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Info doesn’t stack up for city council on cabin yet

POULSBO — Interest in moving the Martinson log cabin to Nelson Park is high but the city council isn’t quite ready to get out the moving boxes just yet.

At its Sept. 10 meeting, the Poulsbo City Council considered including the 100-year-old cabin on the Nelson Park property. In the end, council members decided they did not have enough information to move forward and tabled the item to their Oct. 1 meeting.

The cabin, located near the intersection of Stottlemeyer Road and Bond Road, was built around 1890 by Mikal Martinson, who immigrated from Norway in 1882. The 40-acre homestead was a dairy farm and is now the location of Vern’s Organic Topsoil, founded by Vern and Pat Martinson and now owned by Sam and Cathleen Allen.

In recent years, the Martinson family had been trying to find a taker for the log cabin, which is made from hand-hewn cedar and features dovetail joints.

The cabin was originally included in the 1996 Nelson Park master plan. It was removed from later drafts of the plan when Poulsbo offered and was turned down to take the structure.

Earlier this year, Bight of Poulsbo founder Bill Austin made a deal with the Martinson family to move the structure by Dec. 31. Family members stipulated that the cabin be restored and preserved and hoped it would become part of Nelson Park.

Austin first suggested the Bight donate the cabin to the City of Poulsbo in August. On Aug. 25, the parks and recreation committee unanimously voted to recommend to council that the cabin become part of the Nelson Park plan.

On Wednesday, council members seemed generally supportive of adding the cabin to Nelson, but wary of giving the ultimate thumbs up or thumbs down just yet.

“I don’t think we’re at the point where we’re really ready to make this motion tonight to include it in the plan. Staff needs to go out and bring us more information so we’re better prepared,” Councilman Mike Regis said.

A number of issues still need to be worked out, first and foremost being coordinating with the Nelson Park development. About 3.5 acres of the 11-acre park are planned to be developed this fall and winter with a more than $320,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) matching grant the City of Poulsbo received in September.

Parks and Recreation Director Mary McCluskey said bids for the project were being sent out Sept. 17 and she hoped to have the council award a bid Oct. 15 for a Nov. 1 start date. The development will last about 120 days. McCluskey said she had no problem with Austin’s suggestion to place the cabin where a gigantic pile of sandy dirt is now, off Viking Avenue, however she didn’t see how the move could be made by Austin’s Dec. 31 deadline.

“I really, really want us to do this right,” McCluskey commented Wednesday.

Councilwoman Kathryn Quade recommended Austin talk to the Martinson family about delaying the move until the first quarter of next year. This, she ventured, would allow the city to accept the structure and the Bight to only move the cabin once.

“Rather than say we can’t take the house or put it at Fish Park, wouldn’t that be a more viable option?” Quade asked Austin.

“I will talk to Sam Allen but I’m very uneasy about doing it because this was a handshake deal,” Austin answered.

“Yes, but that was a handshake the city didn’t have the chance to take part in,” Quade countered.

Austin and city staff are expected to bring the item back to the city council at its Oct. 1 meeting.By CARRINA STANTON

Staff Writer

POULSBO — Interest in moving the Martinson log cabin to Nelson Park is high but the city council isn’t quite ready to get out the moving boxes just yet.

At its Sept. 10 meeting, the Poulsbo City Council considered including the 100-year-old cabin on the Nelson Park property. In the end, council members decided they did not have enough information to move forward and tabled the item to their Oct. 1 meeting.

The cabin, located near the intersection of Stottlemeyer Road and Bond Road, was built around 1890 by Mikal Martinson, who immigrated from Norway in 1882. The 40-acre homestead was a dairy farm and is now the location of Vern’s Organic Topsoil, founded by Vern and Pat Martinson and now owned by Sam and Cathleen Allen.

In recent years, the Martinson family had been trying to find a taker for the log cabin, which is made from hand-hewn cedar and features dovetail joints.

The cabin was originally included in the 1996 Nelson Park master plan. It was removed from later drafts of the plan when Poulsbo offered and was turned down to take the structure.

Earlier this year, Bight of Poulsbo founder Bill Austin made a deal with the Martinson family to move the structure by Dec. 31. Family members stipulated that the cabin be restored and preserved and hoped it would become part of Nelson Park.

Austin first suggested the Bight donate the cabin to the City of Poulsbo in August. On Aug. 25, the parks and recreation committee unanimously voted to recommend to council that the cabin become part of the Nelson Park plan.

On Wednesday, council members seemed generally supportive of adding the cabin to Nelson, but wary of giving the ultimate thumbs up or thumbs down just yet.

“I don’t think we’re at the point where we’re really ready to make this motion tonight to include it in the plan. Staff needs to go out and bring us more information so we’re better prepared,” Councilman Mike Regis said.

A number of issues still need to be worked out, first and foremost being coordinating with the Nelson Park development. About 3.5 acres of the 11-acre park are planned to be developed this fall and winter with a more than $320,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) matching grant the City of Poulsbo received in September.

Parks and Recreation Director Mary McCluskey said bids for the project were being sent out Sept. 17 and she hoped to have the council award a bid Oct. 15 for a Nov. 1 start date. The development will last about 120 days. McCluskey said she had no problem with Austin’s suggestion to place the cabin where a gigantic pile of sandy dirt is now, off Viking Avenue, however she didn’t see how the move could be made by Austin’s Dec. 31 deadline.

“I really, really want us to do this right,” McCluskey commented Wednesday.

Councilwoman Kathryn Quade recommended Austin talk to the Martinson family about delaying the move until the first quarter of next year. This, she ventured, would allow the city to accept the structure and the Bight to only move the cabin once.

“Rather than say we can’t take the house or put it at Fish Park, wouldn’t that be a more viable option?” Quade asked Austin.

“I will talk to Sam Allen but I’m very uneasy about doing it because this was a handshake deal,” Austin answered.

“Yes, but that was a handshake the city didn’t have the chance to take part in,” Quade countered.

Austin and city staff are expected to bring the item back to the city council at its Oct. 1 meeting.

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