Three local projects were selected by the Key Peninsula Advisory Commission (KPAC) to receive a total of $7,000 in matching fund grants to benefit the local community.

Key Pen Parks will receive $5,932 to help build a picnic shelter adjacent to the recently constructed playground located at the Key Peninsula Civic Center in Vaughn.

The Civic Center will receive $1,068 for two projects. One project will get $868 to help construct a storage room and radio room to be used as an emergency shelter and volunteer resource center. The second is $200 for administrative supplies to support that same function.

The money came from Pierce County Planning and Land Services (PALS), to be used specifically on projects that would benefit the greatest number of KP residents.

The KPAC has the responsibility of reviewing applications for Conditional Use Permits and Shoreline Substantial Development Permits, and make recommendations to the Pierce County Planning Commission regarding approval (or not) and conditions.

At its regular meeting on Nov. 20, in addition to selecting the grant recipients, the KPAC reviewed and approved an application from Cingular Wireless (AT&T) to construct an180-foot-tall cell tower along SR-302 near the Elgin-Clifton “Y” that is expected to greatly improve cell phone reception on the Key Peninsula. Other cell phone service providers will be able to use this tower. The tower should be operational by fall of 2014.

County Executive Pat McCarthy and PALS want to expand how the KPAC interacts with its local community. This grant process was a trial. If all goes well, this county grant program could expand to all seven of the land use advisory commissions across Pierce County.

The KPAC normally meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., at the Key Center Library. It is seeking one new member to fill a vacancy.

For information, contact Chuck West, KPAC president, at or 884-1366.