NEWS

Changes proposed to strengthen oil spill requirements for facilities, vessels and pipelines

Changes proposed to strengthen oil spill requirements for facilities, vessels and pipelines

(OLYMPIA)– An oil spill could pose a significant threat to the environment, people and local economies. In Washington, large oil handling facilities, vessels, and pipelines are required to have oil spill contingency plans to ensure they are adequately prepared in case of a spill. In 2018, the Legislature passed a bill directing the Washington Department of Ecology to amend the Oil Spill Contingency Plan Rule. The proposed amendments would help bring requirements in line with the increased movement of oil across Washington and the changing nature of spills. One specific area of concern is cleanup of sinking oils. Transport of sinking     (read more)

Property tax relief programs expanded for senior and disabled citizens

(OLYMPIA)- Seniors and disabled citizens will have an easier time qualifying for property tax relief starting with their 2020 tax bill. This comes as the result of recent legislation (ESSB 5160) that changes the qualifying income thresholds for the property tax exemption and deferral programs. Previously at $40,000, the new income limit changes to the greater of $40,000 or 65% of the county’s median household income. The new income thresholds for each county are listed on Revenue’s website, dor.wa.gov/incomethresholds. The exemption applies to a person’s primary residence and depends on the combined disposable income of the applicant, spouse,     (read more)

Primary Election results

For the latest local Primary Election results visit skagitcounty.net     (read more)

Authorities responded to a large fight in Mount Vernon

(MOUNT VERNON)- Mount Vernon Police responded to an apartment complex in the 400 block of N. Laventure after receiving reports of a large fight in the parking lot on Monday, August 5th at 11:55pm. According to a press release from Lieutenant Greg Booth, information from several callers indicated approximately 10 subjects were involved, ranging in age from adults to juveniles. As police units were responding, they received additional reports of a gunshot in the area of the fight. The release said that on arrival, officers encountered a very chaotic scene with numerous parties physically fighting. Neighboring law enforcement agencies including Skagit     (read more)

Ferry fare changes coming this fall – final decisions made at hearing today

(OLYMPIA)- The Washington State Transportation Commission held its final hearing today, Tuesday, Aug. 6, in Seattle and adopted increases to current ferry fares that will take effect Oct. 1, 2019, and May 1, 2020. The fares were set to ensure that $407 million in revenue is generated between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2021, as required in the recently passed two-year state transportation budget. A summary of the ferry fare and policy changes coming this fall and next spring: Oct. 1, 2019 - 2.5 percent fare increase for vehicles - An additional 5 percent fare increase for oversize vehicles on the Anacortes/ Sidney, B.C., route - 2 percent fare increase for passengers     (read more)