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Virtual scavenger hunt offers families fun game during "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" Order4/9/2020

Date: April 9, 2020

Kitsap Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Virtual scavenger hunt offers families fun game during stay-home order

(Port Orchard, WA) -Kitsap County Public Works Department is launching a weeklong virtual scavenger hunt to provide families with safe enrichment activities during the stay at home order. The Great Kitsap Virtual Scavenger Hunt begins on Friday, April 17 at 8 am and runs until Friday, April 24 at 10 pm. The top-scoring 20 teams will be entered in a raffle to win one of seven gift cards.

During each day of the hunt, a set of missions will be released. Teams earn points by answering trivia questions or taking pictures and videos doing the missions. All the activities can be accomplished at home or within neighborhood boundaries on a short walk. Participants are asked to continue to practice social distancing during the game.

Kitsap County is using the GooseChase mobile app to host the game. The app is free and available in Apple App Store or Google Play. Once the app is downloaded, players can join by entering the game code 'VJLX4L.'

To participate:

  1. Download the GooseChase app onto your mobile device.
  2. Create an account or log in as a guest. Only one account is needed per team.
  3. Enter the game code VJLX4L or search for 'The Great Kitsap Virtual Scavenger Hunt.'
  4. Select or create your team. Teams can have a single member.
  5. The hunt will go live on Friday, April 17 at 8 am and end on Friday, April 24 at 10 pm. Happy hunting!

Contact Information

Questions about the game?

Lauren Liming, 360.337.4472, lliming@co.kitsap.wa.us or Kym Pleger, 360.337.7066, kpleger@co.kitsap.wa.us

Message from Kitsap County Elected Officials3/30/2020

A Message from Kitsap County Elected Officials:

In times of crisis such as the outbreak of COVID-19, it is critically important for public agencies to communicate regularly and ensure that essential public services continue uninterrupted.

The County Commissioners, the cities of Bainbridge, Bremerton, Poulsbo, and Port Orchard, as well as the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes, meet regularly as the governing board of the Kitsap Public Health District and Department of Emergency Management. Along with COVID-19 response specific communications, officials are using agency webpages to communicate valuable information and reinforce messages regarding public behavior to lessen opportunities for infection and share resources for individuals, families and businesses.

We want to take this opportunity to reinforce the Governor’s orders and recommendations of public health officials about proper hygiene and the need for social distancing. We are sympathetic that our parks represent a tempting alternative to staying indoors; however, using those spaces may not allow for the requisite social distancing. Please check for specific rules governing park use on the jurisdiction websites below.

County offices, city halls and tribal offices may not be open, but rest assured staff is working diligently to maintain services and play our role in the economic engine of Kitsap County. We remain committed as your elected officials to working together, sharing ideas, supporting each other, and maintaining readiness for when normal operations resume.

Kitsap Public Health District:

https://kitsappublichealth.org/CommunityHealth/CoronaVirus.php

Kitsap County Coronavirus Resources and Information:

https://www.kitsapgov.com/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

Kitsap County Department Operations and Online Options:

https://www.kitsapgov.com/Pages/online-Services.aspx

Bainbridge:

https://www.bainbridgewa.gov/1213/COVID-19

Bremerton:

https://www.bremertonwa.gov/1184/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Information

Poulsbo:

https://cityofpoulsbo.com/clerk/covid-19/

https://www.facebook.com/City-of-Poulsbo-City-Hall-236534276860062/

Poulsbo local volunteer HELP line: (360) 517 5037 for people to call for non-emergency, non-medical help in the Poulsbo area and to volunteer to provide help.

Port Orchard:

https://www.cityofportorchard.us/covid-19-information/

Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe

https://www.pgst.nsn.us/covid

Suquamish Tribe

https://suquamish.nsn.us/covidupdates/

Washington State Coronavirus Response and Resources

https://coronavirus.wa.gov/

Federal Response and Toolkit:

https://www.speaker.gov/sites/speaker.house.gov/files/COVID%20TOOLKIT%203.30.20.pdf


Statement from Treasurer Meredith Green regarding county property taxes3/29/2020

To respond to the economic impacts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Kitsap County Treasurer Meredith Green encourages property owners who are financially able to pay first half or full year property taxes early to fund essential services needed now and in the months to come. Your property taxes fund essential services in state and local government, including cities, counties, public health, schools, fire districts, ports, hospital and other districts. Property tax payments that occur twice yearly fund state and local governments. Unlike the federal government which can print money and withholds taxes throughout the year, property taxes are the primary source of cash flow for our local governments. Without the cash flow from property taxes, some districts might be unable to meet their expense or debt obligations, which would also impact bond ratings. Treasurer Green states, “We recognize that many families and businesses are struggling to make ends meet during the economic crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are asking what kind of assistance programs are available if taxpayers need help paying the real and personal property taxes due on April 30. The due date for the first half property taxes remains April 30 and we have been assured by mortgage escrow companies that they will pay the first half taxes by then. Kitsap County will temporarily extend the property tax deadline for residential and commercial taxpayers to May 31, 2020. The extension shall not apply to prior year delinquent taxes or intermediaries, including mortgage loan servicing companies. If taxpayers anticipate being unable to make their payment by May 31, please contact our office after April 13 at treasurer@co.kitsap.wa.us when we may have a return to normal staffing in the office and have a payment plan program developed.” To reduce the risk of virus transmission, Treasurer Green encourages electronic payments. A temporary reduction in the e-check fee to $0.50 has been negotiated, which is less than the cost of a stamp. Please keep our employees safe so that we may continue to serve you. The County Treasurer serves as the bank of Kitsap County and the junior taxing districts and is considered an essential service. The office is closed to the public until further notice, although taxpayers may continue to transact business through the website, email, mail or phone calls. A skeleton crew is working in the office and other employees are working remotely. Assessor Phil Cook has extended the deadline for filing Business Personal Property affidavits (for equipment used in businesses) from April 30 to May 31. Assessor Cook states “We realized that businesses may need to be focusing on higher priority issues and want to accommodate that need. If you need to contact us, please email us at assessor@co.kitsap.wa.us since staff in the Assessor’s office are working remotely.”

