Expand port boundaries | In Our Opinion

This is the fourth in a series of editorials exploring ideas from the campaign trail.

Voters created the Port of Poulsbo in 1951 to operate marine- and recreation-related facilities and help bring economic development — investment and jobs — to the community.

But as the city boundaries have grown, the port district boundaries have not. As a result, only half of the city’s commercial and residential property owners pay a property tax to support a port district that benefits the entire city.

The Poulsbo Port District’s boundaries should be enlarged to match the city’s boundaries.

The benefits: All voters in Poulsbo would be able to vote for port commissioners; currently, only port district residents can do that. All residents of Poulsbo would have a voice in port matters. The enlarged port district would generate significant tax revenue that can be used to replace the breakwater and its creosoted pilings; improve the seaplane dock and the marina, so it can accommodate larger tour vessels; and prevent further erosion at the foot of Anderson Parkway.

Larger port district boundaries would also empower the commission to look beyond the waterfront for economic development. Under state law, the port district could play a major role in economic revitalization in Poulsbo through the acquisition of property for commercial, ecotourism and recreational uses.

The commission should put annexation on the 2012 ballot.

Other ideas worth pursuing:
- Oct. 21: Charter government.
- Oct. 28: Count residential units in commercial areas.
- Nov. 4: Ferry parking in Kingston.
- Today: Expand Poulsbo port district boundaries.


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