Jefferson County approves $650,000 internal loan for Undie Road work

The 0.8-mile stretch of roadway was damaged during the winter and fall due to high water levels in the Bogachiel River.

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County commissioners approved an internal loan of $650,000 to complete the Undie Road rerouting project.

The goal is to finish the $1.1 million project by Nov. 1, said County Commissioner David Sullivan.

The loan will come from the county’s Capital Improvement Fund, which at the end of August had a balance of roughly $2 million, and go into the County Road Fund, according to county Treasurer Stacie Prada.

The money will be borrowed at a 2.5 percent interest rate.

The commissioners approved the loan unanimously during their meeting Monday at the county courthouse. There were no public comments on this topic shared during Monday’s meeting.

High water

The 0.8-mile stretch of Undie Road, located on the western edge of Jefferson County near Forks, washed out during the winter and fall due to high water levels in the Bogachiel River.

The project will reroute the road further from the river into land currently controlled by the state Department of Natural Resources to protect the new road from the winter storms that tore up the existing road.

The total cost of the Undie Road project is $1.1 million and the project is still currently in progress.

According to Prada, this kind of internal borrowing was part of the plan to fund the Undie Road construction when the project was approved in July.

Prada said the County Road Fund, Capital Improvement Fund and payment in lieu of taxes from the federal government were the three agreed-upon revenue streams for the project.

According to Prada’s statement on the commissioners’ consent agenda request, the inter-fund loan allowed for the project to be completed at a lower cost, because it would be more expensive to seek a bond.

However, the loan also allows for plenty of flexibility for the county to consider other funding in the future should the need or opportunity arise.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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