BY BOBBIE MOORE
Federal funds earmarked through Rep. Jay Inslee’s office to help reimburse Kitsap County coffers for the purchase of the Navy Housing property in Kingston are being administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD’s involvement triggered another environmental review, which explains the current delay in plans to demolish the structures.
Although it is ‘too soon to tell’ what will happen on exactly what dates, it is safe to say that sometime in 2008 the housing can be demolished so that the property where it’s located will become usable open space for the public, possibly with a picnic table and the existing play area preserved.
In the meantime, state grant monies applied for by the Kitsap County Facilities, Parks and Recreation Department last year may have grown from the initial $48,000 to a possible $270,000, owing to the way the list of grants is being adjusted as entities on the list above the Kingston project are unable to spend the dollars they were granted. Additionally, 2008 is a grant application year for further dollars from the state that are administered through the former Inter-Agency Committee for Outdoor Recreation, now known as the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO). Fans of parks and trails in Kingston are planning to attend an RCO workshop in Centralia Feb. 7 to find out how to use these state-funded grants for Village Green development.
It’s anticipated, based on word from the county commissioner’s office, a capital grant request will be made to the state legislature in the weeks ahead for $500,000. Stay tuned to find out what local lobbying efforts may be needed – writing letters of support or possibly traveling to Olympia to testify and tell legislators about the importance of the Village Green project for the present and future of the community.
To get involved in the Village Green project, attend monthly meetings of the Kingston Community Center Foundation, which are open to the public. The foundation meets jointly with a loosely formed Village Green Park Stewardship Committee. To accommodate new board members, meetings have been rescheduled to 10 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at American Marine Bank in Kingston, which has graciously donated a meeting room. Call Bobbie Moore, president of the KCCF, at (360) 297-2845 for more information.