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09/21/2021 03.B. Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) letter to Yakima County Commissioners 14.4111 ( • rr 11 1 i�O enc u nrry 1 BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEMENT Item No. 3.B. For Meeting of: September 21, 2021 ITEM TITLE: Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) letter to Yakima County Commissioners SUBMITTED BY: Robert Harrison, City Manager SUMMARY EXPLANATION: Attached is a draft letter and background materials that the YVCOG authorized the Chair to sign and send to the County Commissioners regarding the County's administration of the 2163 and 2060 funds.Also included is a memo from City Attorney Watkins regarding state funding through recording fees for housing for persons experiencing homelessness. ITEM BUDGETED: STRATEGIC PRIORITY: APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL BY THE CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Description Upload Date Type O YVCOG Itr to commissioners 9/17/2021 Corer Memo ❑ funding sources memo 9/17/2021 Corer Memo 2 Y VCOG YAKIMA VALLEY CONFERENCE OF GOVERNMENTS 311 North 4th Street, Suite 204 • Yakima, Washington 98901 509-574-1550 • FAX 574-1551 website: www.yvcog.org Dear Commissioners, I write to you on behalf of the membership of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG). The YVCOG respectfully requests that you reconsider the continuation of Yakima County Staff administering the Homeless Housing and Assistance program for the region. In 2015, the YVCOG General Membership voted unanimously in favor of YVCOG administering the program on the city's behalf. In 2017, all 14 cities and the Yakima County Board of County Commissioners ratified the YVCOG Governing Agreement and reaffirmed their desire to continue having the YVCOG administer the homeless and housing assistance program through resolution. The belief at that time and still today is that the housing and homeless problem in our county is primarily a city issue. Cities working regionally through YVCOG are more able to determine what is in their best interest when it comes to solving the housing and homeless issues in their respective jurisdictions. The YVCOG has already demonstrated that it can administer these programs in accordance with the law and in compliance with state and federal regulations, and that it can be responsive to the needs of cities regarding homeless and housing. The previous two audits are attached for review of YVCOG's performance, along with the results of a few Service Provider's and Homeless Network Member's concerns of YVCOG's performance. This conflict with Service Provider's and the Homeless Network came to fruition when YVCOG began 'administering' the Homeless Program and not 'advocating' for the homeless. YVCOG's focus is on compliance of programs, not advocating or lobbying on behalf of programs. The members of YVCOG understand our role and the importance of maintaining a neutral approach as we represent all members. We are proud to say YVCOG has never had a finding. We ask that you reconsider the importance of cities working with YVCOG to discuss city's individual plans to work on their housing and homeless issues. As the regional local MEMBER JURISDICTIONS Grandview • Granger• Harrah • Mabton • Moxee• Naches • Selah Sunnyside•Tieton • Toppenish • Union Gap • Wapato • Yakima• Yakima County •Zillah 3 government, YVCOG can administer the Homeless and Housing Assistance program and the HOME Consortium program on behalf of the cities, towns and the county, giving jurisdictional authority and responsibility back to the respective governing boards. I look forward to continuing this discussion with you. Sincerely, James A. Restucci Executive Chairman, Yakima Valley Conference of Governments City Councilman, Sunnyside 4 YAKIMA VALLEY CONFERENCE OF GOVERNMENTS GOVERNANCE AGREEMENT This Interlocal Cooperation Agreement is made by and between Yakima Valley Conference of Governments(YVCOG) Yakima County, City of Grandview, City of Granger,Town of Harrah, City of Mabton,City of Moxee,Town of Naches, City of Selah,City of Sunnyside,City of Tieton, City of Toppenish, City of Union Gap,City of Wapato, City of Yakima, City of Zillah, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, (each hereafter referred to as a "Member"or collectively,as"Members")for the purpose of confirming, organizing and maintaining a regional agency known as Yakima Valley Conference of Governments. This agreement terminates and supersedes in all respects the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments Interlocal Cooperation Agreement dated February 7, 1994. The YVCOG's Articles of Association and Bylaws remain in full effect. In the event of conflicting provisions,the Articles and Bylaws shall prevail. RECITALS: WHEREAS,Yakima Valley Conference of Governments was established in 1966 and has served as a regional agency serving the individual and collective interests of participating member cities,towns,communities and political subdivisions within Yakima County,Washington; and WHEREAS, RCW 36.64.080 authorizes counties,cities, towns and other participating political subdivisions to establish a regional agency(i.e."Conference"),for the purpose of studying,coordinating,assisting and managing matters of regional or governmental interest and concern, including but not limited to transportation, land use planning, codes and ordinances, comprehensive facility and land use planning,government finances, air and water quality, regional and local social services,and other matters of local and regional interest or significance;and WHEREAS, Federal transportation legislation (23 U.S.C. 134 and 49 U.S.C. 5303) requires the designation, by agreement between the Governor of the State of Washington and units of general purpose local government, of a Metropolitan Planning Organization(MPO)which, in cooperation with the State of Washington is to develop transportation plans and programs for urbanized areas of Washington State; and WHEREAS,YVCOG has been designated as MPO for Yakima County with responsibility for implementing national policy set forth in 23 CFR§§450.300-.338 the local urbanized area including a continuing,cooperative,and comprehensive performance-based multimodal transportation planning process,together with development of a metropolitan transportation plan and a transportation improvement program (TIP); and WHEREAS, State of Washington authorizes formation of a Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) through the voluntary association of local governments within a county(RCW 47.80.020); provided each RTPO shall encompass at least one complete county, have a population of at least 100,000 and have as members all counties within the region and at least sixty percent of the cities and towns collectively representing