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Permit fees to increase 12 percent in Lynnwood and council approves compensation schedule

LYNNWOOD, Wash., December 5, 2023—In just over 30 minutes, the Lynnwood City Council passed four ordinances at its Special Meeting on Monday, December 4. Mayor Christine Frizzell did not attend the meeting as she was a panelist for a Building Bridges event.

Emergency Medical Department Ordinance

Councilman Jum Smith motioned to approve adding emergency medical departments as an off campus use to Lynnwood’s zoning code which was seconded by Councilman Patrick Decker. The motion passed unanimously, 7-0.

“Off-Campus Emergency Department” means a building or portion of a building providing emergency services with or without ambulance service, including but not limited to observation beds (limited to less than 48 hours), a diagnostic lab, radiology services, and point-of-care pharmacy, according to Karl Almgren, Community Planning Manager for the city of Lynnwood. This definition does not include a hospital, any ongoing drug addiction treatment, substance abuse facility, supervised drug consumption facility, residential treatment center or sanitarium, mental or behavioral health facility, trauma facility or operating room, group home or any facility defined as an essential public facility by RCW 36.70a.200.

A public hearing was held during the Lynnwood City Council business meeting on November 13 that pertained to the update to allow for smaller emergency medical facilities that can accept ambulances, something the council received a presentation on during their business meeting on October 23.

These facilities, according to MultiCare Vice President of Emergency Services Michael Mboob, are in between a full-fledged hospital and a clinic. They can take on patients a clinic would be unable to handle and route more serious cases to a fully equipped hospital.  Most insurance plans are accepted, and the facility will accept patients without regard to immigration status.

These MultiCare facilities will have transfer agreements with nearby hospitals for patients needing a higher level of care.

Supporting documentation: Click here.

Development and Business Services Fee Schedule Amendments

The Council passed an ordinance to approve the Development & Business Fee Schedule for 2024. Below are the proposed increases:

  • Plan Review Fees – 23 to 45%
  • Permits – 12 to 14 %
  • Water and Sewer Permits – 12%
  • Zoning Fee – 12%

Councilman George Hurst moved to approve the ordinance with a second from Council Vice President Julieta Altamirano-Crosby. The motion passed 5-1-1 with Councilman Smith dissenting , and Councilwoman Shirley Sutton abstaining.

Smith’s no vote, he shared, rest on what he considers excessive spending by the department, specifically its rental of office space at $300,000 per year at the North Business Park located at 20816 44th W, Ste 230.

Supporting documentation: Click here.

Teamsters Labor Agreement 2024 – 2026

Councilman Decker motioned to authorize Mayor Christine Frizzell to sign the Teamsters Labor Agreement for 2024 – 2026. Smith seconded the motioned and it passed unanimously, 7-0.

“The council actually spent a lot of time looking at this and this is one that we’ve been very interested in,” Councilman Decker said. “I feel that our team who did negotiations did a good job, balancing both respect for the taxpayers and making sure our tax dollars are properly used, but also taking care of the people that provide such great services for the city and work so hard to help our city really be the best that it can.

“I thought that what they were able to agree to was not everything that everybody wanted, which is normal for these types of discussions, but as I understand it, the labor union was satisfied and agreed to this, and the Council saw this also as a good agreement to sign off.”

Supporting documentation: Click here.

2024 Salary Schedule & Ordinance.

Council Vice President Julieta Altamirano-Crosby motioned with Council President Shannon Sessions seconding, for the Lynnwood City Council to accept proposed amendments to the 2024 salary schedule with the following increases:

  • Contractual AFSCME COLA of 4.1%
  • Contractual Police Officer & Sergeants COLA of 5%
  • Contractual Police Support Services COLA of 5%
  • Contractual Police Commanders COLA of 5%
  • Contractual Teamsters COLA of 8%
  • Proposed 4.1% COLA for GSO positions.

Councilman George Hurst shared that he will vote for the salary schedule but will “fight” for a third party to perform a compensation study in the future and an independent audit of the city’s finances. These were echoed by Councilman Smith.

The motion passed 6-0-1 with Councilwoman Sutton abstaining.  Sutton called for a third party audit at the Council’s business meeting on November 27.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 4.3 percent in the Seattle-Tacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area (CSA) for the year ended September 2023. Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that one year ago, Seattle experienced an annual gain of 3.0 percent in compensation costs. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Locally, wages and salaries, the largest component of compensation costs, advanced at a 4.9-percent pace for the 12-month period ended September 2023. (See chart 2.) Nationwide, compensation costs increased 4.3 percent and wages and salaries rose 4.5 percent over the same period.

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Supporting documentation: Click here.

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