City Council General Meeting 5 January 2022: The Effluent Bombshell Briefly Resurfaces

Goodnow Pres., Daugs VP. Derek Kilmer talks infrastructure for 40 minutes, describing the gold in them thar bills. Mayor claims that people had nothing but praise for snow-removal during Ice Week. This was not my experience or the experience of anyone I know. The City is appealing DOE’s General Nutrient Permit, instead of spending big $$$$ to comply. I myself think investing in our aged sewage system is the better option, and using some infrastructure gold is a smart way to go. Finally, Simpson reminds us all that we’ve celebrated Yule and Christmas and now it’s time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, which fell on Christmas Day in 1991. This is sorta kinda true – Gorbachev resigned that day, after many many months of satellite republics seceding from the Union. It was a long slow dissolution.

2. ELECTION OF 2022 COUNCIL OFFICERS

A. Council President

Goodnow is President, 5-2 (Daugs & Chamberlin voting for Daugs)

B. Council Vice-President

Younger nominates Coughlin; Dennehy nominates Daugs

Daugs is Vice-President, 4-3 (Simpson, Younger, and Coughlin supporting Coughlin)

3. BRIEFING BY CONGRESSMAN DEREK KILMER

Expresses thanks for leadership & partnership in these tough couple of years. Talks about ARP as a way to “turn the corner” on this pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors like restaurants & entertainment venues, AND $$ to keep a roof over people’s heads and food in the house. Better days are on the horizon with the new infrastructure bill. This is important because it provides $$ for investment & maintenance backlogs. This will help us fix some of the long-term problems that we have. The Gorst Coalition, especially since Navy is a partner, and tribes to help with estuarine restoration. He touts other benefits of the infrastructure bill, like expanded internet, health care, clean water, salmon recovery – including fish passage improvements. Then touts Build Back Better as it will provide $$ for childcare (almost 1/2 avg. cost), free pre-K for 3- and 4-year olds. Combating climate crisis, not just for environment, but for creating new green jobs. Re-Compete Act for long-term impoverished communities. Provisions for addressing the affordable housing crisis. Mark Zandy, some maven, just issued an analysis of the proposal and found that it would spur economic growth, and that it would ease inflation. The Navy is getting more than $5 billion from the shipyard infrastructure optimization program.

Coughlin asks if there’s $$ for the ferry system. Kilmer says, some… He runs through some programmatic funding for the infrastructure bill. (For details, see Programmatic Funding Details at the end of this report.) Dennehy asks about getting shipyard to build some freaking parking of their own. Kilmer speaks at length to say No, it might maybe help a bit, year by year, as the $ starts to flow. Simpson asks if some of the $$ from infrastructure would apply to the rail spur line to PSNS and through Bremerton up to Bangor. This is an ongoing obsession of his, and it has real merit except Military Security! Military Security! That’s what stops it every single time. Kilmer will be having a Town Hall in the next few months. Meanwhile, here’s the link to all the stuff in this bill: https://www.transportation.gov/rural/funding-opportunities

4. MAYOR’S REPORT

Assigned staff worked 3 shifts for 24-hr coverage throughout the event. Essential services were kept open throughout. Chamberlin was curious to know how many snowplows were assigned in Bremerton. Mayor will get back to her before “The Briefing”.

5. PUBLIC RECOGNITION

I am the only speaker. I ask for the link that Rep Kilmer posted to the Chat, which had only been visible to Council et al. I announce that Ref 52516 has been retired, i.e.., the 4-way stop at 13th & Wycoff has been approved – THE IMPROVEMENT IS FORTHCOMING! I then inquire if $$ for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant could be funded from either of the infrastructure bills, as the City has launched an appeal against DOE’s General Nutrient Permit that calls for stricter wastewater discharge levels. (Remember the Effluent Bombshell meeting? This is about our treatment plant being a couple orders of magnitude over new required discharge levels.) I finally noted that Public Works’ senior and middle management took vacations during Ice Week, so there were probably fewer bodies around to operate the snowplows, sand- and ice- dispensers. Mayor says, no one took vacation. This is incorrect. I know it because I have an email from a senior manager at Public Works who explained his delay in getting back to me because he had been on vacation that week.

6. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Claims & Check Register

B. Minutes of Meeting – December 15, 2021

Approved unanimously.

