The financial plan of the Waterfront District calls for a $334 million expenditure. One hundred thirty-seven million dollars will be in-vested by the Port of Bellingham primarily for environmental cleanup and demolition. The $197 million majority of the cost will be borne by city, state and federal taxpayers for infrastructure such as roads, utilities and parks. This plan runs completely opposite of one of the fundamental principles of our state’s Growth Management Act, by which our Legisla-ture gave city governments impact fees for real-estate developers to pay the cost of the public infrastructure needs of their projects. This law was enacted to prevent taxpayers from becoming responsible for such costs while developers walk away with the profits. The port persuaded the city of Bellingham to sign an inter-local agreement whereby 100 percent of this infrastructure will be paid by the taxpayer. This agreement must be renegotiated if we are to prevent possibly the largest single subversion of taxpayer’s funds in the history of this state. This agreement must be renegotiated before a master development plan is adopted and before the final Environ-mental Impact Statement is approved, or this corrupt subsidy of the wealthy few by the public will become legally fixed and therefore permanent.Lincoln RutterBlaine
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