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Trails crew needed today -- News Roundup

To mark National Trails Day – today, June 5 – the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District Trails Committee is organizing a volunteer work crew for trail improvement.

The group will meet at the Fort Ward trail, the trail head for which is located on Country Club Drive, near the parking lot at the head of Blakely Harbor.

The group will meet at 10 a.m. and work until 2 p.m. Bring water, a snack, gloves, and whatever tools you want to use, and dress for the weather. The work will include ivy-pulling, improving an existing trail, and “grubbing out” a new route.

Information: Rick Gordon, 842-0838 or 979-9025.

Passing marks in school audit

The Bainbridge Island School District earned passing marks in the most recent audit of district affairs.

State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s office found that the district complied with state laws and regulations in a review of operations for September 2001 through August 2003. Among the areas reviewed were cash receipting and revenues; purchase of goods and services; budgeting; contracts; and open meetings requirements.

“District management has always been very responsive to audit recommendations and has taken steps to make improvements and correct areas of concern noted in prior audits,” the auditor wrote, in a report issued May 21. “We believe this reflects the district’s commitment to maintaining a strong financial system with sufficient internal controls.”

The district runs seven schools on a $38 million budget, with 4,000 students, and 270 certificated and 208 classified employees.

Rockefeller to hold kick-off

Rep. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge) kicks off his campaign for state Senate with a gathering from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at Islay Manor, formerly known as Ruby’s on Bainbridge.

The island Democrat has held the 23rd District Position 1 seat in the state House of Representatives since 1998.

In March, Rockefeller announced he would leave his House post to seek the 23rd District State Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Betti Sheldon (D-Bremerton). He is being challenged by Republican Doug Kitchens, a real estate agent from Silverdale.

Rockefeller’s candidacy has been endorsed by Sen. Sheldon, who will speak at Wednesday’s gathering. Also speaking is Mayor Cary Bozeman of Bremerton.

Vying to fill Rockefeller’s House seat are Republican Frank Mahaffay, Republican Paulette DeGard of Kingston, and Democrat Sherry Appleton of Poulsbo.

Rockefeller and his wife Anita have lived in Kitsap County for 30 years.

Prior to holding public office, he was Education Assistant to Governor John Spellman and directed the regional operations of the U.S. Office of Education. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, he has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association for more than 35 years.

For more information about the June 9 campaign event, call 842-3748.

Winslow plan moves along

The process of identifying a core group to steer the Winslow Tomorrow project is moving forward at City Hall, the mayor’s office said this week.

The city in April began recruiting a project manager and a “Community Congress” – a group of 60-75 citizen volunteers – to implement a comprehensive planning process for downtown Winslow.

More than 130 applications were submitted for the Congress, and 35 candidates applied for the project manager position, the mayor said.

“We’re delighted with the response we’ve received,” Mayor Darlene Kordonowy said. “Our next step is to carry out an inclusive process to select the candidate best qualified to guide this important project.”

An evaluation panel is now being selected to narrow the list of project manager candidates to a handful to be interviewed in late June.

The seven-member panel will include representatives recommended by a number of community groups, as well as a member of the planning department staff and a city council member. A citizen representative and a council member will also be invited to participate in the interview panel.

Steps are also underway to narrow down the candidates for Community Congress participants and facilitators.

“I look forward to announcing the selection of the project manager at the end of June, and to finalizing the composition of the Congress in mid-July,” Kordonowy said.

The Winslow Tomorrow planning process picks up from proposals by downtown property owners for roundabouts, parking garages and other improvements to keep the business district vital.

State grant to fund creek fix

In April, the city improved public access to Cooper Creek at the Head of the Bay. This week, the city was awarded a state grant to make the stream once again habitable for salmon.

The city Department of Public Works this week received grant funding of $15,000 toward a project estimated at $40,000 for creek restoration. Formal grant acceptance will be considered by the City Council next Wednesday.

“It was in progress, and a bit of an opportunity,” said Randy Witt, public works director, of the grant’s timing.

The creek flows into the Head of the Bay from the west, winding through the so-called “Lost Valley” watershed. Just six weeks ago, the city used open space funding to add nine acres to its holdings there, putting nearly 40 acres of the watershed under public control.

At that time, backers noted their goal of restoring the creek for salmon.

The grant announced this week will fund removal of an in-ground concrete vault that blocks juvenile fish trying to reach the creek to spawn.

The vault structure has been in place for decades, dating back to a time when surface water was collected there and pumped up to Winslow residents for residential use. The facility will be dug up with excavators, allowing the water to flow and pool naturally.

“There have been some coho seen in the creek, and it very definitely supports sea-run cutthroat there,” said Wayne Daley, Bainbridge fisheries biologist.

The restoration could begin this summer.

– Douglas Crist

Schools seek volunteers

The Bainbridge Island School District is seeking parents and other interested community volunteers to participate on a variety of school district advisory and program review committees for the 2004-05 school year. Committee vacancies are anticipated on the following advisory committees:

Instructional Materials Committee; Title VII Indian Education Parent Committee; Multicultural Advisory Committee; K-12 Fitness Program Review Committee; K-12 Social Studies Program Review Committee; K-12 Art Program Review Committee; Health Education Advisory Committee; Special Education Program Council.

All of these district-level groups include parent, community and school instructional staff member representation and meet on a regular basis during the school year.

Volunteer applications are available from the school district administrative office and all public school offices. Return the completed application form to Faith Chapel at the Bainbridge Island School District, 8489 Madison Avenue, Bainbridge WA 98110 or by fax at 780-1089.

To request an application, contact Judy Kornbau at 780-1071 or jkornbau@bainbridge.wednet.edu.

City gets another loan

The city this week announced the addition of a water treatment plant upgrade to the list of projects receiving funding through the Washington State Public Works Board this year.

A loan of $389,215 in pre-construction funding will be used to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment facility to meet regulatory mandates pertaining to reliability and redundancy requirements; reduce energy consumption; and enhance treatment process with current technology.

The State Public Works Trust Fund is a highly competitive application process that is authorized to loan money to municipalities. Loans have a five- or 20-year payback period at a 0.5 percent interest rate.

Two previously announced loans from the fund will bring in $5.6 million for the construction of the south island sewer project, and $182,750 in pre-construction funding for a new decant facility.

The sewer project, which will begin construction this summer, will provide sewer service to areas of in the south parts of the island where failing septic tanks affect environmental and human health.

The sewage collection system will include the neighborhoods of Emerald Heights, Rockaway Beach, Pleasant Beach, Point White, and Blakely Elementary School. Effluent from these neighborhoods will be pumped to the Kitsap County Sewer District No. 7 wastewater treatment facility on Fort Ward Hill for treatment.

The trust’s other loan provides funding to design a facility for materials generated from the maintenance and cleaning of street and storm water collection and conveyance systems.

In February, the City Council unanimously approved a recommendation from the citizen-led Facility Evaluation Committee to build a “state of the art” Street and Storm Water Maintenance Facility at Vincent Road, for which the city is currently reviewing engineering proposals.

The city Department of Public Works has also applied for construction funding through the State Public Works Board for the storm water maintenance facility and the wastewater treatment plant. The board will award construction funding in September.

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