7. GENERAL BUSINESS – There are no General Business items tonight…

8. COUNCIL REPORTS

Chamberlin: People are getting along with their neighbors. Daugs: Congratulates those who won their elections: new members, Goodnow, Younger, Mayor. REAC still needs new members. Coughlin: Honored to be here, big stuff coming for Quincy Sq., try to come to First Friday, 1/7. Dennehy: It’s cold, the variant is creeping in, people I love have sickened and some have died, please get the vaccine. Simpson: We’ve gotten to celebrate Yule and Christmas since our last meeting, AND Start Transcript Something else that we’ve gotten to do is, celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the soviet. We were still in a Cold War fighting against contest [?]. And with the fall of the soviet Union, that Represented a sea change in that. And it’s important that we celebrate that it had actually happened on Christmas, Christmas in 1991. So, you know, thank you for, you know, for the Soviet Union, collapsing. And it’s a in its entirety. Also, as we look forward to what happens in the new year, we do have to have challenges with with Covid. We have challenges with, with all the things that have been done. And I’d also like to also like to, you know, shift back to Bremerton centric things, a big shout out to our public works folks. Okay, the mayor’s plan to remove the snow and take in And work through our challenges with the snow worked out pretty well, though, it really stressed our resources and really stressed our folks but Bremerton has a lot of resilient people, and we have some really great folks that work for us. Also, I’d like to definitely give it another shout out to our public works folks about the about taking care of that that broken water main that was right outside the district that the naval when I left. Yeah, that was something that came forward this morning and they were, they were busily working on it. And we had seamless service. So, thank you. And with that, I wish you well End Transcript.  Younger says yes, zoom works, but man oh man he looks forward to meeting in person again. There’s just nothing like it. Goodnow: happy to be here, grateful to be elected your President.

9. BRIEFING BY 2022 COUNCIL PRESIDENT

A. Welcoming Comments and Request for Council Committee Assignments

Chamberlin asks about Public Safety & Parks Committee, which is moribund, but Goodnow agrees with her that it should be revived – but the thing is, every committee has to have 3 Councilmembers. Some yahdeyahde about protocol, requirements, protocol some more, etc.

10. ADJOURNMENT OF CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING and so it came to an end at 6:47pm.

Programmatic Funding Details (unedited transcript of Derek Kilmer speaking)

So, I, the you know the ink is barely dry on that so I’m going to basically tell you what we know and some of this may be sort of moving Targets but the lead agency on the, on the infrastructure law is going to be the Department of transportation and we literally had a call with them this week about Gorst, and wanting to make sure that we’re elevating that priority. The USDOT will oversee several pots of money, where if we have projects, not just in Bremerton but all around our region, those projects can compete and usually the local government can be the lead in applying for these. Probably the biggest ones in the short term will be raised grants, which is the kind of latest iteration of what used to be build grants. It’s the rebuilding American infrastructure with sustainability and equity grants. Those are Maximum awards of $25 million dollars. Um, but they go to, as the name suggests, infrastructure projects that are about Promoting sustainability economic sustainability environmental sustainability and equity.
The other big, and so their expectation when we spoke to them this week was that that funding May flow soon like within the next quarter or so.
The infra grants, that’s the infrastructure for rebuilding America or infrastructure, Grants. These are grants that are primarily Highway and rail projects and predominantly projects of national economic significance. They tend to be larger grants and again in the kind of $50 million arena. There are a number of grant programs focused on rail. The railroad crossing elimination grant Program, the rail infrastructure and safety improvement Grant program. again, these are going to be brought forward through the Department of Transportation and as we get notifications of grants being made available we will push that information out to the city. There are some others, the bridge investment program is one. The something called the protect program which is around resilience investments in resilient infrastructure, we know that, you know, for example, I was just out on the coast on highway 112 where for the second time in a few years they’ve had a landslides, because of storm damage, and it shut down the highway. So those are the types of kind of what I talked about resilience that’s what we’re talking about there. The street safe streets program which is around. Both bicycle and Pedestrian improvements, again, so these grants will be pushed out by the department of Transportation. On top of those pots of money, the Federal do t will provide formula funding to the state of washington. And I mentioned, you know, we’re looking around the $5 billion arena for federal Highway funds to the state of Washington for its for 4.7 for highways and another 600 million for bridges. And then some formula funds to the state into our transit agencies are focused on transit transit improvement. So, when I mentioned those state dollars that’s where the work around the community Coalition advocating for course, really matters too, because it’s positioned us well, both with the state. And if, if the city of Bremerton or the port can apply for any of these funds, we have a strong demonstration of support from the local community.
Um, I should also mention just a few other things. There are a lot of Projects that could be eligible for multiple funding streams. And so, you know, the dot when we met with them encouraged as we talked to municipal governments, encourage them to apply for multiple parts of funding as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. I’ll follow up there’s some information that the DOT has already made available regarding some of these pots of money, there’s a website that you can visit I don’t know if I can stick it in the chat if there even is it, there is a chat Can I am I allowed to stick something in your chat. Okay, hold on let me.


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