Update: I have just been assured by port leaders I will be included in the port staff’s next meeting with Harper residents regarding the Harper Pier. It’s to take place mid-January. — Rachel Pritchett
In addition to the news of the corporate hangar that is anticipated to be built at Bremerton National Airport, a few other tidbits came out of the Port of Bremerton commissioners’ meeting Tuesday:
— Port airport chief Fred Salisbury told commissioners that the Overton family, which own 600 acres of woodlands in the expansive and undeveloped South Kitsap Industrial Area, has informally drawn up a sketch of how lots for future potential development might be plotted out. About two dozen lots were sketched out, most lining Lake Flora Road, south of the runway.
The land has been in the Overton family since the Depression, and like most of the South Kitsap Industrial Area, is unofficially available for sale. The lots sketch has not been filed with the city, but comes as the port begins the big job of updating its airport master plan. When completed next year, that plan will serve as a blueprint for future development around the airport. It’s updated every 10 years or so.
Salisbury cautioned the commissioners that at some point, if they ever want to lengthen the runway on the south end to accommodate bigger planes, it’s worth starting to think about putting dibs on that land, which is in the Overton-owned area.
Any high-population development — a prison or school, for example — would not work at the south end of the runway, and certainly would never be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Speaking of sites for potential future development, the port now has eight new pad-ready sites available in the northeast part of its Olympic View Industrial Park. Those sites were developed over the summer with a $1 million state grant. The eight new sites brings the total number of sites in the park’s Northeast Campus to 11.
— I certainly would have attended a recent meeting between port staff and residents in the Harper Pier neighborhood, but the press mysteriously was not notified. Port Chief Executive Officer Tim Thomson told the commissioners the state now is going through the bidding process for $400,000 worth of work to demolish the popular but deteriorating pier. That’s going to happen very soon.
He said quite a few members of the Harper community showed deep concern and skepticism that the pier might not be replaced.
“Certainly they are looking forward to knowing that this project will be completed,” he said.
He said port staff will meet again with Harper residents. Residents, would someone let me know when the next meeting is? (360) 475-3783 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve voiced my disappointment to port leaders for being excluded from these newsworthy meetings.
Harper resident Jim Heytvelt told commissioners he believes the pier will be replaced, even though no money’s come forth for the expensive project that would cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on length of the replacement and other factors. But his neighbors fear it will go away for good.
Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn challenged Heytvelt and his neighbors to get to work fundraising.
Heytvelt responded neighbors haven’t gotten very far on this. Creating a 501(c) 3 nonprofit in order to raise funds would take too much time, he said. Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, who also attended the meeting, reportedly suggested the neighbors align themselves with an existing nonprofit.
— Commissioners OK’ed a couple of contracts for work on the extension of the Port Orchard Marina Park and replacement of an old boat ramp at the foot of Water Street.
Quigg Brothers, Inc. of Aberdeen will do $402,000 worth of work replacing the Water Street boat ramp. Work includes replacing pilings and floats, plus smoothing the highly deteriorated ramp. The port leased the ramp from the city of Port Orchard in order to get the work done, important for its biggest industrial-park tenant, Safe Boats International, LLC, who uses the ramp heavily and in the process, wore it down quite a bit.
Nordland Construction NW, Inc. of Port Townsend was selected to begin work on the extension of the Port Orchard Marina Park. The value of the contract is $428,000, to be shared by the port and the city. The work includes demolition of two port-owned houses. Tenants of those houses now have vacated. The work also includes a pedestrian path and other park features aimed at giving the public better access to the waterfront.
— Rachel Pritchett, reporter