The announcement below was distributed on April 1, 2023, as an April Fool’s Day joke. We hope you had a great April Fool’s Day! #AprilFools #AprilFoolsDay #AprilFoolsDay2023
With the arrival of spring, the City is shifting focus from winter weather emergencies to summer recreation and tourism. Today, the City announced plans to sell its fleet of snowplows. Cash raised from the sale of this equipment will be used to build a gondola connecting the pump track on the Bellingham waterfront to the top of the Galbraith Mountain trail system.
After recent mild winters, Bellingham Public Works staff determined the most effective way to remove snow from Bellingham streets is to borrow City of Ferndale snowplows, known as: Golden Eagle, SanderYacht, Jam On and Plowtallica. By borrowing Ferndale’s equipment, the City will be able to sell its snowplows. The City will also start a volunteer program wherein local residents can attach locally fabricated, 3-D-printed snowplows to certain types of Subarus.
The expected $50,000 in revenue from the snowplow sale will be used to construct the Galbraith Gondola. Intended for use by mountain bikers, hikers, dogs, community members and tourists, the Galbraith Gondola will provide an easy connection from downtown Bellingham to the top of Galbraith Mountain, providing recreation access to the more than 65 miles of singletrack winding through 3,000 acres.
“This is just the beginning. After completing the first phase we will establish a coffee shop and a craft brewery at each end of the gondola,” said Arick Jahnsten, Vibe Chancellor with Bellingham Public Works, said in the April 1, 2023, announcement.
“The City of Bellingham has a nationally recognized commitment to biking infrastructure, with new bike lanes being constructed every year. When combined with our community’s support for recreation and trails, and as a draw for tourists, the addition of the Galbraith Gondola just makes sense. The combination of bikes, dogs, trails, coffee and beer is the essence of Bellingham,” he said.
Opening day for the Galbraith Gondola will coincide with the Northwest Tune-Up Festival. Use of the gondola will be free of charge. Operating costs will be paid for by fees charged for parking vehicles at the gondola base: Tacoma pickup trucks and Sprinter vans will be charged $50 per day, while all electric vehicles will park free of charge.
Erica Puce, Wicked Mountain Bike Co-op (WMBC) President, says, “We are thrilled to see the City continue to support the growing local mountain bike industry by providing a no-effort way to get to the top of the world class destination that is the Galbraith trail system.”
The snowplows will be posted for sale on Craiglist, Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace for as-is, no-warranty, cash-only sale. City staff will meet buyers at the Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods parking lots at time of sale.
The City will accept applications from community members interested in volunteering to join the new volunteer Subaru snowplow program starting on October 1, 2023. To be eligible, drivers must be at least 16 years old and have access to a 2003, or older, Subaru Legacy Outback Eddie Bauer edition.