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San Juan County Council: Contracting for Courthouse repair, working on game plan for Zylstra Trail

League of Women Voters San Juan Corps* - San Juan County Council held its regular meeting January 24, 2023. During the public comment period, Town of Friday Harbor Mayor Jackson made a plea for speed in responding to proposals for the Harbor Townhome Project at Malcolm and Argyle. It is a joint project between the Town and County.  An Orcas Island resident asked for attention to the inadequacies of the boat ramp and boat tie up on Orcas serving Obstruction and Blakely Islands.

The Council discussed a request for a County Proclamation on the Southern Resident Killer Whales. The prosecuting attorney was asked to draft a resolution to present to Council. Four citizens spoke in support of the proposed resolution.

The Council swapped dates for future away meetings to May 9 Shaw, July 25 Decatur and September 12 Lopez.

The Council reviewed regional transportation and ferry issues. On ferries, new boats are still five years out, but there is some progress on staffing issues. There is no public road transport in the county, but each island has some private transport options and non-profit Island Rides, which gets some public funding, operates on the three most populous islands. The Council decided to explore joining a regional transport organization.

Lopez ferry terminal needs improvements and the lack of reservations for Lopez is an issue. 

The Council approved a letter requesting the Skagit County Housing Authority which manages SJC federal housing vouchers, to create a process to reallocate unused vouchers to affordable housing projects.

The County Manager reported that contracts are close with consultants to do a comprehensive human resource analysis and for the courthouse repair project; they are working on a game plan for the Zylstra Trail project; they are meeting to formulate staff recommendations on the Argyle Lots proposals and sea-level rise impact report meetings are ongoing.

The Council appointed Gary Franklin to the Planning Commission.

*The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.


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