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Input sought on services for older adults in Kitsap8/16/2019

​Community input is sought on the draft four-year plan for local aging residents that identifies gaps in services, demographic trends, challenges and opportunities. The 2020-2023 area plan addresses how the Kitsap County Area Agency on Aging administers programs and allocates discretionary funding to support older adults and adults with disabilities living in the community.

The Kitsap County Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Long-Term Care, the designated Area Agency on Aging, developed the plan and encourages residents to submit comments on the draft and learn more about resources and services available.

The draft plan will be posted Aug. 19 to the Aging and Long-Term Care website at www.agingkitsap.com. A printed copy will be also available at the Aging and Long-Term Care office, located at 1026 Sidney Avenue, Suite 105, Port Orchard or call (360) 337-5700.

Comments on the draft will be accepted until Sept. 11, 2019 and may be mailed to the Kitsap County Division of Aging and Long-Term Care, 614 Division St. MS-5, Port Orchard, WA, 98366 or emailed to Tawnya Weintraub at TWeintra@co.kitsap.wa.us

The 2020-2023 draft plan will be presented during the Board of County Commissioners' regular business meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, followed by a public hearing. The meeting is held in the Commissioners' Chambers of the Kitsap County Administration building, 619 Division Street, Port Orchard. The public is welcome to attend and comment on the plan.

For more information or to require special accommodations, please contact Stacey Smith at (360) 337-5700, (800) 562-6418 or TDD (360) 307-4280. One week advance notice is needed for interpreter services at the community presentation.

VISION 2050 workshop, open house Aug. 15 in Kitsap7/29/2019

​Share your values about the Puget Sound region and give input on future growth strategies at a Kitsap workshop and open house Aug. 15 in Port Orchard.

By 2050, the central Puget Sound region will be home to nearly 6 million people – a 40 percent jump from today. The Puget Sound Regional Council's VISION 2050 is the guide for how this growth can support thriving communities, a strong economy, and healthy environment. Input from Kitsap County citizens is sought during a facilitated workshop 3 to 5 p.m. and drop-in open house 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15 in the Kitsap County Commissioners Chambers, 619 Division Street, Port Orchard.

The workshop includes a brief overview of VISION 2050 and small group facilitated discussions focused on key policy areas. The open house follows with PSRC staff giving a brief presentation on the draft from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. with the remaining time open for questions and reviewing key components at your own pace.

The draft VISION 2050 describes how the region should grow and preserve what people value about the region – a healthy natural environment, economic opportunity and great communities – and also address affordability, equity, climate change and other challenges.

VISION 2050 lays out policies and actions for guiding growth to create healthy places to live and work, while protecting the region’s forests, farms and open spaces. The plan talks about where cities and counties will encourage more housing and jobs, and how transportation will connect people to where they need to go. The draft VISION 2050 plan calls for:

• Increasing housing choices and affordability

• Providing opportunities for all

• A strong economy and balanced job growth throughout the region

• Significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions

• Transportation that connects centers and improves mobility

• Growth focused in centers and near fast and frequent transit

• Restoring the health of the Puget Sound

• Protecting a network of open space

Can’t attend an event? Visit https://www.psrc.org/our-work/regional-planning/vision-2050/get-involved for an online open house, more information and the opportunity to submit comments. The public comment period is open until Sept. 16, 2019.

Questions? Contact PSRC at  VISION2050@psrc.org or (206) 464-7532 .

Public comment open for North Kitsap Heritage Park stewardship plan7/26/2019

​Volunteer park stewards spent more than 18 months preparing a stewardship plan for natural resource protection and recreational use of the county's North Kitsap Heritage Park. The draft plan is now open for a 60-day public review and comment period.

To access the document and online form click here or visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Pages/NorthKitsapHeritagePark.aspx.

Parks staff will work with the NKHP stewards to review comments received and make revisions, if necessary. Kitsap County Commissioners are anticipated to adopt the stewardship plan this fall.

"We applaud the dedicated planning work of these volunteer stewards," said County Commissioner Rob Gelder. "Because this park attracts use from all parts of the county and beyond, we want to ensure the larger public can see the planning goals and weigh-in with comments, concerns and ideas."

North Kitsap Heritage Park (NKHP) is a regional treasure, located off Miller Bay Road, consisting of 799 acres of forest, wetlands and hiking trails. A dedicated volunteer stewardship group, formed in 2009, largely maintains the park, in partnership with the Kitsap County Parks Department.

The NKHP Stewardship Plan is a management tool and template intended to provide direction for resource protection and conservation actions. It guides recreational use and future development away from areas of environmental sensitivity.

The draft plan follows a county-adopted landscape classification planning process, identifying zones within the park for varying levels of resource protection, conservation actions, and development for recreational use, primarily trail corridors. The plan also outlines the history of the landscape, including its ancient glacial formation, use by Native Americans, historic logging operations, and finally, the County Commissioners assertive land acquisition program.

The park setting is a mix of forest types. Some are derived from the previous monoculture, which was important to commercial timber production. More recently, the forest is becoming diversified through ecological-based forest thinning and replanting with mixed tree species. The stewardship plan also identifies streams, wetlands, culverts and other waterbodies, assessing the quality and describing management objectives.

For more information, contact Steven Starlund, Parks Planner, at (360) 337-5312, sstarlun@co.kitsap.wa.us or go to https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Pages/NorthKitsapHeritagePark.aspx.

