Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Council Meeting Notes: Feb. 5, 2013

These are notes from the meeting two weeks ago - catching up!

The meeting began at 7pm with Councilmember Kristovich arriving late. The agenda was approved with no changes. There were no staff reports.

Public Comments


1. Ordinance 1382 - Zoning Code Amendment (2nd Reading): The mayor began by asking the council to disclose any appearance of fairness contacts on this ordinance. Councilmembers Hedrick, Hunt and Hardin all mentioned an email they had received from a resident. There was no public challenge. Town planner Rob White outlined the process and mentioned that no one testified for or against this change at the planning commission hearing. Hedrick felt that a holistic approach would be a good idea, to eventually bring the commercial zoning down all of 51st Street to Point Ruston. He suggested that the planning commission look at the issue. He hoped it would bring more traffic to the business district. Mayor Hopkins said the planning commission would begin updating the Comprehensive Plan at their next meeting. An updated plan should help in the search for grants. Hunt also wanted the zoning extended down 51st Street with the height limit granted at the Coles Tavern. Hardin confirmed the new height limit was 45’ and 3 stories tall. He asked if there was any concern about shadows created on the northern lot since that language was not carried forward from the first ordinance to this one. White noted that the northern lot had the same owner, but he recommended adding the shadow language to include N. 51st Street. The ordinance was amended and approved.

2. Ordinance 1392 - Nuisance Vegetation (2nd Reading): Hunt said again she wanted a warning put in the newsletter. Hardin asked why alleys were not included, wondering if they are considered part of streets. Both White and the town engineer were not sure. The issue was deferred until the attorney could comment.

3. Ordinance 1394 – Weight Limits For Streets (2nd Reading): Hardin amended the ordinance to name the two new streets that are being added in to the ‘where-as’ section and to the title. The ordinance was approved 5-0.

4. Resolution 538 - Environmental Consultant Agreement: White described the need for more expertize on Superfund land use applications. Hedrick confirmed that all the cost for this service will be passed to developer. The $100,000 listed in the agreement was a not-to-exceed amount, not expected costs. Hardin wanted to know if this expense did have to be paid by the town which fund would pay. Hopkins confirmed the general fund, which would have significant impacts. White said the consultant said that EPA pays their (the consultant) bills from an escrow account that Point Ruston sets up with EPA. Ruston would send their invoice to EPA. White needs to confirm that process with EPA. Hunt confirmed that this contractor had not worked for Point Ruston before, so there was no conflict of interest. Passed 5-0.

5. Resolution 539 – Appoint Joe Waters to Planning Commission: Passed 5-0.

6. Resolution 540 – Appoint Tony Camoroda to Planning Commission: This is for an unexpired term (June, 2013) + a new 6 year term. Passed 5-0.

7. Resolution 542 –Adoption of a Police Salary Scale: Hedrick confirmed these were the same figures that were approved in the 2013 budget. Passed 5-0.

8. Resolution 543 – Fire Communications Services with Tacoma: Hunt asked if the new system would save money. Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Allen said it was the same budget amount but a better communication system that would avoid mix ups where Tacoma Fire has been mistakenly dispatched to Ruston. Hardin noted that the agreement included 3.5% increase each year. He thanked Chief Torbet and commended the department for pursuing a safer system for the city. Passed 5-0.

Claims & Payroll 
Passed 5-0 with no discussion.

Mayor’s Time
Hopkins thanked Kevin Moser for volunteering on the electrical undergrounding project. He noted the water line project should start soon and Baltimore Street could then open.

Council Time
Hedrick confirmed the new garbage system was up and running. Hopkins has the staff researching adaptation of old truck to use if new truck goes down. Hedrick also noted the death of his neighbor Manuel Ruiz, probably the longest living Rustonian on Commercial Street. Ruiz was a fine man and a Vietnam vet who raised 3 boys in town.

Hunt also thanked Moser and noted that it was going to be very nice along Commercial Street. She wanted to be sure more electrical line undergrounding is carried forward in the budget. The mayor said that Moser and the town electrician were working on a plan to do just that.

Hardin offered congratulations to the new plan commissioners.

Kristovich had no comment.

Judd had no comment.

The meeting adjourned at 7:39pm.

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