Clallam gives green light to housing authority grant

PORT ANGELES — After months of discussion, Clallam County has approved an infrastructure grant to the Peninsula Housing Authority to support the expansion of the Mount Angeles View neighborhood.

Commissioners Mark Ozias and Bill Peach voted Tuesday — with Commissioner Randy Johnson excused — to award the $901,200 Opportunity Fund grant.

The grant is subject to the city of Port Angeles adding the Mount Angeles View complex to the economic development section of its comprehensive plan, County Administrator Jim Jones said.

Commissioners held two public hearings to approve the spending authority for the grant. A second hearing was held April 11 because the agenda language for the Feb. 28 hearing was incorrect.

The Opportunity Fund is a portion of state sales tax that pays for infrastructure projects in rural counties.

The grant to the Peninsula Housing Authority will be used for site preparation, grading, stormwater remediation, utilities serving, curb and gutter, sidewalks, water, sewer, power and communications infrastructure for the Mount Angeles View Phase 1 redevelopment project.

Phase 1 includes the replacement of 33 affordable housing units with 63 new units at the 18-acre complex in south Port Angeles.

At last week’s hearing, Peninsula Housing Authority Executive Director Kay Kassinger said the agency would issue a request for proposals for anyone interested in salvaging the old units.

Thirty-one of the 33 homes that will otherwise be demolished this summer were built in 1942, Kassinger said in a later interview. The other two homes were built in the 1950s, Kassinger said.

Families living in the 33 homes already have moved into other Peninsula Housing Authority properties. The 63 new units will be occupied by the end of next year, Kassinger has said.

Future phases of the Mount Angeles View project will increase the number of affordable housing units from 100 to 232.

Ozias and Peach approved the Opportunity Fund grant without further discussion Tuesday.

Opportunity Fund Advisory Board Chairman Alan Barnard thanked commissioners for a “diligent and thorough airing” of the grant application.

“You went the distance to dig in and be sure that no stone was not turned over with regard to all of the facts and all of the issues attached to this,” Barnard said.

The Opportunity Fund Advisory Board voted unanimously to recommend approval of the grant Jan. 5.

“I wanted to acknowledge you for seeing this through, for a positive vote and for the way you handled it,” Barnard added.

“There could be no question that it has been thoroughly reviewed, understood and acted upon.”

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.