a minimum of seventy-five percent of the population of all incorporated municipalities; and WHEREAS,each RTPO formed by local governments is required to create a transportation policy board in accordance with RCW 47.80.040 which board shall provide policy advice to the RTPO and shall allow representatives of major employers within the region,the department of transportation,transit districts, port districts,and member cities,towns, and counties within the region to participate in policy making;and YVCOG Governance Agreement- 1 5 WHEREAS, RCW 47.80.020 provides that the RTPO in an urbanized area shall be the same as the MPO designated for federal transportation planning purposes; and WHEREAS, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws,the Members affirm and ratify the formation and continuation of a unified metropolitan and regional transportation planning program to carry out the responsibilities of the MPO and RTPO, as well as other responsibilities determined by YVCOG (Articles of Association and Bylaws, attached as Exhibits A and B); and WHEREAS,Yakima Valley Conference of Governments(YVCOG) has been designated as the lead planning agency and fiscal agent for the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Regional Transportation Planning Organization; and WHEREAS,the Washington State Growth Management Act,Chapter 36.70A RCW, requires the coordinated countywide planning by counties,cities,towns and other political subdivisions that develops and implements policies for contiguous and orderly growth, provision of urban services,siting of capital facilities, transportation, planning, consideration of needs for affordable housing,economic development and employment,and other comprehensive planning matters; and WHEREAS,the Members executing this Agreement confirm and represent that each of the Members has adopted one or more resolutions authorizing the execution of this Agreement,and that such resolutions are in all ways valid and binding; and WHEREAS,the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments has been and may be named as a subrecipient on federal and state transportation planning grant funds; and WHEREAS, the Yakima County Commissioners authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017- AA,adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-BB adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Grandview Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-CC adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Granger Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-DD adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS, the Town of Harrah Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-EE adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Mabton Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-FF adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Moxee Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-GG adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the Town of Naches Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-HH adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Selah Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-II adopted on December, 2017; YVCOG Governance Agreement- 2 6 WHEREAS,the City of Sunnyside Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-J3 adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Teton Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-KK adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Toppenish Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-LL adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS, the City of Union Gap Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-MM adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Wapato Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-MM adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Yakima Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-NN adopted on December, 2017; WHEREAS,the City of Zillah Council authorized the execution of this Agreement by Resolution No. 2017-PP adopted on December, 2017; NOW,THEREFORE, pursuant to the above recitals that are incorporated into this Interlocal Cooperation Agreement as if included below, and in consideration of the terms and conditions set forth below, it is hereby agreed as follows: Section 1 PURPOSES This Interlocal Cooperation Agreement is authorized by Interlocal Cooperation Act(RCW Ch.39.34)for the following purposes: A. To establish, organize and maintain a regional agency pursuant to RCW 36.64.080 for the purpose of implementing study of regional and governmental issues of mutual interest and concern including transportation study and planning; B. To implement and perform the function and duties of a Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO)for Yakima County as set forth in RCW 47.80.023 and WAC Ch. 468-86, as currently adopted or hereafter amended; C. To implement and perform the duties and functions of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)for the Yakima Valley Urbanized Area as such Area's boundaries are defined now or in the future, and as set forth in 23 U.S.C. 134 and 49 U.S.C. 5303 as currently adopted or hereafter amended and 23 CFR Parts 450 and 500 and 40 CFR Part 613, as currently adopted or as amended; D. To carry out the purposes outlined in its Articles of Association, as amended, attached as Exhibit A and fully incorporated herein; E. To assist in the planning and coordination of projects and programs which may involve federal and/or state financial participation and to assist in review of such projects and programs to assure compliance with area wide comprehensive plans; F. To contract or hire technical and administrative staff to provide and perform services with respect to conference programs, plans and activities including planning, grant administration and other services. YVCOG Governance Agreement-3 7 Section 2 FUNCTIONS AND AUTHORITIES A. Transportation. YVCOG shall perform the duties and responsibilities of an RTPO and MPO as prescribed in applicable federal and state laws and regulations and serve as a conference pursuant to RCW 36.64.080. Transportation planning and responsibilities are specifically delegated to the Transportation Policy Board. Such responsibilities with respect to transportation shall include but not be limited to the following: 1. Prepare and periodically update a transportation strategy for the region. The strategy shall address alternative transportation modes and transportation demand management measures in regional quarters and shall recommend preferred transportation policies to implement adopted growth strategies. The strategy shall serve as a guide in preparation of the regional transportation plan. 2. Prepare a Regional Transportation Plan ("RTP")that is consistent with countywide planning policies, county, city and town comprehensive plans, and state transportation plans. The RTP will be developed in accordance with RCW 47.80.030 and will establish planning direction and strategies for regionally significant transportation projects, as defined in state law and shall be consistent with the regional growth management strategy, including but not limited to: a. Certify that transportation elements of local comprehensive plans are consistent with the regional transportation plan. b. Certify that all transportation projects within the region that have a significant impact upon regional facilities or services are consistent with the RTP. 3. Develop in cooperation with WSDOT, local governments and operators of public transportation services a six-year regional transportation improvement plan. 4. Carry out Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)functions as prescribed in Title 23 USC§134 and 49 USC§5303 for federally funded projects in the region and/or as required by federal and/or state laws and regulations that are applicable to the MPO, now or in the future. These functions include preparation of a RTP, an annual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), and a four-year capital plan (with an annual element). 5. Develop, coordinate,collect and maintain transportation related databases and transportation-related information for the members. 6. Develop and review transportation system level of service methodologies and standards, and work with cities,county,WSDOT and transit agencies on level of service standards and alternative transportation performance measures. 7. Perform such other transportation planning related functions as the Policy Board may hereinafter determine to be in the best interests of the Members. YVCOG Governance Agreement-4 8 B. Homelessness. The Conference shall work with member agencies to reduce homelessness within the Yakima Valley.The Conference shall develop and update as needed a strategic plan to reduce homelessness.The Conference shall participate with the Continuum of Care(CoC), as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD), for Yakima County. The Conference shall also work with agencies seeking to aid homeless individuals and families and other community stakeholders, where appropriate, on the following: 1. Develop, implement, and update as needed a comprehensive countywide five-year homeless plan with input and participation from the CoC,the Homeless Network of Yakima, the HPPC and other community stakeholders; 2. Regularly review and evaluate homeless and housing data to determine the effectiveness of the local strategies and objectives identified in the five year plan and bring data to the CoC and HPPC for review and comment; 3. Establish performance outcomes and targets to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of funded programs tailored to those programs funded through the YVCOG process; 4. Establish and publish a transparent funding distribution process to solicit, screen, review, score and rank potential projects to equitably distribute federal, state and local funding to programs addressing homelessness and homeless individuals in Yakima County. 5. Support or serve as the"Collaborative Applicant"for the HUD Continuum of Care program by annually reviewing, scoring and prioritizing new and renewal projects. 6. Additional purposes of the HUD Continuum of Care program (as may be administered by YVCOG or another HUD-approved entity) are to: a. Serve as the annual homeless assistance application to HUD for funding to support housing and services targeted for homeless sub-populations; b. Serve as a strategic planning body for addressing homelessness in our region,through the Homeless Policy and Planning Committee(HPPC), consisting of stakeholders and service providers; c. Coordinate the annual Point in Time count of the homeless; d. Maintain the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and provide training to service providers when necessary; e. Maintain the Coordinated Entry and Referral System; C. Research and Planning. The Conference may act as a research and fact-finding agency of the members. To that end, it may make such surveys, analyses, studies and reports as authorized or requested by the Executive Committee. The Conference upon such authority or request may also: 1. Make inquiries, investigations, and surveys concerning the resources of Yakima County. 2. Assemble and analyze obtained data and develop systematic utilization thereof. 3. Cooperate with other commissions and public and private agencies of Yakima County, Washington, State, and the United States in planning endeavors. 4. Develop programs of Intergovernmental cooperation for the benefit of members. YVCOG Governance Agreement- 5 9 D. Technical Assistance.The Conference may provide technical assistance to local, state and federal governments through regional data collection and forecasting services, consistent with the purpose,functions, and budget of the agency. In addition,the Conference may provide technical assistance with respect to transportation, economic development, land use and other planning and program functions as authorized by the Executive Committee.The Conference may also provide technical assistance to other agencies not listed herein, provided such agency is an approved Associate Member in good standing per the Articles of Association. E. Discussion Forum. The Conference may provide a forum for discussion among local, state and federal officials together with other interested parties on issues or matters of common regional interest or significance. F. Other Functions. The Conference shall, insofar as possible: 1. Coordinate general planning among and for the participating members; 2. Provide a written report to the members each year; 3. Prepare, approve and administer an annual budget, which includes setting the amount Voting Members' and non-voting Members'dues; hire an Executive Director(who shall hire and supervise employees); hire consultants; engage professional accounting, legal and other services as needed; sue and be sued; and 4. Other such additional, modified or removed functions and authorities as shall be authorized by the Executive Committee. Section 3 BYLAWS The authority to make, amend, or repeal bylaws is vested in the Conference so long as such bylaws are consistent with the provisions of the Articles of Association and applicable laws. Bylaws for the Conference, as revised, are included in Exhibit B, attached hereto and fully incorporated herein. Section 4 JURISDICTIONAL BOUNDARY The Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) boundaries include all of Yakima County,which area is designated as the Yakima Valley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) by the federal Office of Management and Budget Office.The Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) boundary