Improvements to Highway 305 from Winslow to Poulsbo could be delayed or even canceled due to funding woes caused by COVID-19.
The state Department of Transportation working group met this week to discuss the status of the safety improvements. The group is made up of tribal and elected officials as well as staff from local governments along the route. The group had not met since before the start of the pandemic.
The meeting focused on how financial impacts related to the pandemic-related recession and unanticipated cost increases have placed limitations on the improvements.
Several projects along the corridor will be going forward, including the roundabout and pedestrian tunnel at the Johnson Road intersection in Poulsbo, which will start construction this fall. The roundabouts planned for the West Port Madison and Adas Will/Agatewood intersections on Bainbridge Island are also still planned for construction in late 2021.
The future of the roundabouts at the intersections of Totten Road and Suquamish Way are less certain, with design and construction stretching into 2023, assuming funding remains available.
The Day Road roundabout was removed entirely, but will be included in requests for future funds.
A separate project funding source is supporting the replacement of drainage culverts with fish passage improvements along the corridor at Murden Creek on Bainbridge Island and elsewhere. Those projects are expected to proceed to construction in the next few years.
The City Council’s $72.9 million Capital Improvement Plan for 2021-26 had its first reading this week.
The plan, which will be included in the city manager’s 2021-22 biennial budget when presented to the council Sept. 22, includes spending on transportation and non-motorized improvements, as well as investments in utility and facility upgrades and fleet replacement.
The funding is almost even split between general government and utility investments. Additionally, the city is working to procure a little over $8 million in grants to support transportation and non-motorized projects.
The council will continue discussion and propose changes as part of deliberations on the budget the next two months.
A public online hearing on the Shoreline Master Program in Bainbridge Island will take place Sept. 22.
The public can comment in person (via Zoom) or in writing.
The topic is related to critical areas regulations and nonconforming structures, uses, and lots; and amending several sections in the municipal code.
The hearing is part of a remote City Council meeting at 6 p.m. The Zoom link will be available Sept. 18 on the city website.
Written comments may be submitted until the closure of the public hearing, unless otherwise extended by the City Council. They may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
New arts leader
Bainbridge Arts & Crafts has a new executive director – Debra Ruzinsky of Smithville, Tenn.
She was the director for the Appalachian Center for Craft for several years.
Prior to that Ruzinsky, a glass artist, held positions of leadership in several nonprofit and educational settings. She has a master’s in fine arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology, School of American Craft, in Glass. Her bachelor’s is in design from the the University of California at Los Angeles.
Maureen Halligan, president of the board of trustees, said in making the announcement Thursday in an email that Ruzinsky will be at the gallery starting Sept. 21.
“We invite you, our sponsors, members, community partners, artists and friends to swing by and say hello,” her email says. “We also have a wonderful new exhibition up at the gallery.”
At the gallery, staff and patrons are required to wear a mask and practice social distance.
The Poulsbo Board of Commissioners has passed a resolution to offer free parking at the Port Parking Lot on Jensen Way (the old Armory location) to encourage visitors to support businesses of Poulsbo.
The free parking will be in effect through Jan. 15, 2021.
The board asks that you please not use the spaces that are marked as “Live Aboard Only” and limit your stay to four hours or less.
A free tire collection event will take place at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Bremerton Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Limit is 10 tires per visitor.
Electric Vehicle parking has been approved at Wal mart by the Poulso Planning and Economic Development.
The PED director has concluded that the application has been found to meet the stated permit criteria, subject to the Conditions of Approval, and the project as approved will not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety or welfare of the city.