By Jack Louws
The year 2016 was a busy and exciting time for the community of Birch Bay and your local county government was proud to be a part of that. This year there was progress on the long-awaited Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility project. The project is now in the phase of obtaining the shoreline permit, and in obtaining right of way easements from property owners. A public hearing will be held in early 2017. Design plans are nearly complete. Local citizens in this area have been instrumental in the momentum of this project and we appreciate all comments and input we have received!
The year ends with exciting news for Blaine with the year-round reopening of 810 acres of recreational and commercial shellfish grounds in Drayton Harbor. This is a great positive outcome after a 21-year clean-up effort.
Throughout the county this has been a year of some uncertainty with the EMS levy passing by a very slim margin. Now we are working on resolving the recent Supreme Court exempt well ruling that impacts many rural residents. Additionally, we continue to focus on different aspects of the new jail proposal from providing enhanced diversion programs to keeping the current jail open until we can again ask for your support to replace it. And of course, the county 2017-2018 biennial budget was passed on
I wish you all an inspiring and bright 2017. I encourage you to stay involved in county government issues as we work toward resolution of the challenges we face. We appreciate your voice and assistance. Please free to email me or give me a call with concerns or ideas.