Inside Bellingham Weekly: February 24, 2023

A weekly news roundup from the City of Bellingham

February 24, 2023 - by Janice Keller, Communications Director

Speak to City Council: Beginning with the February 27, 2023, regular meeting, the Bellingham City Council will schedule a general public comment period as part of each regular meeting agenda. Members of the public will have three minutes to speak to Council members on topics of their choice, in person or via Zoom. Advance registration is encouraged and speakers who register in advance will be called on first. Agendas for each meeting provide details about how to attend Council meetings in person or remotely. See the Council’s February 27 agenda and the Public Hearing/Public Comment Period page for more information.

Grant funds help keep our water clean: The state Department of Ecology recently announced that the City will be the recipient of about $1.5 million in grants to design five new stormwater treatment projects throughout Bellingham. When rain falls on streets, sidewalks, driveways and roofs, it picks up pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, oils, soaps and bacteria from pet waste and then travels to nearby creeks, lakes and Bellingham Bay. With these grant funds, systems will be designed to treat this polluted stormwater and, in some cases, help prevent flooding. Find out more about the City’s extensive stormwater investments on our Stormwater pages.

Speaking of stormwater: The Park Place Water Quality Facility, near the intersection of Britton and Northshore, recently received an engineering Best in State award for the unique and innovative application of a special filter system. The filter system, called POST, was developed in partnership with Western Washington University and Herrera Engineering Consultants. Not only did the project improve water quality in Lake Whatcom, the POST media allows other jurisdictions to benefit from the City’s innovation by offering a non-proprietary mix with proven benefits of reducing concentrations of phosphorus and other contaminants in polluted rainwater. (Fish, wildlife and water quality nerds everywhere are joining us in cheering about this success!) 

Speaking of clean water: Learn about water quality and habitat improvements in our video highlighting Padden Creek restoration, produced by BTV. More information about this restoration project available on the Padden Creek Restoration project page.

Improving Public Spaces

Pedestrian and bike improvements coming this summer: A number of projects will be constructed this summer to improve bike and pedestrian routes in many neighborhoods. The neighborhoods that will be most impacted by the construction were invited to an informational open house on February 16 to discuss three projects: Parkview Safe Routes to School, West Illinois Multimodal Improvements and Westside Non-Motorized Project. To learn more about what is coming in these areas, a recording of the open house presentation is now available on each of the project pages.

Charge up! The City’s first public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are open for public use. EV drivers can now charge their vehicles at Shuksan Meadows, Taylor Dock, Fairhaven Park and in front of the Federal Building downtown. Additional chargers have been installed in the City Hall and Federal Building parking lots for City use. These chargers are part of a project to install 90 new EV plugs at 26 locations throughout Bellingham, funded by a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce and the voter-approved City Transportation Fund. Additional chargers will be installed later this year. Learn more on our Electrification of Transportation project page.

By the Numbers

City’s EV fleet: We just added the first of four planned new Ford F-150 Lightning electric trucks to our growing fleet of EV vehicles. We now have 42 electric vehicles, utility carts and mowers. We’ll soon add 12 new fleet charging stations – at the Pacific Street Operations Center, City Hall, the Federal Building and Post Point – to support our growing EV needs. See many of our fleet vehicles and charging stations during tours planned at our March 1 Pacific Street Operations Center Dedication event.

Speaking of EVs: We’ve extended the deadline to apply to serve on one of our two new Climate Action Research Technical Working Groups. The Vehicle Electrification Technical Working Group will study proposals to increase use of electric vehicle (EV) technology in Bellingham. Details available on the Climate Action Research Technical Working Groups page. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, March 3, 2023.

Media Contact

Janice Keller, Communications Director or (360) 778-8100



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