The Port Townsend City Council approved $40,000 in additional funding to bring the fire detection system up to code in the Mountain View Commons building. The project, originally approved by voters in 2015 with a $3.6 million bond, is nearing completion. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

The Port Townsend City Council approved $40,000 in additional funding to bring the fire detection system up to code in the Mountain View Commons building. The project, originally approved by voters in 2015 with a $3.6 million bond, is nearing completion. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend approves additional funds to finish Mountain View project

Council approves $40,000 for fire safety upgrades

PORT TOWNSEND — The city’s Mountain View project is nearing completion, but it needs a few additional steps to finalize the overhaul.

The Port Townsend City Council approved $40,000 in additional funding Monday night that will bring the Mountain View fire protection system up to code.

Separately, the council agreed to a $1.5 million revolving line of credit with Cashmere Valley Bank, and it moved leftover capital expenditures budgeted for 2018 into this year’s cycle.

It also designated as surplus nearly 20 acres of property near Four Corners and Anderson Lake roads, and it approved a street vacation for a portion of the 30th Street right of way between Holcomb and Gise streets.

But Monday’s highlight was Mountain View, a project for which city residents approved a $3.6 million bond in 2015. The improvements included energy conservation retrofits, a new roof, painting the campus buildings, interior improvements, and updates to the fire protection and alarm systems, plus compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Among the notable change orders was about $100,000 for mitigation and removal of lead paint on the exterior of the buildings, according to city documents.

City engineer David Peterson told council members Monday that the extra funds are needed for fire safety.

“This last change order was something we didn’t expect,” Peterson said. “This is a requirement. We can’t occupy the building without it.”

Council members praised the project and were happy it came in so close to budget.

“In the end, we can all be proud of this facility,” Peterson said.

Financing

The city’s existing line of credit with Cashmere Valley Bank was set to expire May 31, and Finance Manager Sheila Danielson said it’s still needed for interim financing as the city analyzes long-term options for permanent financing.

The city called for bids, and Cashmere Valley Bank provided the best option out of five proposals, said Nora Mitchell, the city’s finance and administrative services director.

Danielson said the city’s plan is to pay off its existing line of credit and use the new line for projects such as the Water Street overlay, Jefferson Street and storm funding. Additional projects include improvements to Kearney Street, the Washington Street sidewalk and Seventh Street.

The financing will be charged at 2.75 percent interest and expire in June 2021.

Land surplus

The 19.72 acres between Four Corners and Anderson Lake roads belonged to the city’s water utility and was purchased in the 1990s for a potential water treatment site for the Tri-Area, city Public Works Director Greg Lanning said.

Jeff Bohman, board president for the Peninsula Trails Coalition, and Jefferson County Commissioner Kate Dean both spoke about the county’s potential interest in the property as a link to the Olympic Discovery Trail.

“The parcel you’re considering would be highly beneficial in many ways,” Dean told council members during the public hearing.

She said the county has funds available to purchase the property, and council members deliberated a state law that would allow them to transfer any property to another government agency.

“It may sound like we’re splitting hairs, but we really aren’t,” City Manager David Timmons said. “It’s owned by the utility, so there are different conditions attached to it.”

The action to declare it surplus enables the city to move it into a general asset status, and from there, the city could enter discussions with the county on a possible purchase agreement, Timmons said.

________

Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at bmclean@peninsuladailynews.com.

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