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Friday Harbor Town Council: Crime stats, new wastewater plant, traffic planning at Ferry terminal

LWVSJ Observer Corps*: The following are summaries of the two recent Friday Harbor Town Council meetings: December 29, 2022 and January 5, 2023

December 29, 2022:

The Town Council passed a final amendment to the 2022 Town Budget and adopted the 2023 Town Budget.

It was suggested Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) be discussed in early 2023.

The Town Housing Plan will be before the Council this Spring and the Planning Commission will spend 15-20 minutes per meeting in the next few months to brief the council on various elements of the Plan including ADUs.

January 5, 2023:

Planning Commission: Irene Voskamp was appointed to the Town Planning Commission.

Public Works Superintendent listed projects planned for 2023:

Decommission sewer pump 4;

Review efficiency of water system plant;

New wastewater treatment plant project;

Nash Street;

Roe Street stormwater project;

Memorial bench update;

Moving to Guard Street facility and laying fiber to connect all Public Works offices;

Chip-seal gravel roads;

Create and update system maps;

Update street classification/standards.

New staff and vehicle acquisitions are occurring.

Working with Planning Commission on the Request for Proposals for ferry/Front St. traffic planning.

New smart water meters proceeding and proving worth in faster leak detection and repair.

San Juan County Sheriff gave basic 2022 stats: there were 4435 calls on SJI, 2607 in Friday Harbor and 1828 in county area. There were 51 arrest and 68 offenses charged in Friday Harbor. The Sheriff will provide the breakdown of offenses and a comparison to 2021 soon.

In response to questions the Sheriff said: 

Plans to meet with SAFE San Juans, Compass Health, the Victims Services Unit and the Family Resource Centers on response to domestic violence and sexual assault cases;

Hopes to work in the schools and have a coalition sponsor forums to hear from youth;

Plans to strengthen animal control;

Changes in drug laws raised possible concerns for law enforcement, but that he fully supported new restrictions on use of force.

Town Administrator reported that an issue with chlorination at the water treatment plant occurred on the night of January 1 and 2. An outside vendor had postponed an inspection for a month. Staff were present and addressed it with no public harm. However due to holiday timing, they failed to meet the deadline in reporting the incident to state authorities and must publicly disclose the late report. The Mayor lauded that transparency.

Union negotiations are close to concluding.

There was a workforce housing meeting with Peace Island Medical Center.

They are working on grants for the sewer project and wastewater treatment upgrade.

Christmas Tree pick-up is January 12.

Thanks to crews who worked long hours to clear road during the snow and ice events.

*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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