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City of Bellingham and Whatcom County debate Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) fees

The City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Council are each grappling with what to do about the potential for invasive species contamination of our waters.  If you do an internet search on “aquatic invasive species,” (AIS) you will find a lot of information, probably more than you really wish to know, but with all things governmental it is important that we all pay attention, because it’s going to cost you if you don’t.  Starting in 2013, if you own recreational watercraft, you are going to be required to purchase an AIS permit before it will be allowed in Lake Whatcom.  The debate for Whatcom County, is whether to require an AIS permit only on Lake Whatcom, or on all water resources in Whatcom County and how much to charge for it.  On the other side of the fence is the City of Bellingham (COB), whose focus is on Lake Padden and that portion of Lake Whatcom, which lies within the boundaries of the Bellingham city limits.  City of Bellingham’s focus of concern is; “What to charge for their AIS permit and how to get Whatcom County to play nice with them?”  Current concensus appears to be a $50.00 annual fee and …

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