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City, OPG sign sale agreement

POULSBO — Mayor Donna Jean Bruce had one last item of business to complete before she left for the Thanksgiving holiday: signing the purchase agreement for the municipal campus property.

“We finally did it and we can be proud of it,” Bruce said after an impromptu ceremony at the Olympic Property Group headquarters Nov. 23.

The signing of the agreement marks the culmination of a 14-year journey to find a location for the unfulfilled vision of a civic campus, she said.

“It’s going to be a real showcase,” Bruce said as she was joined by a host of other city officials and staff.

The final purchase price of the property at the corner of Lincoln Road and State Route 305 was estimated at $2.1 million and the campus’ construction and design costs are estimated at $12.3 million.

Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln credited Bruce with providing the energy and leadership to help the vision become a reality.

“To Mayor Bruce for having the vision to make this happen,” Lincoln said as he made the first toast celebrating the historic event.

Even though the site is outside the city’s downtown core, it is almost at the geographic center of the city, he said.

“Now the work begins and we should close on the property by the end of January,” he said.

The first phase of the project will be the grading and clearing the site. Lincoln said this should begin by the summer of 2006.

As the ground at the property is being moved, architects from BLRB Architects in Tacoma will begin the actual design phase of the project, which will allow for a large amount of public comment, he said.

“We’re looking to expand the municipal campus planning committee and there will be lots of opportunities for public input along the way,” he said.

The end result of the project will be a building that residents can be proud of and BLRB will undoubtedly do a first-class job, Lincoln said.

OPG President Jon Rose welcomed the city to the neighborhood and expressed his appreciation of the proposal submitted for the purchase.

“I was very impressed with the professionalism of the team the city put together and look forward to having them as neighbors,” Rose said.

With the purchase agreement signed, the city still has plans to issue $5.1 million in non-voted general obligation bonds before the end of the year for the project with an additional $7 million in bonds sometime in 2006.

The sale of the current city hall building and Mitchusson Park property will also be addressed as the city moves ahead with the project.

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