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Hope floats at the Seabeck marina
Crowded inside Turie Killoran’s espresso stand, Seabeck residents sip drinks and watch out the window as part of their community’s identity gets a facelift.
After five years of permit wrangling, leasing issues and financial uncertainty, construction has begun on the new 200-slip Olympic View Marina and residents are anxious for completion.
“It is lifting the mood in the community,” said Killoran.
The marina, which dates back to the 1800s, has been a landmark place for generations of Seabeckians.
“My kids were raised here and every grown-up has fished off this pier,” said Billy Mills. Mills owns the Seabeck General Store located next to the marina.
Mills has been active in pushing for the project and helped organize a petition drive that gathered more than 200 signatures when the state Department of Natural Resources temporarily halted construction earlier this month.
Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown and the marina’s three private developers took the petition to Olympia Feb. 11 where they met with department officials to negotiate leasing issues.
Brown said the marina is not only vital to the area with its critical location on the east side of the Hood Canal, but that it is an important landmark.
“The marina is a really important amenity, but its beyond being an amenity, it’s the community’s identity,” he said.
The new marina, which is being moved farther off-shore, will feature a filling station for boaters looking to top off their tank and much of the wood will be replaced with concrete.
Developers and residents alike said the new features and prime location could bring in boaters from all over the Hood Canal area and boost local business.
“This is a real boating community here, and this will bring it back to life,” Killoran said.
Boyer Halverson, a development partner and owner of Boyer Towing, has personal ties to the project. His grandmother owned the Seabeck store from 1919 to 1936 and he said he was happy to give back to the community.
“They have always had it, and it needs to be put back,” said Halverson.
Halverson is joined by two other partners, Eric Reichelt and Wil Clark from Pacific Pile & Marine. Between the two companies, approximately $200,000 has already been spent on permitting and getting the construction underway.
Halverson said he hopes that at least the concrete walkway will be open and accessible for residents by the end of summer.
With an uncertain estimated time of completion, the financial bottom line is also unknown.
“We’re just writing checks as we go along,” Halverson said.