by Tim Matthes
By the time you read this, KAPO will have manned our booth at the Kitsap County Fair and hosted Washington State Representative Jan Angel at our regular monthly meeting at the AA China Buffet. I hope to have a complete report on these and other activities in the next issue.
Several months ago Mr. Buck Pearsol suggested that we start a dedicated legal fund separate from our daily operating fund. He said that he could donate a little each month if we had such a fund. Well Buck, as of our August KAPO directors meeting, our directors have authorized a dedicated legal fund for KAPO. Any and all donations made to this fund will be kept in reserve for any legal expenses that might arise in the future. Any donations that you wish to dedicate to this fund should be marked KAPO legal fund. This will allow our Treasurer to deposit your donations in the correct account.
So the vote is in, and two out of three commissioners (Larry Stokes and Cheryl Kincer) voted “YES” to accept the Port CEO’s recommendation to suspend all work on the SEED project. It comes to no ones surprise that Commissioner Bill Mahan was against stopping the SEED program.
Now, before we all jump to the conclusion that all is well in Port of Bremerton Land, and before we decide that the poor investment decisions made in the past are behind us, consider this. Is Mr. Bozeman, Port CEO, really planning to re-issue the bond that is scheduled to be paid off later this year to help fund the purchase of land and the construction of a parking garage in Bremerton? Isn’t this the same funding that Commissioner Bill Mahan planned to use for the SEED buildings?
I am not sure that we should buy into this idea just because Mr. Bozeman has suggested it. After all, didn’t he assure us that the Harborside Condos would be an easy sell, a great investment, and not cost the taxpayers? Didn’t he say that the Bremerton Tunnel could be built for 25 Million Dollars? Didn’t he promise that fast foot ferries would pay for themselves once they got started in Bremerton?
I am not trying to blame all the problems of the Bremerton Port expansion on Mr. Bozeman. The Bremerton Port expansion project has been faulty from the beginning. The pontoons were not designed to carry additional weight if roofs were added later. (Covered moorage. Now that’s an idea! Don’t worry, it will never catch on). The marina has access problems for boats larger than 25ft. Several boaters I talked to said that they would not go into the Bremerton Marina, ever. (Tidal actions are too unpredictable). Some of the floats were not properly designed to carry the loads required. Some of them needed to be repaired/modified before the marina opened. No provisions were made to provide a fueling station, restrooms, or any sewer pump stations; facilities that are included at many smaller marinas in the area. Only a few parking spaces were ever planned for the marina. The ones that were provided were for employees of the port only. No spaces were planned for marina moorage tenants or their visitors. So far, the parking has not been too big a problem as the marina has never been any closer to capacity than 30% full! Now the answer to all the marina’s problems appears to be more parking. Isn’t it possible that we are trading one bad idea for another bad idea? Will the port property taxpayers be paying the price again? Only time will tell.