 

Chapter 2 of our 'Getting You There' story 7/18/2019

​Take a drive with us to learn more about the County road system. Chapter 2 of our Getting You There story talks about road priorities and costs associated with maintenance and operations.

Select 'What we do' on the top right-hand corner to skip to chapter 2. Did you miss our history chapter? Click 'History' to read chapter 1.

kcowa.us/gettingyouthere


Jo Meints | Roads Education & Outreach | 360.337.4568 | jmeints@co.kitsap.wa.us

Review input, regulatory concepts on short-term vacation rental policy7/11/2019

 Review input, regulatory concepts on vacation rental policy

County Commissioners continue outreach on short-term vacation rentals in Kitsap County. After reviewing public input from a recent survey and outreach events, Commissioners directed staff to host interest-based focus groups (such as short-term rental operators and neighbors) to review preliminary regulatory concepts.

The regulatory concepts were developed after an extensive outreach effort. Public comments received through mid-June on the impacts and opportunities from short-term vacation rentals and related survey responses were summarized and are now available for review. Participation was excellent with more than 26 comment submittals, over 300 citizens attending outreach events, and 894 responses to the survey.

This input provided an understanding of the range of interests, needs, and perspectives of owners/hosts (operators), users, neighbors, and citizens. The results lead to a general conclusion that short-term rentals are an important part of the local tourist economy but some level of oversight is necessary to prevent impacts to community character and neighborhoods.

  • The summary of survey results are available. Click here to view.
  • Click here to view public input summaries from public outreach events, public comments, and written survey responses.
  • Based on this outreach and the review of over 75 local ordinances and the newly passed Washington State HB 1798, staff has prepared a set of regulatory concepts for further public discussion. At this time, these concepts include little detail and are only a basic skeleton. The concepts are intended to be revised based on public input, legal considerations, best practices, and Board direction. Click here to view regulatory concepts. Please note current code requires conditional-use permitting approval for all short-term rentals – but this has been deferred due to the code being overly broad and too burdensome.

Additional outreach will continue through the summer with potential focus groups and other discussions. Please check the project website for ongoing updates and click here to sign up for the project email list.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like additional information, please visit the project website or contact Eric Baker, ebaker@co.kitsap.wa.us, or Jennifer Cannon, jjcannon@co.kitsap.wa.us, in the Commissioners' Office at (360) 337-7080.

Applications open for new Fair & Stampede Association7/10/2019

Kitsap County is now accepting applications with accompanying resumes from individuals interested in serving as non-compensated fiduciaries on a new Kitsap County Fair & Stampede Association Board of Directors. Candidates should have experience in non-profit governance and potential access to community organizations. The application deadline is August 2.

For a position description and to complete the online application, click here. Email a supplemental resume to rpirtle@co.kitsap.wa.us.

Commissioners will appoint a nominations committee to review and interview applicants, leading to the appointment of the initial members of the association board of directors. Once selected, directors will serve as the governing body of the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede Association.

Kitsap County Commissioners contracted with a consultant last year to do a fair sustainability study and review business models to provide the opportunity for the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede to fully develop into an entrepreneurial entity while keeping true to its public purpose. 

In February 2019, based on the study's recommendation that a non-profit model provides the most efficient transition, County Commissioners approved reorganizing the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede into a non-profit corporation. The County is creating documents required to establish the non-profit entity, while working with a consultant to draft operational policies and procedures, and research resources outlined in the consultant’s transition plan. As recommended in the study, County Commissioners will be instrumental in the transition.

The new non-profit Kitsap County Fair & Stampede Association will perform as a responsive and entrepreneurial organization with latitude to streamline business operations while keeping to professional business standards. 

The County fair sustainability study is available on-line at www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Documents/KitsapCountyFair%20Stampede_Long%20TermSustainability%20StudyFinalReport_January2019.pdf

For more information on the application process, contact Rebecca Pirtle in the Commissioners' Office at (360) 337-4650, rpirtle@co.kitsap.wa.us or visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/Advisory-Boards-.aspx.

Public burial ceremony July 13 lays to rest 15 residents7/1/2019

The Kitsap County Coroner's Office will hold a public burial ceremony at 10 a.m. July 13 at the Silverdale Pioneer Cemetery for 15 residents who were considered "indigent" at the time of their passing and left the world without family or funds for a final resting place.

The Kitsap County Coroner's Office feels very strongly that these individuals deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. By way of a generous donation from Sue Brown several years ago, Kitsap County was gifted two large cemetery plots at the Pioneer Cemetery, located at the end of Impasse Place off Anderson Hill Road. These plots provide a beautiful setting for these individuals to be interned.

Chaplain Don Melendez of Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue will officiate a short ceremony. Anyone who would like to attend is encouraged to join in this opportunity to show respect to those who have departed, and that they are not alone nor forgotten as they are laid to rest.

The names of those being interned:

Sandra J. PostJames Lee AndersonUnknown (Malone Estate)
Yvonne Diane FeltzmanJoyce A. YaleUnknown
Richard Dale MillerReinee Louise WohlersCsaba A. Feher
Remedios Reyes ByrneWelch (NFI)John P. Marion
Herbert Jay SchorrMargaret Mary CallahanRobert N. Sage

For more information, contact Kitsap County Coroner Jeff Wallis at (360) 337-7077, jwallis@co.kitsap.wa.us.                              

