10 hrs September 15, 2015 Wendy Harris
Discussion of railroad quiet zones, although I can not tell if this is at 12:30 or 1:30.
And at 3PM, a very obscure, “Presentation of the Trail Town Program along the Great Allegheny Passage: A model for economic growth in Whatcom County (AB2015-254).”
Why do I have a feeling this is more BS being pushed by lobbyists for outdoor recreation? Can we please take care of our environmental assessment and analysis before we rush to destroy an area we do not know with poorly sited bike trails? Wanna bet this has the Park Director’s blessing?
The county gets more like the city all the time. You can no longer tell what is happening in many agenda bill items, particularly consent items. But important policies are created or implemented in many of these contracts.
One item is “Request approval for the County Executive to enter into an interagency agreement between Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District and the Washington Department of Ecology to provide a Washington Conservation Corps crew to implement and maintain watershed restoration and stormwater projects, in an amount not to exceed $70,000 (AB2015-258) (Council acting as the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District Board of Supervisors)” Sounds innocent, but what type of work and where? It is not clear to me, but it is clear that this joint NSEA project will involve installing fencing. That is often a problem because fencing can destroy the functional value of important riparian corridors. NSEA is narrowly focused on fish work without understanding that fish restoration is important because it provides the basis of full ecosystem restoration of habitat in a location by providing food, shelter and water to terrestrial animals and birds. But this important value is destroyed when the creek is fenced off. This also indicates to me that AG uses might be involved, which means that this could be a public subsidy of AG land. I think this is a matter requiring more disclosure and public understanding of policies and values.
Similar concerns regarding “Request approval for the County Executive to enter into an interlocal agreement between Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham for maintenance of stormwater facilities within the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) boundary, in the amount of $250,000 annually (AB2015-268).” The is county is paying the city for its staff assistance, and data for NDPES permit work under county control? A little explanation would be nice.