Skagit Land Trust Protects Kelly’s Point
The immense bluffs, coastal forest, and marine shoreline of Kelly’s Point have been conserved by Skagit Land Trust. Over 450 families, businesses, and organizations donated towards the $1,380,000 purchase that conserved the property on the southwest corner of Guemes Island...Skagit Land Trust will manage the property as one of its conservation areas. [Read more]

On The Real Capacity Of A Bigger Ferry
After Ms. Rowe and Mr. Randall-Gutter failed to respond to our questions on just how they planned to load 32 cars in the same amount of time they now struggle to load 21, Commissioner Ron Wesen stepped in to answer. Plus, tell us your choice for scheduling a larger ferry.
[Read more]  [Current Results]

Fight The Ferry Tax!
There are currently two bills in the Transportation Committees of the Washington State House and Senate that will modify the law to allow Skagit County to create a Ferry Taxing District of Guemes Island. We have set up an email that you can sign and send to the Joint Transportation Committee, urging changes to the bills that would grant us a vote on the creation of the district or require any ferry taxing district be county-wide. Please read, sign and send. [Read more]

Comment On The Proposal For A New Guemes Ferry
Mr. Millikan begins with a comment that a Guemes-only ferry tax is unfair because it "is based on property value not on ferry use." [Comment]

Ferry Committee Supports Senate Bill 6354
"Senate Bill 6354 provides relief to the County from the requirement that it create a ferry taxing district." [Read more]

New Ferry? If So, How To Finance It?
"...fairness and equity would require implementation of a two-tier rate schedule.  Property owners should be provided with a base fare predicated on maintenance and operation (M&O) costs only, while non-owners’ rates should address M&O as well as a capital improvement component..." -Mark Spahr  [Read more]

Replacement Ferry Environmental Review
"Skagit County Planning and Development Services is performing an environmental review on the proposal from Skagit County Public Works to replace the Guemes-Fidalgo island ferry vessel." Written comment deadline is February 15. [Read more]

GIPAC Comments For Environmental Review
"The capacity and operations of the replacement ferry should be carefully calibrated to balance the needs of a growing island population against the potential for accelerating or stimulating growth beyond the capacity of the island’s sole source aquifer and its desire to retain rural character."  [Read more]

A Comment For Environmental Review
"In summary, the scale of impact of the increased traffic and growth posed by the new ferry mandates an Environmental Impact Study." [Read more]

Protecting Guemes Island Groundwater
"The fragile nature of Guemes Island’s groundwater supply is recognized in a variety of ways in the Skagit County Code. Special regulations apply to wells, alternative water supplies, land division, and land use permits—due to the designation of Guemes Island as a “sole source aquifer,” a “seawater intrusion area,” and an “aquifer recharge area.”...In 2016, the Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC) proposed additional code provisions to enhance protections for the island’s aquifer and to plug some gaps in the County’s enforcement of its existing code. The purpose of this paper is to identify and reassess the key code provisions that currently protect water resources on Guemes Island." [Read more]

Protecting Guemes Island Groundwater   [PDF]

County Road Administration Board
Program Project Application:
Guemes Island Ferry Replacement

Skagit County has applied for a $10 million contribution toward a new vessel available from the County Road Administration Board (CRAB). In the County's application is the following excerpt from the Financial Plan:
"County Ferry District – Based on a potential County Ferry District that would encompass all of Guemes Island, we assume a $0.75 per $1,000 property tax levy is assessed in the first year (estimated to be 2020) with revenue growing at the State property tax revenue limitation of 1% per year. The revenue estimate is based on the actual tax assessed value for Guemes Island for the 2018 tax year and assumed assessed value increase of 3% per year for 2019 and 2020.

Ticket Surcharge - A ticket surcharge to be charged on each one way and round trip fare, including monthly and multi-ticket fares. We assume revenue from this surcharge will be available for the project starting in 2020. Depending on the methodology for establishing the surcharge, this revenue may represent 220,000 fares at a $1 surcharge or 110,000 fares at a $2 surcharge, based on historical ridership counts."

[Read Application]

Water, Water, Everywhere, But... 
Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.

At first glance, the drought predicament of the Ancient Mariner has nothing to do with life on an island. But a little reflection changes that perception. An island environment is like the Ancient Mariner's ship: a certain store of fresh water exists, but beyond that is the undrinkable salt sea. [Read more]

Guemes Island Property Sales  LAST SALE: 2.6.18

From Our Island Organizations

Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee

Monday, March 5, 2018
6:30 PM