POULSBO — City and port representatives met July 7 at City Hall to search for common ground with regard to replacing the restroom facilities at the marina and in Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park.
They agreed on five items.
First, the park and marina restrooms are obsolete and need replacement. “Statistics show one of the primary return draws for a tourist destination is the restrooms,” Council member David Musgrave said.
Second, the new facilities should offer the same number of stalls (and in the case of the marina, showers) as the current facilities.
Third, options are constrained by city zoning codes and restrictions imposed by the government grants that were used to fund the park and the port’s restrooms. For example, the grant for waterfront park “almost certainly” wouldn’t permit a laundry on the grounds, an essential need for boaters visiting the port, according to city planning director Barry Berezowsky.
Fourth, property issues must be resolved because the Port of Poulsbo and the City of Poulsbo are separate government entities, something many residents don’t understand. The only shoreline property the port actually owns is the ground under the current restroom facility at the entrance to the marina. Any expansion of new facilities would be “asking for square footage from Poulsbo for the port’s exclusive use, at the taxpayers’ expense,” Berezowsky said.
Fifth, a decision to combine efforts or go their separate ways needs to be made in the next 30 days. The city already has plans for a $300,000 prefabricated replacement for the restrooms in the park and had hoped to start demolition and construction in time for the new facility to be ready for Julefest in December.
Fifth, this is an opportunity to work together to create something that would address larger needs; according to Port Director Brad Miller, the “view from 30,000 feet” would have a facility large enough to have offices and a meeting room for the port. To this end, the port has offered to match the city’s $300,000.
To attempt to resolve the issue of combined or separate projects, the port will present the City Council with four specific action items for discussion at the council’s July 13 meeting.