Capital budget approval great news for Port Orchard pocket park

Capital budget approval great news for Port Orchard pocket park

Rockwell Park to receive $309,000, marina breakwater gets $1 million.

PORT ORCHARD — City government officials are breathing a little easier with the passage of Washington state’s $4.2 billion capital budget on Jan. 18.

The long-delayed budget approved by state legislators had been mired in a stalemate over water rights for rural property owners as dictated by the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision, a mandate that made it more difficult for rural property owners to drill water wells.

Two projects impacting Port Orchard will receive funding as part of the capital budget. A $1 million refurbishment of the Port Orchard Marina breakwater will move forward, as will Rockwell Park, a downtown pocket park that will intersect the third segment of the city’s Mosquito Fleet Trail, also known as the Pedestrian Pathway Project.

The trail is a proposed network of roads, and bicycle and pedestrian paths, connecting historic Mosquito Fleet sites in Kitsap Peninsula.

That third segment of the trail, which will go out to bid this spring, winds from the Marlee Apartments to the bridge over Blackjack Creek. Construction is to begin this summer, Mayor Rob Putaansuu said.

The $309,000 funding from the state Legislature is solely for Rockwell Park, he said.

“We should be pretty close to having what we need to build that,” the mayor said of the pocket park.

“We may have to augment it with some local funds. It would be less than $100,000, I would hope. We won’t know until we go out to bid.”

Funding for the other pocket park, an expansion at Waterfront Park, hasn’t been identified, the mayor added.

Both Rockwell Park and the Waterfront Park addition have reached the 30-percent design phase. Putaansuu said he hopes to get the Rockwell park’s design completed this year and begin construction next year.

The pocket parks, according to the city’s Mosquito Fleet Park Concept specification sheet, “will offer families a lush, safe and inviting environment in which to enjoy the Farmers Market, performance space, water access, picnics and expansive views.”

“The pair of proposed parks responds well to the aesthetic and programming of the existing Waterfront Park by not only boosting and enhancing current activity but offering a new and forward-thinking public space that encourages vibrant community gathering with the added benefit of a porthole view into the site’s history.”

640 Bay St.

Putaansuu said the City Council should have a recommendation on a mixed-use development project proposal received from an unnamed party for the 640 Bay St. property the city owns.

He said the developer, who will be made public when the City Council’s meeting agenda is released on Feb. 9, is expected to make a presentation at the Feb. 13 council meeting.

Once City Council members have a chance to study the proposal and the public weighs in with comments, Putaansuu said the council then would give permission for the project to move forward and negotiate an agreement on the sale of the property.

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