2014 Year in Review: Point Roberts Taxpayers Association

By Mark Robbins

Fighting the proposed radio towers was at the forefront of our agenda in 2014. As part of the Cross-Border Coalition, PRTA served as treasurer and formally petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deny the renewal of radio station KRPI’s broadcast license. While the matter of license renewal is still pending, the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner’s decision to affirm the coalition’s position that the proposed towers violate applicable height restrictions was a huge success. No doubt, this battle will continue if the applicant decides to fight county council’s recent decision affirming the hearing examiner’s ruling.

We continued to play an active role in the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC), including reviewing the Character Plan, which we called for in order to make it better reflect current needs and wishes of the community.

During the year, PRTA twice hosted fire chief Chris Carleton and commissioner Bill Meursing to report on the fire district’s activities and budget.

Our Annual General Meeting in July was well attended and included a keynote address by Whatcom County Council member and chair Carl Weimer, who was accompanied by fellow council member Barbara Brenner.

In August, the PRTA hosted a town hall meeting with U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, also very well attended by members of the community.

The association continued to discuss and refine its ideas about desired economic development in Point Roberts and practical steps that might be beneficial.

Under frustrations, our efforts to obtain legislative action to expand the allowed uses of our local gas tax revenues stalled in Olympia; we will have to resume this effort in the next legislative session.

Our greatest frustration is the continued absence of a pier at Lighthouse Park, for the sixth year since the old dock’s demise. Although the county finally secured the necessary funding and awarded the contract for its replacement in 2014, construction was foiled this year by the presence of spawning smelt. We can only hope to finally celebrate a new pier in 2015.

 

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