Orcas Island public facilities for improving trails, repairing the Skate Park, installing parking at Deer Harbor and establishing a visitor experience at Orcas Landing, won significant funding from the county’s sales and use tax awards this year. In addition, the county Economic Development Council earned annual funding for this year and the next for its Trades Initiative program.
On August 8, the San Juan County Council approved the recommendations of the 2017 Public Facilities Financing Assistance Fund (PFFAF) evaluation team for $221,184.
PFFAP Evaluation Team Funding Recommendations:
|Total Request||Recommended Funding|
|San Juan County Parks & Fair||Agate Beach County Park – Parking Expansion||$ 26,128.00||$ 26,128.00|
|Eastsound Planning Review Committee through San Juan County Public Works||Eastsound Community Trails||$ 200,000.00||$ 30,000.00|
|San Juan County Public Works||Upper Deer Harbor Hamlet Parking||$400,000.00||$ 40,000.00|
|Orcas Island Park and RecDistrict||Orcas Island.Skate Park (Repair)||$ 20,000.00||$ 20,000.00|
|Town of Friday Harbor||Argyle Avenue Sidewalk Repair Project||$ 31,000.00||$ 25,000.00|
|San Juan County Public Works||Orcas Landing Visitor Experience Access||$86,500.00||$ 45,703.00|
|Economic Development Council||SJC EDC Trades Initiatives ( for 2018) (This amount was requested for each of five years. The committee recommends pre-approval of $34,353.00 for the next grant application cycle.)||$34,353.00||$ 34,353.00
(With a recommendation to pre-approve the same amount for the 2018/19 cycle)
County law (RCW 82.14.370) authorizes San Juan County to collect a 0.09% sales and use tax for public facilities serving economic development purposes in rural counties, and to finance personnel in economic development offices. The law further requires the County to consult with cities, towns, and port districts located within the county, and the associate development organization serving the county, to ensure the expenditures meet the goals of the law. The evaluation team that reviewed the applications and made recommendations for funding to the Council was comprised this year of the following:
- Milene Henley, County Auditor;
- Rick Hughes, County Council Chair;
- Gretchen Bailey, SJ Economic Development Council;
- Tami Hayes, Port Districts (Port of Friday Harbor);
- Duncan Wilson, Town of Friday Harbor
The team met Thursday July 13th to review 10 applications submitted through the request for proposal process that closed Friday June 16th. The applications were sent to the Prosecuting Attorney for legal review.
The requested funding from the ten applicants totaled $1,439,097.
Applicants were invited to make a short presentation to the team, and to answer questions. A representative from eight of the 10 applying agencies participated in this process (the Port of Orcas and the Port of Lopez applicants did not attend). Following the presentations the committee members, by unanimous consensus, eliminated three grant applications from funding consideration in 2017:
- the Port of Orcas proposal for a Park, Ride and Walk lot in Eastsound (requested amount – $250,000);
- the Port of Lopez bathroom and shower facility design for $9,000.00;
- the OPAL Community Land Trust request for the April’s Grove Rental Housing utility connections and easement at $317,116.
The committee took into account the Prosecutor’s analysis on the Port of Lopez and the OPAL applications. Questions they had on the Port of Orcas application were not answered at the meeting.
The evaluation team was unanimous in the final recommendation, to provide funding to seven of the ten applicants.