News

Shaping the future of Bremerton

By CHARLES MELTON

Editor

If the Dec. 19 Bremerton City Council meeting were listed as a sale, it could easily be dubbed a “three-for-one” special as the downtown subarea plan and the citywide non-motorized transportation and parks and open space plans are set to be adopted at the meeting.

The public hearings on the three plans is expected to begin shortly after 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at the Norm Dicks Government Center.

Council President Will Maupin stopped just short of calling the upcoming meeting an “historic event” but said it is important for the council to approve each of the plans.

“The downtown subarea plan is the most important, and I think the city has done a fantastic job in the last couple of years of developing plans for our future,” Maupin said.

Although a few developers have invested in the redevelopment of the city’s downtown core, the adoption of the downtown subarea plan could lead to an increase in that type of activity, he said.

“Projects are going to be high quality, and they can see that we have a vision for our future,” he said.

The downtown subarea plan sets the standards for the redevelopment of downtown and all but guarantees that subpar projects won’t tarnish the improving image of the area, he said.

“They will have confidence that it will be a great place and that’s important,” he said.

The non-motorized transportation plan and the parks and open space plan are important, he said.

“If we have a great plan, we can go out and try to get funding for the top projects in that plan,” he said.

Non-motorized transportation is important throughout the city, he said.

“People need to be able to get out and walk and leave their cars at home,” he said.

Sidewalks and bike trails are important elements of the plan, and the plan itself should increase the city’s competitiveness in the funding arena on many levels, he said.

The increasing level of competition statewide for grants from government agencies and other funding sources makes it imperative that the city have an overall plan to demonstrate what the funding will do for the city’s big picture instead of just for one particular area, he said.

Although the city council and city staff have worked diligently to formulate the trio of plans, the public has played an instrumental role as well, he said.

City officials and staff have done their best to involve the public in the process leading up to the plans’ adoptions and Maupin said he believes those efforts have paid off.

“We’ve listened to their ideas, and they’ve helped us come up with better plans,” he said.

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