Full agenda covered by taxpayers

Taxpayers meeting. Photo by Pat Grubb

By Pat Grubb

Trash pickup, four-digit local calling, economic development, gas tax plans, the state of the rental housing market, illegal signs – the most recent board meeting of the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association on May 9 was a veritable grab bag of subjects. Without further ado …

Following remarks by board members Ken Calder and Jeff Christopher who is the association’s representative and chair of the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee, chair Mark Robbins said, “I’ll entertain a motion to write a letter in support of mandatory collection,” adding that there was a history of membership support for it. In the letter that was later sent to Whatcom County Council, Robbins pointed out that the members had passed a resolution endorsing mandatory curbside collection as far back as its 2009 annual general meeting. Speaking from the audience, Heidi Baxter said any solution must incorporate U-Haul to the solid waste site. The proposed changes to the solid waste ordinance at this time only addresses curbside trash pickup; PRCAC, its solid waste sub-committee and the county health department are intending to address deficiencies at the solid waste site later in the process.

Vic Riley. Image from victorriley.com

Turning to the subject of gas taxes and the transportation benefit district (TBD), Christopher provided an accounting of revenue and fund balance. “The current balance of TBD funds is $984,457; current velocity is $18, 580 per quarter,” he advised. Plans to use some of the money to help maintain the garden club beautification of the southern part of Tyee Drive would be presented in a resolution going before county council in mid-June, he announced, adding that county public works assistant director Joe Rutan did not anticipate any problems receiving approval.

Christopher listed a number of ideas currently under consideration for spending gas tax monies including a $15,000 Maple Beach morphology study to examine the idea of removing the sea wall and re-paving Benson Road from Tyee Drive to South Beach Road. TBD funds must be spent on transportation-related projects according to state law; how some of these ideas fulfill the original intent behind the establishment of TBDs, ie. to mitigate problems arising from border traffic, might be difficult to fathom.

Finishing up, Robbins said “One of the issues that we keep coming back to is eyesores and whether we want to do something about it such as off-site advertising.” In response, Arthur Reber said, “Right now, there are seven illegal signs sitting at the community sign” at the corner of Tyee Drive and Gulf Road. “Vic [Riley] has been sticking his smallpointbulletin signs and sticking them in the ground all over the Point and all of those are illegal.” One of Riley’s signs has been placed in the garden beautification flower beds on Tyee Drive. In Whatcom County, off-site signs are illegal in all zones.

Correction for the published version of this story in the June edition: The photo credit for Vic Riley was incorrectly given. It should have read: image from victorriley.com.

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