Tune in for the First 2021 Budget Workshop

Tonight, at 5:00PM is the first 2021 Budget Workshop with the Ferndale City Council. Staff and council will be reviewing several of the city funds that have little volatility but are an essential part of the city budget.

The public is invited to tune in – the proceedings, like all council meetings, will be livestreamed through Microsoft Teams. No download is necessary to watch, simply click here and it will go live at 5pm.

Here are the documents provided to the council in advance of the meeting. They can also be found on the City’s 2021 Budget page:

4 Ways to Submit Public Comments at Council Meetings During COVID-19

During this pandemic, it is more important than ever for the public to be able to share their thoughts and perspective with their elected officials. This input in an essential component of public decision-making and the City has provided several opportunities for public comment.

Tips for an Effective Public Comment:

Please include your Name and Address. This makes it easier to put your comment in the public record.
Be Brief and Specific. Share exactly what you are speaking in favor or against and why. It is better to offer 2-3 compelling points than 6-7 rambling items.
Avoid Speculation, Profanity, Slander and Accusations. This is a public proceeding and we ask all participants to be professional in their participation.

Below are the four ways in which the public can submit comments to their elected officials. The City encourage all who reside in the City of Ferndale to participate in the City’s decision-making process.

  1. Email Your Elected Officials. By far, the quickest and most direct way to provide input is to email the City Council and Mayor. Send an email to council@cityofferndale.org for the City Council or GregHansen@cityofferndale.org for the Mayor.
  2. Submit a Written Comment to be included in the Council Record. Email City Clerk Susan Duncan (susanduncan@cityofferndale.org) a statement to be included in the council minutes as public comment. Please state in your email to the City Clerk that it should be included in the written record. It must be received by 4pm on the Monday of a Council meeting at the latest to be included in that meeting’s minutes.
  3. Submit a Comment to be read aloud at a City Council Meeting. Email City Clerk Susan Duncan (susanduncan@cityofferndale.org) a statement to be read aloud as public comment. The statement must be shorter than 3 minutes when read aloud at a normal pace, this usually means a statement of 400 words or less. Please state in your email to the City Clerk that you would like the comment read aloud. It must be received by 4pm on the Monday of a Council meeting at the latest to be included in that meeting’s minutes. Public Comments submitted without a preference for inclusion in the written record or being read aloud will be included in the written record.
  4. Provide a Comment In Person During a Council Meeting with a Public Hearing. When City Council has a public hearing on the agenda (see agendas here), the City Annex will be open to visitors to provide an in-person public comment. Those who wish to offer the comment in person will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing requirements while in the City Annex. The public comment must be shorter than 3 minutes.

For more information or questions on how to best participate in the City Council decision-making process, please contact City Clerk Susan Duncan at susanduncan@cityofferndale.org or 360-685-2354.

Countywide partnership launches grant program for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Countywide partnership launches grant program for businesses impacted by COVID-19

CARES Act funds pooled by County and cities to boost economic recovery

Applications are being accepted beginning this week for a competitive grant program – called Whatcom ReStart – designed to support businesses and non-profits throughout Whatcom County that have been affected by COVID-19.

Whatcom ReStart will issue up to $2.6 million in general grants and another $800,000 for licensed childcare operators. For-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for general grants of up to $15,000 each. There is no cap on grants to support childcare.

Whatcom County and the cities of Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Sumas, Everson, Nooksack and Blaine have teamed up and combined their federal CARES Act allocations to offer this competitive grant program to assist businesses that have experienced revenue losses and expenses due to COVID-19-related closures or impacts.

The purpose of this program is to collaborate in support of local businesses and drive economic recovery. More information, including eligibility guidelines, criteria, and applications can be found on the Whatcom ReStart page of the Port of Bellingham website. Grant applications will be accepted July 16 through July 31, 2020. Funding decisions are anticipated in August and funding is expected to be disbursed in September.

“By joining forces, combining County and cities’ CARES Act funding, we are able to increase the reach and efficiencies of our response effort,” said Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu. “I am very pleased with the level of cooperation and willingness of each jurisdiction to work collaboratively for the benefit of all our communities.”

The grant program, funded by $2.6 million of federal CARES Act allocations, provides up to $15,000 to businesses employing up to 25 people prior to the pandemic to cover expenses related to losses caused by COVID-19 related closures. A portion of these funds are set aside for ground-floor, front-facing businesses in the City Center and Fairhaven Districts of Bellingham. A separate pool of $800,000 is dedicated to grants for licensed childcare businesses.

“Economic recovery is a priority throughout our COVID-19 response,” Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood said. “These grants will help businesses stabilize as they work to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. We are working together to get more of our community members back to work and to revive local businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions, so we can see our local economies thriving once again.”

“Many businesses are really struggling today, particularly our childcare industry, and need quick access to this aid,” said Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen. “All partners recognized the time-

sensitive nature of the need and agreed that the grant application and administration should be as simple, inclusive and streamlined as possible.”

“Whatcom ReStart is designed to give a meaningful boost to local small businesses and their employees. We want these grants to have the greatest possible impact on our economy and community to foster resilience as we move forward. Both the eligibility requirements and the application scoring guidelines were developed with this in mind,” said Don Goldberg, Director of Regional Economic Partnership, which is playing a key role in the administration of the grant program.

In addition to these business and economic response efforts, CARES Act funding has also been dedicated to support the public emergency response, food and housing security, and services and facilities to those living unsheltered.

For more information about Whatcom ReStart, visit https://www.portofbellingham.com/933/Whatcom-Restart

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