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Town of Friday Harbor: Nash Street opens Oct. 9; crackdown on misuse of water by out-of-town property owers

LWVSJ Observer Corps*: Friday Harbor Town Council, October 5, 2023

Council Member Steve Hushebeck, presiding in the absence of the mayor, proclaimed October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Safe San Juans Director Dave Dunaway thanked the Council and Town for their support in raising awareness of a problem that can affect anyone.

The Council approved an application for a grant for repairs and maintenance at Sunken Park. The lighting in the gazebo at the park has been repaired already.

The Council approved four small change orders on the Nash Street project to fix infrastructure issues uncovered during construction and to source cheaper topsoil. The paving work is done, and access to the street will open on Monday. Only tree planting, clean-up and streetlight installation remain to complete the project. At the next meeting the Council will schedule a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Public Works Director proposed a project for a more clearly marked pedestrian crossing on Tucker Street at the north side of Harbor Street with a stripe crossing and pedestrian crossing signs. A member of the public asked why the Town decided not to make such a crossing at Larson, where many people cross unsafely. They listed several reasons why that intersection is not a safe place to encourage people to cross. Public works will present a project proposal with a budget for Council approval at the next meeting. 

Anna Maria De Freitas reported working on the joint letter with the County to Washington State Ferries. 

The Administrator reported the town was ordering some new additional Christmas decorations. The Town is close to a settlement with the Grange over an outstanding bill.

The Town is negotiating a renewal of their lease of the Sutton Road waste facility. 

Town planning is following up some town residents regarding permitting for signs and events.

Friday Harbor High School Students will be touring some public work facilities, and the Town may look at some high school summer internships.

The interlocal agreement with the Fire District on business inspections will be ready for approval by Council soon.

She reported the review of the town’s water rights has shown they are currently drawing only about half their water rights. A full report on their water rights situation is coming soon.  They will begin code enforcement regarding water supply on parcels outside town limits that are operating commercial establishments.

The town has the right to regulate water haulers but will probably need to create code around the issue and to discuss what parameters they want to regulate.

*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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