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Controversial Zylstra Trail removed from TIP unanimously by San Juan County Council


LWVSJ Observer Corps*summary San Juan County Council November 27, 2023 meeting

During public comment one citizen proposed using center lane roads to improve traffic safety and provide for pedestrian and bicycle traffic within existing road footprints.

At a continued public hearing on the 6-year Transportation in improvement Program (TIP) twenty-eight members of the public commented, mainly about Zylstra Trail.  Many were property owners along San Juan Valley Road, who said the trail would harm rural character and agricultural activities. Some of them and others called for San Juan Valley Road to be improved. Several citizens proposed potential alternate routes or designs.

To retain the federal grant, funds must be obligated by September 2026. The Council voted to remove the project from the TIP and Annual Construction Program (ACP) while county staff work on getting public input and drawing up potential route options for public and Council consideration. They will vote on the amended TIP and ACP at an upcoming meeting.  

The Council approved the 2024 property tax levies for Land Conservation Futures and Current Expense. They continued the hearing on the County Roads levy to discuss an amendment on   holding aside funds for moorage and navigation aids. 

The County held a discussion with legislative consultants to talk about their priorities for the upcoming state legislative session. The consultants advised focusing efforts on specific funding asks for the county and one-two policy items. The council discussed education funding, ferries, culvert replacements, housing, and bringing county buildings up to earthquake standards, as items to focus on. County staff may add ideas, particularly in behavioral health. Specific funding requests need to be submitted by mid-January.

*The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.

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