Pet Waste in our Parks

Stormwater Manager Paul Knippel, with a little help from a local husky Eska, shares the problems with pet waste in your parks. If you would like to pick up a doggie waste bag dispenser, they are available for free at City Hall (2095 Main Street) or at one of the waste bag dispensers on the map below. More information on ways to protect our local water system can be found in our stormwater section by clicking here.


Explosive Device Discovered at Mountainview Elementary Site

At 9:48am this morning, Ferndale Police responded to a report from school district personnel of a suspicious device found in the parking lot of Mountain View Elementary School. Officers secured the device and removed it to a safe location. Using a K9 unit and additional support from the Bellingham Police Department, the Ferndale Police swept the surrounding area for additional threats and found nothing.

The device appears to be a modified commercial fireworks mortar. At this time, the Ferndale Police believe that there is no specific danger to the school, students or personnel although the investigation is ongoing.

Starting this year, the Ferndale School District is leasing part of the facility to the Educational Service District for a program serving 38 students from across Whatcom County. Per Law Enforcement, students remain onsite and are safely continuing school activities in the gymnasium.

Ferndale Police Department will update the public as more information becomes publicly available. For more information, please call Communications Officer Riley Sweeney at (360) 685-2353.

Arts Commission Installs New Mural on City Water Tank

Over the last two weeks, the Ferndale Arts Commission completed its second mural this summer on the City water tank and pump house at 5900 Church Road. The design and layout was done by Arts Commissioner Guyan Cool, Ferndale High School senior, and is called “Dainty Houses”.

“Working with a team of neighbors to create public art is about having fun, making people smile, and building strong community relationships,” said Colleen Harper, who helped organize the project. “I am so grateful to be a Ferndale Art Commissioner, and proud of the FHS students who spent their last few weekends of the summer painting with us.”

Earlier this summer, the Arts Commission installed a mural on the side of the City Annex on Second Avenue, and they are currently exploring other opportunities for public art.

Guyan Cool poses with his design

Unexpectedly High Water Bill? Here’s Why

With utility statements going out at the end of August, the City has received plenty of questions about an unexpectedly high bill.

Part of this uptick in cost is that last year, the City Council voted to eliminate the summer use subsidy, where the City would absorb some of the cost of sewer during the summer. However with the need for a new sewer treatment facility, the City and the Council eliminated that subsidy last year so now everyone pays the same rate, year-round.

That said, there are some things residents can do to ease the burden of a high bill. If they qualify, our rate assistance program will take 25% off your bill. Click here to learn more about this program.

The City has also assembled a list of tips to conserve water. Saving water helps lower the utility bill, helps the City make sure there is enough water to go around during the hot months and helps the planet by easing our impact on the local ecosystem. Those tips can be found here.

If there are still questions about a specific utility bill, please call our utility clerk Danielle at (360) 384-4269 or email her by clicking here and she can provide the details needed.

Arts Commission Brings a Splash of Color to City Annex

Arts Commission Brings a Splash of Color to City Annex

The Ferndale Arts Commission added a new piece of public art to downtown this weekend with the installation of a mural on the side of the City Annex building (5694 Second Avenue). Designed by local artist Todd Bruce, from Bellingham’s Chameleon Ink, this mural was painted with the help of volunteers and spearheaded by Councilmember Rebecca Xczar.

“Murals are a great way to add beauty to our downtown, brightening our community and drawing new business and interest to our city core,” said Xczar. She hopes that this mural is the first of several. Currently the Arts Commission is reaching out to private property owners to gauge interest for future public art projects downtown.

The City Annex is used for City Council meetings and Ferndale Court, the installation of the mural was done in sections over the last week. For more information about the Ferndale Arts Commission, check out their page and contact information by clicking here.

