Aroundthe Bay City plans tighter limits on water

Published on Thu, Mar 8, 2007
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Around the Bay

City plans tighter limits on water

Blaine City Council will host a public meeting regarding a proposed change in the city’s water service to residents outside Blaine city limits at 7 p.m. Monday, March 12 in Blaine city hall council chambers.
Blaine public works director Steve Banham said the proposal would establish a policy for water hookups available to new developments outside the city limits in an effort to comply with the Washington State Growth Management Act.

“We’re not going to discontinue any water service,” he said. “It’s just that we’re only going to support water service at the density of the zoning that has been applied out there. Otherwise, we’re facilitating a greater density than the current zoning and that would be inconsistent with growth management.”

Banham said the policy will not affect properties that lie within the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District’s or Bell Bay Jackson Water Association’s respective service areas.

The city will also continue to honor water rights obtained through the former Sweet Road Water Association, of which the city acquired in the 1990s.

Copies of the proposal are available by calling 332-8820 or by visiting the city of Blaine’s web site at www.cityofblaine.com.

Blaine teen injured in crash
A 17-year-old Blaine resident was seriously injured Sunday after the Jeep he was driving rolled into a ditch near Custer.

Michael Lykins was traveling southbound in his 1991 Jeep Cherokee on Custer Road around 10:30 a.m. when his vehicle crossed over into the oncoming lane, traveled back onto the road, flipped and came to rest upside down on the southbound shoulder.

On Monday, Lykins was in serious condition in an intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

State patrol troopers suspect excessive speed may have caused the wreck, but no charges have been filed at this time.

It is not known if Lykins was wearing a seatbelt.

Web site keeps residents informed
A new web site will allow Birch Bay residents to keep tabs on community events.

Website creators Dick and Kathy Berg, of Birch Bay, said in addition to meetings and events, the site hosts a map outlining the eight neighborhoods constituting the Birch Bay urban growth area (UGA), past minutes of the Birch Bay Steering Committee, legal notices and other useful information.

“It’s everything you could want to know about the planning process in Birch Bay,” Berg said.

The site is located at www.birchbayinfo.org.

Semiahmoo residents won’t
pay twice for stormwater

Residents of Semiahmoo neighborhood in west Blaine will not have to pay to separate stormwater fees, despite what they may have been told in a letter sent from Whatcom County Public Works.

The mistake was made when the county department included the Semiahmoo neighborhood in its Watershed and Aquatic Resources District, which charges residents of the Birch Bay urban growth area (UGA) an annual fee for stormwater mitigation.

Residents of Semiahmoo, however, already pay a stormwater fee to the city of Blaine, public works director Steve Banham said.

Banham said his office has been flooded with phone calls and letters from individuals such as Brent Brentnall, president of the Boundary Ridge Homeowners Association.

“There are a lot of people nervous about having to pay twice,” Banham said. “Anyone in the city limits who is paying a stormwater fee to the city of Blaine will not be assessed from the county despite what they may have received in the mail.”

County treasurer resigns
Whatcom County treasurer Barbara Cory will not be seeking a sixth term as county treasurer.

Cory began working for the county more than 37 years ago on a summer project and was then hired by former county treasurer Hugh Cory for a full-time clerical position.

She was later promoted to chief accountant and selected by former treasurer C.L. Landrum Bowen to be his administrative assistant.

Cory was first elected as treasurer by Whatcom County voters in November of 1987, running against appointed treasurer Bob Jordan to fill an unexpired term of Bowen.

She was re-elected four additional terms without opposition and is the only elected county official who has never had an opponent after her initial election.

The position is open for election this November.

Gregoire calls for review on cable barrier safety
In response to a February 13 fatality on I-5 near Marysville, Washington governor Christine Gregoire is calling for a safety review of newly installed cable median barriers on state highways.

In a letter last week, Gregoire urged state department of transportation secretary Doug MacDonald and Washington state patrol (WSP) chief John Batiste to conduct a “thorough” review of the effectiveness of cable median barriers – especially in the area of I-5 near Marysville.

The accident involved a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that crossed the median with “enormous force,” crashing through two rows of cable safety barriers, tearing nearly 1,000-foot-long strands from their end fasteners, WSP reports said.

The vehicle struck a northbound tour bus driven by a Vancouver, B.C. man. State patrol reports said the driver of the SUV was killed instantly.

WSP troopers and WSDOT engineers, however, confirm the statistical record demonstrating the value of cable median barriers.

Workshop offers the dirt on composting
Individuals who don’t mind getting “dirty” are invited to enroll in the Whatcom County extension of Washington State University’s “Master Compost/Recycler” seven-week training program beginning April 4. For more information, call 676-6736.

-By Tara Nelson