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County Council

Posted on: January 11, 2023

Council Meeting Review: January 10, 2023

County Council News

This meeting included adopting legislative priorities, setting public hearings, and more.

This document is a review of the County Council meeting, Tuesday, January 10, 2023. Information related to agenda changes, Consent Agenda, and Public Comment are on the County website.

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Approve a Resolution Declaring an Emergency and Waiving Competitive Bidding Requirements for HVAC Replacement at 520 Spring Street

The County Council finds that the lack of an operable HVAC system at 520 Spring Street in Friday Harbor resulting from a fire in the air handler constitutes an emergency. Emergency replacement is necessary to prevent freezing temperatures from adversely affecting the building and its occupants. 

Therefore, the Council voted to approve the resolution declaring an emergency and waiving the competitive bidding requirements for HVAC replacement. 

DISCUSSION: Transportation Project Ranking for Washington State Department Grant –Richard Uri, Behavioral Health Specialist –Health & Community Development, Mark Tompkins, Director of Health & Community Services

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) requires a ranking of transportation projects in our region every two years with their grant cycle.  San Juan County has three projects reliant on this process:   The San Juan County Transportation Voucher Program grant, the Island Rides Operating Expense grant, and the Island Rides Capital Improvement grant.  We are required to reach out to stakeholders and end users of the program to rank them A, B, or C as to importance.  The outreach was completed, and all three programs averaged A rankings after totaling their scores.  WSDOT has communicated that since our region has only three projects, all are likely to be granted as long as funding is available.

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Approve a Resolution for the 2023 Legislative Priorities

In anticipation of the 2023 Legislative Session of the Washington State Legislature and the United States Congress, San Juan County discussed its legislative priorities, reviewed and considered the nature and scope of proposed activities, and adopted the priorities set forth. Council will track and comment on legislation that may affect the County, especially in the areas of funding, financing, and delivery of services. 

Council voted to adopt the legislative priorities for the 2023 legislative session. 

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Grant Pursuit Request for Composting Infrastructure, Kendra Smith, Environmental Stewardship Director

Environmental Stewardship's Solid Waste Program has been developing a commercial Composting Feasibility Analysis, to identify where and how the County could divert green waste from the waste stream.  The goal is to help reduce our carbon footprint, align with WA State mandates to divert green waste, and find viable reuse of the finished compost.

Though the final report on the Composting Feasibility Analysis is not due until March, there is sufficient information for the County to pursue a currently open EPA grant opportunity to secure capital resources for construction of compost facilities on San Juan and Orcas Island (where the volume of green waste is greatest).  We have worked with the consultants Resource Synergy to start preparation of the grant package.  However, we have determined the amount of the grant ask exceeds $100,000 and requires Council approval to advance this effort.

Council voted to approve the grant pursuit request for composting infrastructure. 

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Set Public Hearing for Conveyance of a Utility Easement at Coffelt Farm, Lincoln Bormann, Land Bank Director

In 2022, Land Bank staff were informed by OPALCO that the property owner to the north wanted to connect to electrical power in tandem with construction of a residence.  The shortest route for power connection is via the OPALCO box at Coffelt Farm.  The utility line would run beneath the existing farmstand parking area to the property line with no need for tree cutting.  The alternative route avoiding Coffelt Farm would result in the need to cut a number of trees and disturb the forest floor.

Council voted to set a hearing on the Conveyance of a Utility Easement at Coffelt Farm during the meeting of February 7, 2023 at 9:15am. 

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Set Public Hearing for Conveyance of Lease at Coffelt Farm, Lincoln Bormann, Land Bank Director

The Land Bank Commission has gone through a lengthy process to determine the best avenue for managing Coffelt Farm Preserve on Orcas Island since the acquisition closed in 2012.  In the wake of the non-profit Coffelt Farm Stewards ending involvement with the property, a short-term lease was awarded to Lum Farm in 2019 while an assembled Conservation Agricultural Resource Team -- Coffelt Farm conducted an analysis of possible alternatives.  

In April 2021, the CART Team issued its final report recommending a long term lease to one entity (private farmer, non-profit organization, etc.).  Later in 2021, a request for proposals was issued seeking parties to apply for a lease.  Only one proposal was received, from Lum Farm, and in 2022 the Commission recommended negotiating a long term lease with them.  This process was recently concluded and the finalized Commission - recommended lease is coming before the County Council for final approval.

Council voted to set a hearing for Conveyance of a Lease at Coffelt Farm during the meeting of February 7, 2023 at 9:15am.

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Set Public Hearing for Conveyance of Conservation Easement Deed for Lopez Hill Addition Project, Lincoln Bormann, Land Bank Director

In 2021, the Land Bank purchased a 75-acre property adjacent to its Lopez Hill Preserve on Lopez Island with the intention of selling a "forever wild" conservation easement to the San Juan Preservation Trust as a condition of purchase.    The property features forests with extensive western red cedar stands, rock escarpments, and seasonal wetlands.   It also creates an important buffer for the Preserve.  

The Land Bank and the Trust entered into a cooperative agreement for the easement to be drafted and sale concluded in 2022.  The agreed upon price was $356,250.00 or 50 percent of the sales price paid by the Land Bank.  The easement has now been finalized and the Trust has raised the funds necessary to complete the purchase.

The Land Bank now wishes to convey the easement.

Council voted to set a hearing for Conveyance of a Conservation Easement Deed for the Lopez Hill Addition Project on February 7, 2023 at 9:15am.

Resume January 9, 2023 Retreat Items

Council resumed discussions of retreat items for the remainder of the day. 

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