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Ped-crossing project stalls -- News Roundup

Higher-than-anticipated project costs have pushed back pedestrian improvements around Winslow, at least until next year.

The Bainbridge Island City Council had earlier approved construction of median islands and crosswalks at several points on Madison Avenue and High School Road.

The project was expected to cost $86,000, according to city engineering estimates. But the work attracted only one bidder, at $187,000.

On the recommendation of public works officials, the council last week formally rejected that bid.

The project will be reconfigured and put out to bid again next year, said Lorenz Eber, engineer for the city public works department, with construction in early spring.

The council did approve a $64,000 contract for maintenance to gravel roads around the island.

The contract includes improvements to the Mandus Olson Road right of way, which will connect Koura Road with New Brooklyn as a non-motorized trail.

– Douglas Crist

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***Budget goes to council, public

The public will get its first opportunity to sound off on the city’s proposed 2003 budget next week when the Bainbridge City Council holds its first public hearing on the plan at 7 p.m. at city hall.

Earlier this month, Mayor Darlene Kordonowy submitted a proposed $18.7 million operations budget, including new staff and programs, an increase over the current budget of $16.5 million.

The council, which has expressed a desire to have more hands-on involvement in the process, began doing so with a workshop last night that was to focus on information-gathering.

The council plans two more workshops, one on Oct. 30 and one Nov. 6, at which council committees will present refined budgets for the city departments under their jurisdiction. Both of those meetings are scheduled to run from 5-7 p.m.

“I expect they’ll end up having more sessions than that,” city clerk Sue Kasper said.

Once the departmental budgets are refined through the workshops and hearings, a draft final budget will be assembled.

A public hearing on that final budget is scheduled for Nov. 20, Kasper said.

– John Waldo

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***Woman jailed after scrape

Stopped while leaving an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, an intoxicated woman was arrested after a scrape with police Sunday evening.

Officers were called to the Grange Hall on North Madison Avenue, where friends had stopped the 33-year-old Bainbridge woman as she tried to leave the meeting in a vehicle, according to police reports. The woman was “obviously intoxicated,” witnesses told police, and had her 6-year-old daughter in the car with her.

Police say the woman swung her fists at one officer and kicked another in stomach. When she was placed in the back of a patrol car, she kicked out the back window, shattering the glass.

The woman was taken to the Kitsap County Jail, where she was held on various counts of assault and disorderly conduct.

– Douglas Crist

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***T’Chookwap plan OK’d

Some neighbors love it, others seem to loathe it, but T’Chookwap Park is there to stay.

The city council last week authorized park district officials to move forward with a plan to improve the tiny park on Spargur Loop Road.

“It’s not a road end,” Councilman Norm Wooldridge said in a committee meeting that preceded the council’s vote. “It’s been a park, it’s going to be a park, and it’s going to be a good park.”

The plan calls for construction of a pedestrian trail to the bluff overlooking the water, with a picnic table and gazebo. Two parking spaces will be added.

Future improvements could include stairs to the water, subject to permits and funding.

The plan was devised last year by a citizen committee, and was based on an earlier plan that had never been put into effect.

The park was purchased a decade ago for about $300,000 in city general funds, after a dispute between the city and a neighboring yacht club over a road end.

But it has divided neighbors in recent years, with some blaming it for parking problems on the narrow street. Park proponents, meanwhile, blame the yacht club.

The dispute has also taken on class overtones. Wednesday, one resident told the council that neighbors who don’t own waterfront property favor the park, while those who do oppose it.

One resident called on the city to sell the land and put the money toward purchase of Treasure Island in Port Madison, now for sale for $1.2 million. But that idea was nixed by council members.

“I don’t think we should ever trade one park for another,” Councilwoman Christine Nasser Rolfes said. “That’s not a precedent I want to set.”

– Douglas Crist

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