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Lindvig Bridge project over troubled waters

POULSBO — When Bight of Poulsbo founder Bill Austin told city council members he’d like to give the Lindvig Bridge a face-lift last month, he got their support.

Now he still has their backing, but several issues surfaced during the Nov. 2 finance/administration committee meeting that council members and city staff are now trying to bridge.

“We think it’s a great project, but we don’t have enough information,” Finance Director Nanci Lien told the committee.

Because the estimated cost of the project exceeds $30,000, it would be considered a capital improvement project, Lien said.

“There are a lot of questions we don’t have answers to, and we would like all the departments to have an opportunity to respond,” she said, explaining that the public works department and planning department would both be involved in helping the project move forward.

Funding is not the hurdle but the process is, said Councilman Ed Stern.

The community services committee had recommended using the Borken Beautification Fund to fund half of the project but additional monies are needed.

Councilman Jeff McGinty said the council still needs to find funds for the other half of the project before proceeding.

Lien told the committee that the project isn’t the highest priority for the finance department because of its current workload.

“Right now, the new software program and budget are our priorities,” Lien said. “We only have so many reserves and we’re trying to get our direction from the mayor.”

If the council wants the project included in the 2006 budget, it must be included in the city’s capital improvement plan, she said.

“The best thing we can do is have Bill (Austin) submit a proposal stating exactly what the scope of work would be,” Lien said.

On this note, McGinty asked Austin about his time frame for beginning the project so staff would have an idea how to proceed.

Austin told the committee he hopes to start the project in spring 2006 or sooner. He also said he had already completed one permit application for the project.

City Engineer Andrezj Kasiniak told the committee about the process involved with public works projects valued at $30,000 or less, noting that because the project would involve two skilled trades, that limit might increase to $45,000.

Under that process, the city would release a detailed request for bid from its small works roster, choose five contractors for an interview and select the best proposal, Kasiniak said. If Austin were to submit the best proposal that met the criteria, he could be selected to do the work, Kasiniak added.

“It sounds like we can’t formally approve it until we get it through the hoops,” McGinty said.

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