Blaine City Council approves 2018 budget

In a 6-0 vote, Blaine City Council voted to approve the 2018 budget. The budget plan for the 2018 fiscal year totals $42,240,759; last year’s totaled, $38,206, 515.

Total general fund revenue is expected to increase by 9 percent due, in part, to the reallocation of property tax revenue that was previously used to pay off a 10-year bond for street improvements in Blaine; the bond amounts to $6.8 million with interest and will be paid off this month. Total general fund expenditures are slated to increase by 12 percent, according to a draft of the approved budget.

On Monday, the city council also approved an amendment to the 2017 budget. The amendment establishes a $272,480 budget to reflect the completion of an energy efficiency project and appropriates $25,000 for the public works department’s administrative budget.

Lincoln Park sewer extension project comes to an end

Blaine City Council voted to officially close a project to extend 1,450-feet of sewer line through Lincoln Park and along D Street.

Colacurcio Brothers Construction Inc. was awarded a $250,645 contract in February. According to a recent staff report, the project came in over budget at $280,811.

“There were some unanticipated conflicts with utilities on D Street and within the park; however, most of the budget increase was to accommodate the additional paving of the trail that was decided after the contract started,” said Blaine public works director Ravyn Whitewolf.

Moving forward, the city is turning to the state legislature to fund a utility extension to Blaine’s eastern border. Currently, three medium-to-large development projects (Bridges Plat, East Maple Ridge and Grandis Pond) await proper infrastructure.

Whitewolf said the city has $400,000 in its capital improvement plan for 2018 for another extension to reach Allan Street. The city is also pursuing grant funding.

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