City expected to limit connections
City council is ready to enact a policy limiting water connections outside Blaine city limits.
“This is all being driven because of the fact growth management says we shouldn’t be providing urban services beyond our city limits,” said Blaine public works director Steve Banham at the November 14 city council meeting. Council agreed to hold discussion of the matter over to their November 28 meeting to allow for public input.
Blaine already provides water to several retail and wholesale customers outside the city, such as Birch Bay Water and Sewer District, former members of the Sweet Road Water Association, which the city took over in 1992, and an area south of Dakota Creek that came under the city umbrella as a local improvement district (LID) in 1998.
One goal of the state Growth Management Act, adopted in 1990 and amended several times since them, was to keep urban levels of development in cities. To do that the act tells cities not to facilitate urban development outside the city by providing urban services, like piped-in water, except to safeguard public health.
If adopted November 28 a new city resolution would prohibit any new water service outside the city unless it was covered by an existing written agreement. “If we took their money, we can’t deny them service,” Banham said. There is also a provision for circumstance where it can be “clearly demonstrated” that water service is needed to protect public health.
Banham said there are limited areas outside the city where the lack of water would be an issue for property owners. “Along Pipeline Road and H Street there is some areas that would be affected,” he said. “What we don’t want is someone to buy with the understanding water would be provided.”