County Council signs off on conservation projects

Board also approves routine ordinance impacting Eatonville

At its Aug. 31 meeting, the Pierce County Council unanimously approved an ordinance, Proposal No. 2021-65, granting a 15-year nonexclusive franchise to the town of Eatonville for the location of electric lines on county rights of way.

The vote was routine and engendered no comment from either the public or council members.

“So, I’ll just note for the record … we’ll have several of these … fairly standard ordinances we go through,” Council Chair Derek Young explained. “Don’t think that we don’t debate most of the business that comes before us, but these are pretty standard.”

The council also approved legislation aimed at preserving open space and restoring salmon habitat in Pierce County. Proposal No. R-2021-141, unanimously adopted by the council, accepts the recommendations of the Conservation Futures Citizen’s Advisory Board, which identified its top six projects. Conservations Futures funds can now be used to purchase the properties as land acquisition deals are negotiated.

Just over $6.2 million is requested for the six projects. The Conservation Futures fund has $7 million to $9 million available in the 2022-23 biennium.
The six projects include the 11.5-acre North Creek Salmon Heritage Site in Gig Harbor, the 116-acre Narrows West property in Gig Harbor next to the Tacoma Narrows Park, the 12-acre McDermott Point on the Key Peninsula, the 20-acre LaBelle property in Puyallup, the 11-acre Parkland Prairie addition in Parkland and the 16-acre Marine View Drive open space in Tacoma.

“All of these have great stories to them, and all of them will add tremendous value to the quality of life to the people who will use them, work and play and live around them,”  Councilmember Ryan Mello said.

With the ordinance approved by the council, the Pierce County Executive is now authorized to negotiate the purchase of the six properties. The Conservation Futures funds come from a countywide tax collected for the sole purpose of conserving land within Pierce County with the intent to ensure a healthy salmon population, sustainably managed forests, locally grown food and publicly accessible open space for recreation.
The council approved two proclamations: a resolution declaring the month of September as “Suicide Prevention Month” in Pierce County and a resolution professing September as “Recovery Month” in Pierce County.


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