SEED funding loses steam

Final approval of a $1 million allocation to the Port of Bremerton’s Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project was taken off the Kitsap County commissioners’ agenda on Monday after the staff determined that more study was needed.

The matter was put on Monday’s agenda last week over the objections of South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, who said the money was originally intended to support the entire South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA) project and not just its SEED component.

“I can only guess that the staff pulled it off the agenda because they saw some of the things that I did,” Angel said. “When I am in the minority and disagree with something that is happening, I need to go directly to the people and ask, ‘What do you think?”

One reason the matter was pulled had to do with a state regulation that any infrastructure improvement using the real estate excise tax must be part of the county’s capital improvement plan.

Angel, who said she wants SEED to succeed, plans to meet with Administrative Services Director Ben Holland to determine where the funding will originate and how it will be handled.

Special Projects Manager Eric Baker said the county will conduct an analysis of the proposal and will look toward ways to fund the SKIA/SEED infrastructure improvements when the analysis is complete.

Baker said the Port of Bremerton was anxious to get the infrastructure improvements approved because it would improve SEED’s fundraising abilities.

North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen said she hoped the capital facilities plan would “bend to accommodate” the allocation to SEED.

“It’s just a matter of them finding the right funding source,” said Port of Bremerton CEO Ken Attebery. “I still expect them to come through on the commitment they made in December to provide this support.” 

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