Tuesday, June 25, 2024

WA State Governor and Assistant Secretary of WSF discuss ferry service & solar energy with SJC officers



San Juan County officers met with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Washington State Ferries (WSF) Assistant Secretary Steve Nevey to debate ferry service and solar energy within the San Juans.

“I’m joyful to welcome the governor and the WSF management to debate the challenges we face right here in San Juan County,” mentioned Council Chair Jane Fuller. The Governor’s presence marked his continued dedication to enhancing service reliability on our ferry route and this was highlighted by the presence of the brand new Assistant Secretary of the WSF.

Along with the Governor’s workplace, Council Chair Fuller organized a gathering with transportation representatives together with WSF Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director of Planning, Customer and Government Relations, Hadley Rodero, and the Chair of the State Transportation Commission, Debbie Young . Also in attendance to debate the continuing results of the disrupted ferry service to the islands have been San Juan County employees and companion organizations from across the County together with Steve Hushebeck of the Friday Harbor Town Council, the Vice- Chair of the San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee. , Ken Burtness, and the native consultant of San Juan Island Federal Express, Jenny Fouquette. Governor Inslee and State transp.  SJI reps met 4.29.24

The assembly featured objects addressed in a letter written by the San Juan County Council and the Friday Harbor Town Council to Governor Inslee and Transportation Secretary Millar in October of 2023. The letter outlined a brief record of native answer and requested for a possibility to work with the state Department of Transportation and WSF to make significant modifications. The Governor’s response to that letter in December of 2023 and his December funds, paved the best way for the Legislature to fund a passenger-only ferry examine in addition to requests for secondary on-call crew and evaluation. on the financial results of ferry service disruptions.

“It’s vital to me that we get the stakeholders collectively and have an trustworthy, constructive dialog about what might be achieved to enhance ferry service right here on the islands,” mentioned Council Chair Fuller. “The assembly was centered, productive, and a possibility to proceed our relationship with essential companions. I hope it’s going to lead to continued open dialogue and collaboration to search out native options to the challenges we face. .

Governor Inslee, State transp.  reps meet Fuller 4.29.24During the assembly, the group acknowledged and thanked the Governor, the Legislature, and WSF for his or her continued dedication to enhancing service throughout the ferry system and the San Juan Islands route. Attendees mentioned the present state of San Juan County’s ferry route and reviewed the outcomes of the Governor’s 2023 funds and the 2024 legislative session.

“Things are shifting ahead,” mentioned Governor Inslee. “We obtained the passenger-only ferry service examine by means of the legislature, the WSF employees has improved considerably, and getting the vessel is on the best way. I’m right here at the moment to hearken to your criticisms, ideas, enter, and concepts. Throughout the assembly, he reiterated his dedication to improve the reservation system and be sure that the passenger-only ferry examine and the financial affect examine stay on observe. He additionally famous the challenges that confronted with the tasks, saying, “Some individuals see ferries as a luxurious versus a essential factor of our transportation system, so the arrival of a gradual -long-term funding may be very troublesome primarily based on that politics. “

Council Chair Fuller and Ferry Advisory Committee Vice Chair Ken Burtness outlined the Ferry Advisory Committee’s priorities shifting ahead, together with: continued give attention to discovering native options to the challenges skilled on the SJC route; addressing cultural and operational points particular to the island terminals and the Anacortes terminal connection; finalizing the rewrite schedule for the San Juans Islands and addressing the necessity for fairness and accountability in establishing and following island quotas alongside the route; enhancing the drug cargo program for the San Juan Islands; superior reservations for Lopez Island; beginning to improve the reservation system; and establishing a San Juan County Ferries ‘communication’ web page on the SJC web site the place the general public can present suggestions and acquire vital ferry data.

Afterwards, County Councilmember Cindy Wolf met with state officers on the ferry terminal for a meet and greet with WSF employees. From there, County Councilmember Christine Minney met with County fairgrounds officers the place Parks and Fair Director Brandon Andrews shared particulars of the photo voltaic array above the principle exhibit corridor.

Solar panels on top of the fairgrounds buildingThe two 105 x 41-foot multi-grid photo voltaic techniques are projected to supply greater than 4.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of vitality and save the county greater than $700,000 in utility prices over their 30 years. that life. In the primary yr, the panels generated greater than double the annual utilization of the Fairground amenities – nearly 158,000 kWh. This vitality financial savings is roughly equal to offsetting the CO2 emissions from 13 properties or charging 8,314,263 smartphones, in keeping with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

“I’m proud to indicate the governor the funding of the Province in renewable vitality,” mentioned Councilor Christine Minney.

The Governor additionally met with representatives from OPALCO to debate the Bailer Hill Microgrid undertaking. The County has revealed a ‘Public Engagement Guide’ to assist the group perceive how they will take part within the public remark and listening to evaluation course of.

San Juan County stays dedicated to working with State and native companions to enhance the reliability of ferry service and meet the broader transportation challenges of the long run.

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