Pool task force focuses on Chimacum Park as leading option

By Kirk Boxleitner
Posted 6/12/24


While the Healthier Together Task Force’s June 6 meeting took no official action in choosing a site for a new pool facility, a strong preference emerged during its discussions for …

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Pool task force focuses on Chimacum Park as leading option



While the Healthier Together Task Force’s June 6 meeting took no official action in choosing a site for a new pool facility, a strong preference emerged during its discussions for Chimacum Park as a new pool site.

Jefferson County District 3 Commissioner Greg Brotherton noted that the proposed new pool for the existing Mountain View campus required roughly 29,700 square feet, he conceded that another proposed site, at Chimacum Creek Elementary, would be “possible.” He had initially dismissed it as “too small.”

Brotherton added that Chimacum Creek Elementary has transit stops on Cedar Avenue, and suggested the school and the pool could share parking, but acknowledged the county engineer is “not too keen” on it, since it requires departing Highway 116.

“This is still a pretty tight spot,” Brotherton said, as task force members likewise considered the site’s parking capacity, with suggestions that the pool could share parking with the school or the neighboring Jefferson County Library.

Yet another proposed site was a privately owned parcel in downtown Port Hadlock, owned by “a group of siblings” whom Brotherton said “have not ruled out any options” and “are open to an offer.”

Brotherton elaborated that the downtown Hadlock site is “large enough” and “very close” to the QFC, and sits on “fairly flat” terrain, bordered by Masonic Hall Road on its east side, and within the sewer area.

Brotherton reported the county engineer was “very excited about the five-acre parcel of Chimacum Park, given its proximity to the major arterial of Highway 19, and relayed that the engineer was already considering a roundabout and pedestrian underpass for access.

“This is also proximate to the main Chimacum (school) campus, so high school athletics would be very accessible,” Brotherton said.

When Jim Scarantino asked if Brotherton had estimated the revenue the county could earn from logging that heavily forested parcel, Brotherton recalled that the county had already earned “quite a bit of revenue” from thinning that parcel’s trees previously.

Brotherton speculated that resuming logging on the parcel could generate revenue “enough to mitigate, and maybe even offset” the cost of a septic system.

Brotherton then presented the drive-time analyses for two of the proposed sites, noting that the Mountain View campus is accessible within 20 minutes or less to nearly 21,000 county residents, close to 2,700 of whom are younger than 18, whereas the Chimacum Creek Elementary site is accessible within 20 minutes or less to approximately 28,000 county residents, close to 3,400 of whom are younger than 18.

Brotherton noted Chimacum Park is within a 20 minute to approximately 29,000 county residents, including those in downtown Quilcene, roughly 3,500 of whom are under 18.

Tacoma-based Jesse Becerra, who’s been working independently to evaluate the prospective sites, recommended considering each geographic area’s relative tax value, as a means of judging the equity of service provided by any given proposed site, by which criterion Becerra deemed Port Hadlock generally preferable to Port Townsend.

Becerra ultimately recommended the approximate area of Chimacum Park for its relatively central location, preexisting county ownership of the land, and potential impact of providing such amenities to the area.

The task force rated Chimacum Park highest, and the Mountain View campus the lowest, for supporting participation from the entire county, while rating Chimacum Creek Elementary lowest for accommodating the proposed facility and its attendant parking.

The Mountain View campus and Chimacum Creek Elementary tied for lowest ratings in providing a prominent frontage and visibility, while every site except for Mountain View received a poor rating for convenient accessibility to bicycle routes.

All four sites received top marks for convenient accessibility to bus routes, while the Mountain View campus and Chimacum Park received the best ratings, and downtown Port Hadlock received the worst, for land cost.

Likewise, when judged according to potential for community partnerships and “synergy,” all sites except for downtown Port Hadlock received top ratings, while Port Hadlock rated poorly in that area.

As the only site to receive the best possible ratings in all but one of the task force’s listed criteria, Chimacum Park emerged as a clear favorite.

“It looks like we’re interested in pursuing Chimacum Park,” Brotherton said. “We won’t pursue any others right now, and we’ll just continue to do due diligence on that.”

The Healthier Together Task Force meets again at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 17.