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Kingston residents get hot on topics

KINGSTON — Greg Platz sure called it — it was the largest Town Hall meeting in Kingston’s history.

The co-organizer of the Feb. 26 event claimed that the annual gathering of county agencies and non-profit groups in Kingston would be the biggest one yet.

With 35 groups and organizations offering information on just about every project in Kingston and the surrounding areas, many residents were pleased with the amount of news that was available.

About 200 people showed up to simmer on the hot topics of land-use developments, such as George’s Corner, Heritage Park and the White Horse golf course and transportation issues such as Miller Bay Road and State Routes 104 and 307.

“I’m interested in the George’s Corner’s development, the golf course and the sewer plant, which is going to affect growth which, being a business owner ... I think is a good sign,” said Cuppa Bella and Kingston Framing owner Mark Scholl.

He and his wife, Karen, who are Jefferson Beach residents, are also interested in Heritage Park.

“That’s really close to us,” Mark said.

Lonnie and Sharon Nuss are new residents to the area and said they were interested in what’s going on.

“We just moved here, we’re just trying to get acclimated, trying to get involved,” Lonnie said.

One of his interests was Heritage Park primarily because it is adjacent to White Horse, home to the much-talked about 18-hole golf course.

“Everybody is knowledgeable and everyone is excited,” Sharon said about the event.

Kitsap County Transportation planners Travis Black and Jim about what could be done about traffic in the area, primarily on Miller Bay Road.

“They are curious whether or not we have plans for improvements,” Rogers said, noting that funding is tight for all projects. “And the improvements that are needed are on state routes.”

While Black explained redesign plans at the Miller Bay-Gunderson and Miller Bay-Indianola intersections in 2006 and construction in 2008, he referred them citizens to Washington State Department of Transportation engineers Mike Gunter and Michael Wilson. There is an improvement plan for Miller Bay Road and State Route 104 for summer 2005 that will add a left-turn lane from Miller Bay to the highway, Gunter said.

Residents were also interested in how the DOT could make turning in and out of Parcell Road safer and how it will deal with congestion from Kingston ferry traffic, Wilson said.

Commissioners from the Port of Kingston were also having a hot night with the conceptual plans for port redevelopments and possible foot-ferry service.

“We haven’t heard any disagreements from anybody about what we want to do,” said Commissioner Pete DeBoer.

The primary concern, however, was how the port was going to retain the green space at Mike Wallace Memorial Park.

“They want it designed appropriately so it accommodates the water front,” said Commissioner Tom Coultas. “People stress they want to see something done with quality.”

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