News from the Blaine City Council meeting on April 9. 

Revisions to street vacation procedures the focus of April 23 public hearing

Blaine City Council voted unanimously to hold a public hearing to allow residents to weigh-in on proposed revisions to the city’s street vacation procedures.

A street vacation is when a governing agency transfers the right-of-way of a public street, alley or highway to a private property owner.

The proposed revisions would update the code to ensure it aligns with state law and to streamline the street vacation process.

In 2017, city staff said multiple issues arose with street vacation requests.

“This is really long overdue,” said public works director Ravyn Whitewolf.

A draft of the updated code presented to the city council on Monday drew some criticism from councilmember Meg Olson, who said it needed criteria to explicitly define the public benefit of a street vacation.

“I am personally uncomfortable having no criteria,” she said. “It opens the door for a lot of inconsistencies moving forward.”

The public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 23 at Blaine City Hall, 435 Martin Street. The ordinance may go up for a vote that evening.

“I think this draft is a very workable document,” councilmember Steve Lawrenson said.

Bid to purchase electric wire authorized

In a 7–0 vote, Blaine City Council approved a $16,660 purchase of electric wire to maintain public works inventory.

The electric wire, called “#2 AWG Stranded AL filled wire” will be purchased from General Pacific using electric operating funds, which was approved in the 2018 budget.

Reichhardt and Ebe Engineering hired for well improvement project

One of Blaine’s oldest wells is getting an upgrade.

Blaine City Council voted 7–0 to hire Reichhardt and Ebe Engineering to construct a new shelter for “Well 5.”

The shelter has suffered significant deterioration since water rights were granted in  1975.

“Suffice it to say, it’s not pretty,” Whitewolf said.

In addition to replacing the well’s shelter, the firm will also analyze the well’s pumps and replace piping, controls and electrical components, she said.

Depending on the results of the analysis, the pump and the well may require improvement during later project phases.

The first phase will cost $59,225 and will be paid for using the city’s water capital fund.

City manager signs purchase and sale agreement for portion of Gateway Parcel

Blaine city manager Dave Wilbrecht announced Monday that he signed a purchase and sale agreement with interested buyers of 4.4 acres of the Gateway Parcel, south of Boblett Street.

The buyers, Ivan and Marina Kovtun, are represented by Ron Freeman of Freeman Real Estate. They offered to purchase the property for $4 per square foot.

Both Ivan and Marina own Ik Truck Repair, located at 2490 Bell Road in Blaine.

Wilbrecht said, “As we understand it, they want to extend their business.”

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