$467,000 in grants awarded for local projects

They may not have gotten everything they asked for.

But all three applicants came away with a share of San Juan County’s economic development dollars as part of last week’s annual distribution of the so-called HB 2260 fund.

Approved July 29 by the County Council, those distributions are:

— $195,000 to the county Department of Public Works.
— $100,000 to the Town of Friday Harbor.
— $85,000 to the Eastsound Sewer and Water District.

The town also received an additional $87,000 through its standing receipt of 25 percent of the amount collected annually in the fund.

The HB 2260 fund, established by the Legislature in 1999, provides rural counties which plan under the state Growth Management Act with a .09 percent kickback on local sales tax revenue. The revenue is used to support economic development projects sponsored by public agencies.

To qualify for funding, the agencies must also be included in the county’s economic development plan.

Public Works sought nearly twice as much as it received, while the Eastsound Sewer and Water District had requested $135,000.

A total of $380,000 in sales-tax revenue collected in 2007 was available last week for distribution.

In a unanimous decision, the council followed recommendations of the county’s 2260 committee. That group consists of the council chairman, the auditor, the mayor of Friday Harbor and a member of the Friday Harbor Port Commission.

According to County Administrator Pete Rose, the awards will help Public Works finance stormwater management projects in Eastsound; help the Eastsound Sewer and Water District connect to homes in an Eastsound Village affordable housing neighborhood, sponsored by OPAL Community Land Trust; and help the town complete Phase 4 of the Guard Street reconstruction project.

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