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Poulsbo City Council approves deal to help Olhava

POULSBO — After weighing the potential costs of additional delays to the Bond Road Pump Station, the city council unanimously approved an agreement Wednesday night to help First Western/Olhava Associates push the project forward.

Under the indemnification agreement, the city will reimburse the developer for the cost of the pumps or cost to modify them to make them usable, which could be as little as $25,000 or as much as $250,000, Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln told the council before the vote.

“Olhava was told to proceed at their own risk,” Lincoln said. “However, Olhava is not ready to proceed with the site plan being appealed.”

Stan Brand formally filed an appeal Dec. 1, 2005 of the city’s decision to approve the site plan for the pump station, which is proposed to be located at the intersection of Bond Road and State Route 305. Brand, whose Liberty Bay Dental Center would lose nine parking spaces if the station is constructed in its proposed location, stated 12 points for appeal, including the right of way issue and legality of the planning director issuing a decision on the project. He is being represented by the law firm of Cairncross & Hempelmann of Seattle.

Property owner Jerry Edmonds filed a letter of appeal as well in November with his focus centering on the right of way interpretation.

With the project needing to be completed before the Washington State Department of Transportation begins two years of widening work on State Route 305, the pumps must be ordered no later than Jan. 31, Lincoln said, noting that it will take about six months for them to be delivered.

Even though the site plan is being appealed, Lincoln said the city and First Western are confident that the pump station will go ahead as planned.

“I think the risk is relatively low because the pump station will have to be constructed at this elevation and the rights of way have been surveyed,” Lincoln told the council.

“The costs for not doing this could be catastrophic,” added Councilman Jim Henry.

Lincoln pointed to the Sept. 29, 2005 sewage spill, which was estimated at 550,000 gallons, as an overriding factor to expedite the construction of the Bond Road Pump Station.

“I believe that every day we choose not to abandon that line we run the risk of another spill,” he said, adding that once the pump station is built, a force main would run along Bond Road between Lindvig Way and SR 305. That force main would allow the city to abandon the current sewer line that runs along Liberty Bay.

The city has the responsibility to the residents in the northwest part of Poulsbo to provide basic services including sewer and water, Lincoln said.

Development in the northwest part of the city’s Urban Growth Area will come to a halt if the pump station is not built, he said.

Councilman Jeff McGinty agreed, adding that the Bond Road Pump Station is the key to development in the city and if it isn’t built, everything falls apart.

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