Jefferson Transit headquarters move held up — for now

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Transit officials are awaiting the results of an environmental assessment study now under way on eight acres of privately owned state Highway 19 parcels being considered as the preferred new transit center site.

The transit board called for the study two weeks ago after several meetings to narrow down a preferred site for the new transit center.

Once the assessment is conducted, then transit can enter into negotiations with the Tri-Area property’s owners.

“Until we get an environmental study we won’t enter into negotiations,” said Dave Turissini, Jefferson Transit general manager.

The assessment, to be conducted by Edmonds-based Landau Associates, will look for the likes of wetlands and abandoned fuel tanks.

Meanwhile, Turissini said, Transit’s attorney, Malcolm Harris, has contacted the property owners to let them know of the agency’s interest.

Next meeting

A final report could be readied in time for the transit board’s next meeting at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church, 2333 San Juan Ave.

Transit has budgeted $250,000 for contingencies in the project, which include additional consultant and legal work. About $80,000 remains in that budget, said Turissini.

Parcels totaling eight acres have been pinpointed on the south side of the Rhody Drive stretch of Highway 19, between Irondale Road and West Patison Street in Port Hadlock.

They are owned by the Lillie Marie Foundation of Port Townsend, with Albert Amell and P.P. Amell as trustees, and Charles and Karen S. Russell of Nordland

The property has a market value of $800,000, Transit officials said.

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