Lynden also asks for dollars for Line, Bradley road improvements

LYNDEN ­— Getting the gap in city trail built along Fishtrap Creek between Depot Road and Eighth Street will be a $1.1 million “ask” from state government in 2020.

Money is needed for construction as well as buying one remaining section of southside streambank belonging to Vander Griend Lumber. The City hopes to have the trail under construction in 2020, said Mayor Scott Korthuis.

Also sought by the city is $3 million to improve roadway along Line and Bradley roads serving all those — including walking and biking students — who need to go to the public Lynden High and Lynden Middle schools.

“This ¾-mile stretch of road will include a path/sidewalk as well as a widened street and a new culvert,” according to council papers.

The city also wants the state to delay its planned 2022 replacement of culverts  at Badger and Double Ditch roads. The city fears that new culverts will worsen flooding in the Pepin Creek Project Area to the south that is a drainage challenge. Instead, the city would rather have the state’s spending on infrastructure to avoid flooding first.

The even year is supposed to be a shorter 60-day session of the Legislature.

In other action:

  • The city has updated its agreement with South Correctional Entity in King County to take inmates that may be sentenced to jail time out of Lynden Municipal Court. It will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

It shows an increase in the non-guaranteed bed rate from $180 per day to $184.

Whatcom has to go out-of-county to house inmates because of safety and overcrowding issues at the main Bellingham jail.  Yakima County is in the process of ending its contract to take inmates.

  • Lynden park hours of operation are now officially dawn to dusk, unless there is some overriding exception. 

Lynden police did not have park open hours actually on the books to use in enforcement, it was found.

Games or events with a permit, and lighted areas, are exceptions. Also, a trail may be used to go through a park in darkness.

  • The home of Ben and Suzanna Ellis in Pine Circle may be used for short-term rental, as through Air BNB or VRBO, by action of the City Council confirming a favorable September Planning Commission vote as well.

Lynden is using its Conditional Use Permit process, as would apply to bed-and-breakfasts, to get into this new area of accommodations. 

Potential negative neighborhood impacts are looked at, and applicants must meet a number of conditions such as property screening, adequte parking and separate landline phone availability.

Planning Director Heidi Gudde said this becomes the second approved short-term rental place in Lynden.

  • At a cost of $36,000 per year, the city continues its agreement with Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs, specifically Briahna Murray in the firm, to do lobbying on behalf of Lynden in Olympia.

Although a lobbyist used to be frowned upon, the work of Murray in four years has more than proved its value to the city, said councilor Gary Bode. “Somebody has to get our money back from Olympia,” he said.

Well over $4 million for city projects, such as building Riverview Road below the downtown, has been secured. 

  • The council went on record with a resolution supporting the $3 million bond led by the Lynden Regional Parks and Recreation District in the Nov. 5 election.

The money will help the city develop trail in its new Dickinson parkland acquisition, add paths, restrooms and utilities to the planned Benson Park, and pay down the Glenning Schoolyard purchase as well.

  • Lynden extends for two years its contract with Whatcom County for probation services. Fees are based on a tested formula.
  • The council took about a half hour to hear all City Hall and other departments give their quarterly work plan updates.