Statue of slain boy part of new Poulsbo park

A statue honoring 3-year-old Eli Creekmore who was beaten to death by his father will be part of Poulsbo’s new Rotary Morrow Community Park.

“We’re honored to host that statue here in Poulsbo,” Councilmember Ed Stern said at last week’s City Council meeting.

The statue of the Everett boy killed in 1986 is part of Phase 1 in the building of the park. The state legislature overhauled child welfare laws after the tragedy.

“That was an important aspect to include in this phase,” said Dan Schoonmaker, Parks and Recreation director.

Phase 1 also will consist of some tree removal along with clearing and grading the creation of paths and trails that will provide public access for community use at the future park at Noll Road and Mesford Street.

Mayor Becky Erickson said “This plan has been in the works for a decade. We need it, we’re building a lot of houses up there in the next couple of years. We’re going to need a park.”

There was some concern about the low bid for Phase 1 being a little over $135,000 when $100K was budgeted.

Councilmember Connie Lord said the city’s Community Services Committee recommended that the council “bite the bullet” on the higher cost because “We would eat up a lot of that trying to reissue the bid.”

Schoonmaker said Parks Reserves can “absorb this and still be on track for other plans that we have.” Park impact fees also are part of the overall funding.

Meanwhile, Lord said the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association made the decision to not hold downtown trick-or-treating this year due to continued COVID-19 concerns. Instead, they are coordinating with the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce for drive-around trick-or-treating similar to last year.

Also, Councilmember Jeff McGinty said the finance committee recommended raising councilmember salaries from $9,000 to $12,000 a year.

In other news, the Finn Hill path project was also accepted by the council. The project added about 4,000 linear feet of shared-use path to Finn Hill Road and Rhododendron Lane between Olhava Way and Vinland Elementary School.

The project was awarded to Strickland and Sons Excavation for just over $1.9 million in 2020 but there were eight change orders that totaled a little more than $102,600, which increased the final payment to a just over $2 million. The project has been completed and came in under budget.

The last agenda item consisted of a road closure request by Puget Sound Energy for between the intersections of Noll and Mesford and Noll and Meadow Run Drive to replace two high-voltage transmission line poles as part of a larger replacement program.

“This section of road is too narrow to allow for one-lane alternating traffic with the required truck orientation, so a road closure is required to place the new poles,” city documents state.

PSE is requesting two days of road closure, and the public works committee recommends restricting the closure to a weekend. The work is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25-26 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. “This would alleviate nighttime disruption and disruption of weekday traffic patterns,” documents read.