Artist Todd Bruce and Kyle Deming assemble the design layout

Volunteers begin painting the starburst sections

Councilmembers Greg Hansen, Cathy Watson and Rebecca Xczar assist with the installation

Councilmember Rebecca Xczar, Kyle Deming and Artist Todd Bruce with the completed mural

Summary of August 6th, 2018 Council Meeting

You can find all the related Agenda Documents here

City Council Agenda Follow-Up

August 6, 2018


** By general consensus, the Multifamily Tax Exemption Ordinance was removed from the agenda and sent back to the August 15, 2018 Planning & Land Use Committee for further discussion. **


Councilmember Olson moved, and Councilmember K. Hansen seconded, to approve the consent agenda. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.




PROCLAMATION: Community Health Center Week August 12 – 18

Mayor Mutchler proclaimed August 12 – 18 to be Community Health Center Week.




Public Works Project Manager Katy Radder presented updates on the following capital projects:

·         Washington Street – Water line installation is nearly complete. Hydrants are being installed, a new storm system from Main Street to Hamlin and new sewer lines from Vista Drive to Sterling are being installed.

·         Portal Way Compact Roundabout – Storm drainage work is ongoing. The next step will be road widening. The exit will be closed from Monday, August 13 to Friday, August 17.

·         Cherry Street & Pioneer Park Sidewalks – Underground work (trenching for natural gas lines) is complete. Sidewalk installation on Cherry street will begin Tuesday, August 7, and the Pioneer Park sidewalks will begin after Cherry Street is complete.








The East Gate Planned Unit Development (PUD) consists of two lots located at 6170 Portal Way, to be used for two commercial mixed-use buildings and 20 residential lots designed for duplex and fourplex townhome buildings, totaling 64 residential units. The project includes sidewalks, trails, open space, landscaping, private roadways, parking, infrastructure, storm facilities, and frontage improvements.

Planned Unit Development applications follow the process as described in FMC 14.09.060. The application is heard by the City’s Hearing Examiner at a public hearing. The Hearing Examiner then issues a recommendation to the City Council to be considered at a Closed Record Public Meeting.

Councilmember Watson moved, and Councilmember G. Hansen seconded, to approve the agenda bill. MOTION CARRIED 7-0.







ORDINANCE: Water Restrictions Violations

Council passed Resolution #18-07-30-A at a special meeting on 7/30/2018, establishing mandatory water restrictions until October 31, 2018, due to concerns that during the peak summer months the level of withdrawal from the City’s well systems is in danger of exceeding capacity to supply water. This ordinance updates the penalty structure and fines, which have not been adjusted since 1981. Previously, the penalty for a first offense was $25 AND water shut-off. The proposed penalty structure was:





First offense:                                          Written Warning

Second offense:                                     $100

Third and subsequent offense(s)        $250 and water shut off


Councilmember K. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Kennedy seconded, to amend the fees to $50 for the second offense and $125 plus water shut off for the third offense.


Councilmember G. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Watson seconded, to amend the motion to remove the water shut-off for the third offense.


On the amendment: MOTION CARRIED 4-3, Councilmembers Watson, Taylor, & Olson opposed.


On the main, amended motion: MOTION CARRIED 4-3, Councilmembers Watson, Taylor & Olson opposed.







DISCUSSION: 2018 Mid-Year Review & 2019 Projections

Finance Director Sirke Salminen presented information regarding the preparation of the 2019 budget.



DISCUSSION: Disposition of 2076 Washington Street

The City recently purchased 2076 Washington Street. The two adjoining houses (one of which has been demolished) have previously been purchased to make room for a future roundabout at the Washington/Vista intersection. There are no immediate plans for construction of the roundabout, so staff sought direction from Council on what to do with the house in the meantime. The house next door is being utilized by Interfaith Coalition for transitional housing.

Councilmember K. Hansen moved, and Councilmember Watson seconded, to designate the house for Interfaith transitional housing. MOTION CARRIED 6-1, Councilmember Kennedy opposed.





Information only.


Information only.




ADJOURNMENT: Meeting was adjourned at 7:26 p.m.  


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