consists of the Urbanized Area("UZA")as defined by the US Census,the contiguous geographic areas likely to become urbanized in the next 20 years, plus the adopted Urban Growth Areas of Selah, Moxee, Naches, Yakima and Union Gap.The MPO was established in 1974 by the Governor of the State of Washington. The RTPO was established in 1991. All references to the"region"or"Valley"in this agreement shall mean the political boundaries of Yakima County unless changed by the Policy Board. Section 5 MEMBERSHIP,EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND POLICY BOARDS. A. Governing Body—Members. The Conference shall be governed by its membership in accordance with its organizational documents(the Articles of Association and Bylaws, as revised; Exhibits A and B) in this agreement. Membership in the Conference shall include representatives of the participating members including the county, cities, towns, ports or other municipal corporations and Tribal governments with its representative being the elected chief executive or designated official by the governing body of the member. YVCOG Governance Agreement-6 10 B. Executive Committee. The internal administration, programming, procedures and practices of the Conference,together with any other duties and responsibilities as delegated by the general membership, shall be vested in an Executive Committee.The Executive Committee shall not, however, exercise authority or responsibilities with respect to MPO and RTPO functions and authorities which shall be the responsibility of the Transportation Policy Board. C. Transportation Policy Board. The Transportation Policy Board (also referred to herein as"Policy Board") is established by the Conference with authority to carry out(1)the RTPO functions set forth in RCW Ch. 47.80 and WAC Ch. 468-86, as currently adopted or hereafter amended,and (2)the MPO functions for the Yakima Valley Urbanized Area as set forth in 23 USC 134,49 USC 5303, 23 CFR Parts and 450 and 50, and 40 CFR Part 613, as currently adopted or hereafter amended.The composition of the Policy Board shall remain consistent with federal and state law as currently adopted or amended. Should such state or federal law change,the composition of the Policy Board shall be automatically adjusted to comply with such changes without requiring this agreement to be amended or approval by the membership. 1. Designation of Policy Board Representative.The Transportation Policy Board shall consist of the seven (7) members of the YVCOG Executive Committee plus three(3)additional voting members as described below. Each participating member shall be represented by its duly elected chief executive or by an official designated by the governing body of the member.The member-at-large shall be a resident of Yakima County.The representative of the major employer group will be recommended by the governing board of the Yakima County Development Association (YCDA, or New Vision), or a Chamber of Commerce, and shall be confirmed and appointed by the Policy Board. WSDOT shall designate a high-level staff person to serve on the Policy Board. WSDOT shall designate its representative appointment in January of each year. 2. Ex Officio Members. Any member of the Washington State House of Representatives or Senate whose districts are wholly or partly within the boundaries of the regional transportation planning organization shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Transportation Policy Board. 3. Voting and Ex Officio Members. Each such membership shall either be a Voting Membership or an Ex-Officio Membership as set forth below. a. Voting representation on the Policy Board of the M PO/RT P 0 shall be as follows: Table 1 -Transportation Policy Board Representation Member/Agency Policy Board YVCOG Executive Committee 7 WSDOT 1 YCDA/Major Employer Representative 1 Transit or Paratransit Provider 1 Legislative Delegation Ex officio Total 10 b. At the Policy Board's discretion, ex-officio membership shall also be open to other governmental and non-governmental entities when elected to membership by a majority of the Policy Board, and shall be effective upon their delivery of their written assurance that they will comply with this Agreement and the YVCOG bylaws. Ex-Officio members of the Organization are non-voting. 4. Purpose. The purpose of the Transportation Policy Board shall be to exercise on behalf of and in association with the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments the authority pursuant to this Agreement and under federal and state laws as the Yakima Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Regional Transportation Planning Organization for Yakima County. 5. Duties. The Policy Board has the powers,duties, authority,functions and responsibilities set forth YVCOG Governance Agreement-7 11 herein and otherwise prescribed by law, including but not limited to the following: a. To approve the transportation work program (Unified Planning Work Program); b. To approve consultant contracts consistent with the Unified Planning Work Program; c. To certify local comprehensive plans are consistent with the Regional Transportation Plan; d. To select projects in Yakima County to be funded with regionally managed funds, except those projects seeking Transportation Alternative Program Funds; e. To manage the transportation improvement program for projects within Yakima County as per state and federal law; f. To elect a Transportation Policy Board Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson g. To establish committees consistent with Section 9 above; h. To perform transportation planning activities for members as described in the approved work program 6. Transportation Work Program and Budget.The Policy Board shall prepare, adopt, and amend as necessary a proposed work program and budget for each fiscal year beginning July 1 of every year. The detailed Unified Planning Work Program shall list specific work projects to be undertaken by the MPO/RTPO in keeping with the requirements of the biennial Metropolitan/Regional Transportation Planning Organization Agreement with WSDOT.The Executive Director shall confer with and inform members concerning the preparation of and progress on the implementation of work programs and projects. MPO/RTPO administration and operations shall be funded through such federal, state, local and/or private funding as may become available and as appropriated therefore by statute, resolution or ordinance.The biennial appropriation from WSDOT to carry out the regional transportation planning program shall be distributed to the YVCOG,the RTPO's lead planning agency. Section 6 INDEMNIFICATION INSURANCE AND LIABILITY A. The Conference shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless all employees. No member representative shall be personally liable for any monetary damages for