Town of Friday Harbor
San Juan Island

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60 Second Street
PO Box 219






What's New

"The obscure we see eventually.  The completely apparent takes a little longer." - Edward R. Murrow

Trout Lake Level:  Full ~ 1/04/17


Mayor appoints Richard to arts commission.

Mayor Carrie Lacher is pleased to announce the appointment of Gail Richard to the Friday Harbor Arts Commission (FHAC). Richard, a Heritage Interpretation trainer and retired educator, brings experience in working with visual art exhibits, shows, and galleries, as well as involvement with local performing arts including volunteering with the San Juan Community Theatre and San Juan Singers. As a board member and trainer with the National Association of Interpretation, her work took her to Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. "My work with these organizations has been focused on local art and its impact on the community at large," Richard explained in her introductory letter.

Richard will serve a three-year term commencing January 1, 2017. She joins Macalister Arendt as the newest members of the eight-person commission. Arendt is the appointed youth commissioner for the 2016-2017 school term.

Members of the FHAC represent the interests of the Town, community, and local artists and advise the Town Council on the cultivation, selection, acquisition, and placement of public art.

Press release contact: Duncan Wilson, Town of Friday Harbor 60 Second Street, PO Box 219, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (360) 378-2810,


Town of Friday Harbor Receives Clean Audit from State for 16th consecutive year.

The Washington State Auditor’s Office has completed the review of Friday Harbor’s 2015 financial records and has given the Town a clean audit report. This is the 16th consecutive year the Town has received a clean audit. The State auditors conduct annual reviews of each of the Town’s fund accounts including Current, Special, Debt Service, Proprietary and Fiduciary Funds.

Mayor Carrie Lacher and Town Administrator Duncan Wilson credit Finance Director Kelle Wilson and her team for the continued positive audit reviews.  "I am extremely happy with the results of this year’s audit" said Mayor Carrie Lacher. "The citizens are very well served by the outstanding work of the Town Finance Department."

Washington State law (Chapter 43.09 RCW) requires the State Auditor's Office to examine the financial affairs of local governments.  The State Auditor's Office audits more than 3,000 governmental entities ranging from the largest counties to the smallest special-purpose districts. For more information about the SAO and to review audit reports and other relevant information, please visit their website

Contact: Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator, (360) 622-2040,



Town accepting applications for open positions on Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

The Town of Friday Harbor is seeking individuals to fill two positions on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC). Committee members advise the Town Council on distribution of a portion of the funds received from the two percent Hotel Motel excise tax.  Three-year terms for each volunteer position commence May 1, 2017.  One of the open positions must be filled by the owner of a business in town that collects the Hotel Motel tax.

The LTAC was established in June 2001 with the Town Council’s appointment of seven volunteers including two Council members.  LTAC members review proposals from the public requesting funds to promote tourism and tourist activities within the town of Friday Harbor. The LTAC’s allocation recommendations are forwarded to the Council which then makes the final determination of any fund disbursement.

Interested individuals with experience, background or involvement in lodging, tourism or local business should provide a Letter of Interest to Mayor Carrie Lacher.  Applicants are encouraged to include a brief resume.  Application review will continue until the positions are filled.

Questions and application letter should be directed to: Town of Friday Harbor, ATTN:  Julie Greene, 60 Second Street / PO Box 219 / Friday Harbor, WA 98250,, (360) 378-2810


Citizens Respond to Call for Food Bank Assistance

December 12, 2016

Town of Friday Harbor utility customers have once again shown their holiday spirit by contributing to the Harbor Life Ring program to benefit the Friday Harbor Food Bank. The Town distributed a letter in the October utility billing statement informing customers that any donations they made in November would be contributed to the Food Bank. In addition, the Town stepped up and agreed to match the first $1,000 donated. Including the Town match, the Food Bank will be receiving $4,141.

"The response from the citizens has been outstanding" said Mayor Carrie Lacher. "We continue to be impressed by the generosity in Friday Harbor". Bill Cumming, director of the Food Bank was also excited to hear the news. "I want to thank this community once again for stepping up and serving those in need" he said. "These donations will assure a happy holiday season for a great number of people."

The Harbor Life Ring program was introduced in 2013 to provide financial support to families in need of relief from utility bills when unable to make ends meet. Once a year the proceeds are dedicated to supporting the Friday Harbor Food Bank during the holiday season. The Town thanks all those who contribute to the Food Bank, both through this program and other private donations.

Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator


Town of Friday Harbor Receives Two Grants totaling $1.2 Million for Rebuild of Web Street and A Street and for sidewalk on Nichols

November 30, 2016

The Town of Friday Harbor is pleased to announce that it has received two grant awards in the total amount of $1,200,000 from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board. The first grant in the amount of $975,000 will be used to rebuild Web Street and A Street. The project would start at the intersection of Web and Argyle (in front of Big Store) and continue down Web to A Street where it would then turn north on A to Nichols Street. The project will include the construction of curbs, gutters and sidewalks as well as a new driving surface.

The second grant in the amount of $230,000 will build new sidewalks on the South side of Nichols Street from A Street to B Street. This grant will include new curbs and gutters on Nichols in addition to the sidewalk.

The Town made application for the grants in October of this year and they were two of 378 different submittals from around the State of Washington. A total of $301 million was requested statewide and $117 million of those were funded.

