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Park design contracts approved

The Bremerton Council gave its unanimous approval to a pair of professional services agreements for the design of the next three projects in the city’s downtown revitalization at its meeting on Wednesday night at the Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 Sixth Street.

With only five Council members in attendance, the Council pared down its agenda and focused its attention on the contracts with the Portico Group and RDG Planning and Design.

“This is another major step in the redevelopment of downtown,” said Gary Sexton, economic development director for the city. “These firms are nationally recognized and to some degree internationally recognized.”

RDG has an extensive background in working with the military and has done projects throughout the nation including in Hawaii, Sexton said.

“RDG will focus on the museum and memorial plaza and will focus on the importance of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard,” he said.

The Portico Group has done numerous waterfront projects and will focus its efforts on the Maritime Park, he said.

Phase I of the projects is essentially the concept and schematic phase, which will play a key role in the city’s efforts to secure more funding from the state legislature for the projects, he said.

Before the Council approved the contracts, Councilman Mike Short proposed an amendment to the contracts that would require Council approval before moving to Phase II of the projects.

The Council unanimously approved the amended contracts allowing the projects to move ahead as planned.

“It doesn’t alter what we’re going to do, and it gives us another opportunity to come back to the Council,” Sexton said.

Sexton said the amendment is totally appropriate and shows that the Council is being financially cautious and wants to ensure its continued involvement in the process.

Council Vice President Cecil McConnell said the amendment simply brings Phase I back to the Council before it authorizes Phase II.

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