Kitsap County suspends prohibition on single-use plastic bags in unincorporated areas3/27/2020

Due to the growing COVID-19 crisis, on March 25, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners suspended enforcement of the single-use plastic bag ordinance that went into effect January 1, 2020 for unincorporated Kitsap County.

Until further notice, grocers and other retailers may use any form of bag they choose including the previously prohibited film single-use plastic bags, and will not be required to charge an $0.08 pass-through fee for each bag. This suspension is due to  concerns that reusable bags could be contaminated with COVID-19 and may spread the virus to grocer's staff, surfaces and patrons. This suspension does not prohibit reusable bags, but leaves it at the discretion of individual businesses.

This suspension was requested by the Northwest Grocers Association and Washington Food Industry Association, and strongly supported by the Kitsap Public Health District, as a method to minimize the spread of the virus to essential workers and businesses.

Similar actions were taken by the cities of Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island in response to the current crisis. 

For additional information, please contact Eric Baker, Policy Manager in the Commissioners' Office, at (360) 337-4495 or ebaker@co.kitsap.wa.us


URGENT MODIFICATION - DCD Amends Response to Stay Home, Stay Safe3/26/2020

Good Morning,

 

Last night Governor Inslee issued another clarification to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order. The Clarification Memo stated: “In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the Proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity.” Link to: Governor's Clarification Memo

 

EFFECTIVE TODAY, MARCH 26, 2020:   ALL COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION MUST CEASE FOR THE 2-WEEK SHUTDOWN PERIOD. THIS CONCLUDES APRIL 8, 2020 UNLESS FURTHER REVISED BY THE STATE.

 

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), an advocacy association for the building industry, has been in contact with the Governor’s office about the Clarification Memo.  They have confirmed the intent is that all construction other than emergency repairs must cease. The earliest construction would be able to resume is April 8th, and is dependent upon the conclusion of the Governor’s Order.

 

Effective immediately, the Department of Community Development (DCD) will cancel any inspections scheduled for the next 2-weeks. We will suspend scheduling of inspections beyond the 2-week period until the Order is lifted. The only types of inspections that will be performed in the 2-week period are those associated with emergency repairs.

 

We recognize this is a setback to our customers and different guidance than the Department issued yesterday. As local government, we are beholden to state orders and mandates, and the Governor's Clarification Memo provides no choice for the Department but to suspend inspections.

 

Non-field Work Will Continue

In accordance with the Governor's Order to telework where possible, DCD will continue to accept and review prioritized permit submittals online. Starting next week, we will also be re-instituting staff consultations using virtual meetings. While we’ve had to temporarily suspend inspections, we are working to increase virtual services, so customers and projects are ready to move forward the moment the Governor's order concludes.

 

As a Department where many of us call Kitsap County home, we are in this together as one County and one community.  Our role in Kitsap’s local economy and protection of quality of life is vital to the success of the communities in which we serve. The Department’s leadership and staff will continue to strive to provide the best services in these unprecedented times. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

 

Respectfully, 

Jeff Rimack, CBO

Director DCD

County community advisory groups cancel April meetings3/26/2020

Kitsap County community advisory group meetings for April are cancelled to protect the health of members and the public, and in observance of Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. The advisory groups include the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council, Suquamish Citizens Advisory Committee, Central Kitsap Community Council and Manchester Citizens Advisory Committee.

Other county advisory groups have cancelled April meetings. Please visit their individual webpages for information at https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/Advisory-Boards-.aspx .

For more information, contact Rebecca Pirtle in the Kitsap County Commissioners' Office at rpirtle@co.kitsap.wa.us


Kitsap County Sewer Utility Services Limited to Emergency Throughout Shutdown3/26/2020

Effective March 26, 2020, Kitsap County Sewer Utility is ceasing all in-person services according to new guidance from Governor Inslee on the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

 

This includes inspections on commercial and residential construction projects, issuance of sewer permits, side sewer inspections, and side sewer saddle installations. The only types of inspections performed will be those associated with emergency repairs.

 

Work will resume on April 8, 2020, dependent on the conclusion of the Governor’s order.

 

Governor's Clarification Memo

Temporary closure of all Kitsap County parks and facilities, recreation areas begins today3/25/2020

Kitsap County Parks will temporarily close all county-managed parks, community buildings, active and passive recreation areas, and water-access areas for at least two weeks beginning at 5 p.m. today, March 25. The closure is in response to Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.

All entrances with gates will be shut and locked at 5 p.m. tonight, and all on-site public services will be suspended. Essential staff will be on duty in each district for the safety and security of these parks and structures.

Updated information about Kitsap County Parks and these closures will be posted at www.kitsapgov.com/parks.

