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Town of Friday Harbor: Council approves $191K for Visitor Bureau; $2K for derelict vessel removal

LWVSJ Observer Corps*:summary of the February 16, 2023 Friday Harbor Town Council meeting.

In the absence of Mayor Jackson, councilman Mason Turnage chaired the meeting.

Town administrator Denice Kulseth recommended an annual agreement with the Visitor Bureau for destination marketing for $191,000. The Visitor Bureau is working on a Tourism Management Plan that will include input from businesses and town residents on tourism, maximum tourist arrivals, strain on town resources. A Council member or town employee will participate. Council approved the proposal.

The Council approved an agreement between the town, Port of Friday Harbor and San Juan County to continue funding for removal of derelict vessels. Town budgets $2,000 as its part of this agreement.

The Council reviewed and approved the Professional Service Agreement with Wilson Engineering for approximately $3 million dollars for construction, inspection and commissioning the Wastewater Treatment Improvement Plant. The project is expected to take 3 years and cost $19 million dollars total. So far about $3 million dollars has been spent. The town plans to hire a qualified person for project oversight.

Council reviewed and approved a grant for $163,000.00 from the Department of Ecology. This grant is to update the processes to comply with new requirements for nutrient discharge for the wastewater plant.

Denice Kulseth reported on agreed union contract which will be signed and implemented shortly.

Denice attended a webinar on affordable housing programs sponsored by the USDA. It covered what cities in rural, tourist heavy towns are doing to address this need. The cities highlighted were Moab, Utah, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and King City, California. She found the webinar very helpful in considering ways to address our housing issue in the town.

*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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