The Kitsap County Fire Marshal announces a ban on general outdoor burning6/26/2019

​(Port Orchard, WA) - ​ The Kitsap County Fire Marshal announces that a phase one ban on outdoor burning will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Friday 6/28/19. 

During a phase one burn ban all outdoor burning is prohibited, except for recreational fires in approved devices and locations. For more information on approved devices and locations, see Outdoor Burning Frequently Asked Questions

As part of the ban, all burning permits are suspended until further notice and no additional permits will be issued in the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County. 

This ban is needed due to dryer than normal conditions and the potential for fires to spread once ignited. According to Fire Marshal David Lynam, “June is always a dry month, but this year it is particularly dry, with the larger debris in the rural areas reaching moisture content the same as Kiln dried lumber.” 

The National Weather Service predicts Kitsap County residents can expect 1.5 inches of rainfall in June with the exact amount depending on location. Records indicate that the official rain gauge for June shows less than 10% of the typical June amount with temperatures slightly higher.

The burn ban is imposed due to fire conditions and is not the same as a stage one burn ban implemented by the Puget Sound Air Quality Agency, due to air quality issues. 

For additional information, please contact the Fire Marshal's Office (360) 337-5777 or your local Fire Department. 

Appraisers needed to hear appeals to assessed value of properties6/26/2019

Experienced appraisers or real estate professionals with a deep knowledge of appraisal practices are needed to serve on the Kitsap County Board of Equalization, an impartial group of citizens who make decisions on homeowner, commercial and personal property appeals to the assessed value of properties. Must be a resident of Kitsap County and meet above qualifications. Training provided. For more information, call (360) 337-4650 or email rpirtle@co.kitsap.wa.us . To learn more about the Board of Equalization, visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/BOE.aspx .

2019 Kitsap County Fireworks Information & Limitations6/26/2019

(Port Orchard, WA) - Due to the abnormally dry, high fire danger conditions, the Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners approved a ban on the sale and use of fireworks that can have unpredictable and hard to control travel paths. Click here to see the devices that are prohibited to use in Kitsap County. 

 

STAY SAFE AND ATTEND A LOCAL FIREWORKS SHOW!

The safest way to enjoy 4th of July fireworks is to attend one of the local shows, see the list of shows in Kitsap County here

 

TEST YOUR FIREWORKS KNOWLEDGE & ENTER TO WIN A GIFT CARD!

Let the local firefighters help you dish up your 4th of July BBQ! Click here to complete our short game for your chance to win one of two $50 Safeway gift cards. Must be a resident of Kitsap County to win.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

When am I allowed to set off fireworks?

You can set off fireworks on July 4, 2019 from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm in unincorporated Kitsap County.

What fireworks am I allowed to set off?

Parachutes, Smoke devices, Sparklers, Reloadable Mortars, Fountains & Cones. See flyer with pictures here.

What fireworks are not allowed to set off?

Fireworks that have an unpredictable path are banned: Roman Candles, Multi-tube (cake) Devices, Aerial Spinners, Multi-shot Shell Devices, Ground Spinners. See flyer with pictures here.

Do I have to set off my fireworks off over a body of water?

No, only permitted fireworks display shows using 1.3G Display fireworks, conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic operator  are required to have the fall out zone of the fireworks over a body of water.

Who do I call to report the illegal use of fireworks?

From June 28th – July 4th there will be a Fireworks Hotline posted. This number will be posted once the hotline is live on the Kitsap County Fireworks page

How do I dispose of my used fireworks?

  • Soak them in a bucket of water for at least 15 minutes

  • Wrap them in plastic

  • Put them in your garbage

The water will contain heavy metals, so it is recommended that you dump the leftover water on gravel or grass – not down a sink or storm drain where it can pollute groundwater, streams, or Puget Sound.

 

Kitsap County Department of Community Development

Fire Marshal's Office

(360) 337-5777 or Help@kitsap1.com

www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/Pages/Fireworks

Stormwater park inauguration in Silverdale6/18/2019

(Silverdale, WA) -  Kitsap County Public Works announces the opening of the new Whispering Firs Stormwater Park on Silverdale Way.  Silverdale's first stormwater park not only manages runoff from over 115 acres of development from the Ridgetop neighborhood, but also provides a peaceful destination for enjoyment and reflection.

This stunning new park captures runoff, removes pollutants, and manages storm flows through a series of ponds and treatment cells.  Inside the cells, special soils and native plants remove pollutants like oils, metals, and bacteria from runoff before sending it to holding ponds, which slowly release cleaner water downstream to Clear Creek.  This innovative project is the latest in a series of projects in the Clear Creek watershed designed to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and restore habitat around Clear Creek and Dyes Inlet.

The park is currently open for public use.  Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the many public amenities surrounding this facility. Walk the paths around the ponds and landscape features, with their concentric ripples reminiscent of the visual rhythms of water drops in a still pool.  Take in the view of the Olympics, picnic amongst the trees, or learn about the many ways this park is working to improve water quality in Puget Sound.

Kitsap County Public Works completed the project in June 2019 with an extensive native planting palette provided by the Kitsap Conservation District. The project was designed by N.L. Olson and Associates and Parametrix; and funded by Kitsap County Public Works – Stormwater in partnership with the Department of Ecology who provided $1.5 million in funding towards the $2.5 million project.