During this time, the Kitsap County Parks office will be closed to the public but can be reached at our temporary service number (360) 340-6661 or by email at parks@co.kitsap.wa.us. Parks staff will make every effort to respond to inquiries in a timely manner, however, a delayed response could be experienced due to limited staff availability.

County closures also extend to Kitsap County stormwater parks including:

  • Clear Creek - Founders Pavilion (Markwick)
  • Clear Creek - Pavilion at the Confluence
  • Manchester Stormwater Park
  • Salmon Haven at Dickerson Creek
  • Whispering Firs Stormwater Park

To stay informed about closures and changes to Kitsap County services and resources, go to http://kcowa.us/online .


Community Developmnent coronavirus response plan3/25/2020

​On Monday, Governor Inslee issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order identifying certain businesses and entities deemed essential services that are to continue operations. The question that has been raised by many is what are essential businesses and who are essential workers? 

The Governor provided a list of job types and industries that are considered essential. The following is an excerpt from the OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS section of that list: 

"Essential Workforce Construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction) for all essential facilities, services and projects included in this document, and for residential construction related to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity. " (**Emphasis added)

 

What does this mean for DCD operations and my project?
The work DCD does is considered essential to the continuity of County functions, our local economy, and other essential businesses identified in Governor Inslee's list. As a result, DCD will continue daily operations. Currently, approximately 80% of the Department is telecommuting, maintaining operations at home during these unprecedented times as a County, State, and nation. Because DCD has fully prepared telecommuters, the Department will continue to take in and review the full spectrum of permits in which we have jurisdiction for unincorporated Kitsap County. The transition to fully online permit application submittal has afforded DCD and those we serve the ability to continue business during this challenging time.

Please note that while we are accepting all permit applications, DCD will prioritize review and only issue permits for projects that are listed as an Essential Business (list linked), tied to new home construction, or emergency repair of an existing structure. This prioritization will be in place until such time as the Governor's order is lifted.  

What about inspections?
In conformance with Governor Inslee's Executive Orders, inspections in the field will be limited as follows:

Essential business included in the Governor's list will continue to receive inspection services.

Construction activities that will result in the construction of New Single-Family Residences will receive inspection services. This includes Site Development Activity Permits for residential short plats and plats.

Residential construction related to emergency repairs will continue to receive inspection services. 

SUSPENDED: Residential inspections related to remodels, additions, upgrades, etc. that require an inspector to enter an occupied home are suspended. **Requests related to life safety concerns for these types of permits can be requested via the open line @ 360-337-5777 and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

A list of residential and commercial building types DCD will be performing inspections is later on in this document. 

The restrictions for inspections of occupied homes is to meet the intent of the Governors Executive order, maintain social distancing as prescribed by the U.S. Center of Disease Control for inspectors and occupants of homes, and prevent the spread of COVID-19. A review of all permits issued by DCD shows that the above actions will affect approximately 28% of all permits currently issued. For the permits that are affected by the restriction, DCD will allow extensions and work with contractors to ensure prompt completion once the Stay Safe, Stay Home Order is lifted. DCD is implementing photo re-inspections and virtual inspections next week. This will allow us to offset some of the impacts customers will experience in the near term.  

 

PLEASE NOTE: 
To minimize the risk to the public and our staff, we are requesting inspectors be allowed to conduct inspections alone. If you choose to be onsite, please be mindful of maintaining the social distance of at least six (6) feet. Our inspectors will be making judgment calls on a site-by-site basis as to whether they will enter a property. They have the discretion to not enter any situation that could place the inspector in an at-risk position. 

Labor and Industries is currently not performing inspections during the Governor's two-week Stay Home, Stay Safe order. This will impact some inspections types as DCD cannot approve covering of electrical or finaling of a home without L&I approval. We have no control over, or a way around, this requirement** 

 

What about permit extensions and reactivations? 
Any permit expiration or extensions needed as a result of COVID-19 work restrictions will be approved without charge.

 

What about public meetings (Planning Commission & Hearing Examiner)?
Currently, we are prepared to proceed with Planning Commission and Hearing Examiner meetings for April. We have incorporated the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines into those meetings as a measure to minimize exposure to staff and the public. This plan, however, could change.

Last night the Governor issued an Emergency Order regarding the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), RCW 42.30, and DCD is working with legal counsel to determine the impact of that Emergency Order on our current plan for public meetings. Please expect a separate communication regarding public meetings once we have guidance from legal.

How long will this continue?
That is the question on everyone's mind, and unfortunately, the answer in unknown. What DCD is doing at this point is pushing to create plans for sustained operations. We want to be positioned to continue to provide services to our clients if the Governor directs we must continue in this manner for an extended period.

Essential Building and Residential Projects List
The list below is the types of projects identified as Essential in accordance with Governor Inslee’s Essential Workers list. DCD will be performing inspections for these projects, as outlined below.

