Port Townsend council considers transportation, water system plans

PORT TOWNSEND —Port Townsend City Council members heard presentations on the proposed six-year capital improvement plan and the 2018 water system plan, as well as the 2019 preliminary budget during a public hearing attended by a handful of residents.

The council approved the first reading of the ordinances on Monday. The council will hear updated public comments and consider a second reading and final approval of the ordinances at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in council chambers at historic City Hall, 540 Water St.

The only public comment was from Owen Rowe, chair of the Port Townsend Arts Commission, who asked that the council provide more funding for the arts in next year’s budget.

He said volunteers run the programs that support public access to the arts and suggested that city facilities be provided for free for arts programs.

The commission is requesting a $6,900 increase in funding.

“We want to live the promise of the sign at the entry to town that says we are an arts community,” Rowe said.

Director of Public Works Greg Lanning and City Engineer Dave Peterson detailed plans for general government projects and those for streets, water, sewer and stormwater.

Lanning described several high-profile capital facilities projects being concluded this year: renovation of the Mountain View campus; sidewalks, steps and wall reconstruction in front of the Carnegie Library; and a storm water project for Howard Street.

The Water Street Enhancement Project from Taylor Street to the Ferry Terminal that began in February was completed in September.

Also, design and construction of a new sidewalk from Quincy Street to the Haller Fountain is expected to be completed by the end of the year, he said.

Work on the new Visitors Center on Sims Way will begin in late spring and will include a sidewalk and art installation, Lanning said.

A pedestrian walkway is planned for Thomas Street to Jefferson Transit at Haines Street along Sims Way and state Highway 20. Sidewalk upgrades also are planned in front of the U.S. Post Office on Washington Street.

Discovery Road will be redesigned next year to include sidewalks and bike lanes from Salish Coast Elementary School to the roundabout, according to the proposed pan. Construction is slated to begin in 2020.

Along Washington Street and Water Street, improvements to meet standards required in the Americans with Disabilities Act are planned to begin in 2023.

Water projects are focused on improving service to the Cherry Street neighborhood next year.

The 1 million gallon reservoir at the water treatment plant on 20th Street is expected to get a fresh coat of paint in 2020.

Some major sewer projects through 2024 will focus on the Gaines Street pump station where corrosion and concrete are affecting operations, Lanning said.

The Visitors Center will begin design and utility work next year for restrooms scheduled to be constructed in 2020.

Other projects include stormwater work throughout the city slated to begin in 2021.

Water system plan

Lanning and Water Quality Manager Ian Jablonski discussed the 2018 City Water System Plan Ordinance.

In the plan, the city’s water boundaries are to be extended to include 15 properties directly abutting the west side of Jacob Miller Road and another property surrounded by the revised service area.

The 2018 plan would be valid for 10 years from the date of approval by the state Department of Health.

Lanning said the service area is projected to increase by 2,500 people in the next 20 years.

Staff plans to propose capital improvement projects to the council in 2019 that will focus on replacement for pipes that will have a larger diameter and be made of new materials to replace the clay pipes now in service.

Tax levies

Nora Mitchell, Finance and Administration Services director, and Finance Manager Sheila Danielson detailed the proposed 2019 property tax levies.

Mitchell said the general levy is projected to increase by 1 percent; the Emergency Medical Services levy to about 2.75 percent; and a voter-approved tax levy for the Mountain View Commons Capital Improvements will be 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]

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