Poulsbo mayor, engineer removed from Noll Road project

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson and City Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak have been removed from influence over the city's Noll Road project because of potential conflicts of interest.

POULSBO — Work to alter Noll Road, one of Poulsbo’s most trafficked arteries, has long been planned. Now as the project is nearly underway, the city’s mayor and top engineer are removing themselves from involvement.

“We can’t be involved because I own property over there and Andrzej owns property up there,” said Mayor Becky Erickson. “It’s more than policy, it’s the law. Even though there is no self interest there.”

In other words, possible conflicts of interest could arise as decisions are made on the major project through Poulsbo’s east side where the city’s leader and a department head reside. Both Erickson and City Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak officially removed themselves from involvement with the Noll Road project at the City Council’s April 8 meeting.

Kasiniak will divert his role for such a project to Assistant City Engineer Diane Lenius, while influence normally from Erickson will be handled by Councilman and deputy mayor Jeff McGinty.

“This project has been on the books since the 1990s,” Erickson said. “We will be accepting money from the federal government by June 1. At that point on, we have to keep it at arms length.”

Erickson notes that the city has received state and federal grants of nearly $2.2 million for the Noll Road project. Other funding will come from impact fees.

The funding so far only covers the design stage of the project. Additional funding will be sought when it comes time for right-of-way acquisition in 2016, and then construction.

Construction will be in three phases. The first phase is slated for 2017, the second for 2019, and the third in 2021.

The project will run along Noll Road from Lincoln Road to Highway 305; both Erickson and Kasiniak live along that stretch. The southern end of Noll Road will change the most dramatically, where it will be straightened out and connect with Johnson Road. The Highway 305 intersection with Johnson Road will in turn receive a makeover.

Noll Road currently makes a hard left when traveling south. The then continues on to intersect with Highway 305. The new road will make a hard right instead, where it will continue on to connect with Johnson Road to intersect with Highway 305 there. Currently, Johnson Road and Noll Road are separated by fields of grass and trees.