BELLINGHAM - Voters can find statements from candidates running for the board of the proposed Chuckanut Community Forest Park District on the website of the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County.
They'll also find pro and con arguments for the ballot measure at lwvbellinghamwhatcom.org/ElectionChuckanutPark.
The league doesn't have a stance on the issue or the candidates.
If approved by southwest Bellingham voters in the Feb. 12 special election, the metropolitan park district's five elected commissioners would raise property taxes within the district to generate about $3.2 million to help pay for the city's purchase of Chuckanut Ridge.
The citizens' coalition that gathered the signatures to place the measure on the ballot said property owners in the district would pay 28 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The owner of a $300,000 home, for example, would pay $84 a year.
The money would repay the $3.2 million loan from the city Greenways endowment fund that helped pay the $8.2 million price tag for the city's purchase of the 82-acre Chuckanut Ridge, also known as the Hundred Acre Wood.
When the City Council approved the purchase in August 2011, members gave themselves six years to repay the loan. The city has said a portion of the property could be sold to cover the loan, if no other means could be found.
The commissioners will oversee the district. They would serve only if voters form the district, which needs a simple majority to pass.
The proposed district's boundaries would roughly encompass southwest Bellingham - south of Western Washington University and west of Interstate 5 to the water.
Only registered voters in the district will vote.
Ballots must be postmarked by Feb. 12 to be valid.
They also can be dropped off at the County Courthouse south parking lot, 201 Grand Ave., Bellingham (one block south of courthouse). The drop box closes at 8 p.m. Feb. 12.
Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or email@example.com.