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Partners to discuss NKREC funding

POULSBO — After five months of taking community input, planning, tweaking and prioritizing, the master plan for the North Kitsap Regional Events Center is finalized and formally ready to go before the four governing boards that have paid for its process.

At 7 p.m., April 11 at the North Kitsap School District board room, the Kitsap County commissioners, the Poulsbo City Council, the Kitsap Public Facilities District and the NKSD boards will meet to discuss where and how to take the first step toward implementation.

But first they must decide if that implementation is feasible.

The KPFD has put $900,000 on the table for initiating the NKREC on the condition that it receives a match on those funds — which would average about $300,000 from each of the participating boards.

“Our board is extremely clear that if nobody wants to fund this, we can say thank you very much and we will take our money (elsewhere),” said PFD administrator Anne Blair.

Though there is no formal deadline set by the PFD, it is searching for initiative from the partnering boards.

The timing of the request is less than desirable though, as each entity is already in the midst of other master planning and funding processes, said PFD vice chair and Poulsbo representative Linda Berry-Maraist.

“Everyone is going to show what they are looking at so that we all know,” Berry-Maraist said of one of the meeting’s top priorities. “It’s important that we have coordination.”

The NKSD — which is offering up its Poulsbo campus for NKREC amenities — is deep into phase II of its North Kitsap learning campus project, which involves the construction of the Kingston High School campus and the modernization of the North Kitsap High School main building.

The city is currently striving to begin construction on its municipal campus while also looking to possibly add two sport fields at the Olhava property.

And the county is in the midst of developing a plan to implement the North Kitsap Heritage Park which would also include sports fields for the North End.

“We’ve got all those plans and what we need to do is overlay them and look at it (as a whole),” Blair noted. “It (will be creating) that coordination, so having everyone there to see it is really critical.”

The combined boards meeting will begin with a short presentation of the NKREC master plan and priorities list, followed by a presentation of the Kitsap County Facilities, Parks and Recreation 2006 Recreation and Open Space Update for the North area of the county.

Then each board will discuss what it already has on its plate and what each could realistically contribute to the NKREC.

“I would hope we would come away of some kind of idea of who’s going to contribute,” Berry-Maraist said. “We’re pushing for people to think outside the box becasue the reality of making a parntership work is very different than giving a verbal (affirmation).”

The various envisioned NKREC user groups have also been invited to attend the meeting, however, the primary focus of the meeting is for the “electeds and appointeds to work together,” Blair said.

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