“Public Facilities District asks for $100,000”

Botkin calls request a shock.

“The Kitsap County Public Facilities District might have its wish list made up in time for the holidays, but there are no guarantees it will get all it seeks. The PFD, which was empaneled in September to study, build and operate public facilities in the county, recently submitted to the County Commissioners a request for an initial budget of $100,000. The money would go toward consultant services for public input, property and financial analyses, and part-time staff. County Commissioner Tim Botkin said the request is a little rich for the county’s tight 2001 budget, which the commissioners currently are working on. It was kind of a shock when I saw it, Botkin said. We did not expect to be asked for that much money. Botkin said that when the PFD was formed, it was with the understanding that its budget must come from a levy passed by voters. He acknowledged that the PFD would need some help from the county to get off the ground, but the current request is a bit steep. We’ll try to help out anyway we can, but I can be sure it won’t be $100,000, Botkin said. Rick Smith, a Silverdale attorney who represents Central Kitsap on the PFD board, said he realized the money might be a problem and that the PFD has discussed enlisting help from cities, not just the county. Specifically, board members hope for monetary and staffing support from Bremerton and Bainbridge Island. That would be a responsible way to proceed, Smith said. We talked about that kind of informally already. Because the board’s budget – or lack thereof – has been a recurring problem, the PFD has focused on how to better-utilize existing buildings, especially schools and fire stations. Cy Wyse, who represents North Kitsap on the board, said school districts and the county should collaborate to increase the use and number of public facilities. For example, he said North Kitsap schools remain open and host community activities throughout the evening. He also said that the county should provide land for new public facilities to anyone willing to build on it. Everyone needs to get married here if we want to get something to done, Wyse said. Barry Cook, who represents Bremerton on the board, pointed out that some schools are so strapped for cash they can barely stay through the end of the school day. Cook said South Kitsap schools shut down right after school ends because of budget concerns. The doors close and that is it, Cook said. The students couldn’t even come back to celebrate Halloween this year. The PFD hopes to have a personal audience with the County Commissioners at their next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 20, to discuss their options. Botkin said the county should be able to come up with monetary help for the PFD by December. “

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