Kingston Village Green seeking further funding

KINGSTON — The Kingston Village Green Stewardship Committee is digging into the couch cushions and working with local, county and state organizations to try and raise as much extra change as possible for the Kingston Village Green. Tuesday, during a House Capital Budget Committee meeting in Bremerton, Kitsap County Commissioner Steve Bauer presented the updated concept plan for the property, located on West Kingston Road, and asked the committee to examine a $1.3 million capital budget request.

“We’re going in for $500,000, we don’t expect to get the whole $1.3 million,” said 23rd District Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo). “We’ll go in the following year and get what’s left... This was something we thought we got last year, and we got far less than we thought, only $48,000 instead of $500,000. This is money the county already paid for the property, and we’re hoping to get a little of it back.”

KVGSC and Kingston Community Center Foundation member Bobbie Moore said the public input period has ended, and the groups are now circulating to different organizations seeking funds and help. She said the effort is shifting from public meetings to financial discussions. The updated concept plan, produced by the Bainbridge Island-based Miles Yanick Company, is new and reflects the decisions made at the different meetings held last spring and through the summer.

“We’re a little bit in transit with this plan right now,” she said. “I think what the county is trying to do is get back some of the money they paid for the Navy housing and applied to the Kingston Village Green.”

Another issue the committees and county officials are working through is a proposal by long-time Kingston resident Bob Smiley, who wants to renovate and make improvements to the Boy Scout Troop No. 555 cabin located at Kola Kole Park. Smiley came in at the end of the public input period with an expansion plan for the historical building his father helped construct. After meeting with the committees, during which both stated they wished to keep the footprint of the structure the same, Smiley has been working with Bauer and made a presentation at an Oct. 3 Kingston Citizens Advisory council meeting to garner community support. He laid out three potential ideas for making improvements to the building, which was constructed between 1962-63, and has no indoor plumbing or heating.

“One, the troop could expand their cabin to accommodate the troop meetings and storage space deferring the need for court of honor facilities for another location,” he said in his speech. “Two, the troop could participate in the new community center. Or, three, the troop could find a new facility on another portion of county park property.”

Moore said both committees concluded Smiley had brought forth his plan too late in the public process, and if the building were to be changed, members would require the footprint stay unaltered. She said there is also the concern of competing for funding for the two different projects.

“My advice was he needed to be working through the committee,” Bauer said. “I think there are a number of options available, including the one he proposed, to serve the Scout Troop.”

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