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Farm board signs on with port
Greenbank Farm Management Group put their signatures on the management contract and lease agreement with the Port of Coupeville Thursday, clearing a major hurdle on the way to implementing the agreement and accessing $1.5 million in state funding.
We signed it, were happy, were moving on, Laura Blankenship, Greenbank Farm executive director said.
The contracts, however are not moving on quite so quickly.
They now go to the county bond council, which will inspect the documents to see if they meet the criteria set by the bond council for use of the publicly-owned property.
Bill Oakes, Island County Public Works director, said he didnt think there would be any problem with the documents. He expects the bond council to have a decision by early next week, after which it could be signed by Port Commissioner Ed Van Patten.
The farm group meanwhile has begun moving ahead with renovation plans at Greenbank, racing against the clock to use the state funding before the next legislative session has the chance to possibly take it away.
Blankenship said last week that the state Capital Projects office had given her the go ahead to start working on projects at the farm. the office disburses capital funding as bills come in, not in a lump sum at the beginning.
We have so little time left and so much to do, she said recently in a communication to farm supporters.
The management group has contracted with Whidbey Island Architects for design and oversight responsibilities, and Davido Consulting Group will begin working on civil, septic and water issues.
Blankenship said the county planning and building departments have pledged to work with the group to reach the states June 30, 2005 biennium deadline.
One of the first projects will be to link the main barn and barn number two with improvements to the parking lot, landscaping and a sidewalk between the two barns, so visitors will be able to access barn number two to visit the alpaca fiber mill and retail store, which Dick Whittick hopes to open in June.