Crews continue to work on the Howard Street extension, which was the first phase in creating the Howard Street and Upper Sims Way Subarea, an area the city hopes will host businesses and small-unit housing in the future. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Crews continue to work on the Howard Street extension, which was the first phase in creating the Howard Street and Upper Sims Way Subarea, an area the city hopes will host businesses and small-unit housing in the future. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend City Council approves action on two projects

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend City Council has taken steps to move forward on two major projects: a stormwater management plan and development of Howard Street and Upper Sims Way subarea.

With two unanimous votes, the council Monday night approved City Manager David Timmons signing a contract with a consulting firm on the stormwater management plan and negotiating a contract with another consulting firm in order to move forward on Howard Street and Upper Sims Way subarea development.

“We’ve been working and wanting to update this stormwater plan for as long as I’ve been here,” said Public Works Director Ken Clow. “It’s a priority this year.”

According to Clow, the Public Works Department had planned on an in-house consultation, but a number of 2017 projects have kept staff busy, and Clow said it was the department’s recommendation that the city hire someone from outside city government.

Clow said public works staff has interviewed consultants over the past month and decided Parameterix of Bremerton was the best choice.

Because the consultation originally was expected to be done in-house, the estimated $100,000 to $150,000 needed is not in the 2017 budget.

“We’ve reviewed the budget issue with the finance and budget committee, so we are in the process of dealing with that issue,” Timmons said.

He said he expects that a supplemental funding plan will be needed, but the city has $110,000 in the current stormwater operating budget and $130,000 from the stormwater capital budget to pull from as well.

A draft of the stormwater plan now will head back to the planning commission for review.

“All this does is make sure the stormwater plan is consistent with the provisions in the comprehensive plan,” said Lance Bailey, director of the planning commission.

City officials hope to start working with consultants this month and have the stormwater plan finalized by the end of 2017, Clow said.

The city council also approved Timmons negotiating with consultants at AHBL to finalize a contract for the Howard Street and Upper Sims Way Subarea. AHBL is currently working with the city on its critical areas ordinance update.

The Howard Street project had been discussed since 2002 before it was implemented as part of the city’s 2017 comprehensive plan, Timmons said.

The city broke ground on the Howard Street extension, which connects Sims Ways and Discovery Road, in August.

According to AHBL’s plan, consultants will help the city work with the community to implement a plan for the Howard Street and Upper Sims Way subarea that includes potential rezoning to allow mixed-use properties and implementing new infrastructure to help small businesses grow.

“I think it’s good work,” said Councilwoman Michelle Sandoval. “I’m looking forward to it being completed.”

The AHBL plan is expected not to exceed $130,000, and Timmons said staff members are working with the budget committee to offset that supplemental cost because it also was not in the 2017 budget.

“We just didn’t have the numbers at the time,” Timmon said. “Now we really have everything in place to begin the implementation of this next phase.”

He said he hopes to see a contract negotiated and signed within the next month.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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