BI’s deteriorating roads topic of meeting May 21

Bainbridge Island staff will talk to the City Council about the city’s deteriorating roads and the need for more funding to maintain them at their meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall and online on Zoom May 21.

The city budgets $1 million annually for road preservation. But a report says $1.5 million is needed just to keep up. The PowerPoint says preserving good roads can be up to five times cheaper than rebuilding failed roads. The city’s road network is rated 69, which is between fair and good. The city has many low-volume roads, some built without base course materials. If it continues to pay $1 million a year, the overall network will continue to degrade. If $1.5 million is spent, the rating will stay the same.

A PowerPoint says the city has 280 miles of paved roads and 5 miles of gravel roads. Distressed roads have alligator and block cracking, rutting, patching, raveling and weathering conditions. Preservation includes asphalt patching, sweeping, pothole repair, striping, shoulder grading, vegetation control and gravel grading. There are four types of roads: primary arterials like Highway 305, secondary roads, such as High School and Miller; collectors like Fort Ward and Battle Point; and 126 lane miles of local access.

The council also will discuss priorities for 2025-26. City manager Blair King has asked the council for seven priorities, as the city is working on hundreds of projects.

Required projects include: Completion of Comprehensive and Winslow Subarea plans; new laws on permits; compliance with population allocations, which lists four projects; Americans with Disabilities Act updates; and Utilities and infrastructure preservation, which lists 15 projects. Four other projects are listed as contingent on other action, including development rights, permit backlog, shoreline management and critical areas. Dozens of other projects are listed as ongoing work under categories such as: climate action, emergency preparedness, affordable housing, sustainable transportation, utility planning and economic development. Seven other projects are listed in the planning phase, including: the city website, sea level rise, more officers and ferry system fixes.

The council also will see a presentation from Kitsap Community Resources executive director Tony Ives. KCR has been helping people since 1965.

Housing programs help homeless and those at risk with things like rental assistance. Early Learning and Family Services help with things like Meals on Wheels and Head Start. Women, Infants & Children helps moms with healthy food, and nutrition tips, along with reducing health care costs and supporting economic stability. Employment and Training is free career planning and training for those 18 and older. It also helps with Veterans Assistance. Weatherization and energy assistance helps reduce utility costs. Christmas Angel provides gifts for those in need. KCR’s strategic plans include: improve and streamline access to services; increase funding to sustain and build programs; invest in people; foster strong, diverse community through collaboration with partners; increase employee satisfaction; and improve internal systems.

By the numbers

121,988 meals served

3,450 families helped each month with WIC

3,000 plus people obtain safe shelter

2,229 families helped with energy assistance

1,000 plus got Christmas Angel gifts

468 people helped with employment assistance

299 kids in early learning programs

180 veterans assisted