Bellingham may hold advisory vote on coal trains

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BELLINGHAM — The Bellingham City Council took a step toward a public advisory vote on coal trains traveling through the city to a proposed terminal at Cherry Point.

Over the objections of the mayor and council president, the council voted 5-2 Monday to prepare a ballot measure for review at the Aug. 6 meeting. The council could put the measure on the November ballot, asking if citizens support or oppose as many as nine coal trains a day rolling through the city.

The Bellingham Herald reports about 75 union members demonstrated in front of City Hall before the meeting in support of jobs they expect the project to deliver.

It's one of a half-dozen proposed coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon.