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Harrison, Poulsbo close to deal

POULSBO — A deal between the city of Poulsbo and Harrison Medical Center is nearly wrapped up, according to sources on both sides of the transaction. It's a deal that could effect Poulsbo's new city hall project.

Tom Kruse, Harrison's vice president of strategy and business development, reported Friday the two sides have exchanged and are finalizing a draft purchase and sale agreement for land on Poulsbo's 10th Avenue. The agreement still needs to be approved by the city council at its next meeting, on Nov. 5.

"We feel very optimistic that this is completed," Kruse said. He added the hospital, which will place a new cancer care facility along State Route 305, hopes its new campus can be fully operational within two years, with some services possibly opening less than a year from now.

"We're very excited about moving forward and we've had just an overwhelming level of support from the community," he said. Kruse added the purchase agreement is "fair but well funded."

Poulsbo City Council Member Ed Stern said Harrison will purchase roughly half of the 10th Avenue land — the more developable piece of the parcel — but the sale still offers the city a $500,000 profit compared to the entire parcel's original price tag of $2.1 million. The sale will serve as a bolster to the city, he said, which will continue in fiscal conservation and benefit from the most greatly diversified tax based in the county.

"This is key at this time for Poulsbo and the North End because it's going to lead to not only to us being the center for cancer treatment for Jefferson, Clallam and Kitsap counties," Stern contended, "it creates high end jobs and support jobs and boosts in resident and real estate business in the immediate area."

Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade could not be reached before press time for comment.

Poulsbo's city council previously agreed not to obtain $9.5 million bonds for its new $16.9 million city hall until the 10th Avenue land was sold, though it is currently also waiting on interest rates to decrease before taking out debt.

Read the upcoming Midweek Edition of the North Kitsap Herald for followup information.

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