Special License Plate
Washington Lighthouse License plate goals
Background : The State of Washington has authorized a program of specialized license plates that can be purchased by vehicle owners. The Lighthouse Environmental Programs (LEP) was selected by the state legislature to participate in this program.
Lighthouse Environmental Programs (LEP) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization located in Washington State and registered with the Secretary of State's office. LEP was formed in 1994 to oversee financial management of the environmental education outreach programs, W.S.U. Lighthouse Docents, W.S.U. Waste Wise Volunteers and WSU Beach Watchers. These programs are headquartered at the Admiralty Head Lighthouse in Fort Casey State Park on Whidbey Island.
The benefit to LEP is that a major portion of the license plate fee is returned to LEP. The following constraints are part of the agreement with the state.
The following policies apply to the expenditure of these fund.
From the total (gross) annual amount of proceeds from the license plates, LEP sets aside up to 10% of these funds for marketing and administration. All direct and indirect costs of marketing and administering this program are legitimate expenses that must be subtracted from the proceeds provided by the state before any distribution of funds can be made. (To date, marketing and administration have used less then 8% of these funds.)
From the remaining 90% of the funds, 10% will be allocated to the LEP Endowment Fund in an effort to secure the future of LEP and the programs that it supports.
From the remaining 90% of the funds, other Washington State lighthouses manned by volunteers will be allocated 25% of the net proceeds. Procedures for the distribution of these funds are addressed in the LEP Lighthouse License Plate 25% Grant Policy which is available to other lighthouses in Washington State that are open to the public and staffed by volunteers and have a 501 c 3 non profit component. That program is outlined below.
What is the purpose of License plate grants to other Washington Lighthouses ?
To Assist in funding infrastructure preservation and restoration.
To Encourage and support interpretative programs by lighthouse docents.
What Lighthouses are eligable for grant funding?
In order to qualify for a Lighthouse Grant, the recipient lighthouse organization must be registered in Washington State and approved by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Additionally the lighthouse must be accessible to the public and staffed by volunteers.
Currently the following groups are beleived to be eligable. North Head, Cape Dissapointment, Westport (Grays Harbor), Patos Island, Lime Kiln, Turn Point, New Dungeness, Point No Point, Browns Point, Point Robinson, West Point and Mukilteo Lighthouses and Swiftsure Lightship. Admiralty Head Lighthouse is not eligable for this 25 % grant as their lighthouse programs receive the bulk of the funding.
Who decides which lighthouses are awarded grants?
Applications are sent each spring to all known eligable lighthouse groups in Washington. Once the deadline to submit applications closes, copies are made of all license plate applications and sent to the grant committee.
The grant committee meets to discuss the applications and creates a recommendation list, which is present to the Lighthouse Environmental Programs Board for a vote of acceptance.
Once the grants are awarded, lighthouse groups are notified of their award, usually by phone. At this time, if any additional itemss are required for grant approval the group is informed of these conditions. Once all condtions are met a contract is written up and sent to the lighthouse group for signatures. When the originals are returned to LEP with signatures, the LEP president signs their name to the contracts, a check is written and one original signed contract is sent to the group along with the check for the full amount needed for the project.
Grant Committee members include:
Elinor DeWire, President, Washington Lightkeeper's Association
Gene Grulich, architect, has worked on many of the Washington lighthouses and is familiar with structural issues and permit processes
Rex Porter, LEP representative
Gene Davis, Curator USCG museum and is familiar with most of the lighthouse on the west coast.
Gloria Wahlin, WSU Admiralty Head Lighthouse Docent Coordianator and License plate grant committee chair.
2009 Lighthouse License plate grant awards
Westport Maritime Museum- Award $10,000.
The group was awarded $10,000 of the estimated $12,000 to replace the chariot or rotating wheels on the first order lens on display at the Westport museum. The grant committee and LEP Board members feels this is a critical project to prevent loss of the lens.Westport was asked to fund the remaining $2,000.
