Port Townsend City Council backs environmental report on Indian Island Navy installation

PORT TOWNSEND – With a roomful of public support, the City Council voted 5-0 Monday night to redraft a letter asking U.S. Navy officials for an environmental impact statement on Naval Magazine Indian Island.

The facility across Port Townsend Bay from the town is the only munitions storage and transfer depot on the West Coast for the Navy’s Pacific Fleet.

The council agreed to draft a letter that would be considered in conjunction with Jefferson County commissioners at the next city-county joint meeting.

They also agreed to send one directly from the city if the county commissioners decided against it.

County Commissioner David Sullivan, D-Cape George, said Monday that he had studied the county’s potential role in such a letter and found that it was outside the county’s purview.

“The federal government is the lead agency,” Sullivan said, acknowledging that the county commissioners were unlikely to get involved.

Port Townsend City Council’s action also calls for formation of a committee that would include Deputy Mayor Michelle Sandoval and Councilman George Randels to redraft the letter.

The vote was taken with Councilman Geoff Masci absent and after Councilwoman Laurie Medlicott had left the meeting.

She left after Councilman Frank Benskin said she was smirking while he addressed the council.

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