Committee to develop economic plan

Published on Thu, Jan 29, 2004
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Committee to develop economic plan

by Rebecca Schwarz Kopf

The city of Blaine is creating a committee that will focus on the economic development opportunities in manufacturing, light industrial and transportation.

Recently, Blaine city council unanimously agreed to establish of a citizens advisory committee which will identify an economic vision and devise specific strategies to encourage growth in these areas.

The committee, city manager Gary Tomsic said, will include eight to 10 individuals who are property and/or business owners in the study area, and could possibly include a representative from the Blaine Chamber of Commerce and the airport commission.

�A frequent criticism has been that we are ignoring the economic development opportunities that exist in the areas of manufacturing, light industrial and transportation. This is particularly true of opportunities associated with our unique location on the United States-Canada border,� Tomsic wrote in a memo to the council.

The project is not included in the 2004 budget, but it is likely some funding will be required to look at issues such as wetlands and storm drainage. City staff will identify specifics and notify council, Tomsic said, should any funds need to be spent or contracts signed.

Past money has been spent on improvements such as the reconstruction of Portal Way and the upgrading of roads; however, the city has experienced little investments in the commercial and manufacturing area.

What is the desired future for the manufacturing areas of the city? What are the major issues, projects and concerns that must be achieved and resolved in order to achieve the desired future? How will we evaluate our success? These questions and more will be addressed by the committee, Tomsic said.

All members of the council agreed that this committee would be quite beneficial to Blaine. Some noted the new Nature�s Path facilities, and how it has made a positive effect on Blaine, as well as the recent move to Blaine by the Golden Nut Company to take advantage of the cross-border relationship.

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