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Margaret Klockars named hearing examiner pro tem | Bainbridge News Briefs

Klockars stays on as pro tem

The City Council on Wednesday approved the appointment of Margaret Klockars as hearing examiner pro tem.

Klockars has served in the role on a case by case basis since April.

Former Hearing Examiner Meredith Getches, who served as the city’s hearing examiner for four years, died in June.

The hearing examiner rules on various disputes, most often land use issues. The position is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council. Terms last two years.

One citizen questioned the appointment, saying Klockars decided on a case in which the Mayor Darlene Kordonowy testified.

The case involved the mayor’s neighbor, who ultimately prevailed in Klockar’s decision.

One council member suggested the ethics board review the matter.

The city will seek a permanent hearing examiner later this year.

City re-issues field turf DNS

The city this week issued a revised determination of nonsignificance for the artificial turf project at Battle Point Park.

The reissued DNS requires the project to further analyze and monitor potential impacts of artificial turf fields on surrounding aquifers.

City Planner Bob Katai said the city decided to issue the new DNS after receiving several letters from citizens during the environmental review’s comment period, asking for clarification on how the turf could affect drinking water.

The new DNS includes two new conditions for the project. First, a review of the project must be done by a governmental agency to show that the turf will not significantly contaminate groundwater. The review must be completed before the city will issue a fill and grade permit for the project, which has already been applied for.

After artificial turf is installed, the city must be supplied with the results of regular groundwater testing — including tests for lead, zinc and copper ­— for the next 10 years.

The project, which was organized through a partnership between the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District and local sports clubs, would resurface two sand and rubber crumb fields at the park with synthetic grass and rubber infill.

Some residents raised concerns over the project, especially whether chemicals from the turf could leach into groundwater.

In June the Center for Disease Control issued a health advisory, after high lead levels were discovered in dust from artificial fields in New Jersey.

Fields tested in New Jersey contained nylon or nylon blended with polyethylene. Fields planned for installation at both Battle Point Park and Bainbridge High School’s Memorial Stadium are made from polyethylene, which showed low lead levels, according to CDC.

Chris Van Dyk, an artificial turf opponent, said his group has gathered enough signatures to file for an initiative on the November general election ballot, to ban public artificial turf projects on the island.

If passed, the initiative would both block future artificial turf installation and levy a half-cent sales tax to pay for new natural grass fields.

According to Van Dyk the initiative must be filed by July 15.

—Tad Sooter

Measure would boost ferries

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has included $8 million for Washington State Ferries and Puget Sound ferry service in a Senate appropriations bill, according to a Friday press release.

The Transportation Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill, authored by Murray, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday and will go to the full Senate for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

According to the release, the bill includes $5 million for WSF fleet maintenance, $2 million for the Rich Passage fast ferry wake impact study, and $1 million for the Vashon/Seattle passenger ferry operated by King County.

Marsing takes reins of BSF

Vicky Marsing stepped into the roll of executive director for Bainbridge Schools Foundation July 1, succeeding retiring director Bruce Beall.

Marsing worked on school fundraising in New Mexico, before moving to Bainbridge with her family eight years ago.

She served as president of Bainbridge Public Schools Trust, and oversaw the 2006 merger of the Trust with Bainbridge Educational Support Team, that created the Schools Foundation.

She was named president of the Schools Foundation in June of 2007. She also served on the Foundation board, before before accepting the executive director position.

“Vicky saw our need, stepped off the board and applied for the job” said Paul Greenawalt, current president of the Foundation. “We are very excited.”

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