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Ferndale 2023 Municipal Budget Available Online

On their December 5th, 2022 Council Meeting, the Ferndale City Council unanimously passed the 2023 Budget. You can click here to access the full detailed breakdown or you can read the Mayor’s budget message below which summarizes what the budget does for Ferndale.

 

Recently, I stood at the Thornton Overpass construction site, watching in awe as massive cranes carefully lifted girders the size of a city block and placed them on pillars above the railroad tracks. These girders will form the bones of the Overpass, supporting cars, trucks, bikes, and pedestrians for generations to come as they travel to and from our city. As the 130,000-pound components were locked into place, I was struck by the size and scope of the moment we find ourselves in.

Here, on the cusp of 2023, Ferndale is making big changes. We are putting in place the structures, roads and organizations we need to grow as a community. This document reflects and supports those changes and capitalizes on new opportunities to come. Therefore, it is my pleasure to present to our honorable City Councilmembers and the greater Ferndale community, the 2023 budget for the City of Ferndale.

In 2023, the cityscape in which we live will change. We will see the demolition of our beloved Old Main building and the full opening of our new Ferndale High School. We expect to see the Catalyst Project break ground on Main Street. We will see the opening of a brand-new skate park for Ferndale that pays tribute to our industrial history while providing recreation for the future generations. We will see brand new housing developments that reflect the diversity of our community – single family neighborhoods, multi-family near our downtown and low-income housing for those who need it.

In our downtown, we have seen several new businesses open including restaurants, grocery, and retail. Beyond our city core, new manufacturers are bringing fresh jobs, new ideas, and more commerce to our community.

As our city grows and changes, our local government rises to meet the needs of our community. The 2023 budget includes a new police officer – a necessary addition to our dedicated police department that will help keep us safe. It also includes a new planner to keep the permit desk moving swiftly, expanded hours for our park workers, and a new public works crew member to plow our streets and repair our infrastructure.

Like those large girders, we are laying the groundwork for the future. We are designing a new civic campus that will include a new court, council chambers and city hall. We are designing a new stage at Pioneer Park to host more and even better events at the heart of our community. And for the first time, we have hired both a federal and state advocate, to help bring our tax dollars back home from Olympia and Washington, DC for the projects we need done in our city.

During the pandemic, we activated Ferndale Community Services and the Ferndale Downtown Association, expanding their reach and abilities and you will see the impact of those decisions in 2023. Already, Ferndale Community Services is operating a severe weather shelter throughout the cold season and the Downtown Association has distributed thousands of dollars in grants to our downtown community to expand and support our local businesses.

We have done all of this and more through prudent financial management, a willingness to try new things, and good old-fashioned legwork. The actions that we are poised to take in 2023 and beyond are built on solid plans and careful consideration.  Ferndale is a community of doers and innovators, much more than dreamers.  This means that we must be realistic:  we are in an unusual economy, with extremely low unemployment, extreme demand and limited supply of housing, and significant inflation. This budget anticipates that our costs will increase more rapidly than our revenues, and while the budget allows the City to move forward with its plans, we must look carefully at the economics of 2024 and beyond.

Ferndale is becoming known as a collaborative City, and through this teamwork we have been able to do things that larger cities could only dream of.  Rather than pounding the table or making partisan speeches, here in Ferndale, we are focused on doing the work and finding the solutions. As President Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

This budget, like the girders at Thornton, is a key component in that bridge to the future. A future full of change, promise and opportunities for our city.

 

Thank you,

Mayor Greg Hansen

Ferndale Hires Rachel Moothart as new Finance Director

Ferndale Hires Rachel Moothart as new Finance Director

Rachel Moothart

The City is excited to introduce Rachel Moothart as our new Finance Director. Moothart comes from the private sector where she is the Accounting Manager for Syndel, an international aquaculture manufacturer based out of Ferndale. Her professional experience includes serving as the financial controller for Woodstone Corporation in Bellingham. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting as well as a Master of Business Administration in business and accounting.

“We believe that Rachel has the right mix of professional experience and a passion for public service that will help her excel serving our community,” said Mayor Greg Hansen. Moothart’s contract was approved by the City Council at their August 15th council meeting. Her first day is Sept. 2nd.

