No public comment on county’s budget

The Island County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a $92.3 million budget, and a 1 percent increase on a property tax levy for 2018, during a public hearing Monday.

No one from the community spoke about either the budget or tax levies during the public comment portions of the meeting, and the commissioners remarked that none of them received emailed comments.

“I think the lack of comment is reflective of the lack of controversy,” said Commissioner Rick Hannold.

Significant new expenditures for next year include funding for a new Camano annex facility and $6 million for a planned road to connect Houston and Race roads.

The sheriff correction’s division received a total of $84,950 for inmate medications, window replacement, new mattresses, a new bench for the recreational area and an additional control room operator at the jail.

The county’s current expense property tax levy over last year will total $82,977.56, not including revenue from taxes on new construction. The commissioners decided not to increase the county road or conservation futures levies.

During the meeting, Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said she had been in favor of an increase to the conservation futures levy, but compromised with the other commissioners to agree not to.

“If ever there was a fund that identified the different thought processes of the commissioners, this is it,” said Commissioner Jill Johnson at the hearing.

The conservation futures program allows the county to purchase property with the intention of preserving threatened areas of open space, timber lands, wetlands, habitat areas, culturally significant sites and farmlands. Hannold said he believes the program has “outgrown its usefulness” and will possibly need to be reassessed in the future.

Johnson said the commissioners agreed to limit taxation to avoid adding to the potential burden created by state taxes in 2017.

Budget Director Elaine Marlow called the county’s budget “status quo,” because it included few changes from previous years. The budget can be found on the General Services Administration page on the county’s website.

More in News

Icy roads lead to six crashes on Thursday

It was an unlucky day for South Whidbey drivers on Thursday morning… Continue reading

Critics reignite issues with The Machine Shop in Langley

Patience is wearing thin among some of The Machine Shop’s critics. Three… Continue reading

New Island County contract brings more WSU programs

As of March 1, Washington State University Extension, Island County will serve… Continue reading

Man who burned down two homes pleads guilty to lesser charge

A man who started a fire that burned down two homes on… Continue reading

Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                Deputy Marshal Leif Haugen reads to second grader Colby Terry in the library of Coupeville Elementary School. Haugen is part of the recently launched “Bigs with Badges” program at Big Brother Big Sisters that pairs children in the community with law enforcement officers.
Bigs with Badges: Connecting with kids

On a typical Tuesday afternoon, students and staff at Coupeville Elementary School… Continue reading

Historical society to lead presentation about Gabelein family history

Pick up a local phone book. Thumb to the page with the… Continue reading

Van driver accused of ramming pickup truck

The driver of a van is accused of chasing down a car… Continue reading

South End getting first drug treatment center

Freeland will soon be home to the first medicaid-funded substance use disorder… Continue reading

Langley man airlifted after rollover crash

A Langley resident was airlifted for treatment after rolling his 1995 Ford… Continue reading

Most Read