BI to look at police-court facility, explains sewage spill

The Bainbridge Island City Council will again look at the issue of a new police-court facility at its meeting Jan. 25.

The current facilities lack space, are not safe and are not earthquake-proof, city manager Blair King says in his weekly video.

Police chief Joe Clark adds that police want to be able to bring people into a space where they can feel comfortable and “have the privacy to talk about the most-intimate problems in their lives.”

The council will discuss the pros and cons of three city sites: the current police station at 625 Winslow Way, the former Harrison Medical Center building at 8804 Madison Ave., and a site at Sportsman Club and New Brooklyn roads, also known as the Suzuki property.

Staff will present an evaluation of the Madison Avenue building purchase and the implications for the sale or change in use of that property as it was purchased with tax-exempt bonds.

Over the years, the city has analyzed 18 potential sites for the police-court facility and has spent nearly $11 million.

Sewage spill

The city explains that the cause of a sewage spill Jan. 7 was a high tide of over 14.5 feet. The resulting flood impacted shoreline residences, roads and city utilities.

The sewage spill near Wing Point was related to a sewage pump station located in the flood zone. A pump stopped working, and staff was unable to access the well and reset the pumps until the water subsided.

Staff is working to relocate the station to higher ground. Construction for the relocation is planned for 2024, however, staff may request that timeline be moved forward.

In other issues

COVID: Appointments are required for the COVID-19 test site at Rolling Bay as demand is far exceeding capacity. Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, except on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Book appointments at

Crime: There have been five smash and grab thefts in the Grand Forest parking lot on Miller Road since early December, three last Monday. Police advise residents to keep items of value out of plain sight and lock your car.

Transportation: Mike Epstein of the city’s Public Works Department, says BI is looking into a pilot program that would reduce vehicle miles on the island. It would involve an electric circulator van that would be available on-demand, similar to Lyft or Uber.

Federal funding: U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer will participate in the Jan. 18 City Council study session to share his legislative priorities and offer information about how the city can take advantage of federal infrastructure funding.

Volunteer: There is a spot open on the city’s Race Equity Advisory Committee. Applications are due by Feb. 1.