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Town of Friday Harbor adopted new fee schedule, hired vendor for permit processing,

League of Women Voters San Juan Observer Corps* attended the Friday Harbor Town Council on Thursday, January 19, 2023 and provided this report to media.

During public comment former Friday Harbor Mayor Farhad Ghatan asked that workforce housing be a future agenda item. He has forwarded the town administrator information about a state program where the town could apply for funds to build workforce housing. He would like to provide some examples and ideas.

San Juan County Land Bank did a presentation on their plans to link up trails through Linde Park to Beaverton Valley Marsh. There are four parts: the first with a trailhead at Halvorson Road is open. Redwing Trail headed at Linde Park is scheduled to open late summer or fall of 2023 and section 3 next year, while the date for the final portion over the marsh is TBD.

The broadband discussion with Rock Island was postponed to the next meeting.

The Community Planning department has resubmitted town expansion plans a single proposal to the County.

They have selected a vendor for on-line permitting.

The Housing Action Plan is slated to be complete in June.

Mayor Ray Jackson had heard some requests from business asking for an ordinance to allow short-term signage for new business. The Council noted this could prove complicated and suggested that businesses interested in this come to public comment time and make their case.

The town will stop issuing temporary business licenses, which henceforth can be obtained from the state online with a fast turnaround. The town renewed contracts and will update plans for the Friday Harbor Landfill.

The Council adopted a new fee schedule and noted that they wanted to talk to the county about accessing state funds for risk reduction including incentives to install sprinklers in older businesses.

Town Administrator Denice Kulseth reported Water Department staff are getting credentialed. There is no union contract. She and the Mayor will meet with Congressman Larsen on Friday. 

Mayor Jackson was in a meeting with the governor where towns asked for more flexibility in using the lodging tax for workforce housing.

The Mayor asked that we remember Dr. Marin Luther King by showing empathy to others.

*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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