The Port of Seattle Commission this week approved a “set of principles to expand outreach efforts and the funding of projects under the South King County Fund, which will provide resources and support to area airport communities.”

Here’s more info from the Port:

The objectives will be to prioritize community input, promote innovation, support Port equity policies and practices, and build on established programs to provide added benefit to the area residents.

The South King County Fund will make investments of up to $10 million over the next five years in programs that may include support for addressing airport noise and other projects that support increased environmental health and sustainability.

“We established principles for the fund based on our shared values,” said Peter Steinbrueck, Port of Seattle Commissioner. “We want South King County community input to tailor this fund for community-specific needs. In the last five years we relied upon community input to create new economic development partnerships, tourism marketing partnerships, and ecology grants as sources of opportunity for local communities. This fund builds on those programs and allows us to do even more.”

The Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund, authorized by the Port of Seattle Commission in November 2016, recognizes that neighboring communities that experience more impacts from airport operations should also experience more benefits. The Commission directed that the program support environmental projects and programs in the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

Near-airport communities are some of the most diverse in King County, with over 95 languages spoken by families in the Highline School District. To better understand the needs of these communities, the Port will engage a diverse group of community representatives from South King County as advisors on potential uses and opportunities for the funds. The input from this group, along with input from area elected officials and other stakeholder groups, will help to shape the development of the program and the distribution of funds. This community-based approach reflects the Port’s commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Specific uses, guidelines and timelines for the Fund will be established by future Commission policy directives that include designating $750,000 in funding in 2019 and not to exceed a gross allocation of $10 million between 2019 and 2023.

The Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund, authorized by the Port of Seattle Commission in November 2016, recognizes that neighboring communities that experience more impacts from airport operations should also experience more benefits. The Commission directed that the program support environmental projects and programs in the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

During the June 25 public meeting, Commissioners adopted a set of principles to guide the structure and potential project areas of the South King County Fund (SKCF). The SKCF will:

  • be used to fund projects in the South King County area:
  • defined as near-airport communities, with other locations considered on a case-by-case basis;
  • prioritize community input to inform Port decision making;
  • support Port equity policies and practices;
  • provide added benefit to current Port programs;
  • prioritize projects that are ready to proceed;
  • build on established programs and commitments to fulfill current obligations;
  • promote innovation, and
  • encourage matching funds where possible.

Expanding current Port programs
The SKCF will join an array of community opportunities recently developed by the Port of Seattle.

  • Airport Community Ecology Fund – supporting environmental projects and programs in the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.
  • Economic Development Partnership Program – funding local initiatives across King County with more than $1.8 million in awards since 2016.
  • Spotlight – reserving advertising locations at Sea-Tac Airport for promoting local cities and King County destinations.
  • Airport Career Awareness Events – Offering a series of career-oriented educational experiences for local high school students
  • StART (Sea-Tac Stakeholder Advisory Round Table) – began in 2018 as a way for local airport communities to come together along with aviation industry representative to provide a chance to develop a shared understanding, discuss community concerns and identify possible programs and efforts that lessen aviation impacts on the communities.