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Kitsap's slice of the federal stimulus package pie

Local law enforcement, transportation projects and Kitsap Transit are the big winners who will each receive a portion of the federal stimulus money.

Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council (KRCC) Executive Director Mary McClure and Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) Executive Director Bill Stewart gave Bremerton City Council a brief overview of Kitsap County's slice of the federal economic stimulus package March 11.

"These are only early estimates. These numbers are going to change on us," Stewart said.

Transportation projects will receive a large chunk of money, including $3.8-$5.1 million for improvements to Viking Way in Poulsbo between the McDonald's restaurant and Highway 305.

McClure told city council that Bainbridge Island stands to receive $150,000 for shoulder widening along Blakely Avenue.

Kitsap Transit could receive nearly $2 million for new vans for the vanpool program and $303,000 to expand the main bus base. Kitsap Transit also could receive $1.3 million to upgrade vessels for the Bremerton-Port Orchard foot ferry route by upgrading the existing vessel and purchasing and back-up boat.

McClure told city council $3.4 million also may go toward construction of a low-wake prototype vessel for cross-Sound passenger service.

"Where we get the biggest chunk really is transit," she said.

The Port of Bremerton's $3 million request for a connecting road across the South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA) is the only project on the contingency list, meaning it could receive the funds should another project fall off the list.

McClure said only projects that were "shovel-ready" were eligible for funding, but she anticipates the SKIA project will receive funding from some source in the near future.

"The South Kitsap Industrial Area is really paramount to the county," she said. "I think we're pretty positive that this will come home for us sometime."

The Bremerton Housing Authority (BHA) and Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority (KCCHA) both stand to receive money from the federal stimulus package, with BHA receiving roughly $1.4 million and KCCHA receiving more than $290,000.

Local law enforcement is eligible to receive federal funds through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Kitsap County law enforcement agencies are eligible for $697,911, with the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office potentially receiving the largest sum at $367,751.

The Bremerton Police Department could get up to $245,469, the Port Orchard Police Department could receive $47,554, the Poulsbo Police Department could see $19,474 and the Bainbridge Island Police Department may receive up to $17,663 to support their respective agencies.

McClure told Bremerton City Council that Kitsap school districts stand to receive roughly $11 million from the federal stimulus economic package. North Kitsap School District could see about $1.6 million, South Kitsap School District and Central Kitsap School District may receive roughly $3.1 million each, Bremerton School District may receive about $2.4 million and the Bainbridge Island School District is eligible for $735,000.

Both McClure and Stewart reemphasized the money has not been allocated yet and the amounts of funding could change.

"I think this is the biggest opportunity we've ever had to put our money where our mouth is and we need not let it go by," McClure said.

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