By Stefanie Donahue
Hear about the city’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session at a study session at Blaine City Hall this week.
State senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) and District 42 state representatives Luanne Van Werven (R-Lynden) and Vincent Buys (R-Lynden) will discuss the city’s legislative goals agenda for 2018 with city officials from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 15 at Blaine City Hall, 435 Martin Street, suite 3000.
The agenda was approved by the Blaine City Council last month to guide discussions with state lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session, which begins on Monday, January 8. This year, two major infrastructure projects are featured on the agenda, which seeks state funding for the I-5/Exit 274 project and to extend power, water and wastewater infrastructure to east Blaine.
During the last legislative session, legislators approved $12.1 million for phase one of the I-5/Exit 274 project; it was later vetoed from the state’s transportation budget by Governor Jay Inslee due to lack of information about the project’s size and scope. A $3.4 million request to extend utilities to east Blaine was also turned down last session.
“If someone misses the Exit 276, it’s more than a 10-mile round trip back to Blaine. At that point, most people will drive to Ferndale or Bellingham,” said Blaine city manager Dave Wilbrecht about constructing Exit 274, a new southbound off-ramp on I-5. “People need to be able to access the south end of Blaine from the north.”
Extending utilities through three pending development projects in east Blaine is also crucial to Blaine’s economic
development, he said.
“It’s simple: when the city is built out, it doesn’t grow. Getting these projects started would be a big boost for our city and would support businesses and city services such as public safety and disperse the major cost of the waste treatment plant by adding new customers,” he said.
Do you have any questions about the study session? Contact Wilbrecht at 360/543-9980 or email@example.com.
Note from the editor: Since publishing this story, the city of Blaine changed the type of the meeting described above from an open house to a study session. The story has been updated to reflect the change.