In an effort to preserve the history of Gig Harbor’s working waterfront, the Gig Harbor City Council voted unanimously at Monday night’s meeting to move forward with the restoration of the Ancich Netshed, following the recommendation of the Washington State Department of Historic Preservation (DAHP).
Parks Project administrator Katrina Knutson updated the Council on the project, which is a component of the ongoing Ancich Waterfront Park Project.
The project is complex because the condition of the pier and netshed is poor and there is concern in preserving the existing building while replacing the supporting pier, Knutson said.
The recommendation from DAHP is that the netshed be stabilized and then lifted while the pier is deconstructed and reconstructed underneath. The method will ensure that the netshed rehabilitation remain consistent with the standards set by the United States Secretary of the Interior Historic Preservation.
The recommended rehabilitation method is $350,000 more than the anticipated amount when the city first began applying for grants in 2013. No budget amendments were requested at Monday’s meeting, though additional funding may be requested after contractor bids.
The rehabilitation of the Ancich Netshed will restore the building to use by Gig Harbor’s commercial fishing fleet, meeting current building codes and feature a pier reconstructed with steel pilings treated to look historic.
Knutson added that inquiries about the bid for the project have already been received by the city.
“There’s a lot of excitement out there,” she said.
Public process for development agreements
Improvements in the public process and notification for development agreements was approved by Council after a presentation from Senior Planner Lindsey Sehmel.
These improvements include a Notice of Application within 30 days of a completed application for all development agreements, provide mailed notices for all applications, meetings and hearings, and an increase in the radius for mailed notices to property owners.
Updates to the public process also include open-house style meetings to encourage public input.
The increase in mailings required by the outreach will be reimbursed by the applicants for the development agreement.
New Gig Harbor Police Department officer
The Gig Harbor Police Department added a new officer to its ranks during a swearing-in ceremony Monday evening and also said goodbye to an officer of 11 years.
Gig Harbor Police Chief Kelly Busey introduced Officer Ashley Tobin, who was sworn in by Mayor Jill Guernsey.
Tobin grew up in Paulsbo before attending college in Virginia and earning her master’s degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C. She spent more than two years with the Arlington County Police Department before deciding to return to Washington to be closer to her family.
Along with fellow officers and volunteers from the GHPD, Tobin’s family was present at the swearing-in ceremony, with her father Bob pinning on her badge.
Saying goodbye to the department and Gig Harbor was Officer Raquel “Rocky” Brunson, an 11-year member of the department. Brunson announced her resignation with plans to work for the Tacoma Fire Department.
She was presented with a Chief’s Coin from Busey, along with a plaque for her years of service with the GHPD.
Harboview Drive sidewalk project
The Council voted unanimously to shelve project to improve sidewalks along Harborview Drive from North Harborview Drive up to Burnham Drive in downtown Gig Harbor.
Senior Engineer Trent Ward and Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm updated the Council on the project and said that grant funds received in November 2014 from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) had a two-and-a-half year time frame. Construction on the project would have to begin this month or the funds be returned.
The project proposed the construction of a new curb, gutter and 5 1/2-foot wide sidewalk to improve pedestrian safety downtown.
The Council rejected previous bids in a June 2016 meeting because they came in over budget. City staff rebid the project in February and received 11 new bids from contractors.
Councilmember Steve Ekberg thanked city staff for its worked and asked staff to find additional TIB grants for a project that would also include frontage improvements to the area.
City volunteer appreciation
Gig Harbor city volunteers were recognized at Monday’s meeting for their dedication to improving the local community.
During the last year, more than 3,000 hours were donated by 15 different volunteer groups, according to Guernsey.
“It really is my privilege to welcome all of you who have come tonight as volunteers and thank you for all the volunteer efforts you do for our city,” Guernsey said. “In this day and age when so many people are focused on other things, it is refreshing to know that there are so many people that give their time to volunteer for their community, particularly for their city … it is in part because of you that this city is such a wonderful place.”
The next Gig Harbor City Council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 24 at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, located at 3510 Grandview Street. A copy of the agenda can be viewed online at cityofgigharbor.net.