A Message from Commissioner Bacon

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Island County

District 1 News - May 4, 2023

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¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 18th week of 2023.

  • Regular Session. You can find the agenda and video recording for this week’s Tuesday’s meeting here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/b87f5aed-03e1-4308-8716-505d424e2243
    • Public comment this week focused on an RV encampment, compatible use near airports, and Island County’s use of grants. During Commissioners’ responses, one of my colleagues asked that we bring the LIHI contract to work session to review it for compliance, mark 00:13:19 in the video.
    • 1 Resolution was approved this week, C-29-23 (consent): Delegating Certain Authority to and Establishing Certain Authority for the County Administrator
    • 1 Public Hearing was held: Franchise Consolidation PW2019-0117 – Cascadia Water, LLC; Water Distribution System; Whidbey Island; Various Sections, Townships, and Ranges. This franchise was approved.
    • The agenda for next Tuesday’s 10 am meeting is here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/2d1863b2-fe43-4115-a249-ed150ec44da2. On the regular agenda: our contract with Goosefoot Community Fund to utilize Island County ARPA funds.
  • Upcoming Public Hearings
    • May 9, at 10 am: Franchise Renewal PW2022-0151 – Waterloo Acres Community Association, Whidbey
    • May 9, at 10 am: Franchise Renewal PW2022-0208 – Possession Shores, Inc, Whidbey
    • May 9, at 10 am: Franchise Renewal PW2022-0012 – Andy Bernstein and Grand Gard., Sewer Collection System, Camano
    • May 23, at 10 am: Resolution C-27-23, Amending the Island County Code Chapter 2.32 Damage Claim Procedures
  • Work Session: You can find the Wednesday May 3 agenda, audio recording, and Parks presentation (under “Other”) here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Commissioners/Pages/WorkSessions.aspx 
    • First on our agenda was Facilities. We received a $1M clean energy electrification grant; we will use that plus the $3.5M we already budgeted to do a major refit of the County Administration Building in Coupeville (which was built in the 1940’s). Among the improvements planned are removal of the fuel oil boiler, replacement of rooftop HVAC, a backup power generator, roof restoration, window replacement, stucco and building envelope restoration, replacement of lighting with LED lights, and rooftop solar installation. This initiative is being taken in response to the Board’s commitment to carbon reduction in our climate resolution passed last year.
    • Public Works gave a presentation on Parks level of service (see “Other” for May 3 on the link above); note: there are a couple of typos regarding some parks locations. The Board is interested in discussing possible enhancements or changes to our parks’ levels of service during our upcoming 2024 budget conversations. This discussion begins at mark 00:43:40 in the audio recording. The presentation includes some interesting data on how many acres of parks Island County and other entities have on Whidbey and Camano.
    • Public Works also went through their 2024-2029 Proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects, beginning on page 73 of the agenda and at mark 01:25:54 in the audio. Among the numerous projects listed and discussed are four Freeland park projects—Freeland Park restroom relocation and replacement, Freeland Hall floor replacement, Freeland dock deck/float repair, and Freeland softshore armoring. We discussed the Freeland dock at mark 01:35:45 in the audio; we cannot complete the permanent fixes this year due to various State and Federal permits and regulations, but the dock will be made useable for this upcoming season. It will open soon with temporary repairs.
    • We learned that the federal government is not going to grant us funds this year for the WA20 shoulder widening.
    • We met with Long Term Planning to discuss their 2023 work plan and docket, plus the first steps we’re taking toward the 2025 Comprehensive Plan, beginning at mark 01:52:30 in the audio. There are some staffing challenges now in Long Range Planning that have pushed the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) completion out another couple of months. We will continue this discussion next week.
    • Michele Reagan from the Auditor’s Office gave a presentation on what it costs to put an initiative on the ballot, beginning at mark 02:30:15.
    • The next work session will be held on May 10th: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Commissioners/worksessions/2023/05102023%20Agenda.pdf. Some of the topics on this agenda: Discussion with the Sheriff on law enforcement for fireworks; discussion of the proposed Island County Equity Statement; continuation of our discussion with Planning on their 2023 Work Plan and Docket, plus update of goals for the 2025 Comprehensive Plan; and a discussion of interdepartmental permitting coordination between Planning, Public Works, and Public Health.
  • The Island Transit Board met today. We were very happy to approve two service enhancements starting at the end of this month.
  • The Planning Commission will meet on May 8; agenda and zoom information here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WACOISLAND/2023/04/28/file_attachments/2482515/PC%20Agenda%205.8.23.pdf. At this meeting, Staff will present a draft schedule for the entire process of the upcoming periodic update to the comprehensive plan.
  • The Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization (IRTPO) will host a public meeting virtually and in-person in Coupeville on June 29, on “How Can Regional Transportation Improvements Benefit Your Community?” I’ll remind you of this next month, but I wanted to start a tickler in your brain in case you have some ideas you want to be thinking about.
  • Monday Tea with Melanie happens most Mondays at 3 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland. This is an open discussion, a time when citizens can tell me what their concerns are and listen to what other citizens have to say. Tea is on me. I will be taking some time off at the end of May, and will not gather for Monday Tea on May 29 or June 5.


"The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow