Council OKs Credit Union purchase

Members of the Bremerton City Council put aside the on-going debate about the co-location of the police department and municipal courts as they unanimously approved the sale of the U.S. Bank building on Pacific Avenue and purchase of Kitsap Credit Union’s Burwell Avenue location on Wednesday night at the Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 Sixth St.

Under the terms of the sale of the U.S. Bank building, West Sound Bank will purchase the building for $1.15 million and the city will have the right of first refusal and option to purchase West Sound Bank’s current building at the corner of Second Street and Pacific Avenue.

West Sound Bank is purchasing the property with its current deed restriction that prohibits another financial institution at that location for five years, but the city is working to remove that restriction, said city economic development director Gary Sexton.

“I strongly recommend you proceed with the sale,” Sexton said. “West Sound Bank is a great community player and needs to make a decision about its future.”

Councilman Brad Gehring said even though the U.S. Bank building purchase didn’t work out as planned, the city still came out ahead.

“It all worked out for the best because West Sound Bank can stay in downtown,” Gehring said. “I think all-in-all it worked out better for everyone.”

Councilman Mike Short said having the first right of refusal and option to purchase West Sound’s current site should benefit the city.

“It costs nothing and gives us a chance to see where it fits in our downtown redevelopment,” Short said.

The purchase price of the Kitsap Credit Union building on Burwell Avenue is $2.35 million, which is about $300,000 below its appraised value, Sexton said.

“It helps U.S. with the Kitsap Credit Union so have security that they have sold the property and we don’t have to put any money up front until March 2006,” Sexton said. “This is a true partnership agreement and is another sign of the credit union investing in downtown.”

Councilman Gehring said the issue has been studied extensively and the site appears to be the best available for the funding the city has available.

“Whether or not the site is adequate for future tenancy by both the police and courts remains to be seen, but I think it is a wise decision to go ahead with the purchase,” Gehring said.

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