The Public Works Stormwater Division will host a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 27, at 1:00 PM.  Contact Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777 for more information.


Change of Value Notices Mailed6/14/2019

(Port Orchard, WA)  Kitsap County Assessor Phil Cook is advising residents that 106,808 change of value notices will be arriving to residential and commercial property taxpayers on/after June 17th.

Change of value notices are being sent to 106,808 property taxpayers throughout Kitsap County.  The Assessor is required by state law to appraise property at 100% of market value.  These notices are based on property sales that have occurred since January 1, 2018 and will be used when calculating property tax obligations payable in 2020.

Taxpayers can check their values and characteristics in the "Parcel Details" feature on the Assessor's website at www.kitsapgov.com/assessor.  Sales trends for the county are also available on the website as well as information regarding the various property tax exemption programs.

Anyone with questions or concerns about their value may contact the Assessor's Office at 360-337-7160 or email assessor@co.kitsap.wa.us.  Property owners who choose to appeal their value to the Board of Equalization must have their appeal postmarked by Friday, August 16, 2019.

Contact:  Phil Cook, Kitsap County Assessor
philcook@co.kitsap.wa.us, 360-337-7085

Central Kitsap Treatment Plant (CKTP) Celebrates Recent Upgrades6/11/2019

(Brownsville, WA) -  Kitsap County Public Works will host a special ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating recent upgrades at the Central Kitsap Treatment Plant on Wednesday, June 12, at 1:00 PM. The upgrades include new ultra-violet disinfection equipment to improve energy efficiency, and new dewatering centrifuges to provide redundancy in solids treatment.

Wastewater that leaves the treatment plant is disinfected with ultra-violet (UV) light before it is released into the Puget Sound. UV disinfection equipment that was installed at CKTP in 1997 was energy inefficient and maintenance was becoming an issue. The new UV system and computed energy savings qualify for $200K in grant funding from Puget Sound Energy after successful operation. The Department of Commerce provided $350K in grant funding to go towards the $3.8 million project.

Solids removed from the water go through a separate biological process to generate biosolids, which are then land applied in eastern Washington. A centrifuge is used to dewater the solids before they leave the plant. The $4.8 million in dewatering upgrades include two new centrifuges and replaces a single outdated centrifuge. The new equipment will improve efficiency and provide redundancy in solids handling.

Both projects were funded by Kitsap County, City of Poulsbo, and Naval Base Kitsap Keyport.

Central Kitsap Treatment Plant treats an average of 3.5 million gallons of wastewater per day and serves more than 50,000 people, including the City of Poulsbo, Keyport and Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Public tours are available for Kitsap County residents interested in the wastewater treatment process. Contact Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777 for more information. 


Lisa Edge, Education and Outreach Coordinator Sewer Utility
360.337.5777 ext 3681 | ledge@co.kitsap.wa.us


Come to the Table: Help us plan what’s built in your neighborhood!6/11/2019

​(Port Orchard, WA)-  Do you want to see a coffee shop or grocery store in your neighborhood? What about a factory or tavern next door to your home? Some things are compatible, some are not. Kitsap County needs your help to streamline the requirements for what can be built in your neighborhood.

We want to hear from you – a survey is now available to give you a voice in the conversation!  To access the survey visit:  https://tinyurl.com/ComeToTheTableSurvey

Your input will be used to shape proposed changes to the Kitsap County Code that will be considered later this year by the Board of County Commissioners.

For questions, please contact the Department of Community Development at (360) 337-5777 or https://tinyurl.com/CometotheTable2019.

Public Works calls are a prank5/31/2019

Officials with Kitsap County Public Works are advising residents to hang up on calls claiming they are Public Works employees planning work in their yard. "We started receiving calls from residents around 1 yesterday afternoon," said Doug Bear, Public Communications Manager. 

Residents reported that the caller identified himself as Bob Doblina of Kitsap County Public Works and informed them of work planned on their property. Here's an example of the work the caller described:

  • We're going to be digging a 6ft hole in your yard on Monday. There was money left in a budget and someone needed to learn how to dig a hole
  • We'll be parking a truck in front of your business for 2 weeks to repair a pothole.
  • Your address on Clear creek Rd is being changed to Cannabis Way
  • We're installing a cell tower at the end of your driveway
  • We're going to be parking in front of a residence in Silverdale for 2 weeks for a pothole repair
  • We're going to be marking your yard tomorrow to dig 3 ft on Monday  
The caller is spoofing The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce phone number. The Chamber is working with their provider to resolve the issue. This type of spoof has happened with other public service providers in the past. 

Residents are advised to hang up on the caller. If you have questions about calls from Public Works, please call Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777 to verify the information.


Kitsap County takes first steps in possible transition from coroner to medical examiner5/30/2019

Kitsap County took the first steps in possibly transitioning from an elected coroner to an appointed medical examiner. County Commissioners approved a resolution May 29, creating job classifications for the hiring of a forensic pathologist and an autopsy technician.

Kitsap County Coroner Jeff Wallis, elected in 2018, has advocated for hiring an appointed medical examiner and possibly eliminating the elected coroner position. Rather than contracting out for forensic pathology services to perform autopsies, moving services inhouse should result in cost savings and provide more accountability over autopsies – examinations that determine causes of sudden, unexpected, violent, suspicious or unnatural deaths.

