PFD putting hat out for NK Regional Events Center funding —

PFD putting hat out for NK Regional Events Center funding

By Charles Melton; Sept. 30, 2006 © North Kitsap Herald

Sept. 30, 2006

POULSBO — As the city’s 2007 budget process gains steam, supporters of the North Kitsap Regional Events Center made it clear they don’t want to be left behind.

In April, the city council agreed to commit $50,000 toward the project with hopes of securing a $250,000 grant from the state’s Interagency Committee on Outdoor Recreation. That $300,000 sum would equal one-third of the money needed to match the $900,000 the Public Facilities District has already committed to the project.

Rounding the match out, the North Kitsap School District and Kitsap County have each agreed to come up with $300,000 as well.

“Kitsap County has allocated $300,000 in its 2007 budget, and the North Kitsap School District is seeing how they are going to be able to participate,” said PFD administrator Anne Blair.

The PFD wants to know how much the city will be able to contribute to the project, so it can get started, she said.

“We want to get started on it and would hope we can break ground in the spring,” Blair said.

While the regional events center is a worthwhile endeavor, Councilman Jeff McGinty asked what might happen if the city couldn’t come up with its $300,000 match.

“If the dollar amount is a little bit less, our board would go back and reconsider,” Blair said. “I can’t make any promises on their behalf.”

Even though the $300,000 might not be available in the city’s 2007 budget, some funding should be accessible for the project, McGinty said.

“My read is to involve the entire partnership,” Blair said. “If it’s a genuine commitment, we can get it done.”

Poulsbo’s PFD Poulsbo representative Linda Barry-Maraist said if the city could come up with $300,000 over a two-year period, the project would likely be able to move ahead as planned.

“For our board, this was definitely not a no-brainer. I had to work pretty hard to get it there,” Barry-Maraist told the council. “If we don’t spend the money now, will it be available next year? I don’t know.”

The project is important to the entire North End, but the PFD board is reviewing fall-back positions, she said, noting that hopes for the city’s grant from the state were dealt a blow when the city’s application dropped a notch on the funding list.

“We were downgraded because the city is out of compliance with its CAO,” Barry-Maraist said. “Last year, they funded to No. 33. Now we’re No. 34.”

Councilman Dale Rudolph asked how the PFD funded Bremerton’s Harborside Conference Center and the improvements at the county fairgrounds in Silverdale.

Funding for the conference center was complicated, Barry-Maraist replied but for the most part, the county has provided 50/50 matches with the PFD.

“I think if I were in your position, I would force the issue and leverage your funds,” said Rudolph, who chairs the council’s finance/administration committee.

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