  • Residential
    • New residential projects where the house has not been occupied
    • Remodel:
  • Structural stability or emergency repair (health and safety)
  • Gas inspection as it relates to heat or cooking
  • Emergency repair of water lines as it relates to cooking/sanitation
  • Commercial
  • Essential Business for new/remodel construction
  • I occupancies
  • M occupancies as it relates to 
  • Food and Beverage
  • Pet food 
  • Pharmacies
  • Medical/Dental supply 
  • Cannabis 
  • F occupancies as it relates to
  • Food and Beverage
  • Pet food
  • Medical/Dental 
  • Fuel/Energy
  • Medical Drug
  • Cell towers
  • B occupancies as it relates to
  • Medical facilities, clinics/doctors’ offices
  • Dental clinics/offices
  • Medical Labs
  • Mortuary services
  • Government building projects
  • Information businesses, cable/phone/TV
  • Banks
  • S-1 occupancies as it relates to
  • Fuel stations
  • Auto/marine transportation repair

Site Development Activity 
All Site Development Activity inspections in support of the above mentioned projects. Requests for projects not listed here that are related to life safety concerns can be requested by calling Kitsap1 at 360-337-5777 and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

County highlights available online services 3/19/2020

In response to the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, Kitsap County government has moved from face-to-face delivery of services to online services to protect the health and safety of staff and the public.

A new web page at http://kcowa.us/online provides information on county offices including new operating hours, online services and other information about operations.

“We’re leveraging technology to continue to provide public services,” said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, chair of the Board of County Commissioners, “and we’re making every effort to support the local economy and keep our communities connected to the resources they need.”

Conditions and guidelines are changing every day so please check the web page frequently for updates or call Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777 before heading to the County Campus in Port Orchard or any of the other county facilities and offices. If you have business that must be conduced in-person, please contact the appropriate department to schedule an appointment before coming to the Courthouse, Administration building or other facilities.



Message from Kitsap County Commissioners: Maintaining county services during the coronavirus outbreak3/18/2020

To say that we live in interesting times seems like a vast understatement. None of us have lived through anything similar in our lifetimes and each moment seems to bring a new bit of information – or misinformation, as the case often seems to be. 

We fully support the efforts of the dedicated public health officials who guide us during this COVID-19 outbreak, and extend our thanks and appreciation to medical professionals in all settings that have been watching over our affected family and friends.

County Commissioners are closely following local and national COVID-19 developments. We're watching what other adjoining counties are doing and evaluating practices that could be utilized here. In the last week, county departments have begun making operational shifts away from face-to-face, walk-up customer service by implementing innovative online interfaces.

A Kitsap County information line has been established to address residents' questions and concerns related to COVID-19. That number is 2-1-1. It is staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Updated information about the spread of COVID-19 in Kitsap County and many resources are available at the Kitsap Public Health District website at kitsappublichealth.org. The state Department of Health has also set up a Coronavirus Response website at coronavirus.wa.gov with the latest news statewide. 

We are also thankful for the efforts of our own County staff. Their dedication and creativity in ensuring the County continues to provide quality public service is greatly appreciated. Permitting and inspecting new construction, recording real estate transactions, renewing vehicle registrations, preparing for elections, maintaining roads, sewer and stormwater systems and accepting property taxes are just some of the vital services our dedicated employees are performing while dealing with current COVID-19 challenges.

Many of our county services are available online. Though some of our departments have closed their walk-up service counters that doesn't mean we're not here for you. The technical tools we've put in place allow us to continue to serve the public and help keep our communities and economy moving forward. We encourage you to check out the county website at kitsapgov.com and contact services through phone or email. A new county webpage, linked to through our home page, is coming online this week to make it easier for the public to find newly enacted hours of operation for each department, contact information and links to online services.

Like you, our staff is impacted by the closures of schools, businesses, recreational facilities and the inability to visit friends and loved ones in healthcare facilities. Consequently, we strongly encourage that if you must visit a county office, please check the county's website first to see if certain services are available online or if an office's hours have changed. If you need to speak to a specific staff person, please call or make an appointment to ensure that the staff person is in the office and available to assist you. Similarly, our County courts have issued a temporary order regarding the timing and processing of cases in Superior and District courts. That order can be found here.

We will continue, with the invaluable assistance of our employees and partners, to provide essential county services while maintaining compliance with the directives from Governor Inslee, the Kitsap County Public Health District and the Centers for Disease Control.  

Thank you for your ongoing support of Kitsap County.

Kitsap County Board of Commissioners

Charlotte Garrido, Chair

Robert Gelder

Edward E. Wolfe

 


CANCELLED Veterans Advisory Board meeting March 113/11/2020

The Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. this evening, March 11, at Harrison Medical Center, is CANCELLED to respect the many people who are using an abundance of caution and avoiding public meetings and events due to concerns about COVID-19. 

For more information on the Veterans Advisory Board, visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/Pages/VAB-ADVISORY-BOARD.aspx .


Proclamation of Emergency issued3/9/2020

Kitsap County's Department of Emergency Management (DEM) issued a Proclamation of Emergency March 8 in response to the COVID-19  outbreak. The Board of County Commissioners adopted the proclamation this morning. As of March 8, there was one presumptive positive case of COVD-19 in Kitsap County (pending confirmation from the Washington State Department of Health).

"In coordination with our Department of Emergency Management and the Kitsap Public Health District, this proclamation allows us to further assess and prepare for this potentially significant health emergency," said Commissioner Charlotte Garrido, chair of the Board of Commissioners. "The proclamation is an important tool for our ongoing support of the citizens, agencies, public health partners, and first responders managing the current outbreak.""

The emergency proclamation authorizes DEM to address the threat to public health and safety that COVID-19 poses. This may include suspending regulations for purchasing and contracting in order to obtain essential supplies and services needed for first responders and medical professionals.

The County Commissioners and DEM are closely coordinating with our cities, the Kitsap Public Health District, Washington State Department of Health and the Washington State Emergency Management Division to share the latest information and guidance for healthcare providers and the public regarding the identification and management of possible cases and prevention recommendation.

"Getting in front of this emergency and supporting our responders is essential," said Elizabeth Klute, Director of the County's Department of Emergency Management. By enacting this proclamation DEM, is able to collect resource needs and escalate resource requests to State Emergency Management for assistance.

It also streamlines the procurement process for equipment and resources for responders. "It's important that members of the public heed the guidance of the Kitsap Public Health District" Klute added.

For updates on COVID-19 in Kitsap County and to sign up to receive updates by email or text, go to https://kitsappublichealth.org/CommunityHealth/CoronaVirus.php.


CANCELLED: New veterans memorial dedication March 14 2/27/2020



The dedication ceremony planned for the Veterans Memorial, scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. this Saturday, March 14 in the lobby of the Kitsap County Administration Building is CANCELLED. 

For more information, contact George Geyer at ggeyer@co.kitsap.wa.us. To learn more about the Kitsap County Advisory Board, Veterans Assistance Program, Run to Tahoma and other resources and opportunities for local veterans, go to https://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/Pages/VAB-LANDING.aspx .

 


Kingston road project begins Tuesday, February 182/26/2020

​Kitsap County's Department of Public Works begins improvements on Washington Boulevard NE from NE 3rd Street to Central Avenue. The project was born out of the Kingston Complete Streets Report, published May 2016, which identified numerous projects in the village of Kingston. Complete Streets is a design approach that requires streets be planned, designed and operated, and maintained to facilitate safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation.

This project includes construction of pedestrian sidewalks from SR 104 (NE 1st  Street) to Central Ave NE and makes improvements to the existing pedestrian and bike path from NE Third Street to SR 104. Upgrades to the stormwater collection system and new street and pedestrian lighting are also part of the project.

Finally, a portion of Washington Blvd NE (from NE 1st Street to NE 2nd Street), and NE 2nd Street (from Washington Blvd NE to the alley between Washington Blvd and Ohio Ave NE) will be permanently closed to all non-emergency vehicles as part of this project. The closure begins Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

The permanent closure provides pedestrians a safe walking experience while enjoying the scenic water view. Emergency vehicles will always have access.

The 5-month project begins February 18, 2020 with the contractor mobilizing equipment on the project site. Construction is anticipated to be completed by early Summer, 2020. Access to businesses will remain open for duration of the project; however, motorists can expect traffic delays. Flaggers will assist motorists through the project area.

The work is being done by Pivetta Brothers Construction, Inc., under a $1,061,715.00 construction contract.

For more information contact Tim Beachy, Project Manager, at Kitsap1, 360.337.5777 or email help@kitsap1.com

To learn more about the project go to http://kcowa.us/WaBlvd.


Less than one month until households receive invitations to respond to 2020 U.S. Census2/24/2020


Between March 12 and March 20, invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will start arriving in households across the country. A Kitsap County Complete Count Committee was formed in 2019, in coordination with the U.S. Census 2020, made up of dozens of representatives from local agencies, non-profit and faith-based organizations, city, county and tribal government and legislators. The committee is led by Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder, Bainbridge Island City Councilman and Kitsap Community Foundation President Kol Medina and United Way of Kitsap County President Carl Borg III.

The Kitsap Complete Count committee seeks to coordinate and support community outreach about the census, especially to hard-to-count people which include those living without homes or in temporary accommodations, children under age 5, the elderly, and those for whom English is a second language. There is also a local website established to provide tools, resources and information about the 2020 Census at kitsap2020census.com .

"Kitsap County is unique in that we are a diverse community," said Leslie Daugs, Kitsap County 2020 Complete County Census Coordinator. "With this diversity, we need to make sure that everyone is counted in the upcoming 2020 Census. What's new this year is that people can respond to the census online. It is important to realize how the number of people who respond to the census helps determine – for the next 10 years –  how tax dollars are distributed for roads, schools and services, and representation in the government.  This amounts to $2,900 for every person counted so don't forget to complete the Census."

The U.S. Census Bureau's invitation will include instructions on how to respond to the census online or by phone. The census questionnaire has just nine questions and one must be completed for each individual residing in a household. A question about immigrant residence status is NOT included in the questionnaire. The Census Bureau protects the data collected and is bound by law to keep it strictly confidential.

"Response is important because statistics from the census are used in distributing where hundreds of billions in funding for school lunches, hospitals, roads and much more," said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham. "The invitations will remind respondents to include everyone living in the household, whether they are related or not. This includes young children. Your response will impact communities for the next decade."

By April 1, the official census day, most households that have not yet responded will have received an invitation by mail. Reminder mailings will be sent to households that do not respond. Those who receive mail via post office boxes will not receive the invitation by mail but can access the questionnaire online, over the phone or with a census taker who will go in person to households that haven't responded by the end of April.

Once households receive invitations, please respond to the 2020 Census by using the provided Census ID. If a household is unable to enter the Census ID people can still respond, by providing an address. The Census ID is not required to complete the census. People can complete the census at any time online or by phone after March 16 and by April 1.

Below is a timeline of how and when the Census Bureau will invite households to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire:

  • March 12-20:Initial invitations to respond online and by phone delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • March 16-24:Reminder letters delivered. Census opens to responses March 16.
  • March 26-April 3:Reminder postcards delivered to households that have not responded.
  • April 8-16:Reminder letters and paper questionnaires delivered to remaining households that have not responded.
  • April 20-27:Final reminder postcards delivered to households that have not yet responded before census takers follow up in person.
  • May 13-July 31: Census takers follow up in person at households that have not responded.

