BLAINE - The city has hired a consultant to help develop an economic development strategy for Blaine, which is grappling with stagnant job growth and vacancies in the downtown.
The City Council approved the $30,000 contract with Bellevue-based Hebert Research on March 11.
The cost will be evenly split between the Port of Bellingham and Blaine's Rural Economic Development fund.
Hebert is expected to return with a report within eight to 12 weeks, according to City Manager Gary Tomsic.
The company will analyze specific parcels of land in Blaine to determine the best use and prospect for successful development with an eye toward mixed use, Hebert wrote in a proposal.
The aim is to provide a wide assessment, to include industries and areas outside of the downtown.
"I think it's a mistake," Tomsic said of a plan that would focus specifically on the downtown.
"We need to bring industry in that brings people in that supports small business," he explained.