Ferry Crew Offered 2% Raise, Manager Gets 4%
"In 10 years, Skagit County spent $593,000 on unused equipment, an unbudgeted management position, and a consultant to do work usually conducted internally....The county...is offering ferry workers 2% wage increases for 2023 and 2024, although other departments were offered 3% and unrepresented workers, including the ferry manager, received 4% increases...We support the wage increases for other departments, but we question the unequal treatment of the ferry crew. Braun and the county may say that 2% is all the county can afford, but the record proves otherwise...The ferry's contract negotiating team said the county's failure to properly manage ferry expenses and revenue has affected its ability to provide wages that keep pace with the cost of living..." [Read more]

County Responds to Young's Park Concerns
"Due to the unexpected loss of the stockpiling area at the Schoolhouse Park, the Operations Division had limited time to find a new location on the island to stockpile material for the upcoming 2022 road maintenance season. It was the understanding of Skagit County Operations that because the County owned the land at Young's Park, and as the Park's Department had desired to have an overflow parking area at that location for some time, that we would be able to use it for staging this season without first obtaining permits. We later learned that this was not the case. As a result, the County is now going through the proper avenues, retroactively, to obtain all permits and meet any requirements found necessary per the formal review process. In summation, this was an error by the County that we are working to correct."
Response To Public Comments
Determination of Non-Significance

Remembering Terry Ebersole
"Terry and Jan loved their home, friends, and community on the island. For years they were both involved with various island activities and fundraisers. Even with all their travels and love for the fine arts, there was literally nowhere else in the world that they wanted to be. They were fortunate to do just what they'd hoped to: live out the rest of their lives on the island...As Jan's Celebration of Life was postponed due to COVID, the family is planning a Celebration for both of them in June, with details to follow in the near future." [Read more]

Ferry Committee Fare Proposal Message
"The Ferry Committee intends to aid in the Public Comment Process and keep people informed...the public input process for this project is our opportunity to tell Public Works and the Commissioners that this [fare] proposal is unacceptable. This is our opportunity to tell them how this affects our lives, our businesses, our budgets, and our ability to continue to be part of this community. Every comment letter they receive gets put into the public record as part of this decision making process, and Skagit County will hopefully review them and act on your feedback..." [Read more]

Accounting Methods and Proposed Fare Increase
"The assessed value for Guemes Island for 2023 is an impressive $605,785,292. The current rate is $1.30/$1000 of the assessed value. This means that Guemes Island will subsidize the County Road Fund in the amount of $787,521 in 2023. The County does not in its accounting methodology allow this Road Fund revenue to be applied directly against the operating cost of the Guemes Ferry... [Read more]

Ferry Ridership Talking Points On Fare Increase
Some suggestions for comments to the Commissioners (by email until March 31). [Read more]

Guemes Island Ferry Fare Study
KPFF presented their ferry fare study to the County Commissioners today, February 23. Peak season fare for a walk-on goes from $5 to $8 ($10 if you have a bicycle), and a standard size car and driver from $15 to $25. The 25 trip adult walk-on punch card rises from $77 to $116. And there's more. Comments can be made by email until March 31.
The Guemes Island Ferry Fare Study Report

Ferry Tales: Fares' Fair?
A few years ago former Commissioner Don Munks took a trip to Lopez and said he thought $25 a trip very reasonable. Unlike those other islands the Commissioners mention as comparable now in fares, we do not have services here. You can buy groceries on Lopez, eat at good restaurants, get medical care and rarely need to leave that island. Here, we must go in for all those errands and more. Adding $25 to the cost of a meal or the cost of your groceries may well be a budget breaker for some... [Read more]

The Guemes Island Mug
Rather than hustle for donations, LineTime has been funded through the sale of a variety of items: Between Eden and Oz book, the Guemes Island Atlas, Posters, notecards, and more. Now we offer the Guemes Island Mug. The LineTime Store.

Guemes Island Property Sales  LAST SALE: 1.20.23

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Thursday, March 23, 2023
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