Council whittles down SR 305 issues

POULSBO — After an hour of municipal campus discussion, it didn’t take the city council long to knock out a few remaining issues with the State Route 305 widening project Wednesday night.

In less than 20 minutes, the Council unanimously approved a traffic control/law enforcement agreement, a Transportation Improvement Board grant transfer and a land transfer with the Washington state Department of Transportation.

“The Department of Transportation will utilize our police officers to provide traffic control during the project,” City Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak told the council.

The approved agreement covers an estimated $6,475 for direct related costs in providing officers to assist in traffic control for the SR 305 project during detours, Kasiniak said.

Seeing the specified dollar amount caused Councilman Ed Stern to ask if the agreement provides the framework necessary to expand the amount of vehicular regulation required for the project.

“I’m concerned that we may need to go back to DOT and say we need additional traffic control,” Stern said.

“The DOT is very cautious about the budget because we’re very close to our budget capacity for the project,” Kasiniak replied.

However, once the bids for the project are opened, the city could go back and amend the agreement with the state, he said.

“I think this is a good starting point,” Kasiniak said.

With his initial concerns addressed, Stern asked that the council’s issues about the adequacy of the scope of work be noted in the agreement.

“Of course, we can attach a memo stating the city council’s concerns that there should be more traffic control,” Kasiniak replied.

With that agreement approved, the council unanimously approved the transfer of the $3.3 million Transportation Improvement Board grant it received for the project to the state as well as the $327,000 in matching funds from the city required to acquire the grant.

In order to meet the environmental impact mitigation requirements for the project, the state has asked the city for 1.3 acres of Mitchusson Park and a small parcel south of Taco Time for the relocation of Dogfish Creek, Kasiniak told the council.

“Once the project is completed, they will transfer (the property) back to the city and we will have the rights to passive use with trails,” he explained.

Councilwoman Connie Lord asked Kasiniak to ensure that the city receives an easement to the Mitchusson Park parcel because it is an entrance to Betty Iverson Kiwanis Park.

“We have to make sure we have an easement so we can access the wetland,” Lord said.

With no further discussion, the council approved the land transfer, leaving the right-of-way leases along the widening project as one of the final unresolved issues before the project begins this summer.

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