Category Archives: Roads and Infrastructure

Commissioners Talk Infrastructure at Retreat

Update, 8:45 a.m., Sept. 19: This entry has been amended to correct an error in the name of the Vision 2040 plan of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Brown says county needs to take leadership role in regional planning.
By Chris Henry
Roads, sewers and how to pay for them were the focal topics of discussion at a retreat for the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners and other county staff Monday at Island Lake Retreat Center in Central Kitsap. The commissioners also discussed the county budget and the ongoing task of finding ways to do more with less.
The county will be under increased pressure to find funding for sewers in urban growth areas since the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board issued a decision Friday related to the 2006 update of the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan. The Hearings Board decision essentially invalidates the portion of the plan related to new urban growth areas, and it will require the county to show a viable capital facilities plan for extending sewer lines into those areas.
The commissioners briefly discussed the Hearings Board’s decision at the retreat, and they will take up the issue in greater detail at a management team work study at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Discussion of infrastructure is scheduled to start at 10:15.
At the retreat, the commissioners discussed forming a “stakeholders” group to help develop funding strategies for sewers, said board chairman Josh Brown on Tuesday. The group would include environmental advocates, developers and people from the community knowledgeable about financing. They would be tasked with figuring out how public and private entities can share the load of bringing sewers to urban growth areas.
Funding for sewers is nothing new to the county.
“This is something I’ve been working on almost from the day I walked into the door,” said South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, the senior member of the board, now in her seventh year with the county.
The board also discussed long-term transportation planning. The board has been working with the Puget Sound Regional Council transportation board on the Vision 2040 plan, which looks beyond local road projects to state highways in order to prepare for projected growth decades into the future.
Brown said Kitsap County needs to play a leadership role in development of the plan and not wait for the state to make these projects happen. As with sewers, paying for roads will require tapping a variety of sources, Brown said. The county can’t do it alone.
The county is looking at transportation benefit districts as one strategy to pay for major road projects, such as the Bethel Corridor in South Kitsap. Such districts are subject to voter approval and tax those who live within the district’s boundaries.
Commissioners and other staff members also discussed budget strategies at the retreat. The county is facing budget cuts in 2008 and beyond due to a revenue shortfall.
The commissioners are looking at forming a citizens budget group to help advise the county on how to prioritize its services.
They also discussed an idea floated by North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer for saving money by using products and methods that are environmentally friendly. Bauer sees the potential for support from Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Belfair) and Congressman Jay Inslee (D-Bainbridge Island). He said the time is ripe for Kitsap to go “green.”
“There’s every reason for the county to want to be on board with this issue and set an example,” Bauer said. “In the short term we need to be doing it in a way that shows it makes economic sense. It’s important for us to be taking the lead.”
Bauer has also promoted an idea he helped implement as city manager for the City of Bellevue. He suggested establishing an “innovation fund,” or pool of money that county managers could draw on for one-time investments in equipment or other purchases that could be shown to save the county money in the long run.

County Could Tap New License Tab Law to Pay for Bethel Corridor Project

As I started to make this entry, I found I had to assign it to multiple categories on the blog, a record four, in fact: development, Kitsap County government, roads and infrastructure, and taxes. So take note. If you’re a South Kitsap:
a. Business owner
b. Politician
c. Property owner
d. Vehicle owner
e. Consumer
f. Tax geek
… this story has something in it for you.

SK Home Depot Wins Approval

By Christopher Dunagan
Thursday, June 14, 2007
A new Home Depot store on Bethel Road, just south of Wal-Mart, has been approved by the Kitsap County hearing examiner.

The home-improvement store will be contained in a 103,000-square-foot building with a 27,000-square-foot garden center on more than 17 acres. Two other buildings approved for the site could contain a bank and a restaurant.

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Traffic Circles: The Right Way and the Wrong Way

Educational video addresses traffic circle etiquette and safety.

The City of Port Orchard sees a wide road in South Kitsap’s future.
City officials will hold an open house April 25, to discuss the proposed widening of Tremont Street, which has raised some public concern about traffic flow, especially with regards to traffic circles that are part of the design.
Improvements on the main boulevard into Port Orchard and the South Kitsap area will create a gateway effect that will “welcome people into the community and project the right image of Port Orchard,” said Maher Abed, the city’s public works director.
In another public workshop Thursday, the city will present plans to create a storm water utility to comply with the state’s Department of Ecology guidelines. Public funding of storm water maintenance will allow the city to do a better job of keeping streets clear of silt build-up and preventing pollution run-off into Sinclair Inlet, Maher said.
Maher hopes to see a good turnout at both workshops so that community members can be made aware of the impact, costs and benefits of each project.

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City Council Approves Ross Point Cell Tower

The Port Orchard City Council will permit Verizon Wireless to locate a 100-foot cell phone tower on Ross Point, but only if they top it off with an American flag.
The tower is necessary, said a consultant representing Verizon, to boost capacity in its Bremerton/ South Kitsap service area.
JoAnne Long-Woods, the city’s director of planning, raised several concerns about the structure before the council put it to a vote at their meeting Monday. The city’s planning commission held a public hearing on the tower proposal Jan. 29, but there was no public comment.

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County Unveils Plan to Pay for Bethel Road Improvements

The Port Orchard City Council on Monday learned how the county plans to raise $43.4 million for the Bethel corridor project and what the city’s role in paying for the major road revision may be.
The proposed project now lies outside city boundaries, but when and if that area is annexed, the city would assume the county’s bond payments, said Eric Baker, the county’s special projects manager, who made a presentation to the city council. Local residents, business owners and developers will also shoulder a portion of the financial burden according to a county proposal for financing the project, Baker said.
A levy to help pay for the project will be put before voters in 2008.

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