A Public Development Authority (PDA) is an independent entity that is legally separate from the governmental entity that creates the PDA. They are also known as special purpose quasimunicipal corporations or just municipal corporations.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) authorizes the creation of PDAs in RCW 35.21.730 through 35.21.759 and species the purposes for which a PDA can be created. RCW 35.21.730 states, in part, “Administer and execute federal grants or programs; receive and administer private funds, goods, or services for any lawful public purpose; and perform any lawful public purpose or public function. The ordinance or resolution shall limit the liability of such public corporations, commissions, and authorities to the assets and properties of such public corporation, commission, or authority in order to prevent recourse to such cities, towns, or counties or their assets or credit.”
The North Bonneville City Council created the North Bonneville PDA (NBPDA) for the express purpose of applying for a retail marijuana store license and operating the store if they are awarded one of the two retail licenses allocated to Skamania County by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB). There are a number of reasons we have undertaken this eort. Foremost among them is our belief a PDA will place more emphasis on meeting the mandates and fullling the goals of I-502, the ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana use in our state, rather than focusing exclusively on nancial gain. Some of the goals set forth in I-502 include ensuring public safety, preventing illegal sales and diversion to minors and funding substance-abuse prevention, research, education, health care and law enforcement services.
The idea of forming a PDA has been a topic of discussion at our City Council meetings dating back at least as far as our September 10, 2013 meeting. We held a Public Hearing regarding this issue at our November 12, 2013 meeting and it has been a recurring topic during the Public Comment part of virtually every council meeting since then.
The council voted to approve the creation of the PDA at the November 12th meeting and voted to approve the appointment of a board of directors to oversee the activities of the PDA at a special meeting on November 19th. The original PDA board consisted of Rachele Rice, Chuck Green, Dan Smith, Tim Dudley, and Steven Grimsrud. This is a groundbreaking endeavor and we feel the composition of this board provides our city with a diverse group of intelligent, dedicated individuals who are willing to volunteer their time and energies to help make this undertaking a success.