“I am grateful to Governor Inslee for designating two Opportunity Zones in Mason County. I am also thankful for the support of the City of Shelton, Economic Development Council of Mason County and our tribal and business partners throughout this process. This designation will give us another tool to encourage much-needed investment in Mason County. Though rural communities have recovered from the Great Recession slower than our urban neighbors have, we are in a strong position to benefit from this program. I ran for commissioner to help make Mason County a leader regionally and a competitor across Washington and this is another step toward achieving that goal. I am excited to work with our public and private partners to spur investments in jobs, infrastructure and affordable housing in Mason County.”
MasonWebTV Powered by HCC asked the Commissioner about the designations just prior to him releasing the statement. Here is that phone interview:
Economic Opportunity Zones were created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2017. More information about Economic Opportunity Zones and designations in Washington state can be found here.
Special designation provides federal tax incentives for development in low-income areas – Two are in Mason County
Gov. Jay Inslee Friday approved 139 census tracts in 36 counties for “Opportunity Zone” status, enabling them to offer special federal tax breaks to encourage development and job creation. See a map and list of Washington’s newly designated Opportunity Zones. Here is a map showing the two Opportunity Zones in Mason County.
“Opportunity Zones have the potential to provide a much-needed boost to communities and target development projects, strengthening the local economies and creating jobs,” said Gov. Inslee.
The two tracts in Mason County are south of Shelton to the Thurston County Line and what is called “Shelton North” which includes the area around the Port of Shelton and the Shelton Hill development. MasonWebTV Powered by HCC spoke with Mason County Commissioner Kevin Shutty who worked to get the areas designated.
The National Park Service (NPS) announced that Olympic National Park will modify its entrance fees beginning June 1, 2018 to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, 2018 the park entrance fee will be $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. An annual park pass will cost $55.
Watch the April 19, 2018 North Mason School Board meeting. MasonWebTV Powered by HCC provides a live video stream of the meeting beginning at 6:30 PM. The North Mason School Board meets on the third Thursday of each month.
The Washington State Department of Health’s annual water quality evaluation identified high bacteria levels in four of Washington’s 106 commercial shellfish areas, prompting harvest restrictions. An additional 19 areas are threatened with closure due to bacterial pollution including three areas in Mason County: Annas Bay in Hood Canal, North Bay and Pickering Passage.
Watch the Port of Shelton’s third community forum on the future of Oakland Bay Marina. Meeting is being held in the Mason PUD 3 Auditorium beginning at 6 PM.
MasonWebTV Powered by HCC also talked about the Shelton marina with the Port’s Executive Director, Wendy Smith, and Port Commissioner Kristy Buck.(Click here to watch that interview.)
The Pioneer School District Board of Directors have selected four candidates to be interviewed for superintendent. The four finalist will be interviewed on Tuesday, April 24th by school board members, staff, parents and community members.
The four individuals are:
- JoAnne Fabian, Chief Academic Officer of the Tukwila School District
- John Gummel, Principal at Kelso High School
- Keith Harris, Director at Big Horn School District in Cowley, Wyoming
- Michael Merrin, Independent Consultant in Puyallup
A meeting on the Belfair Mobility Plan is set for 6 PM Thursday at the HUB for Senior Services, 111 NE Old Belfair Highway.
Mason County is updating the transportation element of the Belfair Urban Growth Area Plan as recommended in the 2016 Mason County Transportation Plan. This update will revisit underlying assumptions and recommendations from previous plans, taking into consideration recent investments in SR 3 and the pending Belfair Bypass/SR3 Freight Corridor that will get underway in 2019.