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Kayak team moves some boats, resolving dispute with city over dock lease

Ancich Park has been the official home of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Race Team since 2017, but the club has been practicing at Skansie Park while waiting for a floating dock.
Ancich Park has been the official home of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Race Team since 2017, but the club has been practicing at Skansie Park while waiting for a floating dock. Courtesy

The Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team is in compliance with its lease at Skansie Brothers Park after the team reduced the amount of space they were taking up.

This was announced during the September 9 Gig Harbor City Council Meeting.

“I learned about this 15 minutes ago,” said a happy Alan Anderson ,one of the canoe and kayak coaches.

Council members had been unhappy that the team was taking up more than the 1,000 square feet of dock space the lease with the city allowed. Anderson said the club moved some of the long boats to Ancich Park, where the team is leasing space for a future floating dock.

“We are paying for the storage, so we might as well use it,” Anderson said.

Another four racks of boats were moved to the Gig Harbor Marina next door to Skansie Park.

City staffer Jeff Langhelm said the move puts the team into compliance with the terms of the lease, and council members seemed satisfied. That appeared to resolve a dispute that had threatened the kayak team’s tenancy at the park.

This was not the only good news for the team.

Anderson spoke to recognize world champion canoe racer and member Nevin Harrison. She placed first in the woman’s 200-meter world final race at the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Hungary in late August. Harrison is 17 years old.

“I don’t think any other racer there was under 20,” Anderson said.

The city council and citizens watched a video of the race, followed by a standing ovation. They then heard Harrison’s post-race interview where she was in tears, the excitement beaming from her smile.

The win qualified Harrison for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s so exciting and historic,” Anderson said.

In other business during a short meeting, the city council:

Presented a lifesaving award for Sergeant Martineau and Officer Daniel for rescuing a suicidal female from the Narrows Bridge. The woman was outside the railing on a beam extending six feet over the water. The officers created a rapport with the woman and her boyfriend, speaking with them for eleven minutes before the woman came back from the beam.

Moved the adoption of an ordinance establishing a new franchise agreement with MCI Metro to a second reading. The agreement between the city and MCI Metro would give the company the opportunity to provide telecommunication services and to construct, operate and maintain a system within the city’s rights-of-way. Gig Harbor is authorized through state and federal statues to grant telecommunication franchises.

Passed a resolution rejecting all bids for the Well 3 Storage Facility Maintenance Project. This project provides for the removal of old well equipment, system inspection, and installation of new well equipment at Well 3, located at 5700 Soundview Drive. The city hopes to re-bid this work in the fall.

Discussed an ordinance setting the penalty for not wearing a bicycle helmet. Currently the penalty is a $124 fine and traffic Infraction, much of which goes to the state. But there is no corresponding state law, meaning no underlying authority to send distribute the fee to the state. “This is simply cleaning up the penalty to be in compliance with the code,” Police Chief Kelly Busey said. This new ordinance reclassifies the ordinance as civil Infraction with a $100 fine, all of which would go directly to the city. This ordinance will be decided upon at second reading.

Discussed an ordinance regarding the making or possession of auto theft tools. Currently there is no law against possessing these tool,s which are frequently used during vehicles prowls. “This does not mean possessing these tools alone is a violation,” Busey said. “They need to use these tools to do a crime.” This ordinance will be decided upon at second reading.

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