Open house opens door for improvement projects

Staff from the Surface and Stormwater Management (SSWM) Division of Kitsap County Public Works met with East Port Orchard residents last night at Marcus Whitman Junior High School to discuss a number of potential drainage improvement projects that would lessen flooding and improve groundwater quality.

Individuals from RW Beck, the engineering constant team hired by the county for the possible projects, were also in attendance at a meeting that consisted of an open house, a presentation of potential projects and an extended question-and-answer period.

According to Mike Michael, engineering manager for SSWM, the process of facilitating improvement projects includes two public meetings. The first meeting is one at which officials can glean information from community members about what’s happening and what needs to be fixed.

After extensive research, the second meeting allows officials to present their ideas on how to combat the problems to the community.

“During any of our planning projects like this, we try to get as much community input as possible,” said Michael. “The information is out there freely to (residents) from the very beginning.”

According to Michael, the area in East Port Orchard that will benefit from these potential improvements is bordered by SE Mile Hill Drive, Jackson Avenue, Salmonberry Road and Bethel Road.

“There are a wide variety of projects that have been identified,” Michael said, including engineering a system that would alleviate standing water and minimize pollutants collected in groundwater.

Michael said SSWM uses an internal rating system to determine which projects have the highest priority. A project’s rating could determine when it will begin.

“In general, the projects that come out of (this kind of process) range from one-day projects that our crew can do all the way up to a project that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Projects are numerically scored in three categories based on the kind of environmental and legal issues that might be involved in a project, the expected property damage of a particular project and the project’s impact on public stewardship.

For more information call Dave Tucker or Mike Michael at (360) 337-5777.

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