POULSBO — Mayor Becky Erickson is proud of what Poulsbo city staff and residents have accomplished this year, and sees 2013 as the first year of growth since the recession hit.
Erickson gave the City Council her annual State of the City address Wednesday night. She applauded the third year of balancing the city budget without using reserves, avoiding reducing services to the citizens, and watching sales taxes increase downtown.
Internally, Erickson said staff settled the labor contracts for the next three years, completed the Urban Paths of Poulsbo Plan (although that is being appealed by a few residents), finished the Shoreline Master Program, implemented a pilot parking program downtown, and saw the Urban Growth Area dispute with the county settled.
Erickson also welcomed Safeway, which is set to begin construction later this month at 10th Avenue and Lincoln Road; and the Liberty Hills housing development on Urdahl Road, which was the fastest-selling subdivision of the year.
Several road projects were completed, including Safe Routes to School improvements on Hostmark Street, and the Noll Road roundabout.
In the community, Erickson said the city welcomed Coffee Oasis, a business and a safe haven for at-risk and homeless teens; and celebrated the opening of the Suquamish Museum with a quilt highlighting the two communities’ historical ties and friendship; and unveiled aesthetic improvements to some entrances into the city — chief among them, the Norseman statue at Viking Avenue and Lindvig Way.
Coming up in 2013, Erickson said she has a white-erase board in her office detailing the city’s upcoming projects — 86 of them so far.
The city will soon begin construction on Anderson Parkway, and begin enforcing parking limits downtown; finish and adopt the Zoning Code update; continue to find solutions to stormwater problems; market the former City Hall and Police Department properties, perhaps by bringing in a hotel; hire a new police chief and possibly two more police officers; and restore Dogfish Creek at Poulsbo Village, improving habitat for spawning salmon.