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Ollalie Road in Battle Point ends, work keeps on going

This Saturday, the Park District’s Trails Advisory Committee and the city’s Road Ends Committee will jointly tackle improvements to the Ollalie Road end on Battle Point.

With no new city funding for road ends this year, the Park District and Road Ends Committee having been leaning on volunteer work and looking for new ways of leveraging scant resources to continue work at public shoreline access points.

“We need to be creative and not lose our ability to keep going,” Road Ends Committee Chair Bitsy Ostenson said.

The Road Ends Committee, formed in 1992, is tasked with implementing city council-approved recommendations for improving road easements ending at on shorelines. In 2007 the Park District entered into an inter-local agreement for the improvement of 11 road ends, including Ollalie.

The Park District has spent its original allotment of city funds provided in the agreement, and has secured shoreline exemptions for development of several of the road ends.

To move forward without funding, the Park District is harnessing volunteer labor and whatever materials, such as wood chips, the city will provide for free.

Saturday the Trail Advisory Committee and its network of volunteers will make Ollalie the focus of its monthly trail work party. Joined by Road Ends Committee members, the crew will first repair the existing section of trail, installed by the park district last year but not maintained. Then on the grassy slope below, leading to the bulkhead on the shoreline, they will mow down the grass, layer it with landscaping cloth and and mulch a new length of trail.

The Road Ends Committee hopes to also install stairs down the bulkhead to the sandy beach, which offers views of Keyport across the passage.

At first it was a concern how landscaping cloth would even be paid for, but the Road Ends Committee found $2,000 still available for the project.

Beyond Ollalie, Hamlin said it’s not clear yet which road ends the Park District will be able to address. It plans to continue utilizing the TAC and may pursue a partnership with the city’s Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee.

Ostenson said that without money for permits, surveying or contractors, the Road Ends Committee will look for small amounts of funding to pay for materials for completing simple projects.

Ostenson said the committee had spent about $40,000 each year over the last three years.

Work at the end of Rose Loop, which included the construction of a winding wooden staircase, completed in August 2007, cost roughly $46,000.

Road Ends Committee members are planning to make an appeal before the city council for inclusion in the city’s Capital Facilities Plan. In the meantime, Ostenson said, they will help however the can.

“I’m certainly not going to complain,” she said. “It has been a difficult situation for everyone.”

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The Trails Advisory Committee and Road Ends Committee are rallying volunteers for an Ollalie work party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is available at the west side of Battle Point Park and workers will be shuttled to the road end. For more information call Dan Hamlin at (206) 245-7385.

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