City Council Condensed: January 14, 2020

5G Comments and Concerns:
At this week’s City Council meeting, several members of the community expressed concerns with the implementation of 5G by the federal government regarding the different frequencies the new technology produces. At a public meeting in December, the Council adopted updates to the Unified Development Code which allows the City to dictate how the infrastructure looks and where it is placed but the rollout is ultimately dictated by Federal Communication Commission.

 Homelessness Task Force Update:
Councilmember Joe DePinto reported that the Yelm Homelessness Task Force he Co-Chairs with Council member Molly Carmody is still working to complete the final report, which was originally due December 31, 2019 as required in the resolution approved by City Council. We delayed the posting of this Council summary in an attempt to link the final report to this post for review, which was promised to be received by close of business Wednesday, January 15th. This is the third time the deadline has been missed and pushed back. A public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4th at the Yelm Community Center. This will be the first opportunity for the other Council members to review, discuss, and consider next steps based on the recommendations of the Homelessness Task Force and the supporting analysis and documentation. If you would like to receive updates regarding the Task Force or other meetings, you can sign up by clicking here:

Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution of Intent to Provide Affordable and Supportive Housing:
The City Council unanimously adopted a resolution of intent to bring state tax dollars back to the Yelm community to provide opportunity to construct and maintain supportive and affordable housing opportunities. The program will not result in higher sales tax but does allow the City to bring existing state tax dollars back to Yelm. The resolution of intent is due Jan. 28 as required by House Bill 1406 and the Council will have until July 28, 2020 to adopt an ordinance in to receive state funding for affordable housing programs.

Water Main Agreement Unanimously Approved:
Council unanimously approved a $235,869 professional services agreement with Parametrix, Inc. for the engineering, design, and construction services to complete water main replacement projects and increase reliability and efficiency of the water distribution system. Construction is anticipated to begin this summer.

Councilmember Tad Stillwell appointed Mayor Pro Tempore:
Councilmember Tadd Stillwell was unanimously appointed by the Yelm City Council to serve as Mayor- Pro-Tem for the next two years. The Mayor-Pro-tem is a councilmember position that is responsible for Chairing meetings in the absence of our current publicly elected Mayor, JW Foster.

 We’re hiring:
City Administrator Michael Grayum updated the Council of three job opportunities posted on the Human Resources page. The City is currently seeking applications for Public Works Director, Communications Specialist, and a Wastewater Operator. All job opportunities can be found here:

City Snow and Ice Removal Plan Updated:
The Public Works Department has updated the deicing, sanding and snow plow priorities. The City Administrator applauded the crew’s work to prepare and manage the recent snow event so public safety personnel could respond to emergencies and residents could move along primary routes. Maps and information about priority routes for deicing, sanding and snow plow routes are available on the City’s new website at:,%20Sanding,%20and%20Snow%20Route%20Map.pdf

Well City Award Application:
The City Administrator also updated the Council on the work of the Human Resources Department in applying for the “Well City Award,” which has the potential to save tax payer dollars by reducing health insurance premiums by 2 percent. This award is granted to cities who meet several criteria of improving the health and wellness of employees with events, including the wellness fair and the “biggest loser,” and launching the “Health Central” and “Walk with Friends” mobile apps.