Poulsbo takes preemptive strike at future challenges

POULSBO — Poulsbo’s Long Range Planning committee is taking a good, close look at the future.

And not a moment too soon.

Consulting planner Karla Boughton outlined the status of the city’s comprehensive plan during a meeting Wednesday afternoon and pointed out a couple hiccups in the document’s schedule.

The city’s sewer system needs a funding plan, as it’s predicted in 2009 there will not be enough money to cover costs, and the water system needs a little help of its own, as staff believe Poulsbo’s water supply will become insufficient for needs in 2012.

But not to worry.

Boughton said the bumps in the road are “not the end of the world,” but will instead take a little extra finagling to make sure Little Norway’s infrastructure keeps flowing smoothly.

For the part of the sewer, the solution is expected to come from a prioritized financial study under way by consultant firm Parametrix.

When it comes to increasing Poulsbo’s water supply, city staffers will talk with the Kitsap Public Utility District for possible future coordination.

City officials reiterated these future challenges shouldn’t be seen as super-sized crises, but crimps in the comprehensive planning drafting style.

“They’re just challenges that we would need to address one way or the other,” said City Planning Director Barry Berezowsky. “They’re certainly not insurmountable.”

The comprehensive plan was originally hoped for a tentative March 2008 adoption, but the water and sewer obstacles will add extra time to the process. Boughton said once the two complications are solved, the draft comprehensive plan will be ready for release soon after. Comprehensive planning began in January 2007. The city hired consultants and held a Community Conversation Month, providing citizens with a community-wide questionnaire and hosting public forums. Boughton said the events were well-attended.

The plan is designed to help steer the city’s future, especially in regard to urban growth area services and capabilities.

Until solutions are found, the city council will begin a series of workshops designed to look closely at other aspects of the city’s future, including land use designation and the six-year capital improvement program. The first workshop, covering annexation policies and urban growth area adjustment, will be held at the March 19 city council meeting.

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