During its May 22 business meeting, the Lynnwood City Council heard an update on the condition of city facilities, passed updates to the city’s stormwater regulations and confirmed Annie Vandenkooy as the city’s new human resources director.
Public Works Deputy Director Marcie MacQuarrie briefed the council on the current state of the city’s facilities, Lynnwood’s plans to install electric-vehicle charging stations, its efforts to comply with the state’s clean energy standards and federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
MacQuarrie commended the city’s maintenance staff for their work, saying that Lynnwood’s public buildings were in good condition and most of the city’s facilities rated very similarly to assessments from 2011 and 2014. Lynnwood’s older buildings may need attention in the next decades, but they are stable and functional for the time being, she said.
Regarding ADA compliance, an examination of city buildings revealed that there are at least 550 items for Lynnwood to address to meet ADA requirements. While some larger fixes require long-term planning, many are smaller items that are being handled in-house, such as modifying door hinges to be more quiet.
In the last six months, the Public Works department has fixed over 90 of these violations following the guidance of an ADA transition plan. These items will continue to be addressed in the coming years, with the majority being completed by 2028, MacQuarrie said.
In 2019, Washington legislators passed the Clean Buildings Act with the intent of lowering costs and pollution from fossil fuel consumption. MacQuarrie said that Lynnwood is already in a great spot to meet Clean Buildings Act standards, and may even be able to benefit from early adopter incentives that would help fund clean energy initiatives.
MacQuarrie also touched on future plans to implement more electric-vehicle charging stations in the city.
The state plans to phase out the sale of many gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, making the implementation of charging stations a priority for many cities – Lynnwood included. The Snohomish County PUD is assisting city planners with creating a transition plan that will evaluate the types and management of charging stations.
Additionally, MacQuarrie stated that the department is considering transitioning to electric vehicles at some point in the future. While the idea has yet to be fully fleshed out, the concept is to gradually phase out gas-powered city vehicles over time as they age. Aside from the environmental benefits, the city would benefit financially from the implementation of electric vehicles, she said, adding that although the initial costs for the vehicles would likely be higher, gasoline expenditures cost Lynnwood far more.
Council President Shannon Sessions expressed concern about the batteries of electric vehicles during particularly harsh weather conditions where power is lost, a concern that MacQuarrie said would be considered as plans progress.
In other business, the council unanimously passed updates to Lynnwood’s stormwater management policy that will require developers to create larger water detention systems. Additionally, the updates adhere to a request from the City of Edmonds to manage stormwater runoff for Perrinville Creek more strictly to avoid related erosion and flooding. Other changes were described in last week’s work session as “housekeeping” in nature and include language and definition changes. Public Works operations & maintenance manager Jared Bond stated that most of the city would not be impacted by these changes.
Later, the council confirmed Annie Vandenkooy as the city’s next human resources director. Councilmember George Hurst said he was concerned that a salary had not been determined for the director and as such, abstained from the vote. Councilmembers Shirley Sutton and Josh Binda also abstained, leading to a 4-0 vote with three absentions to confirm Vandenkooy. After the vote, Sessions said that although a specific salary had not been negotiated, a range had already been determined in previous conversations.
Finally, the council read a proclamation in honor of Memorial Day. Sessions reminded observers that there would be no city council meeting next week.
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