2011 dominated by Gateway Pacific Terminal

Published on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 by Barbara Brenner, Whatcom County Council Member

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Besides the long, drawn-out election cycle, one of the biggest issues for 2011 has been the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. According to our county attorney, council members cannot participate in discussions, meetings, or research on this important issue because it will be coming before us as a quasi judicial matter in which we will be sitting as judges.

I contacted the state attorney general’s office to confirm our attorney’s opinion. His response does confirm what our county attorney told us (for copy of his response, email me at bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us, call 360/384-2762 or write me at the Whatcom County Courthouse, 311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, 98225).

When this issue comes before us, council members will have ample time and opportunity to obtain all relevant information as well as receiving all input that has been sent to the county.

Tyler Schroeder is the lead Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) official for Whatcom County government on this issue. He will ensure your comments/concerns are part of the public record that council members will receive when this issue comes before us. He can be reached at tschroed@co.whatcom.wa.us or 360/676-6907.

Blaine is currently considering eminent domain through the middle of a resident’s property.

I hope to work with Blaine officials to find an alternative because eminent domain would be very costly, would greatly reduce the owner’s ability to use his property, as well as create environmental problems. Eminent domain (the taking of personal property) should only be used if no other alternative exists. It is supposed to be a decision of necessity. Other alternatives do exist.

Additionally, we recently approved replacement of the dock at Lighthouse Marine Park in Point Roberts. There also seems to be some support on the council (I support it) to build a public restroom at Birch Bay.