Water negotiations on track
growing community of Birch Bay wants to ensure its future
ability to grow.
The area went through a growth moratorium in the early 90s and Birch Bay Water and Sewer (BBWS) District, which is negotiating a new 30-year water contract with the city of Blaine, doesnt want that to happen again.
Theyre interested in paying extra for water on a take-or-pay basis, Blaine public works director Grant Stewart said. They want to reserve a little bit of water they can grow into so they can plan ahead a little bit.
City manager Gary Tomsic said the city needs to know exactly how much water it can spare for Birch Bay. If you go with that kind of contract it makes the whole issue of how much do you agree to sell them a pretty important decision, because youre not going to risk your own future water growth. Youre going to make sure youre covered before you commit anything to them and weve made that clear to them.
The city doesnt know how much water can be drawn from its aquifers, so therefore doesnt know exactly how much water can be given to Birch Bay. Theyre comfortable moving into a contract with some of these unknowns. Were working on contract language that can make it a livable contract as we together live through these uncertainties, Stewart said. There has to be some give or take, expectations have to be adjustable as we learn more. .