conduct, action, or inaction as a member representative, unless such conduct involves intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law. The Council shall obtain and keep in force third party liability insurance related to its activities with commercially reasonable liability limits and deductibles. To the extent practicable, the Conference shall cause its members to be named as insured under such policy(ies). B. No Member or Member Representative shall be personally liable for any monetary damages for conduct, action, or inaction as a member representative, unless such conduct involved intentional misconduct or a knowing or willful violation of law. Section 7 GENERAL PROVISIONS A. Adoption and Effective Date.The effective date of this Agreement shall be as of the date last signed by the County and, at least sixty percent(60%) of the cities and towns within the Conference boundaries that represent seventy-five percent(75%)of the cities' and towns' population.This Agreement shall be binding upon the members who have executed this Agreement, their successors and assigns; provided, that upon such execution,all prior agreements relating to the formation of the YVCOG or its predecessors shall be deemed terminated and replaced herewith.Thereafter, no city,town,tribe or special district shall be a member of the YVCOG or the Yakima Valley Transportation Policy Board until its governing body shall have approved this Agreement. YVCOG Governance Agreement- 8 12 B. Amendment. This Agreement may not be amended, supplemented or otherwise modified unless expressly set forth in a written agreement executed by all members and adopted by resolution of each member's legislative authority or governing body. C. Savings. If any portion of this Agreement, or its application to any person or circumstances, is held or determined to be invalid, such holding or determination shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other term or provision and the application of this Agreement to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. D. Counterparts.This Agreement may be executed by the members using duplicate counterparts. Exhibits Exhibit A. YVCOG Articles of Association, as revised Exhibit B. YVCOG Bylaws, as revised YVCOG Governance Agreement-9 13 • t•� . ' iri I ,f SEP 9 2019 j ,,,,,, .. _^ Office of the Washington State Auditor , Pat McCarthy September 3, 2019 Chris Wickenhagen, Deputy Director Yakima Valley Conference of Governments 311 N. 4th St. Yakima,WA 98901 Dear Ms. Wickenhagen: Our Office was contacted by several citizens from November 2017 through November 2018 with concerns regarding Yakima Valley Conference of Governments. We examined these concerns and would like to share the results with you. 1. We reviewed concerns that public funds were paid to Transform Yakima Together to conduct religious activities at its homeless encampments in Yakima. Results: We do not have the authority to evaluate religious-based concerns. However,we were able to review expenditures from service providers. We did not identify any transactions that were unallowable under the contract terms. 2. We reviewed concerns regarding whether the extreme winter shelter on Englewood would be an appropriate facility to house the homeless shelter. Results: We determined this concern is outside the scope of our audit authority. 3. We reviewed the Conference of Governments contract to provide a separate homeless shelter in Sunnyside and the circumstances surrounding the services provided. Results: The Conference of Governments has the right to amend its contracts. However, when changing the scope of work,the Conference of Governments did not properly amend the contract to reflect the changes in the scope of the work. In our current audit of 2018,we recommended that the Conference of Governments correctly amend contracts and ensure they contain enough information to inform all interested parties what changes occurred and the reasons for them. 4. We reviewed the Conference of Governments' contract with a service provider to construct tiny homes for the homeless in Yakima Valley for$236,000 and concerns that Transform Yakima Together did not build the required number of tiny homes. Results: The Conference of Governments has the right to amend its contracts. However, when changing the scope of work,the Conference of Governments did not properly Insurance Building,P.O.Box 40021 •Olympia,Washington 98504-0021 •(360)902-0370 •Pat.McCarthy@sao.wa.gov 14 amend the contract to reflect the changes. In our current audit of 2018,we recommended that the Conference of Governments correctly amend contracts and ensure they contain enough information to inform all interested parties what changes occurred and the reasons for them. 5. We reviewed a concern that funds specifically allocated for a homeless shelter, Camp Hope,appear to have been spent on other programs not designated as such. Also, the grant contract limited administration fees to 6 percent of the grant funds, but the fees appear to be as high as 41 percent. Results: We reviewed the contracts with Transform Yakima Together and invoices submitted by the sub-grantee for the Camp Hope shelter. Expenses appeared to be for allowable activities as outlined in the terms of the contracts,and administration fees were correctly budgeted,charged and reimbursed at 6 percent. 6. We reviewed concerns that the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments did not conduct a fair procurement for sub-grantees. Results: We reviewed the grant agreement from the State Department of Commerce and procurement documents to see if the Conference of Governments complied with state and local procurement requirements and used a selection panel to properly select sub-grantees. We determined the Conference of Governments complied with procurement requirements in soliciting and awarding contracts to its sub-grantees. 7. We reviewed concerns that one sub-grantee is using state dollars to fund a religious organization that provides homeless services. Results: We determined this concern is outside the scope of our audit authority. During our review of the expenditures charged to the program,we did not identify any unallowable items. If you have any questions about our work in this area,please contact Audit Manager Ann Strand at(509)454-7848. Sincerely, Airr7L4j1— Ann Strand Audit Manager H-17-290,H-17-301,H-18-009,H-18-387 15 ''"4 op `y Office of the Washington State Auditor 4 4 Pat McCarthy fsktr�s Accountability Audit Report Yakima Valley Conference of Governments For the period January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018 0''•A0 Published September 5, 2019 r`. •. Report No. 1024468 i;ir 16 fti�bx C!