“This is a great opportunity,” said Moothart. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work on behalf of the people of Ferndale.”

As finance director, she will be responsible for overseeing the finance department which develops the annual budget, manages the annual audit and investments, provides revenue and expenditure projections, maintains fiscal controls and oversees utility billing.

For more information about the Finance Department at the City of Ferndale, check out the city’s website here: https://www.cityofferndale.org/finance-department/

Ferndale Uses COVID Relief Funds to Jump Start Downtown

Mayor Greg Hansen with Ferndale’s Downtown

Ferndale Uses COVID Relief Funds to Jump Start Downtown

Thanks to an infusion of COVID relief funds, the City is launching a number of initiatives aimed at improving Ferndale’s downtown. Of the approximately $4.2 million the City is set to receive from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), here are some of the ways the City is using that money to support our downtown:

Main Street Program: The City has allocated $400,000 to establish a Main Street Program, complete with events, programing and a paid executive director, to pursue economic development for our downtown core. These seed funds would help the program get established however it is intended to be self-sustaining in the following years. Rather than relying on the previous volunteer efforts of the Ferndale Downtown Association, this program can promote redevelopment efforts, beautification and bring fresh economic activity to Ferndale’s downtown core.

In addition to this seed funding for the Main Street Program, the City has provided an additional $450,000 to the program, including $200,000 for grants or loans to incoming businesses that will support Downtown revitalization, $200,000 for grants or loans to existing businesses which seek to grow or change in a manner that supports revitalization or who undertake improvements to respond to COVID-19, and $50,000 for Downtown beautification efforts and/or matching funds for beautification efforts that the Program may wish to pursue.

Business Interruption Grants: The City has allocated $200,000 to the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce to distribute as business interruption grants for Ferndale businesses impacted by COVID-related closures. The city anticipates that a majority of the grants will be targeted at businesses with 20 or less employees.

Supporting the Community Resource Center: The City has allocated $400,000 to the Ferndale Community Service Cooperative to hire a full-time executive director and expand services to the city’s most vulnerable who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. This is also a seed money investment with the goal of the Cooperative becoming self-sustaining at the conclusion of this grant.

The Cooperative is currently working with our state legislators to secure additional funding for a community navigator position that would help those experiencing hardship navigate local resources and services.

All of these initiatives are supported by COVID relief funds and do not impact the City’s general fund.

“While all of these efforts are worthwhile on their own merits, taken together, they are an unprecedented investment in Ferndale’s future,” said Mayor Greg Hansen. “While the impacts of the pandemic are still being felt, the decisions we make today put us on the path to come roaring back.”

 

Video Message from Mayor Hansen

Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen provides an update on the City’s actions and preparedness planning for the upcoming severe weather, comments on work and efforts the last couple of weeks after the recent flood, and provides suggestions for how you can best prepare yourselves and help your neighbors.

CLICK FOR VIDEO

2021 Flood Event – Support and Resources

FOOD ASSISTANCE AND DONATIONS

MIRACLE FOOD NETWORK

http://www.miraclefoodnetwork.org/

https://www.facebook.com/MiracleFoodNetwork

info@miraclefoodnetwork.org

The Miracle Food Network is located at 5611 Third Avenue, Ferndale (in Pioneer Center) and will accept food donations, either fresh or shelf stable items, between 10am and 1pm Monday through Friday.

CLEANUP ASSISTANCE AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

FERNDALE COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER

(360) 380-2200

https://www.facebook.com/FerndaleCommunityResourceCenter

coordinator@ferndalecsc.org

http://ferndalecsc.org/resource-center

The Ferndale Community Resource Center is coordinating volunteer efforts and donations right here in Ferndale. If you need help or can provide help, please visit their facebook page or call (360) 380-2200 and leave a message so they can connect you to the correct resource.  They will also be coordinating efforts with Samaratins Purse, a non-profit organization that may be able to assist in the cleanup of structures.

WHATCOM COUNTY DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

(360) 788-5311

https://www.whatcomcounty.us/3827/Flood-Response-Information

The Whatcom County Division of Emergency Management is collecting contact information from those who need assistance and is also collecting information and reports of storm and flood damage. Please call (360) 788-5311 to report storm damage and be sure to leave your name, address and contact information, including phone number.  This information will be used to seek federal disaster relief funds and assistance.

