'Extreme Makeover' visit benefits community, too

The arrival of the ABC reality show “Extreme Makeover” this week was a big surprise to many people, especially the lucky beneficiaries.

But even as Kingston’s Roseanne Dore and her three daughters see their lives change, several Kitsap County employees greased the bureaucratic skids to remove any governmental obstacles.

For the last two months, show representatives have been meeting with two assistants of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, as well as several staff members of the Department of Community Development (DCD).

“This is a public event that will greatly benefit Kitsap County,” said building official Michael Barth. “So we did what we could to take care of all the details.”

Barth and others met with producers, pushing through permits and anticipating roadblocks. Some of these were literal, as the access road to the site needed improvement in order to accommodate the requisite large trucks.

At the same time, Barth said the service quality to the show doesn’t differ significantly from standard levels.

“This was a rebuild of a house that burned down,” he said, “We always expedite these requests.”

“There was no special dispensation given,” said Grant Griffin, who heads the Kitsap County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “They still had to jump through all the hoops. But the county helped them to meet their time frame, so the production didn’t get bogged down.”

The commissioners scheduled a special meeting on Wednesday to approve a “no parking” zone near the site. This action was tacked on to the regular work-study session at the last minute.

Griffin, who called the event “a marvelous thing for the community,” said local hoteliers will take in about $90,000 in room fees during the one-week period. Accompanied by food and transportation expenses, this adds up to a considerable boost.

Another accommodation offered the production is free shuttle buses, provided by Kitsap Transit.

Free shuttle buses will run between the site (which is not accessible to the public for the duration of the project) and the Albertson’s at George’s Corner in Kingston. The shuttle runs as needed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

A $4 shuttle between the Kingston Ferry Dock and the site will also run during these times.

The final unveiling of the house — at which time the family will first see the structure — is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

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