}�.sT , �':•- ' , , • ,�'►i1.' Office of the Washington State Auditor Pat McCarthy September 5, 2019 Executive Board Yakima Valley Conference of Governments Yakima, Washington Report on Accountability Thank you for the opportunity to work with you to promote accountability, integrity and openness in government. The State Auditor's Office takes seriously our role of providing state and local governments with assurance and accountability as the independent auditor of public accounts. In this way,we strive to help government work better,cost less,deliver higher value and earn greater public trust. Independent audits provide essential accountability and transparency for Conference operations. This information is valuable to management, the governing body and public stakeholders when assessing the government's stewardship of public resources. The attached comprises our independent audit report on the Conference's compliance with applicable requirements and safeguarding of public resources for the areas we examined. We appreciate the opportunity to work with your staff and we value your cooperation during the audit. Sincerely, 71/ l _. Pat McCarthy State Auditor Olympia, WA Insurance Building,P.O.Box 40021 •Olympia,Washington 98504-0021 • (360)902-0370•Pat.McCarthy@sao.wa.gov 17 TABLE OF CONTENTS Audit Results 4 Information about the Conference 5 About the State Auditor's Office 6 Office of the Washington State Auditor R'=` 18 AUDIT RESULTS This report describes the overall results and conclusions for the areas we examined. In most of the areas we examined, Conference operations complied with applicable state laws, regulations, and its own policies,and provided adequate controls over safeguarding of public resources. As referenced above, we noted certain matters that we communicated to the Conference management and Executive Board in a letter dated August 28,2019 related to contract compliance. We appreciate the Conference's commitment to resolving those matters. About the audit This report contains the results of our independent accountability audit of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018. Management is responsible for ensuring compliance and adequate safeguarding of public resources from fraud, loss or abuse. This includes the design, implementation and maintenance of internal controls relevant to these objectives. This audit was conducted under the authority of RCW 43.09.260,which requires the Office of the State Auditor to examine the financial affairs of all local governments. Our audit involved performing procedures to obtain evidence about the Council's uses of public resources,compliance with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures,and internal controls over such matters. In keeping with general auditing practices, we do not examine every transaction, activity or area. Instead, based on our risk assessment for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016,the areas examined were those representing the highest risk of fraud, loss, abuse, or noncompliance. The following areas were examined during this audit period: • Procurement—professional services • Contract compliance—homeless program service providers • Compliance with interlocal agreement with Yakima County • Accounts payable—general disbursements related to the homeless program • Payroll—gross wage recalculation • Compliance with state grants—Department of Commerce (Consolidated Homeless Grants) Office of the Washington State Auditor Page 4 19 INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONFERENCE The Yakima Valley Conference of Governments was organized in 1966 to provide technical assistance to member governments for growth management planning, grant writing and administration, housing rehabilitation, regional transportation and traffic safety. The Conference is made up of several government entities within Yakima County, including the City of Yakima and Yakima County. An elected, seven-member Executive Board governs the Conference. The Executive Board appoints an Executive Director to oversee the Conference's daily operations as well as its I 1 full-time employees. The Conference annual revenues were approximately $1.3M, $3.5M and $4.3M in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. Contact information related to this report Address: Yakima Valley Conference of Governments 311 N. 4th Street Suite 204 Yakima, WA 98901 Contact: Christina Wickenhagen, Deputy Director Telephone: 509-574-1550 Website: www.yvcog.org Information current as of report publish date. Audit history You can find current and past audit reports for the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments at http://portal.sao.wa.gov/ReportSearch. Office of the Washington State Auditor Page 5 20 ABOUT THE STATE AUDITOR'S OFFICE The State Auditor's Office is established in the state's Constitution and is part of the executive branch of state government. The State Auditor is elected by the citizens of Washington and serves four-year terms. We work with our audit clients and citizens to achieve our vision of government that works for citizens, by helping governments work better, cost less, deliver higher value, and earn greater public trust. In fulfilling our mission to hold state and local governments accountable for the use of public resources, we also hold ourselves accountable by continually improving our audit quality and operational efficiency and developing highly engaged and committed employees. As an elected agency, the State Auditor's Office has the independence necessary to objectively perform audits and investigations. Our audits are designed to comply with professional standards as well as to satisfy the requirements of federal, state, and local laws. Our audits look at financial information and compliance with state, federal and local laws on the part of all local governments, including schools, and all state agencies, including institutions of higher education. In addition, we conduct performance audits of state agencies and local governments as well as fraud, state whistleblower and citizen hotline investigations. The results of our work are widely distributed through a variety of reports,which are available on our website and through our free, electronic subscription service. We take our role as partners in accountability seriously, and provide training and technical assistance to governments, and have an extensive quality assurance program. Contact information for the State Auditor's Office Public Records requests PublicRecords(usao.wa.gov Main telephone (360) 902-0370 Toll-free Citizen Hotline (866) 902-3900 Website www.sao.wa.gov Office of the Washington State Auditor Page 6 21 ,F Washington State Auditor's Office „ Government that works for citizens Accountability Audit Report Yakima Valley Conference of Governments Yakima County For the period January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015 ❑ '1 10 Published July 7, 2016 `' Report No. 1017065 ❑ moo, 22 COL. I tilll�,.