Tax hike on garbage transfer stations to go to new Ferndale library

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 22, 2013 

FERNDALE - The City Council raised the solid-waste utility tax from 12 to 12.5 percent on Monday, May 20, to help cover $1.05 million it has agreed to pay for construction of a new library west of City Hall. The tax hike takes effect in 2014.

The 7-0 vote was taken after Ferndale voters on April 23 approved a $550,000 bond to fill a funding gap in the $5.4 million library project. The tax increase will cover about half of what the city council committed. The rest will come from a tax on real estate sales.

The solid waste tax is expected to generate $1.3 million this year. The city will spend almost $1.4 million from that fund in 2013, with the biggest share, $575,000, going to the street fund. The tax is collected on the two transfer stations in the city on gross income from solid waste collection, handling and disposal.

Grading work to prepare the library site for construction could begin in early June, said city Administrator Greg Young. A $250,000 grant for the library came with an August 2013 deadline for construction to begin.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com. Read his politics blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/politics or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

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