor Richardson indicated that the legislative changes need to be pursued. The proposed legislative changes would allow the County to have subzones within the District and set rates accordingly. DuPont Mayor Grayum asked if the County Council was open to have a dialogue about different rate structures or is the Legislative changes the only approach. If the cost is spread among many people, there is no incentive. Councilmember Ehrenreich asked where does it go from here, beyond the 10 cents per 1,000, and what is the current taxing capacity at this time. Mr. Ziegler indicated that the property tax limit could be over exceeded in some areas, and State law caps the rate at 50 cents per 1,000. County Councilmember Muri indicated that it is the County Council desire to include all properties with the same rate structure.
A question was asked about who appoints members to the advisory committee. Mr. Ziegler indicated that the up to 15 member advisory committee of the District would be appointed by the Board of Supervisors (members of the Pierce County Council).
It was the consensus of the Councils that a meeting with Mayor Lucas, representatives of Lakewood and DuPont be held with Pierce County Councilmember MacDonald and appropriate County officials to engage a dialogue on the proposal to seek legislative changes on flood control district boundaries.
Mayor Lucas announced that on January 20, 2012 the Pierce Transit Public Improvement meeting will be held at Clover Park Technical College to discuss what communities are within the Transit district boundaries.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
DOUGLAS G. RICHARDSON, MAYOR
ALICE M. BUSH, MMC
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