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Port of Bremerton finally gets a vote in KRCC actions

The Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council voted unanimously to extend a voting membership to the Port of Bremerton at its board meeting on Jan. 11.

“I’m delighted to welcome the Port of Bremerton to the KRCC table in an official capacity, recognizing their important role in Kitsap County and the region,” said KRCC Executive Director Mary McClure in a prepared statement.

According to the KRCC, the port represents a significant source of economic development in Kitsap County through its oversight of the South Kitsap Industrial Area, the Bremerton National Airport, Bremerton and Port Orchard Marinas, and its support of the Kitsap Sustainable Economic and Energy Development (SEED) Initiative.

Commissioner Bill Mahan an-nounced the vote later that day at the port’s board meeting, noting the unanimous support of the council was due in large part to the work fellow commissioners Cheryl Kincer and Mary Ann Huntington had done with the council’s Transportation and Land Use planning programs for more than three years.

“They have been educating those folks on the port and what we do; this is a natural outgrowth of that,” Mahan said. “This is a big step forward in the port’s role with the cities.”

Huntington agreed.

“We’re not just an airport in the woods, as some people perceive us,” she said. Huntington then commended Fred Salisbury, the port’s director of aviation and industrial operations, for his presentations to the council that explained “all that goes on at the port.”

The Port of Bremerton’s membership will become effective upon the adoption of enabling revisions to the KRCC bylaws at its next meeting Feb. 1.

KRCC is Kitsap’s local council of governments. Its members include the three county commissioners, four city mayors and two Kitsap Tribes.

The council coordinates transportation planning and the countywide planning policies, the 2060 Low-Income Housing Program, the Public Broadband Initiative, and other cross-jurisdictional projects of importance to its membership.

In other Port business Tuesday:

-- The commissioners approved an agreement that will allow Kitsap Transit to use the Port Orchard Marina’s guest moorage for public access and ferry moorage for approximately five months while it replaces the Port Orchard Intermodal Terminal.

Slaton said the Port will receive more than adequate compensation for the allowed usage, because not only will the agency pay $300 a month for moorage and electricity, it will make several improvements to the facility that the port will benefit from.

Those include new cleats and rub rails for boats, safety railings and a covered gate for ferry passengers, along with removal of a submerged piling, a substantial benefit to the port.

Slaton said Kitsap Transit will also remove modifications as the port directs. Huntington expressed concern that certain summer events — such as the Chris Craft boat show — maybe be affected should the project not be completed on time, but Slaton assured her that the agreement with Kitsap Transit was made with the understanding that the project would have minimal impact on Port activities.

-- The commissioners passed unanimously a resolution to support the South Kitsap School levy, explaining that ensuring local school districts can provide excellent educational systems supports the port’s mission of attracting new businesses and family wage jobs.

“Unfortunately, it requires levy support to assure quality instruction,” said CEO Tim Thompson.

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