Kitsap Regional Library delays site decision

A decision on where to build a new Silverdale Library has been postponed to August.

The board of trustees for the Kitsap Regional Library (KRL) had planned to make a decision this month, but has pushed it off to Aug. 26 in order to have more time to gather more information on possible sites.

A request for proposals (RFP) from property owners has been issued by the board which also plans to have more opportunities for public comment, prior to a decision.

“We are looking at ways the library can encourage property owners to offer their best proposal for a Silverdale Library site,” said Jeff Brody, director of community relations for KLR. “We also want to make it possible for our board of trustees and the public to be able to compare the potential costs and benefits of the different sites.”

Brody said the library has pledged to make the process transparent and having added time and opportunity is just another way to achieve that.

“We believe the RFP process makes that all possible,” he said.

Thus far, two sites have been discussed. One is on the county-owned property known at the Kitsap Community Campus, near where the Haselwood Branch of the YMCA is located.

The other is property along Ridgetop Boulevard which is owned by the Silverdale United Methodist Church. KRL anticipates getting proposals from both.

The process, which deadlines on June 27, requires that property owners interested in the library submit a formal proposal to KRL. The proposals will address whether property owners want to sale or lease the property to KRL, and contain information about the features of the site and costs.

Brody said that will allow the public and the KRL board to compare the potential sites against a list of site selection criteria.

On July 9, the KRL board will meet to discuss the proposals received. From mid July to mid August there will be displays at the current Silverdale Library to allow visitors to comment on the sites.

On July 22, more public comments will be taken at the board’s monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Port Orchard Library.

While KRL has made only the two locations public, Brody said there has been other interest.

“We have been in talks with some other property owners and we do hope that the RFP process will generate some additional options for the public and our board to consider,” he said.

Brody said because the public has expressed concerns about the current two options -- mainly parking and traffic issues -- KRL has continued to seek other Silverdale site options.

KRL plans to build a new library that will double the space it now has, at approximately 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. There is not an option to expand at the current Silverdale Library located in Old Town Silverdale.

The board had discussed another Old Town location, near the water, but that property, owned by the Port of Silverdale, is no longer available.

Phone calls to the Silverdale United Methodist Church for a response about the RFP were not returned.

Central Kitsap County Commissioner Linda Streissguth said the county will put together a proposal for the KRL board.

“Kitsap County is committed to working with KRL to site a future Library branch on the Central Kitsap Community Campus and is reviewing the RFP in detail,” she said. “It is the county’s intent to submit a proposal by the June 27 deadline. However, many informational requests may go past the proposed August decision in an effort to analyze and prepare independent review of stormwater, traffic mitigation and future maintenance obligations for the campus site.

“Additionally, conversations about how the library will be sited, given other potential uses like a performing arts center, and how those uses will co-exist with the YMCA are necessary for meaningful discussions.”






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