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Lynnwood approves new accountant position, recognizes Juneteenth, and discusses Town Square Park finance options

LYNNWOOD – The Lynnwood City Council approved a new part-time accountant position, utilizing up to $125,000 of American Rescue Plan Act Funds, recognized the Public Works Department and Juneteenth, and discussed finance options for the Town Square Park acquisition, during its Business Meeting on Monday, June 13.

Public Works spotlight

Public Works Director Bill Franz approached council recognizing the Public Works Department and some of its recent accomplishments. These include the extensive work done around the Alderwood Mall area, enhancing sewage and lift systems, major road rebuilds (36th Avenue West, 196th Street Southwest), replacing all water meters with radio read technology, new buildings at the wastewater treatment facility, and replacing HVAC units in City Hall that dated back to 1971.

Franz credited his “amazing” team of 80 employees for the Department’s accomplishments and spotlighted some team members specifically. The first was Marcie MacQuarrie, Manager of Administrative Division, who has been working for the city of Lynnwood since 2008. MacQuarrie’s work is well-known throughout the city and recently received her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado Christian University, with high distinction.

Her Master’s thesis on organizational change helped implement many changes in the Lynnwood Public Works Department for the better, Franz said.

“I chose my master’s degree thesis, and I chose my master’s degree, based on the ability to come back to work and be able to help support the change and support my community,” MacQuarrie said.

Next, Franz highlighted the Department’s Sanitation Pump Station Operator Bob Williams, who joined the city staff in 2020 and ensures that the City’s sanitary sewer lift stations operate 24/7. There are a total of seven lifts in the city which are critical pieces of its sewer infrastructure allowing “no room for error”, Franz explained. Before joining the Lynnwood city staff, Williams manned 120 stations at Cape Canaveral, Florida, pumping water, sewer, and rocket fuel.

“Bob was a huge find for us, we’re so happy he came to join us and he has just done amazing work,” Franz said. “We’re so happy to have both of these employees and so happy to have the time to remind you what we do and who we are.”

Proclamation recognizing Juneteenth

Councilwoman Shirley Sutton approached the podium, joined by councilman Joshua Binda, to read a proclamation recognizing Sunday, June 19, as Juneteenth in the City of Lynnwood for the first time in the city’s history.

In 1619, twenty captured Africans were brought to Virginia as enslaved people ushering in 246 years of slavery in America. By 1680, as the number of indentured laborers of European descent declined, the enslavement of Africans was widely accepted.

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, that freed enslaved people in the 11 Confederate States at war with the Union; however, it wasn’t until 1865 when Congress required the Confederate states to ratify the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude.

Juneteenth is a commemoration of June 19, 1865, and is celebrated in many communities in the United States with cookouts, parades, prayer service, and poetry readings. It is a time to reflect on the injustice endured by the men, women, and children of African descent who were brought to the U.S.

Unanimous Consent Agenda

Council President George Hurst moved to approve the following items on the unanimous consent agenda:

  • Consultant Contract Amendment for design services related to the Scriber Lake Park Boardwalk project: Provide staff with direction to prepare final recommendation for financing the acquisition of real property for future Town Square Park development in City Center.
  • Consultant Contract Amendment for permit review and inspection services related to the Lynnwood Link Light Rail project: Authorize the Mayor to execute Contract 3037, Amendment 5 with Parametrix, LLC in the amount of $480,000 for permit review and inspection services related to the Lynnwood Link Light Rail project, establishing a new contract amount of $2,480,000 and extending the contract term to December 31, 2024.
  • Voucher Approval: Approve claims in the amount of $4,965,696.61 for the period of May 16, 2022 through June 5, 2022. And approve payroll in the amount of $1,311,971.66 dated May 20, 2022 and $1,306,471,25 dated June 2, 2022.

Prior to the vote, Council Vice President Jim Smith opted to remove Item C, a resolution Adopting the Snohomish County Comprehensive Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Plan, noting that resolutions should be voted upon separate from the consent agenda.

Upon approving the previous consent agenda items, Smith moved to approve the resolution, No. 3419, and the resolution passed unanimously.

Town Square Park Acquisition financing options

On March 15, 2022, the City of Lynnwood entered into a purchase and sales agreement with Lynnwood Goodwill LLC for acquisition of real property identified as Snohomish County Assessor’s Parcel number 00372600701504, a 1.65 acre commercial lot located at 198th Street Southwest.

The City is currently in a 120-day inspection and finance approval contingency period to conduct title review, review property documents, inspect physical property, conduct environmental reviews, and determining financing options.

Director Lynn Sordel, joined by Sarah Olsen, Deputy Director, Michelle Meyer, Finance Director, and David Kleitsch, DBS Director, briefed the council on finance options to pay for the $8 million site which include Park Impact Fees. The City currently has $5,591,677 available in Park Impact Fees. Another option is for the City to utilize the Economic Development Infrastructure Fund (EDIF), which has a balance of $9,925,879.

“We do have on hand, between Park Impact Fees and EDIF funds, enough cash to cover the full purchase price of the park,” Olsen said. “However, in doing that we would limit our grant leveraging opportunities.”

A third option, Olsen shared, is to debt finance the acquisition price to allow leverage from Park Impact Fees or other cash sources for grant making.

Council Vice President Smith preferred to use a “fifty-fifty” process in order to not exhaust available funds from a single source and practice “best flexibility”. Councilwoman Shannon Sessions also agreed with Smith’s preference.

“From a business standpoint I think that’s our best,” Smith said.

Council member Patrick Decker added that he would prefer to use mostly cash-on-hand rather than debt because the future is “increasingly uncertain.”

Staff will prepare the options, with more information about debt services, and return to council next week.

Six-Year Capital Facilities Plan and Transportation Improvement Program

City Engineer David Mach and Civil Engineer Levi Moore led a public hearing on the six year update for the 2023-2028 Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) and Transportation Improvement Project (TIP) to look ahead at what projects are on the City’s agenda and to summarize the general expected costs associated with these projects.

The proposed CFP contains 111 projects with a six-year total nearing $310 million. The CFP projects are grouped into five categories: Police Administration, Information Technology, Economic Development, Public Works, Administration, and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts.

There were no questions or comments from council nor the public.

American Rescue Plan Act Accountant Request

Finance Director Michelle Meyer returned to council to recommend allocating no more than $250,000 (for full-time) or no more than $125,000 (for part-time) of American Rescue Plan Act funds to hire an accountant to manage grant requirements and reporting for two-and-a-half years. Meyers preferred council approve a full-time position but noted she would “take whatever you will give me” if council decided to approve a part-time position.

Council Vice President Smith motioned to approve the part-time position of up to $125,000 for two-and-a-half years to hire the accountant position. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby and passed unanimously.

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