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Municipal campus a priority, mayor says

POULSBO — With the rumor mill about her delaying or trying to stop the municipal campus nearing breakneck speeds, Mayor Kathryn Quade called a press conference Thursday afternoon to stop it in its tracks.

“I never intended to stall or delay it in any way,” Quade said. “The council sets priorities and it’s up to me to implement them.”

The city council has made the municipal campus project a priority and Quade said she has instructed staff to do everything possible to keep it moving forward.

Even though she would have preferred a site on the west side of State Route 305, Quade reiterated that she will honor the council’s decision on the $14.7 million project. As a council member, Quade, along with Councilwoman Connie Lord, voted against the project in November. However, after winning the mayoral election, Quade publicly stated she would support the council’s decision to proceed with the project.

“We will make all the appropriate permitting stops along the way and we will not put this project ahead of anything else on the schedule,” Quade said.

City officials are working with architects from BLRB Architects of Tacoma to prepare the application for the project so it will be as complete as possible to avoid any potential delays in the permitting process, she said.

“The reason a lot of permits get delayed is because they’re incomplete or are missing something,” Quade said. “We want to avoid that.”

With Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln leaving Tuesday, Quade said she has contacted Waldron and Associates, which is conducting the search for his replacement, about helping the city find a project manager for the project in the next few weeks.

“We need someone to take that project on and be dedicated to it,” she said, explaining that some funding for a project manager was already included in the overall municipal campus budget.

While she appreciates Lincoln’s willingness to help with the project until the city hires his replacement, Quade said she believes Poulsbo needs someone who can devote his or her full attention to the project.

As the project continues moving ahead, more residents need to get involved and provide input about what the building should look like, she said.

“It needs to be a symbol of community pride and a landmark building,” she said.

The initial design with a net shed roof drew criticism from several community members, but the architects have responded well to that input and have come up with significant changes, Quade said.

“I think eventually we’ll come up with a great compromise and I’d like to make as many presentations as possible,” she said.

The schematic design will be presented to the council sometime in February.

See related story, Page A3.

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