It’s about how to pay fairly for this project’s benefits 

LYNDEN ­— The city is taking what it calls a “next step” of financial analysis on the planned Pepin Creek realignment project.

The Lynden City Council agreed Monday to pay $130,574 to Burk Consulting of Seattle for work to be done by August. Burk is already doing work for the city on Pepin Creek.

The goal is to bring together the strands of planning and engineering that have already been going on for many months, in a way that shows how neighboring properties will benefit from and should pay into the cost of creating the new Pepin Creek channel.

The city is also seeking outside funding sources.

Burk will look into formulas that use a SEPA mitigation fee or a Local Improvement District to fairly raise money.

The city will provide its mapping and other gathered data. By the end of May, the final recommendations of an engineering team are expected to be out, and the city will identify a preferred scenario for the Pepin Creek Realignment Project.

These are all steps toward a “financial mitigation strategy” as the city tries to figure out how to justify the costs of making the area west of Benson Road suitable for Lynden’s next direction of growth — some 1,700 to 2,000 homes in the next 25 years. Specific benefits would be flood protection, adequate drainage for development, and improvement of Benson and Double Ditch roads.

In other action:

The council agreed to tap into the State Revolving Loan Fund to the tune of $1.4 million to pay for a new outfall into the Nooksack River from the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The interest rate over 20 years will be 1.5 percent.

Gradually the city is getting all its utility infrastructure up to high standards for the future, said councilor Gary Bode.

After an executive session, the council voted to have Mayor Scott Korthuis write a letter denying petitioner Dick Vandenberg’s request for latecomer payment in west Lynden. Vandenberg put in storm sewer line to serve certain properties in 2008. But property now being developed by JD Bargen Industries (Lynden Door), though nearby, is not one of those, the city claims.

The city is updating its code language to forbid industrial discharges of dangerous waste into the sewer system, as specified in federal law administered by the state Department of Ecology.

Two City Council Committees will talk about restricting dogs in Berthusen Park and at the annual Raspberry Festival in response to assorted complaints — uncleaned-up waste, disruption to people — in these settings.