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

Clinton walk-in clinic set to open June 2

A new Clinton walk-in clinic is slated to open June 2 and… Continue reading

Sand build-up leads to closure of Mutiny Bay boat ramp

The boat launch at Mutiny Bay will remain closed due to sand… Continue reading

Lions member building birdhouses to help food bank

A South Whidbey man is using his time at home constructively by… Continue reading

South Whidbey registering kindergarteners for 2020-21

Our goal is to register all prospective kindergarten students as soon as… Continue reading

Restaurants, retail and other businesses in Island County can reopen under variance

Restaurants can serve people at tables inside, stylists can start cutting hair,… Continue reading

Relief in works for Oak Harbor businesses

The city of Oak Harbor is partnering with Island County and the… Continue reading

Greenbank man accused of raping unconscious woman

A 36-year-old Greenbank man is in jail after he was allegedly caught… Continue reading

Woman accused of hitting sleeping man with beer bottle

A 39-year-old Oak Harbor woman is accused of hitting a sleeping man… Continue reading

Island County employees targets of employment benefits fraud

About 30 employees of Island County government are victims of a complex… Continue reading

Most Read