Chico meeting well attended

A meeting last weekend to discuss improvements in the Chico area was "mostly positive" according to Roger Zabinski, Bremerton port commissioner who organized the event.

"Of course when you get people together, there's always going to be different opinions," Zabinski said. "But overall I think we had some good discussion and came up with some ideas that we want to pursue."

Among those things, he said, are improvements to a port-owned boat ramp that provides access to Dyes Inlet.

"The boat launch is something that we can see needs improvements," he said. "There is some sentiment from those who live next to it that any improvements will mean more people using it. The neighbors worry about where extra cars will park and having trucks and boat trailers parked near their homes. But these are things we can work through."

Zabinski, who lives in the Chico area, said about 50 people attended the meeting including Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown who represents the Chico area, and several Kitsap County officials.

During the meeting, they also discussed making Erlands Point Road safer for pedestrians.

"We would like to see sidewalks and shoulder improvements," he said. "People seemed to like that idea."

Zabinski said he'd like to focus on the area of Chico Way and Meredith Street. He envisions reworking two of the corners to include small corner pocket parks or even a park and ride for the neighborhood. He'd even like to see a gazebo with flower beds and blueberry bushes nearby. But in order for that to happen, the property would have to be purchased from its current owner Pat Tucker.

Zabinski said all of that will have to wait, mainly because there is no budget for Chico improvements, other than $10,000 that the Port of Bremerton has set aside.

Another topic at the meeting was litter.

"Some of the neighbors near the boat ramp are concerned that any improvements will mean more people and the possibility of more litter," he said. "But, really, people litter anywhere and we can get volunteer crews to do work parties to keep it clean.

"I guess I would have to say that those who are worried about more use of the ramp don't want others to use what's right next to them. But I think we can get into a groove and things will work out OK."

County officials also gave those attending an update on environmental restoration efforts in the area and those who wanted to participated in a work party at the Chico Creek Salmon Viewing Park.


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