City approves LID rollout for East Blaine neighborhood

At the June 27 city council meeting, Blaine City Council approved the final assessment for local improvement district (LID) charges in the Vista Terrace neighborhood in east Blaine.

The LID will charge $15,704.54 per property for access to city sewer services. The LID was formed in 2011 and completed in 2015. The first charges for the LID will begin with one year.

The LID has been a source of contention for residents of the neighborhood, who protested the steep charges levied against their homes for access to city
sewer services.

At the time the LID was approved, the city had issued a moratorium on general facility fees (GFF), which represent the cost of existing infrastructure that new connections are required to pay for in order to join, or buy into, the system. The council had issued a moratorium to help encourage developers to build in Blaine, but reversed its decision in 2012 after the moratorium had not inspired the growth the city was hoping for. This left  Vista Terrace residents once again responsible for GFF charges.

In 2013, the city obtained a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology that has been put toward covering the GFF for the neighborhood. The city also absorbed approximately $130,000 for the cost of the development along H Street, using sewer capital reserves.

City staff took time at the meeting to address some citizen complaints about the project. City attorney Jon Sitkin said the city received 14 written complaints out of the 57 residents of the neighborhood. The council included detailed responses to each complaint in its agenda.

A full document of the logged complaints and the history of the LID can be found at ci.blaine.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/12397.

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