Lary Coppola’s comments in today’s story about a port commissioner’s concerns about a SKIA battle came during a short break in the Port Orchard City Council meeting. Today he had time to elaborate.
One of the reasons he’s bringing up a multijurisdictional solution for the South Kitsap Industrial Area is directly related to his role as mayor of Port Orchard.
“Port orchard is the poorest city in the county and I see my job as trying to do something for the economic opportunity for this city,” he said. “If SKIA annexes into Bremerton, I believe there should be some way for Port Orchard to benefit.”
He called SKIA the best economic development option since Bangor, since “we ran off the best opportunity since Bangor.” (Most of you will get that he’s talking about the speedway.)
Coppola is not sure how the structure would work, but has been told a similar model in in place in Snohomish County for Boeing. Multiple jurisdictions contribute to the infrastructure and all of them benefit from Boeing.
He again questioned whether Bremerton would have the money to provide infrastructure, especially when that city hasn’t nailed down a way to pay for street repairs.
Coppola said development would probably happen using one of the participating entity’s code, not by making up a whole new set of development rules. He again suggested the port as the lead agency in making that decision.
He responded to the port commissioners’ statement Tuesday that they’d do what’s best for the port. “I agree with that. That’s their job,” he said. “I believe exploring every possible opportunity is also part of their job.”