City's Bethel Corridor annexation a done deal

Efforts to annex the Bethel Corridor North succeeded Tuesday, the city reported.

The state requires approval from landowners whose property value adds up to 60 percent of the total value of the area to be annexed, and similar efforts to annex the Bethel Corridor in 2009 fell short by 7 percent.

This year, annexation proponents were short by about 2.33 percent last Thursday, as they faced an Aug. 23 deadline to collect signatures.

But within the past week, two additional commercial property owners signed the petition, putting it over the 60 percent mark.

The final property owners to sign were Baldridge, which owns the Rite Aid store, and Almacen Lourdes.

The Baldridge property is valued at 2.48 percent of the assessed value for the entire Bethel annexation, and Almacen Lourdes is worth 1.98 percent.

Today, the petitions collected added up to 60.17 percent of the total parcel valuation, or $89.7 million, but the city’s department of development will continue to collect petitions and submit them to the county assessor for certification Aug. 18.

The city worked with Gary Anderson, a real estate broker at Kitsap Commercial Group, as well as Eric and Lars Kvinsland with Peninsula Brokers to get the signatures.

The city organized the property owners on spreadsheets that included the assessed property values, and sent out annexation petitions and letters.

“Our job was to go business to business and explain the advantages of doing business with the city of Port Orchard versus the county,” Lars Kvinsland said.

Local business owners will benefit, he explained, by paying their taxes to the city rather than the county.

“It’s good to keep our money local,” he said, rather than letting it be disbursed throughout the county.

It will also enhance the city’s capacity for bonds and grants to fund a project to widen and enhance Bethel Road.

“There’s a desperate need for improvement, and hopefully this is the first step to make that happen,” Kvinsland said.


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