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Park possibilities will be presented

The next step for the construction of the South Kitsap Regional Park will be taken tonight, with a planning session that will incorporate suggestions made at a previous meeting.

Park Projects Coordinator Martha Droge said that three different scenarios for the park will be presented, incorporating the public input that was gathered June 11. At that time, participants broke into ten small groups that mapped out different potential locations for the most popular activities.

Tonight’s meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 in the county commissioners’ chambers in Port Orchard.

More than 100 people attended the previous meeting. Organizers expect that tonight’s crowd could meet or exceed that number.

Droge said she could not disclose the specifics of each scenario prior to the meeting because they were “too complicated.” She said the three plans had the same elements, but arranged in different ways.

Droge doesn’t expect the final plan, which is due by the end of the year, will strictly adhere to the preliminary scenarios. Rather, it will incorporate aspects of each that are most popular.

The first step toward this blending will occur at tonight’s meeting, when the public begins to cross-pollinate the scenarios. The public will refine the new drawings and it could, according to Droge, “get messy.”

From this input, the staff will assemble the next version of the plan, which Droge hopes will reflect a public consensus.

“The next plans will make clear what people want,” she said. “Right now we have set up some differences, to get people to respond to the alternatives.”

After gathering information about the three specific options, a Sept. 17 meeting incorporating all previous suggestions will be unveiled.

Both scheduled workshops follow scheduled meetings of the Parks Advisory Board.

At the previous meeting there was overwhelming support for a community center, a structure that would draw people to the park who are not involved in athletic activity. This may be as simple as a small pavilion for public meetings, or as involved as an educational center that studies various stormwater alternatives.

The final plan will be presented at a subsequent meeting, after which the final plan will be sent to the county commissioners.

The final plan is expected to be approved by the end of 2008, at which point projects will be prioritized. Detailed planning will then begin for those areas, with construction beginning in 2009.

For more information or to comment, call (877) 292-6412, send an e-mail (skpark@co.kitsap.wa.us) or visit the www.skpark.org Web site.

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