The Whatcom County Council has received a proposal from the Whatcom Conservation District to establish a system of rates and charges to fund District activities and programs as authorized by chapter 89.08 RCW. The Whatcom County Council will hold a public hearing, consider adopting, and may amend this ordinance (AB2022-529) at its 6:00 PM meeting on October 25, 2022 at the County Courthouse and via Zoom webinar. Details on public participation can be found below.
The District’s proposal states that revenue collected from the rates and charges will allow the District to: exercise its authority, including the continued protection of the public health, safety and welfare and protection and conservation of natural resources throughout Whatcom County; obtain grant funding and support local conservation programs; address water quality and conservation programs related to endangered salmon species; provide for other natural resource protection requirements and needs, such as the protection and conservation of farm land.
If approved, the proposed system of rates and charges pursuant to RCW 89.08.405 will apply to all properties located in unincorporated and incorporated Whatcom County (with limited exception – please see RCW 89.08.405 for detailed information on rates and charges) for a period of ten years, beginning collection in January 2023 through 2032, as follows: residential - $5 per parcel; commercial - $4.99 per parcel; open space - $5 per parcel; institutional/public - $5 per parcel; agriculture - $5 per parcel; designated forest land - $2.99 per owner; vacant/undeveloped - $5 per parcel.
Detailed information on the District’s proposal is available for review weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the County Council Office, 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 105, Bellingham, and at whatcomcounty.us/council (specifically here). View meeting schedules, agendas, minutes, videos, documents and archives at whatcom.legistar.com. The Council is currently holding hybrid meetings, which can be attended either in person or remotely. Full Council meetings begin at 6 p.m. (unless otherwise announced) in the Council Chambers at 311 Grand Avenue. Instructions for remote participation can be found at whatcomcounty.us/joinvirtualcouncil or by contacting the Council Office at 360-778-5010. The Council Chambers is handicapped accessible. People with special needs who will be attending Council meetings are asked to contact the Council Office (360-778-5010) at least 96 hours in advance.