The Blaine school district will hold two public hearings as part of its regular board meeting on Monday, November 22.
The first public hearing will address a budget extension in which money will be shifted from one area of the budget to another to buy school buses.
The second hearing will address the district’s request for three student days to be used as staff in-service development days each year for the next three years (totaling nine days over the next three years). During these days, teachers and staff come to school but students do not.
Port of Bellingham commissioners have adopted a $52.3 million budget that includes nearly $40 million in capital projects and a 5 percent tax cut.
Commissioners adopted the budget after holding a public hearing on Tuesday, November 16, according to a press release. Commissioners said job creation and economic growth were key points they wanted to address with the budget.
“Ports were created to build the economic strength of a community and we take that role seriously,” said commission president Jim Jorgensen in a press release. “Whether it is recruiting new businesses, helping existing businesses or creating new jobs through our capital improvement projects, we have directed staff to make our local economy the focus of their efforts.”
The budget anticipates $20.9 million in operating revenue from the port’s holdings, including various marinas, real estate and the Bellingham International Airport, in addition to $7 million in property taxes. The port has reduced its tax rates from $105 on a $275,000 home in 2006 to $81 in 2011.
The Washington state Department of Health has announced that all of Whatcom County has been closed for the harvesting of varnish clams. Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) biotoxin have been detected in varnish clams harvested recently from Chuckanut Bay and from Birch Bay. Varnish clams appear to be retaining biotoxin from an algal bloom that peaked early last summer. Varnish clams are found on all Whatcom County beaches – they are also known as purple varnish clams or mahogany clams. Varnish clams are 2 to 3 inches in diameter and often have a dark brown “skin” on the outer shell. The inside of the shell is a light purple color.
For more information, check the WDOH website at www.doh.wa.gov or call the DOH biotoxin Hotline at 800/562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington state.