Community Government

Gig Harbor City Council approves first strategic plan

Posted on March 29th, 2022 By:

The Gig Harbor City Council approved its first-ever strategic plan on Monday.

The two-year plan identifies projects and issues of importance to the community and provides strategies for moving forward, based on discussions at a council retreat in January.

“We need to celebrate this,” member Jeni Woock said. “Never before has the Gig Harbor council and staff come up with a plan like this.”

The plan lays out the city’s chief priorities:

  • Foster a healthy city organization, including by retaining existing staff members and attracting qualified applicants.
  • Ensure that Gig Harbor has a sustainable future with well-maintained infrastructure — roads, utilities and the like — that meets the town’s needs.
  • Promote responsible growth while maintaining Gig Harbor’s small-town, historic character.
  • Promote environmental sustainability and preserve the town’s natural beauty. “Our citizens want us to preserve our trees and open space and trails, and to conserve our lands and open spaces,” Woock said.
  • Promote a dynamic, robust economy that supports local businesses.

Borgen Boulevard update

Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm gave an update on the emergency repairs on Borgen Boulevard.

Heavy rains caused a section of the roadway to settle, creating a hole in the pavement. A contractor found that the soil beneath the road is “very bad,” Langhelm said.

“We’ve dug down 10 feet and it’s a soupy mix of clay and silt,” Langhelm said.

A 100-foot long section of the road needs to be rebuilt and will continue to be blocked off until the repairs are finished.

Contract approved for preliminary sports complex work

The council approved a nearly $600,000 contract with BCRA for design, permitting and bid support for Phase 1B of the Sports Complex.

Among other things, the contractor will determine what kinds of environmental impact statements will be needed, conduct a tree survey, a traffic study and an analysis of light, noise and other environmental issues. Phase 1B includes construction of pickleball and bocce ball courts, playgrounds, two pavilions, a restroom and concessions building, an event stage and a grassy open space.

Councilmember Roger Henderson asked city staff to make sure that the community has opportunity to weigh in as the plan is developed. It’s especially important that the community be given plenty of advance notice before any trees are removed, he said.

“Many people in the community don’t know anything about this project,” and they will be unhappy about the removal of trees, the construction noise and the climate change impacts.

The city and the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties signed a lease agreement in 2021 that allowed the Y to take over Phase 1A. Under the terms, the Y will develop two lighted, artificial-turf fields that will accommodate soccer, football, lacrosse and other field sports. Construction of 100 parking stalls, restrooms and a concession stand are also part of the agreement. The Y will operate and maintain these facilities.

Also on Monday: The City Council extended two land use-related emergency ordinances.