News

Suquamish Incorporation Project to discuss concept’s benefits, drawbacks

By TIFFANY ROYAL

Staff Writer

SUQUAMISH — The time has finally come for residents to step forward to learn more about the Suquamish Incorporation Project and let it be known if they support or oppose the idea of turning Suquamish into a city.

SIP members hope to provide answers to questions as well as determine the public’s opinion on the effort next week.

The organization, which expressed its hopes of incorporating Suquamish last month, will be holding its first public meeting at 7 p.m. March 10 at the Indianola Club House. There will be a 15-minute presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

The group announced Feb. 4 it was hoping to incorporate the community of Suquamish. Members of the group have been working for a year on the idea, gathering information about the area and learning about the process they would have to go through to make the process work.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide as much information as possible so residents can make an informed decision on whether or not they support the idea, SIP Chairman Matthew Cleverley said.

“We are going to talk about the reasons we were looking at incorporation and what the benefits and drawbacks and options are,” he said, noting issues regarding the Growth Management Act and making Suquamish an Urban Growth Area will also be addressed.

Cleverley said he expects interested and curious residents will have questions about the tax base and what impacts becoming a city would have on services to the area.

SIP members have asserted that incorporating the area would bring more local control, rather than relying on county officials in Port Orchard to pay attention to the needs of the community.

Cleverley said the group has not formally met with the Suquamish Tribe or county officials regarding the incorporation effort. Following the public meeting, SIP plans to meet with both agencies to see how everyone can work together.

The tribe has not taken a formal position on the group’s effort and is still investigating the plan. Officials there did, however, express some confusion as to why the topic was even being discussed.

The proposed city boundary would run from the Agate Pass Bridge, south following the waterfront around Sandy Hook and up and across Highway 305 to Totten Road. It would then run north along Totten to Widme Road and north along Widme to Lincoln Road before turning east along Lincoln to Port Gamble Road. Finally, the proposed boundary would turn north along Port Gamble to Gunderson and east along Gunderson to Miller Bay Road, following the waterfront back to the bridge.

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