City pays it forward with H Street improvements

Published on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

Read More News

Following a slump in development activity, the City of Blaine will temporarily foot the bill for road improvements that would have otherwise been paid by developers as part of their traffic impact mitigation fees.

In a regular meeting of Blaine City Council, public works director Steve Banham told council members that road improvements to H Street were scheduled to be paid by a 2007 street improvement bond and from mitigation fees by developers of the 1,030-unit Grandis Pond and the 400-unit East Maple Ridge projects. However, when those projects failed to take shape, the city has been left to foot the bill.

As a result, Banham proposed a late-comer fee, which would charge those and other developers a fee based on the projected impact from those projects at the time they commence construction.

In the meantime, he told council members the city needed to act quickly if they wanted to retain the matching grants from the Washington State Transportation’s Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).

The total cost of the improvements is about $1.6 million and will include repaving, left turn lanes, pedestrian guard rails, storm water improvements and widening the road from 22 feet to 40 feet.

“Our intention was always to have developers help pay for a portion of H Street improvements and that will still happen through a developer reimbursement agreement,” Banham said. “They will pay back the city a fair share of the cost of H Street based on the projected increase in demand their projects will have on that area.”