“The approval of this resolution not only moves us one step closer to the complete professionalization of this office, but it provides a cost savings that will allow us to fix numerous items in our facility that are either inoperable or outdated,” said Coroner Wallis. “Once hired, Kitsap County residents will have the benefit of a full-time doctor staffing this office to not only perform inhouse services for death investigation, but to also more closely work with our community partners in identifying, addressing, and planning for our community’s needs, as well as improving the training levels of our existing staff.”

The new job classifications were created to identify the skills, expertise and competencies staff will need to perform death investigations. Coroner Wallis also asked that the resolution to hire the two new positions, which is accommodated by the current budget, take effect immediately but on limited terms that will allow him time to evaluate whether the change is cost efficient and effective in the longer term.

Kitsap County would not only perform its own autopsies but could also contract with neighboring counties to perform the services, generating revenue to help cover staffing costs. The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office 2019 budget is just under $1.4 million with anticipated revenue of $60,000.

“Coroner Wallis gave Commissioners a compelling argument about why we should bring this resource inhouse instead of contracting it out and we are supporting him in getting these first steps in place that will allow us to better assess the costs and benefits of restructuring the Coroner’s Office,” noted Commissioner Ed Wolfe, chair of the County Commissioners.

The coroner is an elected official responsible for conducting death investigations and administrative oversight. He is supported by a staff of deputy coroners that are nationally certified medico-legal death investigators who assist in death scene investigations. The official also provides education on preventing deaths, working with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Survivors of Suicide.

The transition to a medical examiner from an elected coroner needs the approval of voters and County Commissioners and can only be implemented when the population exceeds 250,000. The population today is estimated to be over 268,000.

Kitsap County and City of Bremerton partner to hire consultant for affordable housing inventory and market analysis study5/24/2019

Kitsap County and the City of Bremerton selected EcoNorthwest as the consultant to perform a countywide affordable housing inventory and market analysis study. 

The study will include information about the current state of the local affordable housing market, an analysis of the gap between available affordable housing and needed units, 10-20-year projections of future housing needs, and recommendations for policy tools that would impact development of additional units of affordable housing.  The scope of the study will cover all of the Kitsap cities and county, with additional aspects focusing on Bremerton, and is due to be completed in January 2020. 

Funding for the study comes from the City of Bremerton, the Kitsap County Block Grant Program, and the Kitsap County Housing and Homelessness Division. 

The study is called out in the 2018 update to Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan as an implementation strategy in the Housing and Human Services Element.  It will provide information for the upcoming Kitsap County and City of Bremerton HOME Consortium Consolidated Plan 2021-2025, and the priorities and goals to guide the allocation of Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program funds over the five-year period.

"It makes sense to partner with Bremerton on a project that will benefit all Kitsap cities and unincorporated areas," noted Commissioner Ed Wolfe, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. "Affordable housing issues are a challenge across all of our jurisdictions and having the best possible information will help us make informed policy decisions about how to improve the affordable housing situation."

Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler commented, "Affordable Housing is a challenge for our community and I have chosen to focus on this issue as a high priority in my administration. Having the ability to access high-quality data will be immensely helpful in making future policy decisions to improve affordable housing in Bremerton."

EcoNorthwest is an experienced consultant in the areas of affordable housing, land use, transportation, and economic development.  With offices in Seattle, Portland, Eugene, and Boise, the company has offered consulting services since 1974 and conducted similar studies in other states and Washington jurisdictions, including Skagit County, Island County, and Issaquah. Recently, EcoNorthwest assisted the City of Bainbridge Island with an affordable housing and inclusionary zoning project.

"EcoNorthwest's depth of experience and range of expertise in this type of work made them a stand-out candidate for doing this study. They have a long history of helping communities identify workable strategies that help them move forward," said Kirsten Jewell, manager of the Kitsap County Department of Human Services Housing and Homelessness Division.

Upon completion, the study will be available to the public and there will be several public presentations of the findings and recommendations.

For more information on affordable housing in Kitsap, please go to the the Kitsap County website https://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/Pages/HH-Reports-and-Data-Affordable-Housing.aspx .

Wildfire season is here - read these tips to protect your home!5/20/2019

​Typically, we think of wildfire season as late summer (August and September), but due to the driest March yet, we have already seen 50 wildfires in Western Washington, several of those right here in Kitsap County.

The nice weather provides more opportunity to work out in the yard. Consider these tips to protect your home from wildfires:

What can i do to protect my home?

  • Clean the gutters and the roof:  Remove all dead leaves and pine needles from your gutters, roof, and from around your home. These debris are highly combustible and can act like a fire starter for your home.
  • Clean up the brush: Reducing brush appears to be the most important factor for success. You want to have a zone with at least 30 feet of space immediately around your home (defensible space) that is free from ignition hazards presented by vegetation and combustible construction. 
  • Mow the lawn: The grass around the house can tend to grow tall and unruly during the wet winter months. These grasses dry out and provide a path for the fire that can lead directly to your house.
  • Stack firewood away from the house: If a spark or an ember lands in your wood pile it could ignite your house. Make sure you stack wood at least 30 feet away from structures to help protect them from wildfire.
  • Rake the leaves: Leaf accumulation provides fuel for wildland fires.
  • Clean under the deck: Keep the surface and area beneath decks and porches free of debris and leaves.
  • Trim trees and brush back from structures: Remove all dead or overhanging branches. During the windy conditions that exist during a wildland fire, flames, sparks, and firebrands could travel from your trees to the roof of your home
  • Limb trees up to 10 feet from the ground: Limbing your trees up will help reduce the chances that a fire on the ground will spread into tree tops – this is especially important if your property has lots of trees.
  • Dispose of cuttings and debris properly: Dispose of your yard waste properly, and make sure you don’t leave it piled near the house in the back yard. That defeats the purpose of all the work you did! Here is a list of Yard Waste Drop-Off Sites.

