MINUTES
North Mason Community Voice
March 23, 2015

Board: Lee Swoboda, Kaye Massie, Jack Kimball, Judy Scott, Linnie Griffin, Bob Harris, Betty Drexler, Margie Benson

Directors not present: Ken VanBuskirk, Joe Morris

Attendees: 21

The business meeting was called to order at 7 PM by Lee Swoboda, with a quorum of the Board present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said. Afterward, everyone introduced themselves.

Secretary's Report Margie Benson

Approval of February 23 meeting minutes.

Judy moved to approve the minutes, as distributed via email. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer's Report - Jack Kimball

All bills are paid and there is $1,671.38 in the bank account. There are 28 paid members and 8 sponsored 2015 members. Mary Swoboda submitted a reimbursement request for NMCV postage costs from 1/27/2014 to 3/16/2015 totaling $36.84.

Judy moved to reimburse Mary for postage costs. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Judy moved to approve the Treasurer's report. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Public Information Officer (PIO) Report - Judy Scott

* County Budget Director Frank Pinter is working on a proposal for the Belfair sewer financial plan. The plan has some nice features, such as keeping rates stable for 10 years.

* The transportation package, which includes funding the Belfair Bypass, is out of the Senate and going to the House. It is looking a little more promising that it will get funded. This would be for actual shovel work if the transportation package passes.

* The Port of Allyn has a new executive director, Lary Coppola. The restoration of the Sargent Oyster House continues moving along.

* There is a proposal that may allow the Port of Allyn to maintain the Bill Hunter Park and add bathrooms. The property behind the park is for sale and maybe the county and/or the Port of Allyn can buy it.

Other Board business

* Establish a Nominating Committee for the purpose of electing board members at the Annual Meeting in May. Linnie and Mary Swoboda volunteered to serve on the nominating committee.

The following board members' terms expire in 2015:

...Margie Benson (District 1)

...Lee Swoboda (District 3)

...Judy Scott (District 3)

...Kaye Massie (District 4)

...Linnie Griffin (District 5)

* The Annual Meeting falls on Memorial Day, May 25. It was recommended the meeting be changed to the previous Monday, May 18. That date is available according to the Masonic Lodge scheduler.

Betty moved to change the May 25 meeting to May 18. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Business meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

GUEST SPEAKER: Tammey Newton, Executive Director/COO of Habitat for Humanity of Mason County (habitatmasonwa.org). Contact information: exec@habitatmasonwa.org, 360-426-8134, ext. 207.

* Most people know Habitat for building new homes. We don't give them away, we help folks purchase homes. Many of our home owners would be unable to qualify for regular mortgages because of medical debt or not hitting the income bracket to own a home.

* Habitat is looking into rehabbing homes.

* We have an interesting community, with poverty and literacy challenges. A large percentage of the working community commutes outside the county. Rent is outrageously high. There are not many affordable rentals available.

* We have a program called "A Brush with Kindness" that partners with low-income homeowners to repair, paint and maintain their existing homes.

* The Habitat stores are the primary funding source for Habitat programs. They pay for operations, construction and buying properties. Both stores have different items for sale. Mason County has two stores, one in Shelton (1826 Olympic Hwy N) and one in Belfair (22653 SR 3).

* Habitat also does land acquisition and land development. Land preparation is expensive, with costs upward of $26,000 for well and/or septic. The challenge, especially in North Mason, is finding property with some infrastructure already in place on public transportation routes.

* We want to serve this area with affordable housing and are always looking for board members and people to serve on our land acquisition committee.

* Habitat originates loans and services them. One of my jobs is mortgage broker. All the money stays in the local community, even purchasing materials locally.

* For many years Habitat has been the #1 home builder.

* We have three families in line for Habitat homes.

* I am also a housing commissioner on the Mason County Housing Authority. Affordable housing is a challenge. The most current housing data for Mason County via Department of Commerce can be found here.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

* Why do you charge sales tax? The state makes us charge sales tax. We are a retailer.

* What about mobile homes in the county? We have to determine whether our volunteers can provide maintenance or repair. If we can, we will help the homeowner. We do ask the homeowners to pay for materials, but labor is free.

* How many Habitat homes in Mason County? Twenty-four. Most are in Timberlakes and Shorecrest. There is one in North Mason. We are looking for property in North Mason. It should be a level lot with infrastructure already in place.

* Can an owner sell the property? Habitat places a silent second mortgage on the home so the owner can't flip it. We reduce the silent second mortgage each year until it's finally gone. Homeowners have to put sweat equity into Habitat homes. They get their friends and families to help. It gives them a sense of ownership.

* Do you work with banks who repossess houses? Banks have financial incentive to not release repossessed homes to market. However, there are some banks we can work with.

* What can you do about landlords who rent slum houses? We need more affordable housing in order to be competitive.

* What can the Habitat stores use? Furniture, appliances, power tools, door knobs, windows, light fixtures, just about anything that is up to current specifications. They will look at what you have and let you know if they can take it.

Brad Patterson, Executive Director, Mason Transit

* Have heard mixed opinions about the Belfair Bypass. The transportation package seems to be moving along in the Legislature, more so than in the past. A group of elected officials called the West Sound Coalition are working together to get transportation projects moving forward in the Legislature. Mason Transit encourages individuals to contact your legislators and express support for the transportation package.

* Belfair's Bill Hunter Park is owned by the county. Mason Transit has done most of the maintenance and plans to upgrade the shelter in the near future. Currently discussing whether we should put a portable bathroom on the property. There are concerns about liability and vandalism. At the end of day who will pay for it? The Mason County Sheriff's Office is neutral on the decision. We might do it on trial basis and are looking for partners. I would like this group to talk about the future of that park. It can be a valuable asset to the community.

* Next Wednesday, April 1 at 3:00 PM, is the grand opening of the Transit Community Center in Shelton (600 Franklin). The Governor will be there along with other politicians and dignitaries.

Meeting reports/Upcoming meetings/For the Good of the Order

* March 24, 7 PM: Mason County Hospital District 2 meeting at the clinic.

* March 31, 6 PM: 5th Tuesday Mason County commission meeting North Mason School District board room.

* April 2, 8:30 AM: Sheriff advisory meeting.

* April 6, 7 PM: Port of Allyn meeting. Meet the new executive director.

* April 9, 5-7 PM: Chamber after-hours event is at North Mason Resources.

* April 13, 5 PM: Fire district community committee meeting at the Port of Allyn.

* April 18, 9 AM: Annual Tahuya Earth Day cleanup. Meet at Oak Patch.

* April 18, 11 AM to 2 PM: North Mason Resources' 2nd Annual Chili and Cornbread cook-off at the North Mason United Methodist Church

Next meeting Monday, April 27.

Meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM to eat cake and celebrate Adella Kimball's birthday.

Submitted by Margie Benson, Secretary. Approved by NMCV Board 4/27/2015.