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Planning for Ferndale Civic Campus trying to get started

FERNDALE, Wash. — A request by City of Ferndale administrators for the City Council to authorize a contract to provide architectural design and engineering for what is being referred to as a “civic campus project” was removed from the agenda of last week’s City Council regular meeting and sent back to committee for further discussion.

According to an application for federal funding submitted by 1st District Representative Suzan K. DelBene’s office, “The funding would be used for the construction of new Civic Campus, including a new City Hall, Municipal Court, Council Chambers, public meeting space, and community social service organizations offices on one multi-use civic campus.”

Currently, city hall, court, council chambers and other functions are located between the city hall building at 4th Avenue and Main Street and the city hall annex at Vista Drive and 2nd Avenue.

Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen said, “This combination of federal, state, and local funding will allow us to repurpose the old city hall into a hub for community services and meet the needs of our growing city.”

Approximate location of planned civic campus

The city began setting aside about $500,000 per year 3 years ago to help fund the project, raising approximately $1.5 million to date.

When asked what the expected cost of the campus might be, City Spokesperson Riley Sweeney told Whatcom News they are not wanting to publicize any guesses until they hear from the design engineers.

Sweeney said the city expects to make requests for $3 million each from Washington State and the federal government over the next few years. The project received $1.5 million from Washington last year and $750,000 in federal funding was recently announced. The city anticipates that Washington State will make another funding decision in or around April of this year.

After the agenda item was removed from last week’s Ferndale City Council regular meeting agenda, Ryan O’Larey said, “I look forward to continued discussions between Staff and Council so that we can collectively move forward with something that addresses the needs of our growing city while focusing our limited resources on the highest priorities.”

Sweeney said city officials are hoping the council will approve the engineering services contract soon so a total cost estimate can be brought to the state legislature in time for a decision on funding to be made during this year’s legislative session.

A discussion about approving the civic campus architectural design and engineering contract is the only agenda item during the City Council’s committee of the whole meeting on Wednesday, January 11th, at 11am to 12pm during a hybrid-style meeting that can be attended in person at Ferndale City Hall’s main conference room, 2095 Main Street, or online via Microsoft Teams.

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