Port Orchard Wants to Take $#!& From SKIA

It really does come down to sewers.

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, in his South Kitsap Industrial Area Multi-Jurisdictional Implementation Proposal, issued March 27, spoke in a general way of shared costs and revenues from the proposed industrial park. But the city’s primary claim to its piece of the SKIA pie is as a provider of waste water treatment, he told Kitsap County Commissioners Jan Angel and Steve Bauer at a summit with city council members Monday at City Hall. A 2003 memorandum of understanding between the city and the Port of Bremerton gives Port Orchard the legal backing to support its stance, Coppola said. At stake is substantial revenue from sewer service provided to SKIA, money the city will need as it is impacted by increased traffic from the area, Coppola said.

Coppola asked Angel, representing South KItsap, for an official statement of support for the city’s position. But Angel declined, saying, “I’m just going to put it on the table, the Port of Bremerton, part of the City of Bremerton and Port Orchard are all in my district. That’s why the county has stepped back and not taken a position, because we didn’t really feel it was our place to do so.”
Coppola said the city is prepared to dig in and defend its $21.5 million investment in Karcher Creek’s waste water treatment plant, made in large part with SKIA in mind.
“We’ve invested $4.5 million from our treasury and the balance in bonds, and we’re not walking away from that,” said Coppola.

Read the complete story later at kitsapsun.com. Read Bremerton Beat reporter Andy Binion’s post on public perception of conflict between Bremerton and Port Orchard here.

Other issues of mutual interest discussed at the summit included:

McCormick Woods annexation: Angel said the county supports the annexation, even though it would mean reduced revenue for the county. Discussion centered on how the county and city would share responsibilities and revenues (in the form of impact fees) from the area.

Under an inter-local agreement between the county and Kitsap cities, transfer of revenue would be phased in over three years, with 75 percent going to the county in the first year of annexation, 50 percent the  next and 25 percent the next. Councilman John Clauson suggested responsibility for maintenance of roads to be assumed by the city could be similarly phased in.

Angel said the board of commissioners needs to discuss the annexation and make its recommendation.

Council members requested that the board put McWoods high on its list of priorities. “I would just comment maybe the sooner the better,” said Carolyn Powers. “We have a lot of people out at McCormick Woods chomping at the bit, and we can’t do it on our own.”

Bethel Corridor: The county is taking a survey to see if taxpayers would support any of several measures to fund major improvements to the 1.7-mile stretch of road that is South Kitsap’s major commercial thoroughfare. If not, the project that has been in the works since 2000 will be kaput.

“If people aren’t willing to pay anything, we don’t have a project,” Angel said. “A lot of people believe there is money to do this project. There is not.”

Coppola said that a number of Bethel property owners have approached the city about annexation. The city is likely to eventually annex the whole Bethel corridor.

Givens Center and Veteran’s Memorial Park: The county has offered the Givens Center to the City of Port Orchard, not as a gift. No suggested sale price has been mentioned. The city is analyzing the potential benefits and liabilities of the proposal, said James Weaver, the city’s director of planning and development. Jan Angel said she began talking with Copploa about the proposal when he took office in January.”I was hoping you were going to offer a price tonight,” said Angel, mostly in jest.

“I thought you wanted to give it to us,” said Coppola, also joking.

Angel said it would also be logical for the city to assume responsibility for Veteran’s Memorial Park, which is in city limits. The county understands that the city is working to create a parks department and that they would not be likely to take over the park until that had happened.

One thought on “Port Orchard Wants to Take $#!& From SKIA

  1. Is this the only explanation we will be given about the county’s decision to take back the funding from existing revenues which had been offered last spring and summer for the Bethel Corridor project?

    “If people aren’t willing to pay anything, we don’t have a project,” Angel said. “A lot of people believe there is money to do this project. There is not.”

    I guess I could take Angel literally — there is no funding at all, so we can never expect ever again another road improvement project anywhere in the county paid by our existing taxes, since there is no money.

    I want to know when the memorial service will be held for the county’s road program. It would be a shame for it to go away with some little “good-by” from all of us.

    It will save some of the commissioners’ time, though. They won’t have to update the road plan or do any of that stuff for any place at all in the county ever again, because there is no money.

    If the county expects people to approve new taxes, the county leaders need to explain what happened between April and August 2007. It wasn’t a lack of county funds from existing taxes that caused the county to yank away the funds from the Bethel Corridor project.

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