council approved a new 6-year capital improvement plan for
the citys water system that maintains the existing
system and prepares for increased demand as the system grows.
The six-year plan, approved at the September 24 city council
meeting, calls for $6.5 million to be spent between now
and 2007 on everything from prospecting for new wells and
building a new storage tank to getting existing wells online
and replacing old pipe. The capital improvement plan we
had last year maintained an orientation to east Blaine growth,
which we realize now isnt as active as we thought,
said public works director Grant Stewart. Weve
reorganized the plan to existing growth in west and central
Existing revenues and $2.5 million in borrowed dollars are expected to pay for the improvements, Stewart said, and as the utility pays off existing debts, rates should not be impacted.
At their next meeting city council will hold a public hearing on whether or not to raise the citys lodging tax by 1 percent. Our tourism plan recommends the increase, said city manager Gary Tomsic.
The increase was intended to increase our revenues so we could move further with our capital improvement plan to boost tourism. Capital improvements in the citys tourism plan include a boardwalk on the water side of Peace Portal Drive and downtown restrooms.
The Blaine Tourism Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from the citys hotels and motels, decided last year to postpone the increase at the request of Resort Semiahmoo.