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Friday Harbor Town Council: Crosswalk on Tucker, utility rates, 4th filter will extend water treatment plant for a decade

LWVSJ Observer Corps* summary of Friday Harbor Town Council, November 2, 2023 meeting.

Food Bank Director Rachelle Radonski thanked the Council for their support for the LifeRing program and matching grant and reported that the Food Banks serves 1100 households with 2300 people a month; they have 50 volunteers, and the renovation is complete.

The finance director reported that she is preparing the budget, including final cost allocations. The Council will need to set utility rates for 2024 in the budget process “Do Not Touch” tags are being attached to all water meters as only town staff may turn a meter on or off.

The Council passed resolutions removing language from the town code on an expired surcharge; authorizing  renewed agreements with the Family Resource Center for the town Utility Assistance Program with the United Way for the Cold Weather Shelter Program; and a contract for value engineering of the Wastewater Treatment plant project.

They had a first touch on a resolution to install a crosswalk at Tucker and Harbor.

The Public Works Director reported that they are moving forward on the option of installing a 4th filter at the water treatment plant to extend its life for a decade+, while they explore options to finance and build a new plant.

The Nash Street project will be complete with the installation of the streetlights, and they will hold a ribbon cutting on November 15 at 12:30 pm.

He reviewed the preliminary design for the Marguerite Place construction project and issues around parking at the ballfield. 

The Planning Commission will recommend delaying updating the Detached Accessory Dwelling ordinance to bring it in line with new state law regarding density and ownership restrictions until the December 2025 deadline to do so, partly to see how litigation may affect elements of the state law in the interim. 

The staff will make recommendations on utility rate increases that match inflation to the Council to be passed before the end of November. For the Transportation Benefit District, The Council agreed to move on .01 percent sales tax and prepare for putting a .02 percent sales tax on the ballot in 2024.

The Administrator reported that their insurers are reviewing the proposed rate increase which may drop from the initial estimate. The town received a $100,000 grant from the state for maintenance projects at Sunken Park.

They will address amending the code regarding food trucks at a future meeting.

*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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