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News Briefs

Hurricane Ridge Lodge fire

Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge went up in flames Sunday afternoon.

According to a National Park Service news release, nobody was in the structure at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. Clallam County Fire District 2 and Port Angeles Fire Department responded to the fire.

The lodge was being renovated since March 27 and was closed to visitors. The 17-mile mountain road leading up to the building was closed since construction began. Park officials say the structure appears to be a complete loss.

The building was built in the 1950s and contained interpretive exhibits upstairs and a gift shop and small café.

Belfair man in Gorst crash

A 39-year-old Belfair man was involved in a two-car accident Friday afternoon on state Route 16 near Gorst in Kitsap County.

According to a news release from the Washington State Patrol, a 39-year-old Tacoma man was eastbound in a 2018 Nissan Murano on state Route 16 at the stop sign at Gorst. The Belfair man, driving a 1999 Jeep, was eastbound on state Route 16 and was in lane three of three. The Nissan failed to yield the right of way and attempted to cross the eastbound lanes to go westbound and was struck by the Jeep in lane three. The road was partially blocked for two hours.

The Belfair man was not injured in the accident. A 39-year-old Bremerton woman was a passenger in the Nissan and she was transported to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. The Tacoma man was charged with vehicular assault.

Three parcels rezoned

Three parcels of land were rezoned from rural residential 5 to rural commercial 2 after a public hearing April 25 at the chambers of the Board of County Commissioners.

According to the information packet, the parcels are in rural development areas close to Spencer Lake Hamlet. The request did not require an amendment to the Future Land Use Map.

With the approval, the applicant intends to apply for a special-use permit to expand his self-storage business that is adjacent to the subject parcels. The acreage of the parcels is 5.91 acres.

“I was on the planning commission and served as chair and stuff, I was there for six years, this is the perfect reason for doing it. When it is contiguous like that, we want to allow people to use their property the best they can,” commissioner Randy Neatherlin said during the meeting. “What we try to avoid is a spot zone. If you didn’t have something that was just like it next to it and tried to put it somewhere, I would probably stand against it because we can also be sued for spot zoning and stuff like that. I definitely think it’s a good idea, I think it’s a good use of your property to expand and use your services. Obviously, the community will decide if it’s valid or not because they’ll fill up or they won’t.”

Commissioner Sharon Trask said she has been out to the storage units several times.

“It just makes sense to me. …It fits. You can just look at that and say it fits,” Trask said during the meeting.

Proposals for long haul waste disposal requested

Mason County is requesting proposals for solid waste long haul transport and disposal.

According to the information packet, the county’s current solid waste long haul export services agreement with Republic Services expires Aug. 23. To meet state law requirements, the county must publish a request for proposals in the official newspaper once a week for two weeks before the final date for the submission of qualifications proposals and before entering a contract with vendors for solid waste handling systems, plants, sites or facilities and hold a public hearing.

The budget impact is unknown but it cost the county $3.1 million last year to haul and dispose of solid waste.

A public hearing is set for 9:15 a.m. Aug. 1 for review and consideration of submitted responses and potentially award the contract.

Money for Action Council

Mason County commissioners approved contract amendments with the state Department of Commerce and Community Action Council for housing and essential needs.

According to the information packet, the state Department of Commerce is allocating more money to the Housing and Essential Needs program, which prevents the homelessness of and rehouses unemployable adults and assists them with basic essential needs such as utility payments, personal hygiene products and transportation. The money will be subcontracted to Community Action Council through June 30.

Treasurer to invest money

Mason County commissioners approved the authorization for Mason County Treasurer Lisa Frazier to invest excess money for health department and community support services.

According to the information packet, state law says any municipal corportation may be action of its governing body authorize any of its money which are not required for immediate expenditure and are in custody of the county treasurer can be invested by the treasurer.

The Mason County finance committee met and reviewed the recommendation of the county treasurer on April 11 and approved recommending the county commissioners grant authorization to Frazier to invest excess money.

Housing Consortium formed

Mason County and The Arc of the Peninsulas signed a memorandum of understanding to create the Mason County Housing Consortium.

According to the information packet, the agreement is to help identify new housing opportunities and development funding strategies for low-income and affordable housing for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the county. The state Department of Commerce awarded the Arc of the Peninsulas $8,312,000 to construct a new 22-unit affordable housing project in Bremerton.

The county and the arc form the Mason County IDD Housing Consortium that will be administratively led and managed by The Arc of the Peninsulas. The Consortium Policy Board will be composed of three to five members and will include one county commissioner and the president and CEO of The Arc of the Peninsulas. Appointed members will include one state legislator from the 35th district, one Shelton City Councilmember and one housing authority member. Appointed members will serve one-year terms.

Proposals to support tourism sought

Mason County commissioners approved a request for proposals for services that support tourism to include visitor information centers, tourism promotion and support of tourism-related facilities.

According to the information packet, the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee met April 19 to review the draft request for proposals and voted to recommend the county issue an RFP for services that support tourism and allocate up to 20% of last year’s revenues for the services.

In 2022, total revenue was $1,024,297 and 20% is $204,000.

RV covers approved

County commissioners approved the purchase and installation of RV covers for Sandhill Park.

According to the information packet, the commission authorized parks and trails staff to develop a plan for installing covers at the remaining parks for park hosts. The RV covers at Truman Glick and Foothills parks have been installed. The Oakland Bay Park is awaiting an RV cover, pending review of the project.

Three bids were acquired for the installation, and the approved bid was for $10,051.25 from Probuilt Steel Buildings.

Salmon Group summer camp

The Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group’s Salmon Center Farm Stewards summer camp will take place June 20 to July 25.

According to a news release, Farm Stewards is an outdoor camp on the farm at Water’s Edge and Union River Estuary Preserve. The camp includes garden explorations, close up encounters with pollinators, visits to farm animals, games, crafts and activities with guest experts.

The camp is for kids 7 to 11 and is offered twice a week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Kids can join the camp for the full season or the days they can. Each day is different and campers do not need to attend all the sessions. The camp is available for a $5 donation and lunch is not provided.

Any questions about the camp can be directed to camp coordinator Whitney McDaniel at [email protected].


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