With Skagit County receiving $25 million in COVID-19 relief funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, county leaders are prioritizing money for mental health, disaster preparedness and economic recovery.

The county commissioners have been meeting regularly over the past several months to decide how best to spend the money.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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An issue that affects every resident on Fidalgo Island is the rapid depletion of open, undisturbed habitat that maintains the health of all the ecosystems present here. In addition, the character of Anacortes as a hometown, working person's seaside paradise is quickly giving way to large, expensive Seattle-style houses, with no character, and now, new hotels and resorts. Why not use some of the money to buy up as much of the undeveloped property as possible and leave it undeveloped. Otherwise, every inch of this beautiful island is going to be under cement and asphalt.

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