Sedro-Woolley City Council OKs funds for Burlington shelter

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Apr. 16—SEDRO-WOOLLEY — The Sedro-Woolley City Council approved $7,000 Wednesday to go toward a homeless shelter being built in Burlington.

The council also voted to spend $102,500 to purchase property at 121 N. Reed St. to be used for a city park.

Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton and Friendship House Executive Director Tina Tate gave the council details of what is to be the Skagit First Step Center.

They said the center will be a one-stop hub for those in need of emergency shelter and social services.

"This is putting us on a path to do better," Sexton said. "This is a big lift, but together we can get it done."

The Skagit First Step Center, which will be built on city of Burlington property at 465 Pease Road, will consist of 45 individual shelter units, Sexton told the City County. Of those units, 42 will be 64 square feet and three will be 100 square feet.

The $7,000 approved by the City Council will come from the City Council Strategic Reserve, which is used for shelter and housing.

"We are very excited about this opportunity," Mayor Julia Johnson said.

Council member JoEllen Kesti voted against the agreement. She said she did so because of the facility's low-barrier designation, which means those being housed can return to the premises after having used drugs or alcohol.

The property purchased on Reed Street is adjacent to 2.6 acres the city already owns. The city plans on turning the two parcels into Reed Street Park.

The owner of the property at 121 N. Reed St. expressed interest in selling the parcel to the city.

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter:@goskagit, Facebook.com/VinceReports/

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