Like most everyone, the city of Blaine struggled economically during 2009. However, in many ways it was a very productive year.
Last January, Governor Gregoire encouraged cities to focus on the opportunities that this economy presented. Though the economy was in turmoil, it was a good time to get construction projects done.
We started in earnest on the construction of the new Lighthouse Point water reclamation plant on Marine Drive. This $30 million project will be completed in June of 2010 and will serve our community for many years to come. The Semiahmoo Parkway project was completed. This project included stormwater capacity improvements, a new pedestrian walkway and paving of the Semiahmoo Park parking lot. The project also included the construction of a purple pipe system which will carry reclaimed water from our new treatment plant to the Semiahmoo golf course.
The Boblett Street reconstruction project from Peace Portal Drive to Mitchell Street was completed. With federal stimulus funding, we were able to complete 80 percent of the Boblett Street extension across the airport property. The final asphalt lift on this new road will be done in the spring.
On the electric front, construction of a joint Blaine/ PSE Semiahmoo substation on Birch by Lynden Road is 80 percent completed. The city’s conservation programs resulted in rebates for local businesses of $103,000 that helped them pay for lighting retrofits and other energy conservation projects.
2010 will see the completion of the water reclamation plant and the beginning of the third and final phase of the project which will bring the wastewater from west Blaine to the new plant and decommissioning the old plant site. We have several street projects programmed for 2010, the most obvious of which will be the rebuild of a portion of H Street.
We are not planning on a full economic recovery next year, but we anticipate the turn around to take hold. The council has taken very significant action to facilitate small business growth in our downtown and we hope to see the beginning of a revitalization effort led by the private sector.
We live in a great community! The city council thanks all of you for your support and hard work. Without volunteers and interested citizens, little could be accomplished.
All of us at the city of Blaine wish you a Happy New Year!