North Mason Community Voice

Board: Kaye Massie, Gerry Morrow, Jack Kimball, Ken VanBuskirk, Judy Scott, Linnie Griffin, Valerie McLeod, Bob Harris

Directors not present: Lee Swoboda, Beau Bakken, Danielle Skeeters-Lindsey

Attendees: 33

The business meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM by Vice Chair Kaye Massie, with a quorum of the Board present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said. Afterward, everyone introduced themselves.

Secretary's Report Gerry Morrow

Approval of November 18 meeting minutes.

MOTION: Linnie moved to approve the minutes, as distributed via email. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer's Report - Jack Kimball

All bills are paid and there is $1,198.92 in the bank account. The silent auction at the November 18 dessert party netted $332 total. An additional $200, which was passed by the membership at the November 18 meeting, was included in a check to the Community Food Pantry, totaling $532. NMCV received a thank you card from Executive Director Melody Hopfensberger.

MOTION: Linnie moved to approve the Treasurer's report. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Other Business

Don Atkinson made an announcement regarding Theler Center. He and others (unnamed) are trying to help the organization move forward in a positive direction. There will be an open-to-the-public meeting on February 17 at 7 PM to explain where the organization is right now and allow question-and-answer time from the community. A senior fair is being planned (no date set). A collaborative meeting with the Mason County Sheriff's Office and the new North Mason Fire Authority is scheduled for February 7 at 7 PM at Theler Community Center.

MOTION: Herb Gerhardt moved to donate $100 to Theler Center. After discussion, a vote was taken by the membership and the motion failed.

Mary Swoboda submitted a request to be reimbursed for postage used for NMCV purposes in 2013 totaling $22.81.

MOTION: Linnie moved to allow the Treasurer to reimburse Mary for postage. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.

Public Information Officer (PIO) Report Ken VanBuskirk

No report.

Business meeting adjourned at 7:25 PM.


GUEST SPEAKERS: Mason County Commissioner Randy Neatherlin, Belfair Sewer Advisory Committee members Jennifer Hines, Judy Scott and Bob Harris, Mason County Public Works Utilities and Waste Management Division Deputy Director Tom Moore, South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA) stakeholder David Overton and Joe Dacca, Deputy District Director for US Representative Derek Kilmer. Ken VanBuskirk moderated the discussion.

The purpose and intent was to share their perspective on Mason County's Belfair sewer system financing and future plans and opportunities.

Joe Dacca said he talks to Randy Neatherlin on a regular basis, and Congressmen Kilmer is invested in making this work.

Randy Neatherlin said a down economy and the cost of hooking up to the sewer has made the sewer uncompetitive. There are only 963 people in Belfair's Urban Growth Area (UGA). Plus Mason County must be in compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA). We must have a plan to keep it functioning, and that is what the Belfair Sewer Advisory Committee is doing, looking into everything. Joe Dacca and Derek Kilmer are trying to help us. They have put meetings together with all kinds of groups and have met with the mayors of Bremerton and Port Orchard and the Port of Bremerton. Senator Tim Sheldon has sponsored a bill, SB 6330, that will promote affordable housing in unincorporated areas of rural counties within urban growth areas.

Voice member Rob Drexler, who is also on the government affairs committee of the North Mason Chamber, said he has been going to Olympia to speak for this bill, which would help UGAs like Belfair in rural counties. View the bill here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6330

Jennifer Hines, Vice Chair of the Belfair Sewer Advisory Committee, invited the public to attend their meetings every other Thursday at 6 PM at the Port of Allyn Building. The next two meetings are February 6 and February 20. They welcome public input. Their email is Belfairsewer@co.mason.wa.us. She also encouraged people to get involved in the county's comprehensive plan review.

Tom Moore said the sewer system is producing 50 to 70 thousand gallons per day, running at half capacity.

David Overton said to encourage housing growth and locate businesses here, we need to encourage the Chamber of Commerce and the realtors to have open houses to entice developers to look at the Belfair UGA. The sewer system only serves a portion of the UGA right now. The transportation construction causes concern for people wanting to build here, but once the infrastructure is done, businesses will be stabilized. Growth will happen over time.

Judy Scott thanked the Mason County staff who have been very helpful to the sewer advisory committee.

Bob Harris said we don't have enough infrastructure to pay for the sewer system. SKIA growth is totally dependent upon a gas tax increase, but people are opposed to an increase.

Reporters from the Mason County Journal and the Kitsap Sun wrote articles (Kitsap Sun article here: kitsapsun.com/news/2014/jan/28/committee-hopes-to-finish-belfair-sewer-plan/) and Mason Web TV posted an article and video clips at masonwebtv.com/archives/12099#more-12099.

Vice Chair Kaye Massie adjourned the meeting at 8:28 PM.

The next meeting will be Monday, February 24. The guest speaker will be Mason County Sheriff's Office representative Chief Ryan Spurling, who will talk about the new North Precinct as well as home safety issues.

Submitted by Gerry Morrow, Secretary. Approved by NMCV Board 2/24/2014.