� Washington State Auditor's Office July 7, 2016 Executive Board Yakima Valley Conference of Governments Yakima, Washington Report on Accountability Thank you for the opportunity to work with you to promote accountability, integrity and openness in government. The State Auditor's Office takes seriously our role of providing state and local governments with assurance and accountability as the independent auditor of public accounts. In this way, we strive to help government work better, cost less, deliver higher value and earn greater public trust. Independent audits provide essential accountability and transparency for Conference operations. This information is valuable to management, the governing body and public stakeholders when assessing the government's stewardship of public resources. The attached comprises our report on the Conference's compliance and safeguarding of public resources. Our independent audit report describes the overall results and conclusions for areas we examined. We appreciate the opportunity to work with your staff and we value your cooperation during the audit. Sincerely, ir/f-rti 11 TROY KELLEY STATE AUDITOR OLYMPIA, WA Insurance Building,P 0 Box 40021 Olympia,Washington 98504-002 I (360)902-0370 TDD Relay(800)833-6388 23 TABLE OF CONTENTS Audit Summary 4 Information About The Conference 5 About The State Auditor's Office 6 Washington State Auditor's Office Page 24 AUDIT SUMMARY Results in brief In the areas we audited, Conference operations complied with applicable requirements and provided adequate safeguarding of public resources. The Conference also complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures in the areas we examined. About the audit This report contains the results of our independent accountability audit of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments from January 1,2013 through December 31, 2015. Management is responsible for ensuring compliance and adequate safeguarding of public resources from fraud, loss or abuse. This includes the design, implementation and maintenance of internal controls relevant to these objectives. Our audit involved performing procedures to obtain evidence about the Conference's uses of public resources, compliance with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures, and internal controls over such matters. In keeping with general auditing practices, we do not examine every transaction, activity or area. Instead, the areas examined were those representing the highest risk of fraud, loss, abuse, or noncompliance. The following areas were examined during this audit period: • Open Public Meetings Act • Travel advances • General disbursements • Contracts • Credit card use • Billings and receivables Washington State Auditor's Office Page 4 25 INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONFERENCE The Yakima Valley Conference of Governments was organized in 1966 to provide technical assistance to member governments for growth management planning, grant writing and administration, housing rehabilitation, regional transportation and traffic safety. The Conference is made up of several government entities within Yakima County, including the City of Yakima and Yakima County. An elected, seven-member Executive Board governs the Conference. The Executive Board appoints an Executive Director to oversee the Conference's daily operations as well as its 11 full-time employees. For 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Conference operated on annual budgets of approximately$780,000, $705,000 and $1,080,000, respectively. Contact information related to this report Address: Yakima Valley Conference of Governments 311 N.4th Street Suite 204 Yakima, WA 98901 Contact: Christina Wickenhagen, Deputy Director Telephone: (509) 574-1550 Website: www.yvcog.org Information current as of report publish date. Audit history You can find current and past audit reports for the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments at http://portal.sao.wa.gov/ReportSearch. Washington State Auditor's Office Page 5 26 ABOUT THE STATE AUDITOR'S OFFICE The State Auditor's Office is established in the state's Constitution and is part of the executive branch of state government. The State Auditor is elected by the citizens of Washington and serves four-year terms. We work with our audit clients and citizens to achieve our vision of government that works for citizens, by helping governments work better, cost less, deliver higher value, and earn greater public trust. In fulfilling our mission to hold state and local governments accountable for the use of public resources, we also hold ourselves accountable by continually improving our audit quality and operational efficiency and developing highly engaged and committed employees. As an elected agency, the State Auditor's Office has the independence necessary to objectively perform audits and investigations. Our audits are designed to comply with professional standards as well as to satisfy the requirements of federal, state, and local laws. Our audits look at financial information and compliance with state, federal and local laws on the part of all local governments, including schools, and all state agencies, including institutions of higher education. In addition, we conduct performance audits of state agencies and local governments as well as fraud, state whistleblower and citizen hotline investigations. The results of our work are widely distributed through a variety of reports, which are available on our website and through our free,electronic subscription service. We take our role as partners in accountability seriously, and provide training and technical assistance to governments, and have an extensive quality assurance program. Contact information for the State Auditor's Office Public Records requests PublicRecordsa,sao.wa.gov Main telephone (360)902-0370 Toll-free Citizen Hotline (866)902-3900 Website www.sao.wa.gov Washington State Auditor's Office Page 6 27 :° ` `11� ..,..Y _A...... or . .....„„ ...,..