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The 75¢ Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Vol. 106 Issue 50
of the San Juan Islands
Budget affords $6M to ‘capital’
Reservations? Full steam ahead By Scott Rasmussen Journal editor
‘14 improvements include new Parks office, sheriff boat By Steve Wehrly Journal reporter
The County Council on Dec. 3, meeting on Lopez Island, approved a 2014 budget, capital improvement plan and a staffing, pay and benefits plan. The bottom line: $54,469,654 for the “Grand Total County” budget; $6,124,203 for the capital improvements plan, included in the budget; 219.7 full-time equivalents, which roughly means roughly 220 employees. The $54.5 million 2014 budget is 2.6 percent less than the 2013 budget of about $55.6 million. The 2014 staffing level of 219.7 FTEs represents a reduction of about 6 FTEs. Because employees are hired, fired and retire during the year, the actual number of people working for the county may not be reduced. The largest budget reduction was about $1.5 million for county roads, from about $11.8 million in 2013 to roughly $10.3 million budgeted for 2014. “Roads” is a budgetary line item that varies from yearto-year based on the availability of federal and state contributions to local road construcSee BUDGET, Page 4
Journal file photo
Travelers planning to ride ferries like the Seath, above, may well be able to make reservations beginning in early winter of 2014.
More cracks in Spring St. water line
See RESERVATIONS, Page 4 Deep in a hole, town employees braved bone-chilling temperatures to repair cracks in a water line on Spring Street, Saturday, Dec. 7.
Journal staff report
Cracks in the water line Saturday on Spring Street, between Second Streets and Argyle Avenue, spilled roughly 20,000 gallons of water and cut off water supplies to about 10 businesses for about seven hours. Town of Friday Harbor Administrator Duncan Wilson said four town employees spent about 12 hours in bone-chilling temperatures, dropping as low as 10 degrees, working to repair the
Those who travel by ferry in the San Juans will likely be able to do what they’ve always done at any hotel or restaurant, come this time next year: make a reservation. Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary David Moseley last week said confidence that a reservation system could work in the islands is ebbing among members of a local group tasked with helping Ferries establish such a system for its San Juan sailings. That’s largely because, he said, the original concept for that system has been scuttled. “The effort as it stands today is bearing fruit,” Moseley said. “There’s a concept that’s been agreed upon that people think will work.” The latest concept no longer would require those making reservations to be tied to a WSF frequent-user program, such as its Premier Account, a popular program with riders down sound, and would allot a percentage of automobile space for reservations made well in advance, those made closer to the time of a particular sailing, and then a portion reserved for those traveling without reservation at all. San Juan Ferry Advisory Committee
Contributed photo / Duncan Wilson
break. “We’re very proud of the job that the crew did in horrible conditions,” said Wilson, noting that repair costs totaled about $2,000, mostly for workers’ wages. Water spilled out of two dete-
riorated and rusted portions of the water, each about two-third of an inch in size, Wilson said. It’s the second substantial break in the town’s aging water line in the past 15 months. A crack in the See CRACKS, Page 4
2011 Special Award; Second Place: General Excellence from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
14 • Sport s Pr
Winter Sports Preview Let the games begin; inside you’ll find stories, schedules, team photos, and more of Friday Harbor winter sports.