Related Links:

 

History of roads highlighted in first chapter of story 5/15/2019

(Port Orchard, WA) - Kitsap County Public Works released the first chapter in a three-part series that looks at the County-maintained road system at kcowa.us/gettingyouthere. The story starts with the first road built in 1857 and follows the expansion of the road system up to present time.

"It's incredible to learn how our County road system has developed over the past 160 years," said Jon Brand, Kitsap County Engineer. "What we take for granted today is the result of the investment of hard work, time, materials, and funding by the community leaders of Kitsap County." 

The second chapter, coming by early June, looks at innovations in the road system, our work to preserve the existing road system, and how road construction and maintenance are funded. As transportation needs increase, new technology and new engineering ideas continue to change our road system, and how we maintain it.

The third chapter looks at the future of the County's road system. The costs required to maintain our current road system are rising faster than revenues. Funding available for road improvements, safety and capacity projects is being depleted. This chapter looks at the challenge to continue to maintain and improve our roads, and ways to address future funding.  "If we wish to be ready for the next generation, we need to continue to invest today to sustain the system for the future," Brand added. 

Go to kcowa.us/gytsu to sign up for electronic notifications and stay informed as the story unfolds. Visit kcowa.us/gettingyouthere to see the story, leave comments, or ask questions.



Jo Meints Education and Outreach Coordinator Roads Division
360.337.5557 | jmeints@co.kitsap.wa.us


Candle Fires - Are you at risk?5/7/2019
Upcoming Kitsap events highlight Older Americans Month5/1/2019

At their April 22 meeting, Kitsap County Commissioners Ed Wolfe, Charlotte Garrido, and Rob Gelder signed a proclamation declaring May as Older Americans Month in Kitsap County.

For over 50 years, the Administration for Community Living has led our nation's observance of Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme, "Connect, Create, Contribute," encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
  • Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

To celebrate Older Americans Month, Kitsap County's Division of Aging and Long-Term Care is co-sponsoring the following free events with local community groups:

May 8, 11 to 11:45 a.m.
Dance to Boost Brain Health
Village Green Community Center
26159 Dulay Rd. NE, Kingston

May 9, 9 a.m. to noon
Fall Prevention Clinic
Haselwood YMCA
3909 NW Randall Way, Silverdale

May 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Resource Fair
Bainbridge Island Senior Center
370 Brien Dr. SE, Bainbridge Island

May 17, 10:30 a.m. to noon
Lifelong Wellness
Bremerton YMCA
60 Magnuson Way, Bremerton

For information on programs, services, support and resources available to seniors and caregivers, contact the Kitsap County Division of Aging and Long-Term Care at (360) 337-5700 or visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/Pages/Aging-Landing.aspx .

Learn about emergency preparedness in Suquamish and how to get involved4/29/2019

Learn more about emergency preparedness and how to join your neighbors and community in planning ahead for natural and manmade disasters at the next meeting of the Suquamish Citizens Advisory Committee, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 2 in the Suquamish Elementary School Library, 18950 Park Blvd NE.

Guest speakers include Michèle Laboda, public information officer and community services specialist of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue; Dave Rasmussen, public educator and information officer of Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management; and Cherrie May, Suquamish Tribe Emergency Management Coordinator.

The meeting will also include a monthly crime report from Suquamish Tribal Police, and updates on roads and transit. For more information, contact Jennifer Cannon in the Kitsap County Commissioners’ Office at (360) 337-7080 or jjcannon@co.kitsap.wa.us.

The Suquamish Citizen Advisory Committee (SCAC) provides a forum for community discussion and helps to coordinate improvements for the Suquamish community. For more information, visit https://spf.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/SCAC.aspx. If you live in the Suquamish area and are interested in joining SCAC, please apply and fill out this online application form.

Request for Proposals issued for mental health, chemical dependency, therapeutic courts tax funding4/26/2019

The 2020 Kitsap County Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Tax Program Request for Proposals for funding collected through the 1/10th of 1 percent sales tax is now open. Kitsap County established the tax under RCW 82.14.460.

Go to the Kitsap County Purchasing website at https://www.kitsapgov.com/das/Pages/Online-Bids.aspx for details, including selection criteria, eligibility and general terms and conditions.

Treatment sales tax funds collected in 2020 will be allocated through two separate Requests for Proposals:

  • New grant proposals should be submitted from organizations for projects which have not been funded during the 2019 grant cycle, using the Treatment Sales Tax.
  • Continuation grant proposals should be submitted by current grantees whose projects were funded during the 2019 grant cycle to request one additional budget period of funding for a project period that would otherwise expire.

All Proposals "must be used solely for the purpose of providing for the operation or delivery of chemical dependency or mental health treatment programs and services and for the operation or delivery of therapeutic court programs and services. Programs and services include, but are not limited to, treatment services, case management, transportation, and housing that are a component of a coordinated chemical dependency or mental health treatment program or service."