FOR VOLUNTEERS: The Whatcom County Division of Emergency Management is accepting calls from volunteers who wish to aid in cleanup efforts. Please call them at (360) 676-6681 to offer your help. Callers should provide their names, contact information and capability for volunteer efforts (i.e. cleanup, carpenter, electrician, general all-around, etc.).

RECONSTRUCTION AND REBUILDING

CITY OF FERNDALE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

(360) 384-4006

www.cityofferndale.org

If your structure has suffered damage and you are located within Ferndale City limits, please contact the City Community Development.  Director Michael Cerbone can assist you in determining permitting requirements can also assist in determining which permits be fast-tracked.  That telephone number is (360) 384-4006 or email him directly at MichaelCerbone@cityofferndale.org

UNSURE WHO TO CALL?

CITY OF FERNDALE

(360) 384-4006

www.cityofferndale.org

https://www.facebook.com/cityofferndale/

Unsure who to turn to? Please feel free to call City Hall during normal business hours at (360) 384-4006, and we will do our best to assist you.

FERNDALE COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER

(360) 380-2200

https://www.facebook.com/FerndaleCommunityResourceCenter

coordinator@ferndalecsc.org

http://ferndalecsc.org/resource-center

The Ferndale Community Resource Center is coordinating volunteer efforts and donations right here in Ferndale. If you need help or can provide help, please visit their facebook page or call (360) 380-2200 and leave a message so they can connect you to the correct resource. 

WHATCOM COUNTY DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

(360) 788-5311

https://www.whatcomcounty.us/3827/Flood-Response-Information

The Whatcom County Division of Emergency Management is collecting contact information from those who need assistance and is also collecting information and reports of storm and flood damage. Please call (360) 788-5311 to report storm damage and be sure to leave your name, address and contact information, including phone number.  This information will be used to seek federal disaster relief funds and assistance.

City Hall, Police Station Open for Regular Business Hours starting June 14th

Ferndale City Hall, Police Station Open for Regular Business Hours starting June 14th

With the installation of new COVID safety measures complete, the Ferndale City Hall and Police Station will be open to the public for full business hours, 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday, starting June 14th.

“We appreciate the public’s patience while we made the modifications necessary, and we are ready to once again assist our community in person,” said Mayor Greg Hansen. The reopening is well in advance of the statewide reopening, currently scheduled for June 30th for all public facilities.

City staff has continued to work throughout the pandemic, accessible via email, phone and video conferencing to meet the needs of the public. The city recently launched a new utility billing portal to allow for more transparency, allowing for even more remote access to city documents.

For more information about city facilities, please contact Communication Officer Riley Sweeney at 360-685-2353 or rileysweeney@cityofferndale.org.

New Online Utility Billing Portal Coming June 1st

New Online Utility Billing Portal Coming June 1st

The City of Ferndale is bringing you a brand new utility billing portal, coming live June 1st from InvoiceCloud. The new interface will be free to use and will allow utility customers to receive their bill through email, set up Autopay, access their payment history, pay online with credit/debit card or e-check, set up bill reminders, update contact info, pay by text, Apple or Google Pay, and review up to 24 months of past bills as they become available.

This new system will provide better transparency for the public ensuring that all have access to their account information.

This does not mean that customers must give up their paper bill. For customers who prefer paper bills and check payments, the City will gladly continue to process their payments. They may even receive the paper bill and then go pay online.

Utility customers will receive information on how to sign up for the portal through the mail, separate from their bill, in the coming month.

Utility Bill Printing Error Discovered, No Impact on Billing Statement

In the most recent billing cycle, some Ferndale utility bills were printed with the “Late Notice” language from June 30th. We regret this error.

These bills are the regular notice for the Dec. 31st billing cycle. We have verified that all the rest of the information on the bill is correct, and per Governor Inslee’s order, there are no late fees or shutoffs through April 30th, 2021.

If you have questions about your specific bill, please call or email our utility clerk at 360-384-4269 or utilitybilling@cityofferndale.org.