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County Council

Posted on: May 3, 2023

Council Meeting Review: May 2, 2023

Council meeting review

This meeting included a presentation from the Northwest Straits Initiative, budget amendment information, a discussion about PFAS, and more.

This document is a review of the County Council meeting, Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Information related to agenda changes, Consent Agenda, and Public Comment are on the County website. For additional information about what was discussed, please refer to the recording.  





  • The Auditor’s office requests approval for the following warrants issued the week of April 17, 2023
  • The Auditor’s office requests approval of payroll expenditures and associated benefit expenditures for the pay period ending 04/21/2023.
  • To approve a Resolution Appointing a Hearing Examiner and Authorizing a Consultant Agreement for Hearing Examiner Services.

RECOGNITION: Certificate of Good Practice to San Juan County for the year 2022, by resolution of the County Road Administration Board.  Certificate presented to the County Engineer, Colin Huntemer.


  • United Way –Request of Council, for Ms. Fuller to serve as representative from San Juan County Council, on the local FEMA/EFSP Board 

Council approved this request.

  • UW Public Health Initiative – Evaluating impacts of military noise on human health study. 

Council provided a letter of support.


1.Discussion/Action: Northwest Straits Initiative Reauthorization letter of support and presentation.  Sam Whitridge –Marine Program Coordinator and Lucas Hart – Director of Northwest Straits Commission.

San Juan County Council support was requested for the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative Reauthorization. Congressional reauthorization is needed to ensure ongoing federal support that fully funds the Northwest Straits (NWS) Marine Conservation Initiative. The Initiative’s leadership and work is critical to the health of our marine resources in San Juan County. 

Per the request of County Council, Lucas Hart, Northwest Straits Commission (NWSC) Executive Director, delivered a presentation to Council on the NWSC and its role in supporting the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), after which a draft letter in support of the reauthorization was considered by Council. 

2.Discussion: Second Budget Amendment to the 2023 Budget, 2ndTouch, Molly Foote-Budget Analyst.

The 2022-2023 San Juan County Budget was adopted in Ordinance 16-221 on December 7, 2021. During the mid-biennium review, the 2023 budget was amended in Ordinance 21-2021 on December 6, 2022.

The second amendment to the 2023 budget is comprised of three ordinances (Beginning Cash Balances, Emergency Appropriations, and Supplemental Appropriations). The budget amendment requests were initially reviewed on April 18, 2023 during the First Touch with San Juan County Council.

This Second Touch included a review of any additional budget requests as well as the opportunity for Council to discuss and make recommendations on the budget amendment. 

The Public Hearing is set for May 16, 2023.

3.Discussion: 2023 First Quarter Financial Review, Molly Foote-Budget Analyst.

The first quarter of the 2023 financial year ended on March 31, 2023. This report reviewed the revenue received and expenditures spent through March 2023 for all county funds and the county Current Expense fund. Revenue earned in 2023 from Real Estate Excise Taxes, Sales Tax, Interest, Lodging Tax, Property Tax, as well as Planning & Permitting was also be reviewed.

4.Discussion: PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) water system contamination update, Kyle Dodd–Environmental Health 

San Juan County Health and Community Services (HCS) received confirmed test results on Friday April 14th indicating that a well belonging to the Hannah Heights Water System on San Juan Island tested positive for high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a family of man-made chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment and have been linked to potential health concerns.

During this meeting, Kyle Dodd and a representative from the Washington State Department of Health provided an update on the situation in Hannah Heights. 

County staff are working closely with water quality experts from Washington Department of Health (DOH) and leaders of the Hannah Heights water district to develop a robust plan to respond to this complex situation. In addition, the response team is working to define the risk to water sources beyond the well in question and has begun communicating directly with residents and water districts that are potentially impacted.

A community meeting for residents was held on Wednesday, April 19. Six technical staff from the State Health Department were in attendance and shared additional information and resources.

An upcoming sampling event will provide residents additional opportunities to have wells located in the area of concern tested.

5.Discussion: Department of Community Development permitting overview, David Williams –Director of the Department of Community Development.

The Director provided an overview on the permitting activity, functions of the department, new codes from the state, as well as initiatives undertaken to streamline and improve customer service.

6. REMOVED Discussion/Action: 1/10thSales Tax Affordable Housing Actions, Mark Tompkins –Director of Health & Community Services.

7. REMOVED Discussion: Law and Justice, Linnea Anderson –Juvenile Director and Alex Frix –Public Defender. REMOVED.

8.EXECUTIVE SESSION: To Evaluate the Performance of a Public Employee pursuant to RCW 42.30.110 (1)(g).

9.CLOSED SESSION: To discuss matters pertaining to collective bargaining pursuant to RCW 42.30.140(4)(b).

10.EXECUTIVE SESSION: To discuss with legal counsel litigation or potential litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i).



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