By Rebecca Erickson
City of Poulsbo
I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
What lies ahead for us in the coming year? How is the City of Poulsbo moving forward with our ever-changing economic challenges?
The City of Poulsbo is doing very well. We have risen to the challenges that have been presented to us, and are now in a much better place than we were three years ago. Three years ago, we had just begun construction of our new City Hall, facing a $900,000-per-year mortgage. Sales tax revenues were falling like a stone. And we had a $1.6 million budget shortfall in our general fund.
Today, we have absorbed our new mortgage, we crafted three years of balanced budgets without using reserves or reducing services, and moved into 2013 with signed labor contracts to identify future costs associated with running local government.
How did this happen? The City of Poulsbo has a very talented staff, committed elected officials and an engaged citizenry that supports well-run local government. We all work together to make Poulsbo a wonderful community.
What will 2013 bring?
Construction: The resurfacing of Anderson Parkway parking lot, the replacement of the roof and seating for the Pavilion in Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park, and resurfacing and stormwater improvements for 6th Avenue will occur in 2013.
The parking pilot project moves forward to increase downtown parking availability.
A new Police Chief will be hired and additional police hiring will occur, including the school resource officer.
A new Safeway with underground parking on Highway 305 at Lincoln Avenue will begin construction this spring.
A new gas station at the intersection of Viking Avenue and Highway 305 is also scheduled for this spring.
The amphitheater in Fish Park will be finished and we will begin construction on new walking trails at Storhoff Road and Caldart and 7th avenues.
Let’s get the pruning done in Net Shed Park so that it returns to Net Shed Vista Park.
We will continue to market city properties that are for sale, trying to recruit a downtown hotel or the generation of a request for proposal for redevelopment opportunities.
New zoning codes will be completed that encourage the retention of trees during construction and update our sign code. The signs that clutter our community are coming to an end.
Viking Avenue will receive new treatment in our zoning code amendments with developer incentives to spur the revitalization of West Poulsbo.
Let’s bring the salmon back to Dogfish Creek with stream restoration in Poulsbo Village.
On a regional level, I will be working for safe walking pathways for our children to walk to school, intersection improvements at Suquamish Way and Highway 305, and a new home for Fishline.
We are a fun-loving community. I hope we all watch for the blooming daffodils this spring. We planted 3,750 daffodil bulbs in November. Now the real question is, where will the flowers pop up? And who is going to knit a great, huge green scarf for the Norseman for St. Patrick’s Day?
— Rebecca (Becky) Erickson is mayor of Poulsbo. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.