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"Commissioners approve $118,000 for study"

"The Kitsap County Commissioners Monday approved a feasibility study to explore the possibility of constructing an office building in Bremerton that would consolidate some county and city of Bremerton services.The Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority expects to be designated as an urban renewal agency under Washington law. In this capacity, KCCHA intends to fund certain pre-construction activities for the proposed office building.The commissioners approved the county's share of the project, $118,000. The money will come from the general fund but will be included in construction costs if the building is constructed.Now it's up to the city of Bremerton to pass the feasibility phase, too. Bremerton's share of the study would be $36,000. The Housing Authority would kick in a maximum of $46,000.All the parties involved claim the building will benefit the public by revitalizing an area of Bremerton.As Norm McLoughlin (of KCCHA) likes to say, this is a confluence of opportunity, Commissioner Tim Botkin said. This can be a facility we can all be proud of. The belief is that (with this project) we could polish Bremerton up and it would be a great opportunity for all of us.Botkin added that officials hope the feasibility study will be concluded by the end of the summer.It would be good for Bremerton, but it would move some offices from Port Orchard, Commissioner Charlotte Garrido of Olalla pointed out. But Botkin dowplayed her concerns, saying the primary county services would not be relocated.And Commissioner Chris Endresen pointed out that if the study shows the facility is not feasible, the county will look elsewhere.This is the pre-construction agreement for a centralized government center in downtown Bremerton that could house various county and city offices, and possibly some joint services, too, County Administrator Malcolm Fleming explained.If the feasibility study is completed by its Sept. 1 deadline, it's hoped that construction would start sometime in 2001. If construction cannot start by Jan. 1, 2002, then the building would be deemed not feasible."

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