City council adopts five-year stormwater plan

Published on Thu, Apr 25, 2002 by Pat Grubb

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City council adopts five-year stormwater plan

By Pat Grubb

Seeking to avoid debt financing, the city has set moderate goals for its five-year stormwater capital improvement plan. Public works director Grant Stewart laid out the plan at a public hearing April 22 and said the city’s ability to proceed with the plans would depend upon the level of support the city receives from county, state and federal grant funding sources. Developer contributions would also play a role.

A number of the stormwater projects would coincide with previously planned street improvement projects. In all, the five-year plan proposes to spend $785,000 on 11 separate projects. Annual expenditures would range from a low of $30,000 to a high of $230,000. Stewart said, “This year we only recommend one funded project.” He was referring to the expenditure of $100,000 proposed for 6th Street, part of an already approved portion of the city’s Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan.

Of the 11 projects, six are stormwater management portions of larger street projects from the transportation plan. Three projects would protect and enhance surface water quality while two would divert surface and groundwater away from the sanitary sewer.

Separately, Stewart presented council members with a proposal to chipseal approximately three miles of city roads this summer. The city has ten miles of chipsealed roads that have not been re-surfaced since 1992. “We’re trying to play catch-up,” Stewart said, pointing out that chip-sealing generally only last six to eight years.

Whatcom County road crews would do the actual work at a cost of $13,000 per mile or a total of just over $50,000 for the project. Stewart explained that economy of scale allowed the county to purchase the chipseal materials at less cost than the city could.

Some of the roads to be chipsealed, such as Hughes Avenue, are “a maintenance fix – the road needs to be reconstructed but we don’t have the money to do it,” said Stewart.

Roads to be chipsealed include Bayview Avenue, Dodd Street, Hughes Avenue, Pipeline Road, H Street Road, Vista Terrace Avenue, E Street and Jerome, Jerome Street and 10th and 11th streets.

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