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News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

I wanted to update you on an important milestone in our multi-year effort to plan for the replacement of the Police Station and Municipal Court.  This week, the City Council approved a "letter of intent" to purchase the Harrison Medical Building.  Once the purchase is finalized, the City will retrofit that building to meet "essential facility" standards and provide 18,000 square feet of space for the Police and Court functions.  The combined estimate for the purchase and the retrofit is roughly $20 million.

This project is likely to be the most significant financial investment the City will make in the next 20 years. The decision to purchase this site and to renovate this building follows several years of professional and detailed analysis. Last year, we performed an extensive review of the building and have confirmed that it is feasible to retrofit for our Police and Court functions, and that the result will be a building that works well and also provides the flexibility to accommodate future needs.

In the last four years, we have been intentional in our financial planning and have included this project in our budgets.  We have planned for a total project cost of $20 million and have confirmed that the City has sufficient resources to support that level of spending without impact to existing City services or staffing.

In the time we have spent considering our site selection, we have seen other major public projects built for both the Fire Department and the School District. Both agencies experienced challenges due to higher than planned project costs. We are not well-served by underestimating the complexity and cost of this project.  But I do expect we can deliver a successful retrofit of this building within our target budget of $20 million. Meeting that goal will require careful management of key decisions, but I believe it is feasible.

The decision to purchase this site is in some ways more complex than if the City were buying vacant land for a new building. But this option also creates an opportunity for us because it significantly reduces the complexity of our project going forward. All the site development decisions have been made. Many of the structural features and mechanicals are able to remain as is. By reducing the project's complexity, we also reduce our risk of the unknown, and the risk of cost escalation and unexpected issues. 

This decision is, in my opinion, an important example of the City meeting our responsibility to plan for the future and our critical infrastructure in an organized and proactive way.  I believe this option is also one that is financially prudent. This project is central to the City's commitment to provide high-quality policing services, and I am pleased that we are moving forward.

Thanks to the many staff in Police and Municipal Court who have helped us assess various options in recent years. The next step will be Council consideration of a formal purchase and sale agreement, which I anticipate will be ready for their review in the next few weeks.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Update on Suzuki Property Development Project Scheduled for Feb. 5 City Council Meeting

The City Council will discuss next steps related to the Suzuki property affordable housing project during its Feb. 5 meeting.
The discussion will address several topics: 
  • Options to replace Housing Kitsap as the project's development partner
  • Options for a proposed financing feasibility study (determine whether Housing Resources Bainbridge should manage the study) 
  • Consider the project's range of housing units to provide input to a financing feasibility study
  • Consider putting Olympic Property Group's (OPG) project oversight on hold for 60 - 90 days while the feasibility study is completed. This would allow for OPG support later in the project without additional cost to the City. 
In December 2018, the City Council formed an Ad Hoc Committee, to develop a recommendation on how the City might replace Housing Kitsap as the project's development partner. In Fall 2018, Housing Kitsap informed the City it was no longer available to fulfill this role. The Ad Hoc Committee worked with representatives from OPG and Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) to discuss potential options and next steps. One main decision is whether to move ahead with a financing feasibility study to look at the various affordable housing financing options that might be available for the project. This study will provide important information that would typically be provided by a development partner and is a step that HRB believes is necessary in order for the project to move forward.
The City owns a roughly 14-acre property at the southeast corner of Sportsman Club Road and New Brooklyn Road, commonly referred to as the Suzuki Property. The property is currently undeveloped, except for walking trails and a pond along the south boundary.
The City intends to develop a 100% affordable housing project at this site and hired OPG as lead consultant to take the project through formal site planning and preliminary project approval.
You can learn more about the project  here  and there will also be information in the Feb. 5 City Council agenda.
COBI's Finance Department Earns Top Honor for Financial Report
The Finance Department has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This is the fourth year in a row that the department has received this recognition - and the fourth year applying.

The award represents a significant amount of extra work in financial reporting, including providing a statistical reporting section and other background information, as well as more financial reporting schedules. One measure of the difference is that the published report is roughly 30 pages longer as a CAFR than the otherwise-required financial statements.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. Congratulations to the entire Finance team! 
City to Host Vessel Auction Saturday, Feb. 9
The City of Bainbridge Island will host a public auction of four vessels Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Waterfront Park City Dock, located at 301 Shannon Drive. 

Harbormaster Tami Allen will do a preview of the vessels at 10 a.m. on Feb. 9 and open the bids at noon. The highest eligible bidder wins.  The items must be removed within 48 hours of purchase.
The City will auction the following vessels and photos can be viewed here :
  • 28' 1972 fiberglass sailboat "Tekoa"
    • Requires proof of authorized moorage and minimum bid of $500
    • SAILCRAFTER Yacht with three sails, dinghy and 8HP outboard motor
    • Vessel was found beached and no apparent damage from the beaching
  • Livingston rowboat with oars
    • Minimum bid of $100
  • Sea Eagle 370 inflatable kayak with seat and paddle
    • Minimum bid of $100
  • Kayak (no paddle)
Bids can be brought to the auction before noon on Feb. 9; delivered to the Bainbridge Island Police Department, located at 625 Winslow Way E, before 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8; or emailed to Harbormaster Tami Allen at [email protected]

Bidders can make arrangements with the Harbormaster to see the items in advance of the Feb. 9 auction date. 

F or additional information, please call Harbormaster Tami Allen at 206-786-7627.
Navy Harbor Security Training on Bremerton Waterfront Feb. 6

Naval Base Kitsap Harbor Security will conduct training exercises on the NBK-Bremerton waterfront Wednesday, Feb. 6 from about 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The public should be aware of increased activity from U.S. Naval Security Forces personnel, including the use of blank ammunition. No live fire will be used during the training period.

Mariners are advised to use caution by reducing speed, establishing a safe distance from the exercise area and maintaining a no-wake zone when transitioning in the vicinity.

Training is subject to change due to operational requirements. The Navy routinely conducts security exercises to ensure readiness and verify response procedures.
Helpline House Hosts Meet and Greet with BIPD

Get to know the BIPD officers!

You're invited to join Helpline House for a meet and greet with BIPD Ofc. Carla Sias in the lobby of Helpline House, located at 282 Knechtel Way NE. The event is happening Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. 

Join the Discussion: Supporting the Needs of Kitsap County's Hispanic Population

Kitsap Mesa Redonda, an organization that  brings together social service stakeholders from around Kitsap County to ensure the needs of our Hispanic populations are being met, is  hosting a discussion from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the Norm Dicks Government Center, located at 345 6th St in Bremerton. A representative from the YWCA will be the guest speaker to discuss services offered at the YWCA. 

For more detailed information, visit the Kitsap Mesa Redonda website or call Executive Director Martitha May at 360- 865-0521.

Kitsap Mesa Redonda meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every other month (February, April, June, August, October, December).
Calling all K-12 Artists

Have a child who likes to draw? The Silverdale Water District is looking for K-12 students to design a poster that shows how you can "Be a Water-Saver Super Hero." 

The winning artwork will be included in this year's Drinking Water Week (May 5-11) events.  The Artwork and  completed entry form (required)  are due 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 29 and may be hand-delivered or mailed (flat) to the Silverdale Water District.

Questions? Please contact Martha Hesselein at  [email protected]  or 360.447.3529.

Read the details of the art contest here.
Upcoming Events
  • Friday, Feb. 1: First Friday Art Walk; 6-8 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 18: City Hall Closed in Observance of Presidents Day
  • Sunday, Feb. 24: Chilly Hilly; 8 a.m.
City of Bainbridge Island