In January, Whatcom County government ended the “closure days” that had been used to help manage our financial issues during the economic downturn. Also that month the jail planner consultant contract was finalized and work began to find the right property site for a new correctional facility and sheriff’s headquarters.
In February, the state legislature authorized the addition of a fourth superior court judge to commence in 2015. Electronic recording and online marriage licenses for the auditor’s office began; the sheriff’s records management system was implemented, and in January 2014 it is hoped that onboard credit card processing will be available on the Lummi Island ferry.
County council approved the Lake Whatcom reconveyance in March. The Aquatic Invasive Species inspection program began on Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish.
The Cottonwood neighborhood drainage improvements were completed, including installation of a new outfall to Birch Bay and a stormwater treatment swale to resolve long-standing flooding problems and improve water quality.
The Port of Bellingham, city of Bellingham and county government forged a partnership to provide a unified Whatcom County emergency operations center with very generous support from community partners such as BP, Phillips 66 and the Whatcom Community Foundation.
County council approved the jail site property purchase on November 26.
It has been a busy and challenging but very fruitful year for us. I wish everyone a very good 2014 and hope that all have had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family.