Approximately $6 million will be awarded for projects or program services delivered between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Proposal deadlines:

  • Continuation grant proposals: 3 p.m., July 24, 2019
  • New grant proposals: 3 p.m., July 25, 2019

All new grant applicants and continuation Grant applicants must attend a mandatory grant proposer's conference and submit a Letter of Intent online to be eligible to apply for the 2020 treatment sales tax funding.

The letter of intent for each type of proposal will be made available at each grant proposer's mandatory conference. The letter of intent for both grant proposals is due at 3 p.m. May 31, 2019.

Mandatory New Grant Proposers Conference will be held:

1-2:30 p.m. May 15, 2019

Givens Community Center, Olympic Room,

1026 Sidney Avenue, Port Orchard

Mandatory Continuation Grant Proposers Conference will be held:

2:30-4 p.m. May 15, 2019

Givens Community Center, Olympic Room,

1026 Sidney Avenue, Port Orchard

For more information, including details on awards made in previous years, visit https://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/Pages/CAC-LANDING.aspx or contact Gay Neal, program coordinator, Kitsap County Human Services, (360) 337-4827, gneal@co.kitsap.wa.us .

Noxious weed control underway in Kitsap County4/26/2019

The Kitsap County Noxious Weed Control program will conduct ongoing  noxious weed control throughout Kitsap County from May through September to control various noxious weeds.  

Some of the targeted species include tansy, meadow knapweed, poison hemlock, hogweed, chervil, purple loosestrife, knotweed and other state listed noxious weeds (per WAC 16.750).

Staff will use aquatic formulations of herbicides. All treatments will be conducted by trained and licensed Kitsap County Noxious Weed Control Program staff, and will be targeted, site-specific treatments using backpack sprayers. Any areas of high foot traffic will be posted with information indicating the product used and the acceptable time for re-entry to an area.

If you have any questions, please contact the County Noxious Weed Control Program Coordinator Dana Coggon at Dcoggon@co.kitsap.wa.us.  Follow progress on Facebook at Kitsap Weeds.

Contractor begins work to remove fish barrier culvert on Chico Creek April 294/25/2019

​Kitsap County Public Works begins construction of a new bridge on Golf Club Hill Road at the Chico Creek crossing on April 29. The project, in partnership with the Suquamish Tribe, replaces the existing triple concrete box culvert with a 140-foot span concrete girder bridge and widened stream channel to restore natural habitat and enhance fish migration.

Work will occur during normal working hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. As the only access for the Kitsap Golf and Country Club and residences, the existing bridge was designed so that one lane is always open for alternating traffic. Motorists can expect occasional and brief traffic delays during construction, which is anticipated to extend through October 2020. Emergency vehicles will always have full access.

Beginning April 29, the adjacent Chico Salmon County Park, located at 3150 Chico Way NW, will be closed for the duration of the project

"As we've seen in other areas of the county, replacing box culverts with bridges significantly improves the habitat for wildlife and brings our waterways and estuaries back to their natural state," said Commissioner Ed Wolfe, chair of the Board of County Commissioners who represents Central Kitsap. "In partnership with the Suquamish Tribe, we are committed to improving and maintaining the health of our natural resources. It's imperative to the recovery of salmon, resident Orcas, our local ecosystem and the Puget Sound watershed."

Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman, summing up the importance of the project, said "Our goal of preserving a wild run of chum salmon and protecting the Chico watershed and all of Puget Sound just moved one step closer. The tribe has deep historical and cultural roots in Chico. We have been working with the county on trying to remove the Golf Club Hill Road culvert for nearly 20 years, and it's gratifying to see this obstacle to fish passage being removed. This is a great example of what the community can achieve when we all pull together."

The existing culvert, identified as a barrier to fish migration, has been slated for removal since early this century. The federal government installed the culvert in the 1940s for a railroad spur to a former ammunition depot. The spur was then converted into the road that runs to golf course and neighboring residences. While the new bridge is expected be completed by the end of this year, the culvert won't be removed until next summer.

The project is funded through a Washington State Recreation and Conservation grant and the Kitsap County Road Fund. The contractor, Interwest Construction, Inc., is completing the project under a $2.5 million contract.

To learn more about the project and to sign up for electronic notifications, go to http://kcowa.us/GolfClubHill .

State of local behavioral health tax programs detailed in 2018 annual report4/24/2019

The Kitsap County Department of Human Services released its 2018 annual report, detailing the investment of over $13 million into local behavioral health programs, funded through the 1/10th of 1 percent sales tax over the last four years. The funds were distributed across a continuum of care that includes prevention, early intervention, crisis intervention, outpatient and recovery support services.

“County Commissioners have been closely monitoring this program and we are pleased by the exceptional work done by providers to support and educate individuals and families throughout Kitsap County,” said Commissioner Ed Wolfe, chair of the Board of Commissioners. “Between 2014 and 2018, over 8,500 individuals received behavioral health services, 3,000 were trained in how to respond to behavioral health crisis, and over 700 law enforcement officers received crisis intervention training.”

Last year marked the fourth year of local mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court tax service delivery in Kitsap County communities. Revenue from the 2018 tax totaled $5.13 million with $3.5 million distributed to 20 programs. These tax dollars filled significant gaps in mental health, chemical dependency and therapeutic court services, identified during the 2014 Behavioral Health Needs Assessment.

