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Kitsap Transit to expand Harper lot, buy dozens of new vans

A drawing of what the expanded park-and-ride lot next to the Harper Free Evangelical Church on Southworth Drive will look like. - Illustration Courtesy of Kitsap Transit
A drawing of what the expanded park-and-ride lot next to the Harper Free Evangelical Church on Southworth Drive will look like.
— image credit: Illustration Courtesy of Kitsap Transit

The Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved spending nearly $2 million in federal stimulus funds to add more than 70 vans to the agency’s Rideshare program, and about the same amount of state dollars to expand a park-and-ride lot in Harper.

Kitsap Transit Executive Director Dick Hayes said that local firm Stan Palmer Construction had submitted “a very good bid that we are very happy with” of $1.844 million to expand the parking lot next to the Harper Free Evangelical Church on Southworth Drive.

The expansion will add “350 parking spaces and pervious pavement” to the lot, said Cathie Knox-Browning, the board’s clerk.

Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade said she was “very excited about the low-impact development” parameters of the project, and the resolution passed unanimously.

At the same meeting, the board considered two resolutions approving the purchase of dozens of new vans for the Rideshare fleet using federal stimulus funds since the project is in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

John Clauson, Kitsap Transit’s service development director, said the agency “felt it would be prudent to go ahead and buy these (Toyota vans) since they are so highly rated.”

North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer asked if the vans were to be or could be purchased from a local dealer, but Clauson said the agency would be purchasing them directly from “the state contract.

“We tried to go with a local dealer, but they could not get close to the (state contract) price,” Clauson said, explaining that rather than risking having to buy an inferior brand of van, the agency decided to get the “best, durable vehicle for the money” rather than purchasing them from a dealer in Kitsap County.

Board Chair Darlene Kordonowy said she appreciated the fact that Kitsap Transit had approached local dealers, and that Clauson could answer Bauer’s questions on that matter.

The board passed the first resolution unanimously, authorizing not more than $1.016 million.

The second resolution authorizing the agency to purchase Rideshare vans was for larger vehicles that can take from 12 to 15 passengers, also using federal stimulus money.

For these vehicles, Clauson said there were only two brands to choose from – Chevrolet or Ford — which the agency could purchase at the state contract price from a local dealer.

“They might even be able to beat the state price,” he said. “We’re hopeful that we can get some local dealers to bid on this contract.”

The second resolution authorizing purchase of Rideshare vehicles passed unanimously. The agency applied for, and received, a total of $1.89 million dollars of federal funds for the vehicles.

Finally, the board was asked to consider a resolution allowing Kitsap Transit to purchase “an older, well-used” boat to act as a “spare vessel” for the foot ferry service between Port Orchard and Bremerton.

According to the resolution, the vessel needed: to be able to able to handle both the route between Bremerton and Port Orchard and the route between Bremerton and Annapolis; to have a reasonable cost of operation, including fuel and crew; and structural soundness as an essential requirement.

If and when the boat was purchased, Kitsap Transit Executive Director Dick Hayes said that the agency was also looking into entering into a public/private partnership with the Bainbridge Island company In The Works.

“Since we’ll likely be getting a vessel with an old, tired engine, we are looking at rebuilding it and putting in a device from ‘In The Works’ (to reduce emissions),” Hayes said.

The board also approved that resolution unanimously.

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