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Parking still top concern for Mayor, Council
Mayor Cary Bozeman used an aerial photo at the Bremerton City Councils study session Wednesday night to elucidate how under-used and over-paved the citys waterfront is.
While noting four major plots of asphalt managed by Diamond Parking, Bozeman rehashed the citys plans to make all of the downtown both parkable and liveable, focusing on the plans for condominiums.
The black is parking, he said with a tap of his pen. I would say 40 percent of our downtown is dominated by flat surface parking. It has been dramatically dominated by automobiles.
Council President Daryn Nygren said when the new government center opens parking problems will increase.
Overnight it is going to create a tremendous parking problem, he said. This is one of the toughest subjects Ive dealt with.
Although Bremerton has an influx of parking lots, most are filled by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Workers during the day. Other city employees have to park in one or two hour zones, moving their car numerous times throughout the day to avoid tickets.
I just have to take the tickets, said David Chauman, an employee at the Westside Burrito Connection. He just payed $190 worth of parking tickets because when he is the only one working, he cant leave the store to move his car.
If theres a customer, there is nothing I can do, he said.
Since his nomination to council president in January, Nygren invited the mayor to each monthly study session to update the council on his highest priority projects.
This way it gives us an opportunity to identify the issues before we get into a crisis mode, Nygren said.
Previously, council members complained that the mayors plans were printed in the newspapers before they heard about them, Nygren said.
Hes definitely very focused on the redevelopment issue, he said. Just like Bozeman, Nygren said parking downtown is one of the biggest problems in the city.
The ongoing Downtown Parking Council will reconvene by the end of April, Nygren said, to continue to address how to handle new employees parking in the downtown government complex.
Bozeman had a chat with Bremerton Naval Commander Steve Kremer last week as well.
Kremer confirmed that the plans to purchase property on Pacific Avenue near the Shipyard are on schedule. Some property owners are listing their property at nearly two times the fair market value, Bozeman said, so the city may seek condemnation instead to acquire the property.
A particular form of brick fencing similar to the Gateway Project is planned along the Shipyard where there is currently barbed wire.
In other news, the Director of Parks and Recreation, Jim Spencer, presented an hour-long presentation at the meeting about the top concerns for his department.
Funding for facility maintenance and improvements and park developments was one of his biggest concerns.
One of the parks departments biggest money makers is golf revenues, especially from Gold Mountain Golf Course.
At least 80,000 people a year use Glen Jarstad Aquatic Center, Spencer said.
The pool is two years overdue for a new lining, at the cost of $200,000, he said.
Our facilities are old. The challenge is finding the money to go and make improvements.
Spencer has a list of 61 capital projects at a current price tag of $33 million he considers a high priority.
We are pretty active in looking for grants but those grants require matches. A couple years from now I dont know where those matches are coming from.