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Bainbridge council talks Point Monroe, water utility

The Bainbridge Island City Council will soon wade through the thick waters around Winslow and Point Monroe.

The issues surrounding two controversial issues will both be addressed at the city council's weekly meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6; the future of the city's water utility and Point Monroe sand spit's place in the Shoreline Master Program.

The community has wrestled with the future of the city's water utility for nearly two years. Now, the city council will devote a portion of its meeting to hear islanders' thoughts on the utility and its future. Starting at 7:25 p.m. the council has set aside 45 minutes for the discussion.

Whether or not to divest the utility, or to outsource the management of the utility, has been a long-standing debate.

In October, Councilman Steve Bonkowski asked city staff to seek proposals from outside agencies to manage the water utility.

The responding proposals were reviewed by the city's Utility Advisory Committee, which recommended the Kitsap Public Utility District as the top pick to manage the utility.

The meeting's agenda notes that after public comments, the city council may forward the matter to its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13 for a vote.

"[The] vote would be to either enter into a contract with locally sourced management or retain management by the city," Councilwoman Debbi Lester said in an email Tuesday.

The second high profile item the council will tackle will be the designation of the Point Monroe sand spit in the pending Shoreline Master Program.

Homes on the sand spit have been proposed to be labeled as "non-conforming," a title that has not been welcomed by many shoreline homeowners.

The spit at the north end of the island has been watched closely as the council considers updating the program that regulates development along the shoreline.

The council has set aside 85 minutes to consider the matter at its meeting Wednesday.

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