A sample of the 2020 Census paper questionnaire and preview of the online questionnaire are available on the census website. The census questionnaire will also be available online and by phone in English and 12 additional languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese. To help ensure a complete count of everyone, the Census Bureau will also provide video language guides, print language guides and language glossaries in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, Braille, and Large Print.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. Census statistics help determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to state and local communities for the next 10 years.

For more information about the 2020 Census, contact Leslie Daugs, Kitsap County 2020 Complete Count Coordinator, at (360) 440-1961, 2020census@kitsapfoundation.org, or visit kitsap2020census.com or 2020census.gov.


Lake Flora Road closure begins March 22/20/2020
Coronavirus and other hazard mitigation reviewed at public meeting March 42/19/2020

​Learn more about how the Kitsap Public Health District is monitoring the coronavirus and Kitsap County's plan to mitigate other natural and man-made hazards at a community meeting Wednesday, March 4, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Best Western Silverdale Hotel, 3073 NW Bucklin Hill Road. Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe invites the public to join him in welcoming Dr. Susan Turner, health officer of the Kitsap Public Health District, and Elizabeth Klute, director of the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, at a public forum to discuss these important timely topics.

The presentations take place during a meeting of the Central Kitsap Community Council, which will also include an overview of 2020 changes to property taxes with Kitsap County Assessor Phil Cook and Treasurer Meredith Green. Theresa Smith of Kitsap County Public Works will provide an update of the Seabeck Highway improvement project.

The meeting is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend from all areas of the county. There will be opportunities for public comment.

For more information on the Central Kitsap Community Council, visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/CKCC.aspx or contact Eric Baker in the County Commissioners' Office at ebaker@co.kitsap.wa.us, (360) 337-4495. 


Conservation futures funds available for parks, open space acquisitions2/18/2020

​The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners approved a one-time competitive process for cities, non-profits and other organizations to access conservation futures funding for acquisition of parks and open space. Approved January 27, 2020, the resolution establishes eligibility, application requirements, process and scoring criteria for this funding. Up to $100,000 is available per project.

Applications may be submitted to acquire open space, farm and agricultural property or timberland for future public use. Eligible applicants include cities, metropolitan park districts, non-profit historic preservation corporations and non-profit conservation organizations.

Applications will be scored against multiple criteria including the property's near-term risk of conversion, public access opportunities, inclusion in regional open space or preservation plans, and viability of long-term maintenance.

Applications for this funding will be accepted March 1 through April 30, 2020 with funding decisions made by the Board of County Commissioners in September 2020. The Board will be limited to approving up to $300,000 in total awards.

For more information, please contact Eric Baker, Policy Manager in the Commissioners' Office, at (360) 337-4495 or ebaker@co.kitsap.wa.us


Manchester community open house March 32/18/2020

Connect with your Manchester community at an open house March 3 to learn more about local organizations and resources, meet your neighbors and find out what's happening. The event is brought to you by the Manchester Citizens Advisory Committee. Everyone is welcome!


Volunteers needed for 25th Annual Kitsap Water Festival1/29/2020

​Help celebrate the 25th year of the Kitsap Water Festival by volunteering. The festival takes place 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 14 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The annual Water Festival hosts up to 1,200 third- and fourth-grade students from across the county. Students learn the importance of protecting precious water resources and practical ways to implement water quality measures at home. To learn more and for a link to register, go to https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAKITSAP/bulletins/278dda5



Lake Flora Road culvert damaged in storm1/17/2020

Lake Flora Road culvert damaged in storm

(Port Orchard, WA) - The existing metal arch culvert on Lake Flora Road at Coulter Creek was damaged during recent storms.  The aged culvert partially collapsed causing the south half of the road embankment to wash out.

Public Works crews are in the process of stabilizing the road embankment, placing a traffic barrier and installing a temporary traffic signal that will allow alternating traffic through the site.  These improvements will allow the passage of vehicles through the site until permanent repairs can be made.  These interim repairs should be completed by Friday afternoon. Motorists should use extreme caution when driving through the area.

County engineering staff have met on site with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and contacted other resource agencies. The affected reach of Coulter Creek is home to steelhead trout, coho salmon and other resident fish species.  In all likelihood, the permanent repair will require replacement of the 6-foot diameter culvert with a structure spanning a 30-foot stream width.  Because the permanent structure will require design, permits and prefabricated elements it may take several months to initiate the permanent repairs.  In addition, it may be necessary to close Lake Flora Road to traffic while permanent repairs are made.

Additional information and updated schedules will be provided to the public as information becomes available.  We recognize that Lake Flora Road is a major route and appreciate citizen's patience and cooperation.



County leaders unveil plans for courthouse improvements Jan. 221/15/2020

Join Kitsap County leaders to learn more about planning efforts underway for a new addition to the Kitsap County Courthouse at a community presentation that begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 in the Commissioners' Chambers of the County Administration Building, 619 Division Street, Port Orchard. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

The agenda will cover the project scope, schedule and work completed through 2019. There will also be opportunities for the public to ask questions. Presenters include representatives from Kitsap County, the City of Port Orchard and Thomas Architecture Studios.

The vision for an improved county campus in Port Orchard addresses current and future needs of the regional law and justice center, security and parking.