In 2005, Washington state approved legislation allowing counties to raise local sales tax by 1/10th of one percent to augment state funding of mental health and chemical dependency programs and services (including, but not limited to, treatment services, case management, and housing that are a component of a coordinated chemical dependency or mental health treatment program or service) and for the operation or delivery of therapeutic court programs or services. 

In September 2013, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution authorizing this sales and use tax, with program services beginning July 1, 2014. Programs are awarded funding through an annual request for proposal process and funding recommendations are developed by a citizens advisory committee and made to the County Commissioners.

Funding highlights in 2018 included increased behavioral health support in Kitsap County schools; construction and operation of a crisis triage center; diversion programs for high utilizers; reentry services in the jail; veterans drug court; and new housing options for individuals with substance use disorders.

The annual report details specifically how funds were utilized in 2018, their impact and how many citizens were served. Highlights include:

  • In the school-based behavioral health program, 52 percent of high school students who failed one or more classes in the first semester of 2018 demonstrated academic improvement and 84 percent reported they were more likely to attend school while 44 percent of secondary students and 51 percent of elementary students showed improvement in class attendance.
  • High school students with substance use reduction goals decreased their cigarette use by 54 percent, alcohol use by 67 percent, binge drinking by 82 percent and marijuana use by 60 percent.
  • Diversion efforts in 2018 to keep the chemically dependent and mentally ill from initial or further contact with the criminal justice system showed success. Crisis triage center clients had a 59 percent reduction in emergency room utilization and 69 percent reduction in jail bed days.
  • Kitsap Connect clients had a 54 percent reduction in their emergency medical services calls and 52 percent reduction in emergency room use.
  • The City of Poulsbo Navigator Program contributed to a 47 percent decrease in the number of individuals receiving ongoing support and substantially reducing their police involvement.
  • Grant funds provided dementia-friendly support and consultation for seniors with challenging behaviors to prevent and delay institutionalization.
  • Funds were awarded to provide long-term housing stability and support for adults with behavioral health problems and to complete a feasibility study for construction or renovation of affordable supportive housing units. 

The 2018 Annual Report is now available at https://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/Pages/CAC-REPORTS-INFORMATION-PLANS.aspx.

For more information, contact Doug Washburn, director of Kitsap County Human Services, at (360) 337-4526, dwashbur@co.kitsap.wa.us.

Manchester survey open to gather input on community planning4/23/2019

​Do you live, work, or play in Manchester? We want to hear from you!

Over the last six months, Kitsap County conducted community conversations with over 100 people that live, work, or play in Manchester.

A community survey is now available to give you a voice in the conversation! We want to hear what you value about Manchester and your perspective for the future. The input you provide will help inform community planning in Manchester.

Link to the survey here or go to https://tinyurl.com/ManchesterCommunitySurvey .

For questions or to receive a paper copy of the survey, please contact Liz Williams with the Kitsap County Department of Community Development at (360) 337-4836 or lawilliams@co.Kitsap.wa.us .

Impacts on natural environs of Central Kitsap explored May 14/23/2019

​Inspired by Earth Day and the rich and diverse natural areas in and around the Silverdale area, the Central Kitsap Community Council presents a community meeting and discussion exploring impacts on and the science and preservation of local environs. The meeting takes place 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel, 3073 NW Bucklin Hill Road. Everyone is welcome!

Presentations and discussion will focus on:
-   Impacts of outdoor burning with Cen...tral Kitsap Fire & Rescue Chief John Oliver;
-  Ongoing preservation and education about Central Kitsap natural resources with Lorisa Watkins of the Keta Legacy Foundation;
-  Sewer spills and overflows with Kristina Bonsell of Kitsap Public Health;
-  Citizen science and parks stewardship with staff from Kitsap County Parks and the Parks Board;
-  A review of estuary research and student activities from Jenise Bauman of Western Washington University's Huxley College on the Peninsulas.

For more information, visit the CKCC website at https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/CKCC.aspx .

Earth Seasoned film explores gap year of young women4/18/2019

 

​Sustainable Cinema presents "Earth Seasoned," a film about a young woman who finds her greatest teacher in nature while spending a gap year with four urban friends in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.

The film shows at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at Dragonfly Cinema, 822 Bay St., Port Orchard.

For more information, visit www.dragonflycinema.com. Sustainable Cinema is sponsored by Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido.

2020-2023 Aging Area Plan Survey4/5/2019

(Port Orchard, WA) – The Kitsap County Division of Aging and Long Term Care is the designated Area Agency on Aging for Kitsap, responsible for the development of an Area Plan that identifies local services for older adults. The Aging Area Plan is a four-year plan that identifies gaps in services, defines demographic trends, challenges and opportunities.  The plan also addresses how the Area Agency on Aging will administer programs to support older adults and adults with disabilities living in the community and allocate discretionary funding.

The 2020-2023 Area Plan is currently being developed.

Kitsap County residents are invited to participate in the Kitsap County Division of Aging and Long Term Care survey that will be used in the development of the 2020-2023 Area Plan.  The survey is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GC7DVB5

The survey deadline is Tuesday, April 30, 2019.   

Local community input is important! Individuals who do not have online access can contact the Aging office at 360-337-5700 to request a mailed paper survey.

Community members can check the Aging and Long Term Care website at www.agingkitsap.com for more information about services, the Area Plan, future public hearing dates, and to view the draft document in mid-August.




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