Traffic, food trucks, business licenses and more are on Monday evening’s City Council agenda

city council meeting 2018-01-02
Ferndale City Council meeting (January 3, 2018). Photo: Discover Ferndale
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The agenda for Monday’s Ferndale City Council meeting is a relatively full one. Items on the agenda include:

  • Ferndale Food Bank Executive Director Suzanne Nevan will make a presentation to the Council reviewing their 2017 numbers and announcing new programs to be rolled out this year.
  • A presentation of the Ferndale Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Citizenship will be made honoring both Crissy Ford and Rachel Pringle for their years of service to the children and arts community of Ferndale. Ford and Pringle have organized and produced several youth theater productions including Summer Youth Theater, Ferndale’s Got Talent Show and Ferndale School District performances.
  • The City’s traffic engineers, Transpo Group, are scheduled to return to make a presentation regarding downtown traffic lights. Transpo representatives last appeared in front of the Council on March 6, 2017 with a presentation that identified current conditions on Main Street, constraints and alternatives for making improvements including enabling each intersections’ systems to talk to each other (synchronization). Costs associated with implementing this option were not available at the time since training and programming had not been researched but expected to cost more than the equipment, estimated at about $7,000 per intersection at the time. Since then, the signal lights at 1st Avenue and Main Street have been removed and a traffic survey was conducted. It is expected there will be a discussion of whether the signal lights removal should remain off or restored.
  • A public hearing is scheduled before councilmembers will consider adopting modifications to the Ferndale Municipal Code (FMC) and amendments to the Unified Fee Code (UFC) to include references to food trucks operating within the City limits. A map included with the council agenda indicates food trucks would not be permitted in downtown area right-of-ways and would require special event permits to operate from City properties, including parks. Fees proposed include business licenses for standalone operations and those operating in conjunction with an existing business. The FMC and UFC currently do not contain specific language regarding food truck operations.
  • Councilmembers will consider adopting modifications to Ferndale Municipal Code that would exempt vendors participating in multiple vendor events such as craft fairs from being required to obtain a business license from the City. According to City staff, “Applicants have suggested that a requirement that all vendors obtain a business license may have a chilling effect on these events, as vendors who are unlikely to sell enough product to balance the business license cost simply avoid events in Ferndale.”
  • City of Ferndale’s participation in a proposed 10-year interlocal agreement with the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County regarding maintenance of Slater Road and planning and enforcement issues regarding the road and adjacent properties east of I-5 will be discussed.
  • Councilmembers will be asked to approve replacing the existing reader board monument sign outside City Hall with a new one (see graphic below) and to also consider the possibility of placing it in a different location. City staff say, “The existing City Hall sign is dated and busy, and relies heavily on the City’s logo, with cross-messaging provided by a static reader board. There are so many messages associated with the existing sign that the main one – the fact that it is City Hall – is drowned out.” Staff expect half of the contract cost (~$26,000) will be matched by a Port of Bellingham grant awarded to Ferndale for wayfinding signage. The project estimate includes the addition of “CITY HALL” 1.25-foot tall lettering on the Main Street side of City Hall just below the eave.
proposed city hall monument sign 2018-02 city council documents
Computer generated graphic of proposed City Hall monument sign. Source: Ferndale City Council agenda documents

Monday night’s Ferndale City Council meeting will be held at 6pm at the City Council Chambers, 5694 2nd Avenue. Community members are encouraged to attend.