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MAY 4, 2020

 
Cherry Point Plan risky for Whatcom County and region
Nothing is more important to the overall well-being of a community than access to economic opportunity. For Whatcom County, there is perhaps no more crucial engine for that opportunity than Cherry Point and the businesses that call it home. This now more important than ever as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
The recent announcement that the Intalco Aluminum Smelter is closing -- costing 700 jobs -- is a harsh reminder that we need a regulatory environment that helps large industrial employers compete -- but also that we need to work with our elected officials to create a regulatory environment that sends a strong message encouraging innovative forward-thinking industrial employers to Whatcom County and to the region.
We need to work closely with our elected leaders to create a regulatory scheme that has the proper protections for the public, workers and environment, but also one that actively encourages existing businesses to thrive and attracts future employers to industrially zoned areas like Cherry Point. Read more...
Everett CARES grants for small business
The Everett City Council approved the Everett CARES program to support small businesses. The program will allocate $500,000 of Everett's CARES funds for small-business recovery and re-engagement efforts and $500,000 for bolstering community-service programs that provide basic needs to Everett’s most vulnerable residents. The application process for small businesses will be open from Thursday, April 30 at 5 p.m. to Monday, May 11 at 5 p.m. Public-service grant applications will be accepted in mid-May.
The program will disburse approximately 50 grants of $10,000 to small businesses throughout the city, with priority given to small businesses owned by, employing or serving low-income communities experiencing inequities. Non-profits will be able to apply for the other $500,000 at various levels. More information on eligibility and the application process can be found here.
Northern District's Joe Sadler passes
The AGC family is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Exxel Pacific’s Safety Director Joe Sadler on April 28. Joe had been long-time AGC Safety Committee member and was the Northern District’s current safety representative. He was a strong safety advocate for both our industry and the Exxel Pacific team, and had a genuine passion for safety in our industry. Joe was a true leader in our industry as well as at Exxel Pacific, and built an outstanding culture of safety within the company. Joe was committed to keeping his projects safe and to teaching everyone to do the same. He will truly be missed.
Governor issues additional guidance on construction activities
On April 24, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a plan to allow current construction projects to be completed. On April 29th, the governor clarified the initial guidance memo and issued a guide to frequently asked questions about construction activities. The guidance is an addendum to his Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, the construction requirements that apply to all previously and newly authorized construction activities in Washington as long as Gubernatorial Proclamation 20-25, or any extension, is in effect. Authorized construction now includes:
• Construction previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and Gov. Inslee’s March 25, 2020, memo on construction.
• Construction not previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and the March 25, 2020, memo that was in existence on March 23, 2020. For purposes of this memo, in existence means construction activity that is a) needed to fulfill an obligation under a contract effective prior to March 23, 2020, or b) authorized by a government-issued permit obtained prior to March 23, 2020.
Read the full guidance here. The governor’s office has also put together a list of frequently asked questions that can be found here.
Phase-I COVID recovery safety resources
Per the state’s Phase I Construction-Project Restart, AGC is providing a number of Phase 1 COVID-Recovery Safety Resources to help you streamline this process and get you back to work safely and in compliance with gubernatorial orders. As always, our Safety department stands ready to assist you in navigating this construction restart. Questions can be sent to Mandi Kime.
New Paycheck Protection loan guidelines worry contractors
(Engineering News Record)  New Trump-administration guidelines that tighten eligibility, retroactively, for the much-in-demand Paycheck Protection Program loans have sparked significant worries among member companies of a major construction contractor group. A leading engineering organization also has concerns about PPP changes.
AGC of America chief executive officer Stephen E. Sandherr told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in an April 29 letter that new Treasury and Small Business Administration guidance, issued April 28, has caused "severe and urgent" concerns among AGC members. He urged Mnuchin to issue revised guidelines quickly. Read more…
The new normal: Eight ways the COVID crisis is changing construction
(Construction Dive)  In the span of two months, the coronavirus crisis has demanded sweeping changes from the U.S. construction industry, and experts say many of them will remain in place even after the outbreak recedes.
As contractors prepare to return to work on sites that have been shut down by shelter-in-place initiatives, they will face an industry that has been drastically changed by the both public-health and economic effects of the pandemic.
“There are new factors coming into play now that you or I never thought about,” said Joe Natarelli, leader of Marcum LLP's national Construction Industry Group. “And people need to plan now to be prepared for the long term.” Read more…
May 21 Northern District virtual meeting with Whatcom County exec
The Northern District will hold its first virtual meeting as Whatcom County executive Satpal Sidhu will be meeting with members from  8 to 9 a.m. on Thurs. May 21st. Topics that Sidhu will address include
• COVID’s impact on the County budget and its impact on projected capital projects;
• How the construction community can assist Whatcom County in re-engaging its economy
• Update on the Cherry Point Comprehensive Plan, as the current Cherry Point moratorium is set to expire on June 3 -- what's the current status of  talks?
• Status on the Green Apple Project -- if there's still potential to re-engage this project to locate in Whatcom County.
Click here to register in advance for this on-line Zoom meeting. After registering, you'll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
May 27 Northern District Power Breakfast: Managing your business through COVID-19
Join Glenn Wattum and his team from Moss Adams, Wednesday May 27from 8 to 9 a.m. for this virtual Zoom seminar on the best practices to manage your business through this pandemic. Find out what you need to know from a business practice and tax perspective during this unprecedented times as he will cover the following:
• latest updates related to business implications on on the Covid-19 Legislation including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
• items to consider while managing funds received through the Paycheck Protection Program and how to best prepare for best opportunity for loan forgiveness.
• Tax and cash flow impacts for construction companies and owners.
Advance registration is required to participate through this link. After registering, you'll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Construction Education continues with AGC Education Foundation's virtual classes
The AGC Education Foundation is adapting to still meet the needs of our members in this time of the COVID-19 crisis by offering virtual classes on-line. The Education Foundation team is adapting nearly all their educational offerings to keep you and your team up-to-date on certifications and the latest trends in construction. Check out the AGC Education Foundation class calendar here.
Questions? Comments?  Please email Lance Calloway,
Northern District manager


AGC Northern District Report
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