For details and more information, visit the courthouse project website at http://kcowa.us/CourthouseProject or contact the Kitsap County Commissioners' Office at (260) 337-7080, kitsapcommissioners@co.kitsap.wa.us .


Kitsap's hazard mitigation plan gets FEMA approval12/31/2019

The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management's proactive and coordinated approach to preparing for disasters recently received an official stamp of approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and State of Washington Emergency Management Division for its Kitsap County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan 2020-2025. 

"As chair of the Emergency Management Council, I am proud of this important accomplishment," said Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe, chair of the Board of Commissioners. "I personally appreciate the leadership of KCDEM Director Lis Klute and the work of her team. This is good for all of Kitsap County."

The mitigation plan reflects the strategies of not only Kitsap County, but its partner cities as well: Poulsbo, Bremerton, Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island.

The 329-page document is the culmination of the efforts of county departments, local city jurisdictions, fire and utility districts, special purpose districts and school districts. It lays out a regional strategy through mutually beneficial and cost-effective projects that respond to a broad range of hazards — from tornadoes and tsunamis to cyber attacks and radiological threats.

This year, Kitsap's Department of Emergency Management introduced a new outreach campaign, "Put a Bigfoot Forward Towards Risk Reduction," to help citizens and local agencies prepare for and recover from any emergency or disaster that impacts Kitsap County.  

"None of us really needs reminding we live in an area at risk from earthquakes, volcanoes, significant weather and rapid growth. But it helps to know the whole community is working collectively to do what we can do to help reduce the risk," said KCDEM Director Lis Klute.  

KCDEM would like to thank the Board of County Commissioners, the county Emergency Management Council led by Commissioner Ed Wolfe with the Mayors of Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard and Poulsbo; the S'Klallam and Suquamish Tribes; county and city agencies; private sector partners; and especially members of the public who contributed their valuable time to assist in the development and approval of this plan.

To view a draft of the Kitsap County 2019 Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, click here. Note: The plan is very large and may need to be downloaded to open. For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the KCDEM website at www.kitsapdem.org or call 360-478-5871.

Workshop assesses potential of little-known treasure Coulter Creek Heritage Park12/30/2019

Over 1,500 acres, Kitsap County's Coulter Creek Heritage Park is a mostly unknown and undeveloped but diverse forestland that provides wildlife habitat, recharges the aquifers and holds a treasure trove of natural and recreational resources. The community is invited to a public workshop to address the park's potential with the Kitsap County Parks Stewardship and Recreation Steering Committee from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 in the Long Lake Community Center, 5100 Long Lake Road SE, Port Orchard.

Coulter Creek park has no existing trails or parking areas and is not currently open to the public. The citizen steering committee's role will be to assess attributes of the park's landscape and recommend appropriate public access, recreation activities, park management, and the possible future development of support facilities. Coulter Creek park will include Calvinwood, formerly a rustic retreat facility, which had been leased to Washington State Parks, and Square Lake State Park, recently approved to be transferred to Kitsap County from Washington State Parks.

"We're inviting residents from surrounding neighborhoods and members of recreation groups who are potential users of Coulter Creek Heritage Park to join us in initially assessing what's there and some of the immediate possibilities for public use," said Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. "But we'll also begin to envision some longer-term opportunities, especially with the former state park properties."

Kitsap County Parks staff already completed a natural resource assessment of the property, identifying hazards and applying their resource management landscape classifications to define areas of environmental sensitivity and high watershed value, which will need to be protected; and in some cases, off-limits, but other acreage can be identified that is more suitable for some degree of public access and recreation.

To learn more about the Coulter Creek park, go to https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Pages/CoulterCreekHeritagePark.aspx.

The Coulter Creek Heritage Park Resource Management Plan is available at  https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Documents/CoulterCreekHeritagePark_Resource%20Management%20Plan2018.pdf . Guided familiarization tours of the property will be available in early 2020.

For more information, contact Steven Starlund, Kitsap County Parks & Open Space Planner at sstarlun@co.kitsap.wa.us, (360) 337-5312.



South Kitsap Transportation Implementation Strategy (TIS) Open House12/13/2019

​(Port Orchard, WA) - Kitsap County invites you to an Open House to learn about and to provide input on the South Kitsap Transportation Implementation Strategy (TIS).

South Kitsap Transportation Implementation Strategy (TIS) Open House

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Open House: 6:00 pm
Presentation: 6:30 pm

Kitsap County Administration Bldg - Commissioner Chambers 
614 Division Street
Port Orchard, WA

The purpose of the TIS is to examine the current and future transportation needs in the unincorporated area of South Kitsap and to identify and prioritize County transportation projects to address those needs.  This process helps develop the County's annual 6-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) of funded transportation projects.

During the Open House (6:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.) the public is invited to provide comments to help identify existing and future "transportation needs" related to capacity, safety, bike, pedestrian, transit, and freight. At 6:30 County staff will present additional information on known transportation issues.

Can't attend the Open House? Please go to http://Kcowa.us/SKTIS to learn more about the study and to submit your comments.

Or mail comments to:
David Forte, Transportation Planning Kitsap County Public Works
614 Division Street, MS-26
Port Orchard, WA 98366
dforte@co.kitsap.wa.us

Please include the specific location and transportation issue you feel needs addressed.



