Community News

11-07_port-thumb.jpgAnacortes Port Commissioners have approved a $10.6 million budget for next year and set the property levy at $530,000. That levy will cost property owners 8.4 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or about $21.00 for a $250,000 home for the year.

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Anacortes Port Commissioners have approved a $10.6 million budget for next year and set the property levy at $530,000. That levy will cost property owners 8.4 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or about $21.00 for a $250,000 home for the year.

The Port Commissioners Thursday night also rolled back a planned 10 percent increase in moorage fees to 5 percent for next year.

But, much of the meeting dealt with cash flow issues in the $10.6 million budget.

Commissioner Ray Niver said “It looks like a shell game to me,” when he noted that the entire property tax revenue was set to be transferred to the Port’s Environment Fund. He said that looking years ahead, the money transferred from the Tax Fund was still going to be in the Environment Fund. “Why are we taxing anybody if the money is still there?

Commissioner Pat Mooney responded “To say we don’t need taxes is wrong.”

Fellow Port Commissioner Steve Hopley said that by moving tax revenue right into the Environment Fund, they weren’t leaving anything for such things as public access to the water or for land acquisition. “I don’t believe it’s an intent we should show.”

Hopley proposed the Commission amend the budget to leave the tax revenue in the Tax Fund and earmark it for public access. That could make that money available for part of the cost of a Small Boat Center, according to John Pope, a supporter of a small boat center.

Port Executive Director Bob Hyde said “There is a tremendous risk on our port in the cleanup operations,” suggesting the money in the Environment Fund can be used to pay for cleanup until it’s reimbursed by the state or federal governments.

The Port will spend around $35-million dollars for cleanup in Fidalgo Bay and the Guemes Channel. The state Department of Ecology will fund at least $28-million.

The Port Commissioners approved Hopley’s amendment, then approved the 2009 Port budget on a 5-0 vote.

The Commissioners also approved the Port’s Comprehensive Plan, which sets the Port’s vision for the next 20 years.

The Comp Plan noted that there is increasing pressure to redevelop the industrial waterfront and it sets as the Port’s strategy to “Endeavor to provide an adequate buffer etween the Port’s industrial properties and incompatible uses.” It plans to do this by:

  • Prohibit incompatible uses or encroachment on Port properties.
  • Work with the City and adjacent property owners to carefully evaluate any development planned for buffer areas.
  • Acquire adjacent property to expand buffer zones where appropriate.

The Comp Plan is available on the Port’s Web site.

COVID-19 Cases in Skagit County

558 Skagit Cases (+1)
<30 Cases in ZIP 98221

60 Hospitalizations (+0)
16 Deaths (+1)
434 Recovered
12,416 Tested
4.5% Positive

37,420 Cases Statewide (+435)
4,582 Hospitalizations (+38)

1,384 Deaths Statewide (+14)
635,524 Total Tests Statewide
5.9% Positive

Updated 7:00 pm July 7, 2020.

Our Coronavirus page is updated each morning.

County Map: Confirmed COVID-19 cases by ZIP code in Skagit County. Updated weekly.

Sources: Skagit County Public Health, Washington State Department of Health, New York Times

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