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County receives Glendale land acquisition money

"Island County received $130,000 to help purchase property in Glendale in the budget approved by the Washington State Legislature last week.According to Rep. Kelly Barlean, R-Langley, the money is part of the state's capital budget and is for acquisition of property located where Glendale Creek, a salmon bearing stream, enters Puget Sound.Larry Kwarsick, Island County public works director, said Monday the funding may help the county acquire a lot owned by Ann and John Wojtacha. The lot includes a rental cabin on Glendale beach.Kwarsick said the county has been frustrated because it can't do stream improvement work without a special temporary easement to the Wojtachas' lot, because in that area the creek is not in the public right-of-way.The Wojtachas are presently in Alaska but Kwarsick said that in the past they have been willing to consider selling the lot to Island County. Kwarsick estimated the amount supplied by the state is about half of what it will take to acquire the lot if the Wojtachas are willing to sell.If the purchase is made, Kwarsick said, the county may develop a small public place to give people access to the stream and beach.Meanwhile, Island County is continuing its Glendale Road restoration project after the commissioners gave the go-ahead this spring to a two-lane road, as it was before it washed out in the flood of January 1997. Local residents who organized under the name Friends of Glendale Creek opposed reopening the road in order to protect the stream. Later, they agreed to a one-lane road, but that option also was rejected.Kwarsick said that even though a two-lane road will be reconstructed, the county hopes to soften its impact on the community. On Monday a traffic consultant was hired to come up with what Kwarsick described as traffic calming ideas.I know the community is real frustrated, Kwarsick said. But there are issues we can address to calm traffic. Also Monday, the county commissioners awarded Island Asphalt a $147,000 contract to resurface Glendale Road and build what is called a Hilfiger wall, to protect the upper canyon area against land slides. Eventually, grass will grow over and through the wall cages, giving a natural appearance.The contract also includes replacing a culvert in the upper Glendale canyon, allowing fish access to the upper reaches. Kwarsick said the state Department of Transportation recently contributed $80,000 to the culvert project.The wall, resurfacing and culvert work should be completed this summer. Kwarsick expects Glendale Road to reopen in August. "

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