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Port, Kitsap commissioners set to discuss SKIA

Commissioners from both Kitsap County and the Port of Bremerton are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss the possibility and the procedure of annexing the South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA) into a local city.

“There are a lot of things going on with this proposal to annex,” said North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer. “Maybe the county, the city and the Port of Bremerton all need to sit around the table and brainstorm the possibilities to see what makes the most sense.”

SKIA, a 3,400-acre tract of undeveloped land located in unincorporated Kitsap County, is owned both by the Port of Bremerton and private landowners.

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel said she “has been trying to get businesses to come to SKIA for 25 years and it hasn’t happened.”

Hopes are that annexing the land to a city will stimulate the development, especially since the county has been unable to build the proper infrastructure.

In this respect, Bauer invoked an anecdote about aborigines, who had heard about the advantages of having an airport in their village. They cleared the top of a mountain, built a fire and waited for the planes to arrive.

“This reminds me of SKIA,” he said. “We’ve designated the land but haven’t done anything to promote it, develop it or put the infrastructure in place. Otherwise, we’re just waiting for businesses to come. And that isn’t going to happen.”

There are currently three options for SKIA: Remain unincorporated, annex to Bremerton or annex to Port Orchard.

While the commissioners say

they are open to discussion, they displayed a preference for Bremerton (as did Port of Bremerton Commis-sioner Cheryl Kincer).

Angel, herself a resident of Port Orchard, showed a preference for Bremerton when she noted that Port Orchard had failed to bring sewer service to Gorst, after which time Bremerton succeeded in doing so.

“I think Bremerton’s leadership will make a difference in getting things done,” Angel said.“With Mayor Bozeman and Norm Dicks’ support, it may be time to piggy-back onto those efforts.”

In order to annex, landowners representing 75 percent of the assessed value must agree to the action.

After several changes to accommodate the various commissioners the meeting is now scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Port Blakely Conference Room in the County Administration Building in Port Orchard.

It could be moved to the larger commissioners’ chambers, if warranted by a higher turnout.

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