In This Issue....
Auditor's Office Works With Community to Strike Racially Restrictive Covenants
Commissioners to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Medic One Tax Levy Ballot Measure
Career Opportunities Available With Thurston County Government
But first....
On, Wednesday, March 31, the Board of County Commissioners and the Nisqually Indian Tribe held a joint work session. You can watch the full meeting here.
1
COVID-19 Update
Registration for vaccine clinics is available on the Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Facebook and Twitter pages, the county's COVID-19 webpage, or the Washington State Department of Health's vaccine locator tool.
This week Governor Jay Inslee announced that all adults age 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 15. This is exciting news on the COVID-19 front as we work to get vaccines into the arms of our residents in Thurston County. You can read his full press release here. Right now, vaccine eligibility is open to residents in Phase 1B Tiers 3 and 4, which includes anyone 60 years and older, anyone 16 and older with two or more underlying conditions, and staff, residents, and volunteers in congregate care settings like detention centers, prisons, shelters, temporary housing, and places where people are experiencing homelessness, accessing housing or services. This also includes higher risk workers in certain congregate settings, such as food service and restaurant employees, manufacturing workers, and construction workers. You can read the comprehensive eligibility list here. People who were eligible in a previous phase remain eligible to receive a vaccine indefinitely.

Thurston County Public Health & Social Services (PHSS) will once again host drive-through vaccination clinics at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) this weekend. Registration for the clinics can be found on any of the PHSS social media sites, the county’s vaccine web page, or the Washington State Department Of Health (DOH) vaccine locator tool. To date, PHSS has administered more than 15,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in Thurston County. As of Wednesday, March 31, the county confirmed 170 new cases over a seven day period. This is an increase in cases when compared to previous weeks; from early January to mid-March, weekly COVID-19 cases gradually declined from 452 weekly cases to as low as 109 weekly cases. There were zero deaths or hospitalizations this week in Thurston County. Please visit the county's COVID-19 webpage for daily and total case counts, including the number of people who have recovered or are recovering.

The DOH announced they are investigating potential cases of people who tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after becoming fully vaccinated. These “vaccine breakthrough” cases are expected, as no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing COVID-19. You can read their full news release here.
2
Albany Street Stormwater Loop
The county recently built a stormwater pond in Rochester, near US-12/Main Street at 18133 Albany Street SW, to drain a 30-acre area of nearby streets.
Thurston County Public Works constructs facilities to manage rainwater runoff in unincorporated Thurston County. These facilities help prevent flooding and help filter polluted rainwater from the streets through special soils to ensure safe, clean water flows to our lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound.

Check out a recent project: Albany Street Stormwater Pond in Rochester. Community input resulted in a walking trail, a crosswalk that connects to a nearby community park area, and an outdoor amphitheater with seating.
3
Board of Commissioners to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Medic One Tax Levy Ballot Measure
At the Board of County Commissioners meeting for Tuesday, March 23, the board set a public hearing for a proposed ordinance regarding property taxes for Medic One emergency medical care and services.
The Thurston County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 13, at 3:00 p.m. in Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW in Olympia, to receive public comment on adding a Thurston County Medic One property tax levy to the ballot for the August 3, 2021 election. The proposed ballot measure would authorize the county to increase its regular property tax levy for Thurston County Medic One emergency medical care and services, beginning in 2022. To read a proposed ordinance for this levy, visit the Thurston County Medic One webpage. Pursuant to Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 84.36.381, qualified seniors, disabled, and veterans are exempt.

The public's ability to attend the public hearing in person is limited to 25%, or 10 people, in Room 280. You can participate through video conference by registering on the board's Public Hearings and Meetings webpage. Additionally, you can provide public comment by phone. Dial (360) 252-9020 and use 1234 as your pin. Learn more at www.thurstoncountywa.gov.
4
Career Opportunities With Thurston County
Thurston County is a great place to work! We offer an excellent benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, a retirement plan, paid leave, and more.
Thurston County has 35 job opportunities, including a position with Community Planning & Economic Development as a Permit Assistance Technician II. Primary responsibilities for the Permit Assistance Technician II position is the initial intake and review of building, environmental health, land use, and development applications. In addition, the team member holding this position provides information to the public on development related requirements, researches questions and complaints, and works with departments involved to identify solutions.

Other opportunities include positions with the Commissioner's Office, Superior Court, Public Works, and more. You can find all employment opportunities, including the Permit Assistance Technician II at www.thurstoncountywa.gov. Please share this with your friends and family.
5
Auditor Works With Community to Strike Racially Restrictive Covenants
The Thurston County Auditor's Office knows of at least 300 properties in Thurston County that are impacted by racially restrictive covenants. A recent law allows the Auditor's Office to strike racially restrictive language from titles at no cost.
The Thurston County Auditor's Office is reaching out to hundreds of landowners whose properties contain antiquated and unlawful racially restrictive covenants. Racially restrictive covenants were recorded on some properties in Thurston County during the first half of the twentieth century. These covenants excluded specific races or religions from owning or occupying property, or limited ownership or use to one race. It is possible there are additional parcels that contain racially restrictive language. Landowners who are not contacted by the Auditor's Office can find tips for researching their own properties at ThurstonAuditor.org.

A recent law allows the Auditor's Office to provide landowners a modification document to strike racially restrictive language from their titles at no cost. While racially restrictive covenants are not valid or enforceable, property owners may choose to strike the language to ensure they don't pass on from buyer to buyer. For landowners who are filing a restrictive covenant modification form, notary services are available free of charge at any of the Olympia Federal Savings' (OlyFed) seven Thurston County branches. For landowners who need help filling out the modification form, no-cost legal aid is available via the Thurston County Bar Association's Inclusion and Diversity Section. For a list of participating lawyers, contact tcauditor@co.thurston.wa.us.
Before you go....
The regional Stream Team program – coordinated by Thurston County and the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater - is sponsoring a video contest for middle school and high school students within Thurston County in celebration of Earth Day (Thursday, April 22). Entrants can be individuals or teams, and the grand prize winner will be announced on Earth Day. The winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card and have their video featured on Stream Team’s website and Facebook page. Entries are due by Monday, April 4, at 5:00 p.m. You can submit your video by email to streamteam@ci.lacey.wa.us or by mail to: Stream Team, 420 College St. SE in Lacey. Learn more here.
Landowners who want their land to remain undeveloped, but still want the financial benefits of selling their property, have more time to apply for Conservation Futures funding from the county. To be eligible, a property must have unique or valuable wildlife habitat, agricultural, forestry, historic, or recreational features. Applications must be sponsored by an eligible organization such as a land trust or city government. The deadline to apply for Conservation Futures funding for 2021 is Friday, April 30, at 5:00 p.m. You can find more information and download the application on the county’s Conservation Futures webpage. Learn more here.