3 downtown spots to be short-term loading areas

Council also approves new contract with Poulsbo police

Three parking spots in downtown Poulsbo will soon be designated for short-term parking and loading areas, something many downtown businesses have expressed a desire for recently.

A presentation about that was shown to the City Council Wednesday night.

Currently, parking is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the designated spaces could provide benefit to restaurants and retail businesses, city documents say. City staff has identified three locations along Front Street for the loading zones. The time length for the spots would be 15 minutes. Signs will be posted.

One is on the south side of Front Street, which will provide access to multiple businesses, close access to a crosswalk, and a curve in the curb line that allows for maneuvering. Another is located in the central part of Front Street, which has similar characteristics.

The third spot is in the north area of Front Street near the Poulsbo Historical Society’s Maritime and Heritage museums. It has similar characteristics as the other spots. PHS has reviewed the proposal and would be able to put cones in the area for deliveries.

Public Works will order the signs and have them implemented later this month.

“This is an experiment,” Councilmember Connie Lord said. “The locations are logical at the moment but that might shift.”

Also during the meeting, the council approved a new collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Poulsbo Police Officers Association for three years ending at the start of 2025. The previous contract expired at the end of 2021, and after numerous meetings, an agreement was reached.

The monetary impacts include: additional 2% educational incentive pay for a master’s degree; additional 1% detective premium after 24 months in assignment; reduction in canine handler pay; 3% for school resource officer for time worked only; reduction in HRA VEBA contribution from $303 to $200 per month; addition of the Juneteenth holiday; sick leave cash-out increased from 25% to 50% but only paid upon retirement; detective clothing allowance increased an additional $175 annually; increase of 9% for officers and sergeants that includes a market adjustment and COLA for 2022; minimum 2% – maximum 4% COLA for years 2023-24. There is also a memorandum providing for a $1,500 retention bonus per year.

Councilmember Gary McVay pointed out the police department needs to continue emphasizing diversity in the workforce and look for opportunities to hire officers of color.

Mayor Becky Erickson and Councilmember Ed Stern were at City Hall during the meeting, marking the first time in about two years that elected officials were in the chambers due to COVID-19. Other councilmembers and city staff joined online, making it a hybrid meeting, which will continue in the future. Erickson asked the other councilmembers to join her in the chambers at future meetings as long as they feel comfortable.

“It feels really good to be back,” she said.

Stern noted that a Ukrainian flag is hanging outside City Hall. The city received it as an anonymous donation.

“It was not a political statement. It was purely a humanitarian statement on behalf of people in Ukraine,” Councilmember David Musgrove said. “We are a nation of immigrants, and you probably know (someone) who has been affected by this. Be mindful. It may be closer to you than you think.”