“Infrastructure” fund re-created by Jefferson County commissioners

PORT TOWNSEND — Encouraged by Tri-Area business and economic development representatives, Jefferson County commissioners on Monday approved re-establishing a program to administer the county’s Community Investment Fund.

The commissioners’ unanimous decision renames the Community Investment Fund as the Public Infrastructure Fund and re-establishes a seven-member advisory board.

The advisory board of county business and economic development officials will be charged with making recommendations on how public works funds should be spent.

“Now there is no process to establish funding,” said County Administrator John Fischbach, urging the commissioners to adopt the Public Infrastructure Fund

With confusion swirling around the need for the infrastructure fund as it applies to the proposed Tri-Area sewage treatment system, commissioners joined Fischbach in explaining that their action merely set up the process that expired with the old ordinance last year.

Not the same action

Commissioner David Sullivan, D-Cape George, clarified the board’s intent, telling Tri-Area business representatives that Monday’s action was not the same as the commissioners’ previous action Jan. 17.

That action indefinitely tabled a proposal repealing a policy that earmarks 50 percent of Public Infrastructure Fund dollars to initial engineering on the proposed Tri-Area sewer system.

Sullivan, who was joined by fellow Commissioner Phil Johnson, D-Port Townsend, said the matter was tabled “because people were nervous about it.”

County Commissioner Pat Rodgers, R-Brinnon, urged that the commissioners appoint or reappoint advisory board members as soon as possible.

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