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May 20, 2019

5/8/2019 1:17:00 PM
State funds flow to Skagit County

The $720,000 appropriated for a new La Conner library in Washington’s 2019 capital budget is the fourth largest allocation of 14 Skagit County District 10 projects totaling $12.55 million. Other nearby projects include $545,000 for Camp Korey for its youth recreational facilities and $22,000 for Skagit City School rehabilitation, managed by the Skagit County Historical Museum.
Many Skagit County projects are environmental and for salmon restoration, including habitat recovery. The largest appropriation is $7,682,000 for the Samish Hatchery intakes. That is over 25 percent of the 10th District capital funding and 60 percent of Skagit County appropriations.
Fir Island’s Wiley Slough Dike at the mouth of the south fork of the Skagit River will get $3.9 million for repairs.
Local estuary and salmon restoration projects will receive $1.2 million. This may include $500,000 for the Skagit Wildlife Area repairs to dike and drainage, southeastern Fir Island property managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and $26,000 for large wood placement in Puget Sound river deltas, the Skagit River.
It also probably includes Fisher ($332,000) and Starbird ($47,000) Creeks southeast of Conway. Fisher Creek flows northwest into the Skagit River and Starbird Creek flows into Fisher Creek. The Similk Bay Shoreline armor removal project, on north central Fidalgo Island, gets $61,000.
The Center for Natural Lands Management in Skagit and Snohomish Counties will get $179,000 for estuary restoration for northern Puget Sound birds.
The Skagit Wildlife Area also gets $80,000 for residence repairs.

In addition, Olson Family Farms received $ 60,000 for a voluntary land preservation agreement for 18 acres just outside the Mount Vernon city limit.
A significant appropriation, $1,000,000, went to the Skagit County Sheriff Office for radios.
Reps. Norma Smith and Dave Paul secured nearly $28.5 million in project funding for their legislative district, covering Island and the western portions of Skagit and Snohomish counties.
“Along with record investments in mental and behavioral health infrastructure, as well as increased funding for K-12 school construction, higher education facilities, low-income housing, natural resources and more, this budget makes critical investments in our 10th District communities,” said Smith, R-Clinton, who serves as the assistant ranking member of the House Capital Budget Committee. “I’ve spent much of the past several months in negotiations on this budget, and can truly say it’s the best capital budget we’ve produced in my time as a state representative. It will make a tremendous difference for many people in our local communities and around the state.”
“These are important investments in our communities that protect natural resources, support first responders, and expand recreational opportunities throughout Island, Skagit, and Snohomish counties,” said Paul, D-Oak Harbor. “We have great quality of life in our part of Washington; this budget invests in strengthening that way of life.”
The Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley libraries, in Senate District 39, will each receive $1 million.

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• Ken Stern

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