Silverdale stormwater plan to begin in 2013

Kitsap County Public Works will begin implementation of series of long-range stormwater runoff plans in Silverdale with an initial project intended to begin construction in 2013.

The project will create 15 retrofit planters along Silverdale Way from Mhyre Road to Bucklin Hill Road designed to catch stormwater runoff and reduce pollutants entering Dyes Inlet as well as well as other waterways, such as Clearwater Creek.

In its final design stages, the project will cost $650,000 with half of the money drawn from stormwater fees assessed to all unincorporated properties in the county at $62 a year and half from a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology in the amount of $325,000.

The project is the first of 12 high-priority sites designated by the county in the Silverdale area and will include plans for other projects, such as median rain gardens on Ridgetop Boulevard and projects in the Costco and Kitsap Mall parking lots.

The county initially looked at 50 sites and narrowed that number down to 24. Of the 24 sites, 12 were chosen as high-priority and are currently at 20 percent of design, according to county officials. Cost estimates range from $50,000 up to $1 million depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Mindy Fohn, Kitsap County Public Works Water Quality Manager, said the projects were part of a commitment to the safety of citizens and the local ecology.

“These projects will benefit water quality downstream in Dyes Inlet by removing bacteria, oil, metals and other pollutants that come from our roads and parking lots,” she said.

Fohn said a combination of material from traffic collects on roadways and when washed away by stormwater creates toxins dangerous to people as well marine life such as shellfish in Dyes Inlet and salmon in Clear Creek.

The projects are a part of ongoing efforts to restore the Dyes Inlet. Fohn said human access to shellfish beds closed entirely during the 1960s due to pollution until efforts such as those in the county had helped to reopen 1,500 acres in 2003.

“It is really a remarkable story,” she said. “All across the Puget Sound people are amazed at the work we have done,” she said.

Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown said he supports the projects and believes they serve the community in design, implementation and cost effectiveness.

“The county is very focused on being very cost effective,” Brown said. “If you look at what the county stormwater utility rate is for property owners versus the city’s, the bang for the buck that you get in unincorporated Kitsap is unbelievable.”

Brown added that the projects were designed with future generations in mind on the basis of protecting and restoring the environment as well as being cost-effective.

“We have to invest the dollars in areas where we are not going to go back five or 10 year later and tear it up for road widening and sidewalks or what have you,” he said

Fohn said the community had been consulted during the process and would continue to have a voice in future plans. She said the current plan had sought input from concerned citizenry such as members of the Clear Creek Task Force.

Mark Libby, a volunteer and spokesman for the task force, said members of the task force appreciated the work the county was doing and their inclusiveness of the public.

“She has made presentations about the plans to the Clear Creek Task Force, and we agree with her approach and have supported efforts to improve water quality in the Clear Creek Basin,” he said.

Libby, who said he is an oceanographer by education, said the projects would serve the environment well.

“It is an important step to improve water quality which is necessary to sustain the biological infrastructure in the area and restore a sustainable salmon run in Clear Creek.

The second project designated by the county will focus on the Duwe’iq wetland where the county is looking at purchasing 15 to 17 acres of land to create a constructed wetland. The estimated cost of the project would be $1 million, not including the cost of the purchase of the land, and could begin as early as 2013.

Brown said the county was still in need of input and assistance from the community to see the projects through.

“We really need support and ownership from the community to move these projects forward,” he said. “The commissioners are really focused on how we can provide incentive to private property and businesses to be able to do these retrofits where they make sense.”


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