Old Mill to get boost from state grant

After years of promising and planning, Silverdale’s next park is getting closer to reality.

The Kitsap County Commissioners are expected to approve a $302,000 Department of Natural Resources grant during a meeting set for 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5 in Port Orchard. The money will help develop the Old Mill site, a park-to-be located on the Dyes Inlet shoreline off Bucklin Hill Road.

“We’ve been waiting for this grant for a long time,” Commissioner Tim Botkin said. “Signing it is pretty much a formality at this point.”

Development of the park is expected to cost about $600,000, according to Larry Cote, project coordinator for the Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Department.

The commissioners also are expected to approve a general design for the park, which would serve as a gateway for the Clear Creek Trail.

“The way it will be developed is fairly low-key,” Botkin said. “It’s going to be a great site and a substantial addition to the recreational base in Silverdale.”

A sketch of the new park showed a restroom, a picnic area, informational signage, a small parking lot, a trail and restored vegetation. The German-built saw, which was used during the 1950s and has towered over the property since the former lumber mill’s destruction, would be relocated toward the center of the park.

Cote described the design as being “low impact” — it won’t have a playground or covered picnic area like Silverdale Waterfront Park, and will be sensitive to wetland areas in the site’s boundaries.

Work on the park is expected to begin as soon as the necessary permits are approved. It is expected to open in 2002.

“It could happen in the spring, but that’s pushing it,” Cote said.

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