April 14, 2022
DNR plans public hearing on proposed boundary expansion
The state Department of Natural Resources is having a public hearing April 20 at Mason County Fire Hall District No. 4 about a proposed expansion of the boundary of the Skookum Inlet Natural Area Preserve.
According to a DNR letter addressed to county commissioners, the proposed expansion area is adjacent to the 165 acres Skookum Inlet NAP (Natural Area Preserve) boundary. The preserve was appointed to the Natural Heritage Advisory Council in 1985 to protect three salt-marsh ecosystems, including low intertidal, high salinity, silty marsh; high intertidal, high salinity; and high intertidal, low salinity marshes. The marshes are important wetland ecosystems in the south Salish Sea and the preserve protects tideflats and second-growth forest habitat.
The purpose of the expansion is to incorporate an additional 290 acres of upland, shoreline and tideland protection. This will help provide long-term protection for ecological functions important to the preserve’s primary features and populations of chum and coho salmon and resident cutthroat trout that spawn in Elson Creek.
Written comments can be submitted until April 29 to [email protected] with the subject line “Proposed NAP Boundary Expansion — Skookum Inlet.” The hearing April 20 will begin with an information session at 6 p.m. and public comments at 6:30 pm. The fire hall is at 2970 SE Arcadia Road Shelton. For questions or additional information, email [email protected] or call 360-790-9770.
Sheriff’s Office purchases less lethal hardware
Mason County commissioners approved the Mason County Sheriff’s Office purchase or less lethal 40 millimeter hardware and ammunition at the April 12 meeting.
According to the information packet, the 2021 legislative session had bills passed that limit the size and type of hardware and ammunition that can be used by law enforcement. In the 2022 legislative session, some of those bills were modified and passed to loosen restrictions. House Bills 1735 and 1719 clarify earlier bills and maintain some restrictions but allow law enforcement to purchase smaller gauge and less lethal hardware.
House Bill 1719 states “modifying the restrictions on the use and acquisition of military equipment by law enforcement agencies as it pertains to firearms and ammunition but only with respect to removing the restriction on ammunition, narrowing the restriction on firearms to include only rifles of .50 caliber or greater, and clarifying that the restrictions do not apply to shotguns, devices designed or used to deploy less lethal munitions and less lethal equipment.” House Bill 1735 states “modifying the standard for use of force by peace officers but only with respect to providing that physical force may be used to the extent necessary, clarifying that deadly force may be used in the face of an immediate threat.”
After consideration of options, the Sheriff’s Office decided to add 40-millimeter less lethal hardware to its inventory. The budget impact is $57,000 and was not budgeted for in the 2022 budget.
Commissioner Randy Neatherlin thanked the commission for approving this measure.
“The reason is everybody knows this state has made it very difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs and it is wonderful that our commission always understands that and tries to give them the tools that we can to protect them so they can go home and they can also use it to protect others and doing it in a less lethal form is always a good thing,” Neatherlin said during the meeting.
County amends grant contract for juvenile services
Mason County commissioners approved an amendment to the juvenile detention alternatives initiative grant contract.
According to the information packet, the juvenile detention alternatives initiative is a nationwide initiative created by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that reduces detention population by only detaining offenders who need to be detained. The money enables the county to provide staff support and the creation of alternative programming in lieu of detention and there are no matching money requirements for the grant.
The initiative offered an additional $3,500 per year of the contract for a total of $7,000 for the state fiscal year 2022. The amendment adds additional funding for state fiscal years 2022 and 2023 and will be used to support electronic home monitoring services and additional incentives for the incentive-based probation program.
TK Elevator Corp. sole source to repair jail elevator-doors
County commissioners approved TK Elevator as the sole source to replace elevator doors at the Mason County jail.
According to the information packet, the jail doors are the original doors from 1985.
The jail elevator door going to the courtroom is worn out and cannot be fixed due to parts not being available. The door going to the jail is having similar problems but still functioning, but the recommendation was to replace both doors.
TK Elevator provided the repair work to replace both doors for $61,218.30, and it is eligible for REET 1 and American Rescue Plan Act money to cover the cost.
County issues requests for labor services
County commissioners approved a request for proposals for labor and employment services.
According to the information packet, the human resources director position is being vacated and there is a need for labor and employment services for negotiating labor contracts. The county has 14 collective bargaining agreements, and the county is going to contract for the services until the director position is filled, which could take several months.
The professional services contract is not budgeted for. Requests for proposals can be submitted to County Administrator Mark Neary at [email protected]
Evergreen Estates Water Project public hearing scheduled
County commissioners approved a public notice and hearing for 9:15 a.m. May 10 about the community development block grant for the Evergreen Estates Water Project.
According to the information packet, Mason County Community Services along with the City of Shelton and residents of Evergreen Estates Mobile Home Park are proposing a water improvement project. The project will connect the mobile home park to Shelton’s watermain. A webpage is available to inform the public about the project at tinyurl.com/4sk9975w under Evergreen Estates Water Project. Comments can be submitted in writing to Malissa Paulsen at Mason County Community Services at 615 W Alder St., Shelton, WA, by May 9.
There is $11,500,000 available in general purpose grants for planning or construction of public infrastructure, community facilities, affordable housing and economic development projects.
Title 16 amendments face public hearing
Amendments to administrative requirements within Title 16 plats and subdivisions has a public hearing set for 9:15 a.m. on May 10.
According to the information packet, the planning department has been collaborating to update and improve administrative requirements within Title 16.
A public hearing is required to move forward with approval.
Amendments within Title 16 include amendments to short subdivisions, large lot subdivisions, boundary line adjustments and lot combinations. A common theme for amendments includes removing the word contiguous from the four subsections listed previously.
County road herbicide program begins May 2
Mason County Public Works will begin spring application of herbicides for vegetation control along county roads beginning May 2.
According to a news release, a detailed release of roads affected can be found at co.mason.wa.us or by calling Public Works at 360-427-9670, ext. 450.
Property owners adjacent to areas to be sprayed that do not want spraying to take place can enroll in a “Owner Will Maintain” program by contacting Public Works.