Patos Island Lighthouse- Award $1800.
Patos Island Lighthouse has a newly formed 501 C 3 and the grant they received is the first grant they had written. The grant committee is interested in supporting this group, as Patos Island has been closed to the public for years and through a lot of hard work and efforts of this group, the lighthouse was open to the public during the summer of 2009 for the first time in many years.
The grant committee and LEP awarded
$1000. - Free standing museum displays, material, lumber, photo paper and Ink. Hard board for backing and plexi-glass for protection of display.
$800.- portable display, and materials to take into the public schools, boat shows, marinas, yacht clubs, and trade shows relating to tourism in San Juan County.
The committee and LEP require a mock up of the display and a conflict of interest policy be submitted to LEP before funding is awarded.
New Dungeness Light station- award $6,000.
New Dungeness Light station has been awareded $6,000 of a $12,000 request to purchase a Kee Vac Industries “slide in” pump system for sewage handing. This pump will be put on skids in a utility trailer. The tank will hold less then 500 gallons and will be towed back and forth to a dumping station on the mainland. The holding tank at the lighthouse will be pumped several times a year and transported down the beach with a small four wheel drive instead of the past method of pumping the station septic holding tank every four years with a large motorized barge. The lighthouse group will provide the additional funds needed to purchase the equipment.
Condtions for grant award: County and Federal permits must be secured a copies sent before a contract is written.
Turn Point Lighthouse- award $ 3000.
Turn Point is awarded $3000 for electrical wiring updates in the light keeper's residents. This will allow docent to stay overnight at the lighthouse and may be the beginning of efforts to house a lighthouse caretaker and protect this site from vandalism.
2008 Lighthouse License plate grant awards
LEP Board members, acting on recommendations from the Lighthouse License plates grant committee awarded $22,000 to four lighthouse groups
$6,980 to Westport Lighthouse in Grays Harbor County to help fund a historical structural report.
$7,020 to Swiftsure Lightship on Seattle's Lake Union as a matching grant to help support a $45,000 project to restore the mast and rigging, electrical system, navigation beacon and smokestack.
$5,000 to Turn Point Lighthouse on Stuart Island in the San Juans to help establish a museum in the mule barn and create a portable exhibit for use at schools and public forums.
$3,000 to Browns Point Lighthouse near Tacoma to help match a $4,000 investment by local contributors to purchase tooling and baseboard lumber to duplicate the original fir baseboard and trim.
From the remaining 65%, the funds from the license plate project will be used to support program coordination that is not readily visible to the general public. Therefore a portion of funds distributed internally will support projects that have high public visibility, and these projects will be identified as such with a license plate fund plaque. In following this procedure, LEP shows supporters of the license plates that their funds are making a difference.
1. Support the WSU Lighthouse Docent Program. Trained volunteer docents presently serve more than 35,000 annual lighthouse visitors by providing tours, lectures, gift shop staffing, and arrangements for lighthouse weddings. These volunteers also provide guided tours of Fort Casey , primarily to school children
2. Support the WSU/Beach Watchers Program. These volunteers receive 100 hours of classroom instruction in protecting the environment of Island County and Puget Sound . They accomplish their goal through educational workshops and research and by encouraging public awareness. One of the Beach Watchers, Janet Orso, provided the license plate's original design
3. Support the WSU/Waste Wise Volunteer Program. These volunteers also receive classroom instruction, approximately 50 hours, and work to encourage recycling, smart shopping, composting, waste reduction and sustainable living in Island County .
4. Support special stewardship projects of the LEP, which benefit the environment and Washington State Parks.
5. Enhance the Admiralty Head Lighthouse museum with high quality interpretive exhibits and select restoration projects.
6. An annual report, detailing the purpose to which funds were expended must be forwarded to the State of Washington from LEP.
Admiralty Head Lighthouse is open to the public through a cooperative agreement between Fort Casey State Park and the WSU/Island County Beach Watchers, Waste Wise Volunteers and WSU/Lighthouse Docents program.