County finally takes over SK Community Park — now what?

With the South Kitsap Parks and Recreation District (SKPRD) officially dissolved, and the South Kitsap Community Park in the hands of the county, officials are working to bring the area up to snuff, and determine what to do with it now.

Brian Hauschel, maintenance lead for South Kitsap parks, has been working since July to clean up the park.

Along the Lund Avenue side of the park, Hauschel’s crew has trimmed the trees to open up visibility to the road.

“We just slimmed up what we could,” Hauschel said. “We’re going to be seriously working on some trails and some visibility issues in the winter.”

Meanwhile, Hauschel will continue the maintenance of the park, but major changes and additions are in store, with a promised $2.19 million to go into the park.

The future of the park now rests in the hands of the Parks and Recreation Sustainability Task Force, implemented Monday morning by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners.

The task force will work in conjunction with the county’s cost-cutting measures, however the $2.19 million will not be affected.

“That is a capital expense,” said Chip Faver, director of Kitsap County Parks and Recreation. “It is part of what is set aside in the real estate excise tax. It does not have an impact on operations and maintenance money.”

Three of the nine-member group come from the South Kitsap area, including Danny Brown, president of the South Kitsap Rotary Club, of Port Orchard; Sylvia Klatman, executive director of the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce, of Port Orchard; and Kathleen Simpson, certified public accountant and active youth sports leader, of Long Lake.

Kathleen Simpson is not related to Kathryn Simpson, member of the South Kitsap School District Board and regular attendee of SKPRD meetings.

“They bring over 200 years of experience,” Faver said of the task force. “Professionals and non-professionals, non-profit managers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, government leaders — they really are the cream of our crop.”

The board will meet for the first time at 3 p.m., Aug. 15.

The group will meet for an undetermined number of meetings until Oct. 3.

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