Vision, cooperation may transform waterfront | Editorial

With visions of an idyllic waterfront floating around the room, members of the Port Orchard City Council and their brethren from the Port of Bremerton pledged to be partners in working to turn those visions into reality.

If cooperation were currency, funding for their grand plans would be plentiful. Still, it’s good that the two jurisdictions that each have a stake in the city’s waterfront share a goal of enhancing it.

The first manifestation the public will see of this spirit of cooperation will be the port’s expansion of Marina Park east along the shoreline. The plan calls for removing a couple rental houses and dozens of pilings in the water to make a sandy beach accessible to the public from the east or west, and building an observation deck above the shoreline.

Port officials told the council during a joint discussion Tuesday night at City Hall that they have the funding and most of the permits in hand to proceed with the project this year.

The city has less available funding for waterfront development this year, but should be able to contribute enough to merge the planned Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway into the port’s park expansion.

It won’t be all smooth sailing to make this happen; there will be some problematic issues — funding, parking, easements —

to resolve on this project and future ones envisioned by the civic leaders who are euphoric about what cooperation can achieve.

But let’s hope they can channel their cooperative spirit into continued progress in expanding and enhancing the waterfront area, and maybe even revitalizing the bedraggled stretch of Bay Street in the heart of downtown.

If it takes a vision to get things started, they’ve got that in spades. And if they sustain it through cooperation, then our waterfront could soon be an even nicer place to go.

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