„,„ % ' :v Office of the City Attorney City of Yakima MEMORANDUM September 17, 2021 TO: Bob Harrison, City Manager FROM: Sara Watkins, City Attorney SUBJECT: State Funding through Recording Fees for Housing for Persons Experiencing Homelessness This memo is intended to provide an overview of the various funding mechanisms put in place for housing for persons experiencing homelessness, maintenance, operation and services, primarily with regards to money collected through surcharges on auditor office filing fees. The State, through state statute, requires the county auditor to add surcharges onto the document recording fee that goes towards services for people experiencing homelessness, including housing. Document recording fees are paid to the county when there is a transfer of ownership in real property, when a party files a lien against a property, or when easements or covenants are filed. There are other documents that are filed with the auditor, but these are the most common. Each time a document is filed, the surcharges are collected. a. RCW 36.22.178: Affordable Housing For All Surcharge (the "2040" money) Pursuant to RCW 36.22.178, $13.00 is charged by the county auditor for each recorded document. RCW 36.22.178(1). Pursuant to RCW 36.22.178(2), this money can be used for the following: 1. Acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of housing projects or units that are affordable to very-low income households (at or below 50% of the area median income); 2. Supporting building operation or maintenance costs of projects affordable to very-low income households; 200 South Third Street,end Fl.I Yaf3ima, WA 98901 P:509.575.6030 1 F:509575.6160 28 Bob Harrison, City Manager September 17, 2021 Page 2 3. Rental assistance vouchers for units that are affordable to very-low income households, which must be administered by a local public housing authority or other local organization that has an existing rental assistance voucher program; or 4. Operating costs for emergency shelters and licensed overnight youth shelters. The County currently retains up to 5% of the funds collected to administer and distribute the funds through the Yakima Homeless Coalition and the County Commissioners. Of the remaining funds collected, 40% of the revenue is transmitted to the state treasurer who deposits a portion of it to the Affordable Housing for All account (RCW 43.185.190) and a portion into the landlord mitigation program account (RCW 43.31.615). The funds that are not transmitted to the state are distributed by the County, through the Yakima Homeless Coalition (YHC) process and approved by the County Commissioners, for the eligible activities listed above. Priority is to be given to eligible housing activities that serve extremely low-income households with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income. RCW 36.22.178(2). b. RCW 36.22.179: Local Homeless Housing and Assistance (the "2163" money) Under RCW 36.22.179, an additional surcharge of$62.00 must be charged by the county auditor for each recorded document. This is in addition to the $13.00 listed above. RCW 36.22.179(1). Pursuant to RCW 36.22.179(1)(a) a portion of the funds can be used to accomplish the goals of the County's local homeless housing plan. Eligible activities include: 1. Rental and furnishing of dwelling units for the use of homeless persons; 2. Costs of developing affordable housing for homeless persons and services for formerly homeless individuals and families residing in transitional housing and still at risk of homelessness; 3. Operating subsidies for transitional housing or permanent housing serving formerly homeless families or individuals; 4. Services to prevent homelessness, such as emergency eviction prevention programs including temporary rental subsidies to prevent homelessness; 5. Temporary services to assist persons leaving state institutions and other state programs to prevent them from becoming or remaining homeless; 6. Outreach services for homeless individuals and families; 7. Development and management of local homeless plans, data collection, identification of goals and performance measures; 8. Rental vouchers payable to landlords for persons who are homeless or who are below 30% of the median income or in immediate danger of becoming homeless; or 29 Bob Harrison, City Manager September 17, 2021 Page 3 9. Other activities to reduce and prevent homelessness as identified for funding in the local plan. See ESSHB 2163, §8 (2005). The County Auditor retains 2% of the collection fee. Then, 60% of the amounts collected are retained by the County. The County retains 6% of the 60% funding for collection and distribution of the funds, as well as administrative costs related to its homeless housing plan. The rest of the funding retained by the County must be used for the above-referenced activities. RCW 36.22.179(91)(a). The remaining funds are sent to the state treasurer and are deposited into the Home Security Account. 12.5% of the amount is retained for administration costs associated with the statewide homeless housing strategic plan and management thereof. 45% of the remaining amount must be used for private rental housing payments, and the remaining funds must be used to provide housing and shelter for homeless people and fund the homeless housing grant program. RCW 36.22.179(b). c. RCW 36.22.1791: Local Homeless Housing and Assistance ("1359" money) Under RCW 36.22.1791, an additional surcharge (in addition to both the $13.00 and $62.00 listed above) is added to the document recording fee in the amount of$8.00. 90% of the funds are retained by the County, which can use 6% for administrative costs related to its homeless housing plan. The remaining amount retained by the County must be used to fund "programs that directly accomplish the goals of the county's local homeless housing plan." RCW 36.22.1791(1)(a). The remaining funds are remitted to the state treasurer for deposit in the Home Security Account. These funds can be used for: 1. Administering the program and creating a strategic plan; 2. Providing housing and shelter for homeless people (including operation and maintenance); or 3. Fund the homeless housing grant program. RCW 36.22.1791(b). d. ESSHB 1277 (Effective July 25, 2021): Eviction Prevention The Legislature recently passed ESSHB 1277, which provides for an additional surcharge of $100.00 per recorded document, all of which is remitted to the state treasurer to be used as follows: 1. 20% will be deposited into the Affordable Housing For All account for operations, maintenance, and service costs for permanent supportive housing as defined in RCW 36.70A.030; 2. 4% will be deposited into the landlord mitigation program account until June 30, 2023, after which 2% will be placed into that account; and 30 Bob Harrison, City Manager September 17, 2021 Page 4 3. The remaining funds will be distributed to the Home Security Fund Account with 60% of those funds to be used for project-based vouchers for nonprofit housing providers or public housing authorities; housing services; rapid rehousing; emergency housing; or acquisition. ESSHB 1277§2 (2021). The bill also creates an eviction prevention rental assistance program through the state which will provide grants to eligible organizations for rental and utility assistance. ESSHB§3. In addition to the filing fee money retained for local projects, funding is also available through a number of other programs, such as the Housing and Essential Needs program (HEN), the Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) program, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG, which is a pass through of federal money from HUD), and the federal Continuum of Care grant program (CoC).