Start the conversation, but get ready for action | IN OUR OPINION

Mother Nature is moving in, and she’s an unwelcome guest.

Officials with the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District are watching with concern as recent king tides have eaten away at the shoreline right next to the historic Fort Ward barracks.

To the district’s great credit, park officials are fully tuned into the problem and the potential for damage to an already at-risk structure, and have started to gather public input on possible next steps.

There are multiple options, including moving the barracks, armoring the shoreline to prevent further erosion, dismantling a portion of the structure, or tearing down the entire barracks.

We’re encouraged that parks officials scheduled a meeting this week with the city’s Historic Preservation Commission to talk about the threat to the Fort Ward barracks. Parks director Terry Lande has also raised the possibility of a public meeting to gather the thoughts and views of others on the island about what should be done.

A thorough examination of the various options, and the costs that each entail, is a worthy and necessary approach.

But while funding currently isn’t earmarked in the district’s budget for the eventual solution to the problem, let’s hope the evaluation of the alternatives — and a decision — doesn’t bog down in many months of talk without any resolution. That happened with the district’s attempts to create additional off-leash areas for dog owners. Mother Nature may not wait.


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