Gateway: News

Gig Harbor City Council walks Ancich Park, continues to mull on how to best utilize site

Residents watch as Gig Harbor City Council members view a staked out design of the proposed building at Ancich Park in Gig Harbor.
Residents watch as Gig Harbor City Council members view a staked out design of the proposed building at Ancich Park in Gig Harbor.

Ongoing discussions about the development of Ancich Waterfront Park continued Monday afternoon with the Gig Harbor City Council and interest groups concerned about the direction of the project.

Council members and Mayor Jill Guernsey, along with city staff and representatives from the community and organizations interested in the park’s development, toured the site Monday afternoon with project consultants in a workstudy session prior to the evening’s City Council meeting.

Concern about the proposed building’s size, intended use and impact on the residential area are primary with those in opposition to the project, with questions about public use of the park also coming into play.

“We want to listen to the neighbors and we want to listen to the people who will be using the facility,” Council member Tim Payne said.

During the meeting, Council member Ken Malich proposed that the project be resubmitted to staff for a redesign to lessen the overall square footage of the proposed building.

After discussion, Malich asked to withdraw and redraft his motion to be reconsidered during the first Council meeting in September in order to gather further information from other councilmembers, staff and the community.

With federal permit applications due, Guernsey directed staff to continue forward with submitting the applications in order to remain on schedule and announced a second workstudy session to be held at the Ancich Waterfront Park site at the beginning of August.

Life Saving Awards

Gig Harbor Police Chief Kelly Busey presented Life Saving Awards to two Gig Harbor Offficers for two separate incidents.

Officer Jarab Daniel was awarded a Life Saving Award for his off-duty response during a June 14 medical emergency.

Daniel was traveling out of state on an airport shuttle when a fellow male passenger experienced a seizure that resulted in him not being able to breathe. Without hesitation, Daniel assisted the man and performed CPR and other medical assistance until further support could reach the location.

“Officer Daniel’s actions lead directly to the saving of this man’s life,” Busey said.

Officer Dan Welch was awarded a Life Saving Award for intervening with a suicidal young man on the Tacoma Narrows bridge on June 26.

Busey showed footage from Welch’s dash camera mounted in the officer’s patrol vehicle that showed him arrive and begin interacting with the man.

Eventually, Welch was able to get close enough to the man to grab him and pull him to safety, before managing to handcuff him to the bridge railing and then pull him further to safety with the assistance of other law enforcement officers.

“Officer Welch did a really good, courageous job,” Busey said.

Along with the Life Saving Award, which each officer is authorized to wear on their uniform for the rest of their career, Busey also presented the officers each with a Chief’s Coin for their service. In further recognition for the service of the Gig Harbor Police Department, Guernsey expressed her gratitude to Busey and the department for its service and commitment to the safety of the Gig Harbor community.

“The tragic events of these past several weeks have not only highlighted issues communities large and small face, but they have once again reminded us of the fact that being a law enforcement officer brings challenges like no other profession,” Guernsey said. “I want to thank our chief, and all of our officers, for their dedication and professionalism.”

Busey also expressed his thanks for the recent support the department has received from the Gig Harbor community.

“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our community this past week,” he said. “I really appreciate that relationship with our citizens.”

Naming new city park

A new city park, currently under construction as part of the development agreement for Harbor Hill, is in need of a new name from the city.

Katrina Knutson, Parks Project administrator, said that the current name being used for the park, Gateway Park, is the same as a location being developed by KeyPen Parks on the Key Peninsula.

The new Gig Harbor park is approximately one acre in size and is located on the west side of the Heron’s Key development.

The Council agreed unanimously to direct the Parks Commission to gather public input and present recommendations for the park’s name to the Council.

Project contract for Welcome Plaza/Lift Station 4B improvements

The City Council agreed unanimously to award the contract to Stellar J Corporation for the improvement project to Lift Station 4B and the creation of a welcome plaza in the amount of $5,589,724.70.

City Engineer Steve Misiurak said that the Stellar J Corporation was the lowest bidder received by the city after a competitive bid process.

The Council also approved the additional expenditure of up to $150K to cover any additional project costs.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea