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News Briefs

Upper Left proposes apartments near high school

The City of Stanwood is considering a three-story, 31-unit multifamily residential building on 1.6 acres at 27408 72nd Avenue NW, Stanwood. Upper Left Property Group proposes 19-one bedroom/studio units and 12 two-bedroom units, with a 15,000-square-foot outdoor area and barbeque area for tenants. Plans also call for a parking lot with lighting, stormwater pond, perimeter landscaping and frontage improvements along 72nd Avenue.

The city will accept written comments until 4:30 p.m. April 1. Email comments to amy.rusko@ci.stanwood.wa.us or write to City of Stanwood, 10220 270th St. NW, Stanwood WA 98292.

Stanwood Planning Commission will hold an informational public meeting and hear comments at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, at the Stanwood Fire Station, 8117 267th St NW, Stanwood. If the physical meeting is canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be held online through the city’s website: stanwoodwa.org.


Skagit, Snohomish landowners now have legal water source

As part of the Washington Department of Ecology’s commitment to find water solutions for Skagit Basin landowners, water is now available for some landowners in Skagit and Snohomish counties affected by a 2013 Washington State Supreme Court ruling that limited water rights. This new continuous release of water into the Skagit River also provides additional water for fish in the river.

The Skagit River Basin Mitigation program, established by Ecology, provides a legal right to water for about 340 affected landowners who did not have a legal water source for nearly seven years. It also provides water for limited new domestic uses in Skagit County.

“This program would not be possible without the work of our partners in Skagit County,” Ria Berns, manager of the Department’s Water Resources program for the Northwest Region, said. “Simply put, this program is a win-win that helps landowners and protects the river for years to come.”

Ecology will work directly with affected landowners to provide documentation that records their legal water source and partner with Skagit County to provide documentation needed for county building permits.

Tax Day now July 15

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced last week that the federal income tax filing due date has been extended from April 15 to July 15 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15 to July 15 without penalties and interest. This deferment applies to all taxpayers.

Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.

Skagit Valley College announces remote operations

In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, all Skagit Valley College sites remain closed and will be moving to remote operations until April 24 or until further notice. The college will continue to offer all courses via remote delivery only. With remote operations, access to services for students and prospective students such as instruction, enrollment services, counseling and advising, financial aid, Workforce grants, and the Cardinal Bookstore will be available remotely. Visit skagit.edu/remote.

Changes for Washington State Ferries

Washington State Ferries has pushed back resumption of service between Anacortes and Sidney, British Columbia through at least April 28. Ferry riders are no longer able to purchase food at the Anacortes terminal or on board state ferries, Washington State Ferries spokesperson Ian Sterling said.

Ridership is down on several routes as people heed public health advice and stay home. Numbers are down about 20% across the system since March 5. That means about 10,000 to 20,000 fewer people are riding than compared to the same dates last year. Commuter routes in the Seattle area are seeing their walk-on ridership down by about 50% some days.

New emergency sheltering program launched in Snohomish County

On March 17, Snohomish County, Providence Institute for a Healthier Community (PIHC), and the Community Foundation of Snohomish County (CFSC) announced immediate actions to help those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19. The funds will target those who are experiencing homelessness and are parents with children, veterans or other vulnerable individuals.

“The entire community is coming together to help some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “This is a tough time for everyone, and I am very grateful for those that have come forward to support our residents with the greatest needs. Together, we will make a difference.”

CFSC is the designated community funding arm for Snohomish County’s COVID-19 response, working closely with the Snohomish County Executive’s Office, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management and other partners providing emergency response. Providence NWSA through Providence Institute for a Healthier Community is partnering with CFSC to provide centralized online hub for COVID-19 Community Needs/Resources Exchange. Visit givewelllocal.org.

WorkSource offices temporarily converting to all-virtual service

On March 18, the WorkSource offices across Washington state (American Job Centers) closed for in-person customer service and adopted a virtual-only customer service model during the pandemic.

“Community is at the heart of every WorkSource center across our state and improving the well-being of our customers – both individuals seeking employment opportunities and businesses seeking talent – is what drives us and all of the partners in the WorkSource centers,” said Suzi LeVine, commissioner for the Washington Employment Security Department. “Typically, that is a focus on customers’ economic well-being. The COVID-19 outbreak, however, demands that we also take into account our customers’ physical well-being. Therefore, this decision to move to an all-virtual service delivery model allows us to care for and address both customers’ economic and health considerations.”

Studded tire removal deadline extended to April 30

The Washington state Department of Transportation is extending the deadline to remove studded snow tires to April 30 due to COVID-19 virus concerns and in support of Gov. Jay Inslee’s guidance to help reduce the spread of the virus by limiting social interactions.

Studded tires are legal in Washington from Nov. 1 to March 31. State law gives WSDOT authority to extend the deadline when circumstances call for it, most commonly when a forecast indicates widespread snow and ice. Currently many employers, including tire removal services, are sending employees home to help stop the spread of the virus, so people’s ability to meet the deadline could be difficult.

Census information in the mail

The 2020 U.S. Census paperwork is being mailed to every household in the state, inviting residents to fill out their form online or by phone. Unlike prior paper surveys, the Census Bureau will use online responses as its primary method to gather information. Households that don’t complete the online survey by April 8 will receive a letter from the Census Bureau that includes a paper survey. Households that do not submit any 2020 Census form may expect an in-person visit from a Census worker between May and July.

Public meetings

Stanwood City Council

  • The Stanwood City Council will meet virtually for its regularly scheduled March 26 meeting. For details on how to watch or participate, visit stanwoodwa.org.

Fire commissioners meetings scheduled

  • Camano Island Fire and Rescue Board of Fire Commissioners meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Apr. 13 at the Fire Administration office, 811 N. Sunrise Blvd., Camano Island.
  • The North County Fire/EMS Fire Commissioners meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays at Station 99, 8117 267th Street NW, Stanwood. 

People

Stanwood High School senior finalist in scholarship program

Jeffrey Rahman, a senior at Stanwood High, was named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Approximately 1.6 million high school students enter the program each year. This year, there were about 15,000 finalists.

Angie Homola announces candidacy for state representative

On March 18, former Island County Commissioner Angie Homola announced her candidacy for State Representative position one in the 10th Legislative District. This district covers Island, Skagit and the northern part of Snohomish County, including Stanwood. Homola and her family have lived in Oak Harbor for 23 years, where her husband, a retired naval aviator, served at Naval Air Station Whidbey.

Curt Gordon to run for Island County Commissioner

Whidbey Island resident Curt Gordon announced last week his candidacy for Island County Commissioner District 1 as an Independent. He said his goals are obtainable housing and transportation alternatives.

Gordon, a lifelong Island County resident, has worked as a parks commissioner and port district commissioner. He also has served on several boards including the Regional Transportation Planning Organization, Saratoga Community Housing board and was an original member of the Conservation Futures Board. Running as an Independent, Gordon said his “No Party” status allows him the freedom to provide unbiased management in the best interests of the people of Island County.

Pets

Meet Annie at NOAH

Annie is a gorgeous feline patiently waiting for the perfect home. She needs a low-key indoor home with no young children. She can co-exist with other cats if given plenty of space, but may prefer to be an only pet. Annie has her playful and affectionate moments, but in general prefers to be a "decorative" cat.

Effective March 16, the NOAH Adoption Center is closed to the public and has moved to appointment-only adoptions. To adopt pets, call 360-629-7055 to schedule an appointment.

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