Kitsap County, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), commits to nondiscrimination based on disability in all its programs and activities. Interpreter or translation services for non-English speakers and accommodations for persons with disabilities are available upon request. Call Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777 or help@kitsap1.com


Make a difference in your neighborhood: Volunteers needed for count of those living without homes in Kitsap 12/12/2019

Volunteer registration is open for the annual Kitsap County Point-In-Time Count of those living without homes that takes place January 21-24, 2020. No experience is necessary – learn more at http://kcowa.us/kitsap-pit .

Citizens from all walks of life are invited to participate, including college students, non-profit and faith-based organizations, neighborhood groups, veterans, bilingual individuals, people recently or currently living unsheltered, and anyone else who wants to help alleviate homelessness. Training will be provided. The deadline for volunteer registration is Jan. 5, 2020.

Volunteers will be conducting surveys of people living without homes in many different locations including Project Connect resource fairs, local service providers, food banks, shelters, and community meal sites. Data collected during the count informs local, state and federal funders about the scope of homelessness and helps channel funding and resources to local communities.

To sign up online, go to http://kcowa.us/PIT2020 or contact Cory Derenburger of the Kitsap County Department of Human Services Housing and Homelessness Program at cderenbu@co.kitsap.wa.us or (360) 337-7287.




Commissioner Gelder's annual Kingston Town Hall Dec. 1112/4/2019

Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder invites citizens to attend his annual Kingston Town Hall,  an opportunity to ask questions in a public forum on topics of your choice. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the Village Green Community Center, 26159 Dulay Road NE, as part of the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council's regular monthly meeting. Everyone is welcome!

Can't make the Town Hall? Join Commissioner Gelder during his Walk & Talk sessions on the first Saturday of each month in communities throughout North Kitsap, starting at 9:30 a.m.  A complete list of dates and locations is available here.

For more information on KCAC, visit the website here or contact Jennifer Haro in the Commissioners' Office at (360) 337-7080, jharo@co.kitsap.wa.us.

Recycling options for used cooking oil11/26/2019

(Port Orchard, WA) - Fats, oils, and grease from kitchens can impact sewer systems in a big way. When poured down a drain inside the house these items can quickly damage or clog sewage pipes. Whether your house is on a septic system or connected to a public sewer system, NEVER pour these items down your kitchen sink.

This holiday season residents can recycle liquid used cooking oil at no cost at locations listed below. Kitsap County Public Works contracts with a local biodiesel firm for a recycling option for residents. Whether you plan to deep fry a turkey this Thanksgiving or simply cook meats in the kitchen, take your used liquid cooking oils over to these locations (dispose of solid fats in regular garbage):

  • Olympic View Transfer Station
    9380 SW Barney White Road, Bremerton, WA 98312

  • Hansville Recycling and Garbage Facility
    7791 NE Ecology Road, Kingston, WA  98346
  • Silverdale Recycling & Garbage Facility
    8843 NW Dickey Road, Silverdale, WA 98383

  • Olalla Recycling and Garbage Facility
    2850 SE Burley – Olalla Road, Olalla, WA 98359

 These facilities are closed on Thanksgiving.

Visit kcowa.us/dropoff for hours and directions.

How to use cooking oil recycling stations:
Stations are for residents with cooking oil from their home kitchens. Cooking oil from businesses cannot be recycled at these stations.

Before bringing your cooking oil, filter it at home using a strainer, coffee filter, or cheesecloth. Throw away the food particles you filtered out.

Avoid spills. Pour slowly and with care into collection tank.

Take your empty container home to reuse or throw away. Do not leave it in the recycling area.

Benefits of biodiesel:
Studies show that biodiesel outperforms gasoline, ethanol, and conventional diesel in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and in overall fuel-efficiency. Biodiesel has also been proven to be much less toxic than diesel fuel, and is readily biodegradable. This makes it safer for distribution, use and storage. Recycling fats into a biodiesel product helps our local economy.

___________________________________________________________________

Contact: Lisa Edge, Education and Outreach Coordinator
360.337.5777 or ledge@co.kitsap.wa.us

Proposed Rate Increase for Kitsap County sewer customers11/18/2019

(Port Orchard, WA) - Kitsap County Public Works Sewer Utility Division is proposing an increase in monthly sewer rates effective January 2020. All sewer fees (residential, multi-family, commercial, and restaurant) will increase annually by 5.92% from 2020 through 2022.

The rate schedule is set for three years with anticipation of issuing revenue bonds in 2022 for several very large capital projects. These projects increase capacity to meet population growth and replace worn and outdated infrastructure of aging sewer systems. The cost of construction is continuously increasing which has a large impact on revenues. 

The proposed rate change will also affect Navy Yard City customers paying a lower residential rate. This rate has not kept up with maintenance costs on the system nor the treatment costs paid to the City of Bremerton.  The proposed fee structure will transition all monthly fees to an incremental scale for the next six years until the fees are the same for all customers.

The Sewer Utility Division is also proposing an increase on the senior/low income discount on sewer accounts from 15% to 25%.

Washington State law, RCW 36.94.140 requires sewer rates to be set to produce revenues sufficient to cover the costs of maintenance and operations, bond obligations, repayment of loans, and other costs necessary to properly run all five of the county's sewer systems.

The Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed sewer rate schedule on Monday, December 2, 2019 at 5:30 PM at the Kitsap County Administration Building, Commissioner's Chambers, 619 Division Street, Port Orchard, Washington. The proposed rate plan is available online at https://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/Documents/sewerrates.pdf

If you have any questions, please call 360-337-5777.

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