Chapter 2.130


2.130.010    Established.

2.130.020    Purpose.

2.130.030    Function.

2.130.040    Membership – Term of office.

2.130.050    Organization – Meetings.

2.130.060    EDI board staffing.

2.130.010 Established.

There is hereby established the Whatcom County economic development investment board (EDI board). (Ord. 2003-046 Exh. A; Ord. 2000-022).

2.130.020 Purpose.

The board is created to make recommendations to the Whatcom County council to invest in public facilities, consistent with RCW 82.14.370, that further the goals for promoting the ongoing operation of business in Whatcom County:

A. Increase the number of family wage jobs available to the citizens of the county;

B. Retain existing businesses within the county;

C. Facilitate the expansion of existing businesses;

D. Attract new businesses to Whatcom County;

E. Sustain the EDI program through repayment of EDI loans. (Ord. 2003-046 Exh. A; Ord. 2000-022).

2.130.030 Function.

At the inception of the tax collection, all revenue shall be deposited into the designated rural county public facilities fund. As soon thereafter as practical, the county may issue bonds in an amount that will be based on the estimated annual tax collections. All interest from the bonds, any additional taxes, or other revenues collected from this act or any subsequent or successor legislation shall be treated in a similar manner. (Ord. 2003-046 Exh. A; Ord. 2000-022).

2.130.040 Membership – Term of office.

A. The EDI board will consist of 14 members, which include:

1. The county executive;

2. The mayor of Bellingham;

3. Two mayors of small cities, designated by the Small Cities Caucus;

4. Chair of the county council;

5. County department head or official appointed by the county executive;

6. One member at large, appointed by the county executive;

7. One member of the agricultural community, appointed by the county executive;

8. One member of the timber community, appointed by the county executive;

9. One member of the fishing community, appointed by the county executive;

10. One member representing each of the following:

a. Bellingham/Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce;

b. Associate Development Organization (ADO);

c. Port of Bellingham;

d. Public utility district.

B. The chairperson of the board shall be the Whatcom County executive.

C. Due to the composition of this board, it is not subject to Charter Section 3.23. (Ord. 2018-016 Exh. A; Ord. 2016-015 Exh. A; Ord. 2003-046 Exh. A; Ord. 2000-022).

2.130.050 Organization – Meetings.

A. Meetings of the EDI board shall be open and accessible to the public and shall be subject to the Open Public Meetings Act. The board shall determine its own meeting schedule. At every meeting, the committee will schedule an open session to take public comment.

B. All EDI projects shall be defined as publicly owned facilities that generate economic benefit to the citizens of Whatcom County. No investment shall be made in support of residential development.

C. The Whatcom County council may establish additional criteria for the board to address in evaluating projects for funding priority that would enhance economically sustainable jobs and businesses, including jobs in agriculture, fisheries, and timber production, but not limited to:

1. Job Creation. Funding priority shall be given to projects that result in immediate or near term job creation or retention of jobs.

2. Wages. Preference shall be given to projects that generate/retain higher paying jobs. Evaluation should be made of average anticipated wages of the new/retained employees and benefits available to employees.

3. Desired Project Timeline. Generally, projects shall be undertaken within 12 months of funding and completed within 24 months.

4. Match. Preference shall be given to projects that match rural county fund dollars. Funding priority will be given to projects that have a partnership(s) component.

5. Other Criteria. Other criteria as established by legislative actions taken subsequent to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter will be incorporated in the project funding criteria. (Ord. 2003-046 Exh. A; Ord. 2000-022).

2.130.060 EDI board staffing.

The county executive shall designate the staffing for the board. (Ord. 2003-046 Exh. A; Ord. 2000-022).