News

County helps Oak Harbor park

Island County wants to give something to the residents of North Whidbey. Now it is up to Oak Harbor to ensure it gets done.

On Monday, the county commissioners authorized up to $50,000 to be given to the city to help with construction of Fort Nugent Park’s amenities. There is also an option for another $50,000 in 2006.

According to the agreement, the city must follow a list of what can be done with the funds by Dec. 31, 2006, or it must reimburse the county in full.

“We wanted to make a contribution to those folks who live up north,” General Services Director Betty Kemp said.

The money comes from real estate excise taxes, which are earmarked for purchasing and improving open space within the county.

“We have the conservation futures money available to us and we have a lot of property down south,” Kemp said. “Inside of Oak Harbor and to the north, there’s not a lot of land we can purchase.”

Conservation futures funds also come from real estate taxes, but are used for projects that preserve open space. This money comes from a separate fund.

Under the agreement, the funds must be used to help build a football field and practice area, two additional softball fields, another playground and a covered picnic area.

The funds that the county has made available are only to match funds the city contributes.

You can reach News-Times reporter Eric Berto at eberto@whidbeynewstimes.com

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