Council potpourri...

Published on Thu, Sep 27, 2001
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Council potpourri...

City council approved a new 6-year capital improvement plan for the city’s 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 isn’t as active as we thought,” said public works director Grant Stewart. “We’ve reorganized the plan to existing growth in west and central Blaine.”

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 city’s 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 city’s 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 city’s hotels and motels, decided last year to postpone the increase at the request of Resort Semiahmoo.

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