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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hearing set for town’s ‘14 budget By Megan Hansen Editor

Coupeville Town Council will hold a public hearing next week to seek input on the draft $5.1 million 2014 budget. The document reflects a few changes to town finances including a 5 percent cost of living increase for town employees. Mayor Nancy Conard said employees haven’t seen a raise since 2009. “There was a steady upswing in sales tax revenue,” she said. “It was time.” When budgeting, Conard said she takes a very conservative approach. If revenue increases, she said she usually waits a couple years to see if the increase is consistent prior

VOL. 19, NO. 16

Raising hope

See TOWN page 12

Mayor plans to propose one-way road By Megan Hansen Editor

In an attempt to deal with bluff erosion, Town of Coupeville officials are looking at possibly turning part of Front Street into a one-way road as a way to deal with bluff erosion issues. Mayor Nancy Conard said she is waiting for additional reports from surveyors before bringing a recommendation to council. She said she anticipates that happening early next year. Officials started looking at options after part of the bluff gave way earlier this year, causing part of the pedestrian walkway to crack and be taped off from foot traffic. The area in question is a residential area, between Main Street and Gould Street, and the road sees minor traffic, Conard said. Part of her inquiry has been to visit with residents who live along the road and get their opinion. Conard said she still has a couple more residents to talk to, but so far everyone she’s

See EROSION page 12

Nathan Whalen photo

Nicole Parra, an animal care technician at Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation, holds a lhasa apso that is available for adoption. WAIF leaders are raising money to build a larger, more comfortable shelter for the animals the organization houses.

New shelter one step in WAIF’s goal for expanding service By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter

If fundraising goes as expected, stray animals caught on Whidbey Island could have a new home. Officials with the Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation are raising money and constructing a new campus. Nearly $2 million has been raised and leaders are looking to collect another $1.8 million to pay for construction of a new 8,700-square-foot- building on 9.8 acres of land located across the street from the current shelter near Coupeville. Waif’s current home is only 2,200 square feet in size, lacks potable water and is located on a former landfill that vents methane. “It’s a pretty minimal space,” said Bob Rupp, WAIF board president who is also helping manage the project. “We’re grateful the county has let us use the building for as

long as we have.” He added the county-owned building was never designed to be a shelter and it’s a challenge for staff to meet health standards. Officials announced the public portion of the fundraising campaign in August. The public portion of the campaign features a “Tag the Wall” medallion. Donors pay $50 for a custom engraved dog or cat medallion, which will be placed on a wall that will be located in the new shelter. In the months since the public announcement, approximately $150,000 has been raised. Rupp said a “friendly competition” is underway to see whether more dog lovers or cat lovers purchase a medallion. Rupp described WAIF as a minimal kill shelter, where dogs and cats, which are either too sick or too incorrigible, are euthanized. He added that approximately 60 percent of the dogs and cats are eventually returned to

their owners. In 2012, 320 dogs and 173 cats came through the WAIF shelter near Coupeville. For the dogs, 141 were adopted, 132 were returned to their owners, four were transferred to other shelters and 14 were put to sleep. For cats, 123 were adopted and 14 were put to sleep while the others remain in WAIF custody, according to information provided by the organization. The new shelter would feature more space to house animals. Plus, the nearly 10-acre property would provide space for the animals to exercise. Expanding the facility would also allow the nonprofit organization to expand services such as the spay-and-neuter program. The first building for WAIF’s new shelter is already complete. Thanks to the help of volunteers and grant funding, its new annex

See WAIF page 12

Whidbey Examiner, November 21, 2013  

November 21, 2013 edition of the Whidbey Examiner

Whidbey Examiner, November 21, 2013  

November 21, 2013 edition of the Whidbey Examiner