Port Commission Authorizes Small City Development Expenditures
The Port Commission of Bellingham has authorized $65,000 in cost sharing funds to support development projects in Blaine, Lynden, Ferndale, and Everson, Washington as part of the Port’s small-cities economic development program. This program is meant to support and leverage projects across the six small cities of Whatcom County to stimulate private investment and jobs.
“An important part of the Port’s mission is to promote economic development throughout the region” said Port Commission President Dan Robbins in a press release. “This program is a terrific resource for the smaller cities of Whatcom County to address local economic development needs.”
“We really appreciate the Port of Bellingham’s willingness to partner with our City on important community development projects” said Everson Mayor John Perry in the same release. “The Port’s Small City Development Fund has been vital in our light industrial and commercial development.”
The Port has provided over $650,000 to small cities to advance projects ranging from downtown enhancements, street and utility extensions, and retail market analysis since the program’s inception in 2004. The small cities have provided over $1 million in matching funds and the program has leveraged over $45 million in local capital.
The following projects have received funding for 2017:
Blaine: $15,000 in Port matching funds with a $15,000 City cash match to design an access to downtown properties on the west side of Peace Portal Drive along an existing easement. Once constructed by the City and/or private developers, the alley access will facilitate development of vacant and underutilized buildings.
Everson: $20,000 in Port matching funds with a $20,000 City cash match to provide engineering support for the Lincoln Street improvement projects. The City has secured state and federal grant funds for the construction project, but has a gap in construction engineering funds. The Phase 1 project benefits existing local employers on the west side of the City and will connect to developable property via a Phase 2 project.
Ferndale: $15,000 in Port matching funds with a $15,000 City cash match to fabricate new visitor and business signs based on design work underway by the City. The project is intended to create more destination opportunities for Pioneer Village and contribute to a heritage tourism development program.
Lynden: $15,000 in Port matching funds with a $15,000 City cash match to evaluate cleanup, redevelopment, and funding options for a closed City landfill in West Lynden. The evaluation will provide direction for the City to reclaim the eight-acre site into buildable industrial land.