The Town will be responsible for a $134,000 match between the two projects. This match will be paid from monies collected by the Transportation Benefit District sales tax of 0.2% authorized by the voters in 2014. The TBD tax proceeds must be used exclusively for transportation capital investments within the Town.

The Town will begin the engineering work for these projects in 2017 with construction expected in 2018. "I am so pleased the Town will be able to continue its work towards improved walkability and traffic flow. We want to thank the Transportation Improvement Board for these opportunities", said Mayor Carrie Lacher. "These upgrades and repairs are long overdue and will result in expansion and improvement of our downtown core".


Town seeks artists’ proposals for park bench sculptures

The Town of Friday Harbor is accepting proposals for a park bench wildlife sculpture project sponsored by the Friday Harbor Arts Commission (FHAC). The artwork is to be located at, on, or in association with an existing park bench at one of three locations on Spring Street. The selected artwork will be available for sale while on display. Proposals will be accepted until January 27, 2017.

The proposal application states that the artwork is to depict local wildlife and is intended to add beauty and interest to the downtown core as well as provide an opportunity for local or area artists to display their work in a public venue. The sites have been selected by the FHAC based on their high visibility by vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Additional sites may be selected in the future.

According to the published FHAC guidelines, the art selection process will include forming a sub-committee of Commissioners and community representatives who will review the submissions and present selected proposals to the public for comment at an open forum. "The FHAC continues to demonstrate our commitment to include the community in the public art selection process," said Commissioner Diane Martindale. She explained that the commission wants all interested citizens to voice their opinions and share in the excitement of bringing more art into the town.

All proposals will be considered with preference going to those from local artists. The FHAC will review and select one or more proposals to recommend to the Town Council. The Council will determine the final selection. Interested parties should review this Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Park Bench Wildlife Sculpture Project.

The FHAC was formed in 2015 to advise the Town Council on the cultivation, selection, acquisition, and placement of public art. Eight residents, including one student, are appointed by the Mayor to represent the interests of the Town, the community, and local artists.


From:  Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator

Re:  Trespassing at Trout Lake

Date:  July 2014

Trout Lake is an environmentally sensitive area consisting of approximately 600 acres that supplies the drinking water for the Town of Friday Harbor.  The Town has recently installed security cameras to monitor activity at the Trout Lake Dam and to regulate access to the Town’s water shed.

Town officials were greatly disturbed to find evidence of significant trespassing activity at the lake which was detected with these security cameras.  People have been photographed with their horses, dogs and apparently have been swimming in the lake; all in violation of posted NO TRESPASSING signs at the locked gate.

"We understand that Trout Lake is a very beautiful and pristine area, but has remained so because it is a protected watershed where access is restricted" said Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator.  "The State Department of Health and the Town are extremely concerned about this unauthorized intrusion into the watershed, especially during the summer months when the fire risk is so great."

Because of the limited access points, the Fire District has restricted ability to combat a wild land blaze in this area.  A fire in the watershed has the potential to significantly impair the water system for years and could contaminate the lake with slurry that would jeopardize the provision of clean water to the entire community, according to Steve Deem from the Washington State Department of Health.

The Town will be requesting that the County Prosecutor bring charges against all individuals who enter the premises without official business subsequent to this notice.  Trespass in the Second Degree is a misdemeanor and carries a potential penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

New, larger warning signs are being posted near the restricted access points and Town personnel will be doing inspections throughout the week to ensure compliance.  The Town appreciates everyone’s cooperation in keeping this area free of unregulated human contact.  For those interested in finding appropriate and beautiful areas of the islands that are open to the public for hiking please visit


Town Parks Map (.pdf)      Town Time Limit Parking Map (.pdf)


WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?  The next time it rains, look at a street gutter or roadside ditch. The rain, rather than seeping into the soil, flows quickly off roads and roofs. It picks up detergents, oil, grease, heavy metals, and trash from roads, sediment from construction sites and pesticides and fertilizers from lawns. It rushes through storm drains and, when discharged to the local waterways, erodes the natural eco-system. Contrary to popular belief, most storm drains are not connected to treatment systems. Whatever enters the drain is discharged directly, untreated into local waterways. What started as a friendly rain, is now a serious polluter.

Stormwater pollution is also known as "nonpoint source pollution," as it comes from many locations that, while each may be very small, cumulatively have a large impact. Stormwater pollution can make monitoring and treatment of our drinking water more difficult and costly. In addition, it can hinder the health of the aquatic ecosystem and eventually result in the loss of our waterways for recreational purposes.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?  Businesses, residents and visitors can promote the protection of water quality by taking action to reduce those activities that lead to non-point source water pollution. You can help by using the following tips below to prevent pollution. More information is available by contacting the San Juan County Public Works Department or the Town of Friday Harbor.

Additionally, the Town is in the process of marking storm drain inlets in private parking areas with decals and distributing informational handouts to businesses.


  1. Never dump anything down a storm drain or into a drainage ditch.

  2. Recycle motor oil and other vehicle fluids.

  3. Throw litter in its place.

  4. Clean up after your pet.

  5. Check and repair your vehicles for leaks.

  6. Dispose of household hazardous wastes at designated locations.

  7. Compost yard clippings.

  8. Use fertilizer and pesticide only when needed (Read the label!).

  9. If you wash your vehicle at home, do so on the lawn rather than the pavement.

  10. Tell a friend or neighbor about how to prevent stormwater pollution and get involved in your community.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Downtown Friday Harbor - early 1950's    link to (much) larger version - 638kb

photo courtesy Bob Low

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